One of the great music surprises of 2017 for me was The Maine’s Lovely Little Lonely, an album that ranked fifth on my 2017 EOTY list, and an album that has persisted in my regular listening queue as much or more than the albums I ranked above it. As I’ve fallen out of listening to massive amounts of music, I’ve found that the most enjoyment I can get out of an album is when it surprises me, coming from an unexpected place.
When I was writing 100 album reviews a year, so much of the music I listened to was from bands that I had never sat with before, either because they were brand-new or because I hadn’t listened to their past work; the experience was so common as to be neutral. But today, listening to a band for the first time — while not completely novel or foreign — holds more meaning to me. In a way not meant to be pretentious at all, there’s just a higher bar set for the entry into what I’ll listen to when there’s less listening going on. It will usually take a personal recommendation from a friend, a non-personal recommendation from one of the few music critics I really like, or a critical mass of chatter amongst my Twitter timeline for me to pop something new into my Apple Music feed.Read More