Rank/Artist & tags/2013 plays
I love music! As has been my habit over the last few years, I like to do a backwards glance into the things I’ve been listening to over the past 12 months or so.
Looking at the chart above and comparing to last year’s, it seems that I did not listen to as many individual tracks this year, and so not as much music. However, I believe the truth is that I listened to more spoken word, which runs much longer, and so it likely works out that I was listening more this year, and not less, just different things.
So what was I listening to in 2013, anyway?
1. Stand to Reason – Ok, so first disclaimer, this is not actually music. But since it appears in my last.fm database, and at the top slot, and by a very large margin, I think it is worth taking some time for. STR is a Christian organization led by Greg Koukl dedicated to “Equipping Christian Ambassadors with Knowledge, Wisdom, and Character.” Their especial strength lies in making a compelling case for the Christian worldview in a concise and culturally timely and relevant manner. Early in the year, I purchased their three-part Ambassador Basic Curriculum which covers many diverse topics including the relationship between faith and reason, tactics in conversation (from Koukl’s excellent book), decision-making and the will of God, evolution, homosexuality, and others. I listened to this curriculum over and over. I recommend it highly to those interested in presenting a winsome case for Christianity. Below is a sample of Greg Koukl speaking in a video blog on prayer and wishful thinking.
2. Falling You – Really, I’m running out of things to say about Falling You. Year after year they remain in my top ten because I keep coming back to them. Ever since my mid-twenties, my musical tastes have largely mellowed to the point that most of what I listen to is ambient, trance, etc., most often with female vocals, and Falling You is a prime example of my tastes in that area. During 2013, Falling You released a new album “Blush”, which, while it displayed terrific production values, just did not inspire and move me in the way that the previous releases did. Because this album is still somewhat new, and Falling You is not very well-known, I could not find a video link for songs the new album. You can listen to the release on their website, or see below for a video featuring a song from an earlier release.
3. Shiva in Exile – This band is one which I have been listening to off-and-on since I discovered them in 2011. I fell instantly in love with the electronic-middle eastern fusion in sound. I listened to them quite a bit this year, and so they appear in position three in my charts for the year.
4. Passion – “Passion” is the name of the worship albums performed by a collaboration of several Christian musicians, including Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Matt Redman, Steve Fee, Kristian Stanfill Charlie Hall, Christy Nockels and Nathan Nockels. During 2013, I discovered their release “White Flag”, and found that almost every track was catchy, worshipful, and memorable. I listen to it a lot, and recommend it.
5. Cell – Producing music of ambient, electronic, and downtempo genres, Cell is the work of electronic artist Alex Scheffer. Introduced to me by Spotify’s “Discover” feature, I spent a couple of days listening through all of Spotify’s available albums. I find it excellent music for reading and studying.
6. Connect.Ohm – Another artist found by Spotify’s “Discover” feature, Connect.Ohm has become a new favorite among the ambient/electronic genre of music. Featuring Hidetoshi Koizumi of Hybrid Leisureland and Alex Scheffer of Cell, Connect.Ohm produces ambient music that is both interesting to listen actively to, as well as being relaxing focus music for reading or studying.
7. The Lost Patrol – Another artist which, if not always in my top ten, consistently stays in high rotation in my listening patterns. For genre, I like to classify The Lost Patrol as “reverb surfabilly.” Most of their songs are short, catchy, and feature female vocalists over reverb-heavy guitars in a rockabilly style.
8. & 9. Hillsong – I have combined my number nine and ten slots this year, as Hillsong Live is simply the live recordings of Hillsong United. If you are unfamiliar with Hillsong, they are a contemporary rock style praise and worship band which originated in Hillsong Church in Australia. Along with my number four ranking for last year, Passion, I listened to Hillsong quite a lot as I listened to more worship throughout the year. They have produced many great worship recordings and I enjoy listening to them in my personal worship.
10. Biosphere – Finally, at number 10 is Biosphere, yet another good call by Spotify’s Discover feature. With an experimental ambient electronic style, Biosphere is the musical project of Norwegian Geir Jenssen formerly of dream-pop band Bel Canto, and features musical loops and samples from sci-fi sources. As with Cell and Connect.Ohm, this is great background music for performing focused tasks.
(view last year’s top 10 here: https://jkw00d.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/my-top-10-musical-artists-for-2012/)
What do you think? Does any of this music grab you, inspire you, or influence you?