Emily Herbein shares her favorites of the year, local and beyond (List Week 2017)
Favorite Records of the Year
John Mayer - The Search for Everything
I’ve been a John Mayer fan off and on, and aside from the hits that everybody loves, I think this newest album really solidified my appreciation for Mayer. I was lucky enough to see The Search for Everything tour this summer, and watching him perform live is like a transcendental experience. Being an ameteur guitar player as well, it’s really fascinating to watch how effortless his playing style is. I got to see Mayer again with Dead & Co in November - that was a whole other experience in itself. He’s a true talent, and I’m glad The Search for Everything does him justice.
Del Water Gap - 1 (646) 943 2672 (Extended Play)
Del Water Gap is one of my favorite discoveries of 2017. They’re a super cool Brooklyn-based band, with a super sweet indie sound, and singer Holden Jaffe has this super croony, sort of higher-register voice that is totally mesmerizing. I’ve seen them a handful of times since meeting them, and they always give such great performances. Their lyrics are also super sweet and full of this really intimate level of specificity that I love.
Bucolic - Ropes Wing
Bucolic is a hidden Bandcamp gem that I’m so happy I stumbled upon at Kung Fu Necktie one night. He’s a solo guitarist from New Jersey who plays around with looping and really sweet enigmatic backing tracks. His lyrics are beautiful and I was blown away by the fact that he’s entirely independent. I don’t have the right words to do him justice, but he’s a new favorite for sure.
Ed Sheeran - Divide
I’ve always been a Sheeran fan, but I think Divide is on a whole new level. While I’m not a fan of all of the songs, most of them are really, really breathtaking. Tracks like Perfect and Hearts Don’t Break Around Here literally always make me cry but I also wish I’d written them. So that’s where I stand. It’s an album everyone has heard, and most people love. He’s a beautiful performer as well, and I love that his shows are always solo. It’s a testament to the craft.
Circa Survive - The Amulet
Circa Survive has been a cult favorite of mine since high school. Nothing compares to Juturna or On Letting Go, their earlier albums, but The Amulet is reminiscent of fetus Circa and I love it. It’s angry and intricate and Anthony Green’s vocals sound beautiful. He’s always going to have a special place in my heart, so I’ll love pretty much anything he puts out. The fact that Circa is local makes them that much better, too.
Favorite Songs of the Year
"100 Letters" by Halsey (from hopeless fountain kingdom)
"The Amulet" by Circa Survive (from The Amulet)
"In The Blood" by John Mayer (from The Search for Everything)
"Remember" That Night by Grouplove (from Big Mess)
"Don't Take The Money" by Bleachers (from Gone Now)
"New Year's Day" by Taylor Swift (from reputation)
"Hey K" by Passion Pit (from Tremendous Sea of Love)
"High Tops" by Del Water Gap (from 1 (646) 943 2672 - EP)
"Where's My Love" by SYML (from Where's My Love - Single)
"The River" by Good Old War (from Part of Me - EP)