Each year, I maintain a folder of playlists for the music that I discover, enjoy, and end up listening to throughout the year. Sure, the “Spotify Wrapped” is fun (or the “Apple Music Replay” or whatever thing your favorite service calls it), but I don’t think it does a great job of really highlighting exactly what it is that I liked.

Part of this is because I end up looping certain songs over and over when trying to work them out on the guitar so it skews the end results a bit. But I digress.

Here’s a list of my favorite albums of the year (they didn’t necessarily come out this year, and they are in no particular order, but If found ’em and kept them on repeat):

  • Fitz and the Tantrums – Let Yourself Free
  • Hanson – Red, Green, Blue
  • Strange Things 4 OST
  • Morgan Wade – Acoustic Sessions EP
  • The Goo Goo Dolls – Chaos in Bloom
  • Patrick Droney – State of the Heart, Deluxe
  • Carole King – Beautiful
  • Larry Fleet – Stack of Records
  • Thomas Rhett – When We Started
  • The Killers – Pressure Machine, Deluxe
  • Anderson East – M.W.N.D / F.A.M.E
  • Timecop1983 – Faded Touch
  • Yebba – Live at Electric Lady
  • American Aquarium – Lamentations

Of all of the above:

  • 🎸 My absolute favorite album from a guitarists standpoint is Patrick Droney’s State of the Heart. Give The River a listen.
  • 🥃 Morgan Wade continues to be my favorite new country artist. Check out The Night, Part 2 to see just how far her talent expands from a the first part of this story.
  • 🕚 Timecop1983 is my favorite ambient retrowave. Try out Tokyo for something with lyrics if straight up ambient music isn’t your thing.
  • 💎 A gem of a find this year was Willie Nelson and Lucinda William’s cover of Billy Joe Shaver’s Live Forever.

You fathers and you mothers
Be good to one another
Please try to raise your children right
Don’t let the darkness take ’em
Don’t make ’em feel forsaken
Just lead them safely to the light.

Billy Joe Shaver, Live FOrever

And I could probably go on a bit with a few other singles like the back-to-basics punk rock of Blink 182’s newest single or the version of Don’t Be Cruel by Billy Swan featured in For All Mankind but if I did that, I’d never finish this post.

So I’m stopping here (before I end on a link to Peaches & Diesel by Eric Clapton which obviously has the flavor of Wonderful Tonight as its foundation).

That’s all for now.

Note: If you’re curious about how I sync music from Spotify to Apple Music to get the highest quality version of the audio, be sure to read this post.