"Multitrack recording (also known as multitracking or just tracking for short) is a method of sound recording that allows for the separate recording of multiple sound sources to create a cohesive whole."

Monday, December 22, 2014

Smashley's Best Music of 2014

Welp, Here we are again! After temporarily migrating this post to the Sony Entertainment Network blog last year, I'm back on this poor neglected blog that I've promised to revive more than once. :/ But, I digress . . . 

It was a weird year for me as far as discovering new tunes. Halfway through 2014, I left my post at Sony where I had received release schedules every week for nearly a decade. With my new job mostly working with top tier artists, I had to work extra hard to find "my" jams, and I think that in turn made me a better fan. 

Per tradition, I'll summarize my favorite albums in 140 characters or less, followed by my Top 100 favorite songs list. Ready, set, rock. 

2014 Favorite Albums

10) Beck
- Morning Phase

Why it Rules: I love dance party Beck as much as the next guy, but this is far & away my favorite Beck ever. Such a masterful songwriter, in either form. 

9) Jeremy Messersmith - Heart Murmurs
Why it Rules: Disarmingly calming, catchy & consistent songwriting w/ some Rufus Wainwright sassiness here & there. A very 2.0 version from his last album.

8) Baywood - Everything We Know, All at Once
Why it Rules: One of many Spotify discover suggestions, but this one really stuck. Too bad they seem to have dropped off the planet . . . anyone there?

7) A.C. Newman - What If: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 

Why it Rules: A.C. Newman is a BEAST. Not only did New Pornographers release an album, but he wrote this score that made a mostly "meh" film sound amazing.

*Since they are short songs, there are no videos, but an added bonus was this contribution from Patrick Watson.

6) The Tree Ring - Ten Rivers

Why it Rules: This album lights up every part of my brain. Sometimes, I worry I'll burn out on music, then sometimes I hear songs like these. 

*Couldn't get the Bandcamp embed to work, which is a drag My Type A personality wants consistency, so I pulled the only proper YouTube vid available. 

Here's a link to my favorite track though: http://music.treeringmusic.com/track/tunnel-view-2

5) Kris Orlowski - Believer 

Why it Rules: An example of the necessity to have a great team. His manager's constant posts piqued my curiosity and boy am I glad. What a voice! 

4) Kishi Bashi - Lighght 

Why it Rules: I nearly missed his set at a SXSW party I went to, but my friends insisted I stick around. Unreal live show & excellent album to back it up.

3) Manchester Orchestra - Cope & Hope
Why it Rules: Don't think it's a coincidence that "Cope" hit amdist a tough year & it's acoustic sibling "Hope," came to carry me through the rest of it. 

2) Noah Gundersen - Ledges
Why it Rules: Where has this kid been hiding? Absolutely incredible voice & undeniable electricity. He is truly something special. 

1) Desert Noises - 27 Ways
Why it Rules: If Desert Noises has a release, it will be in my Top 10 that year. Just when I think I have them pegged, they push their limits flawlessly.

2014 Favorite Songs

100) The War on Drugs - "Burning"
99) Jamestown Revival - "California (Cast Iron Soul)"
98) Samuel L Cool J - "Slip & Slide"
97) Oh Honey - "Be Okay"
96) Margot & the Nuclear So & So's - "Lazy"
95) Jay William Hendersen - "I Won't Beg"
94) The Orwells - "Who Needs You"
93) The New Basement Tapes - "Down on the Bottom"
92) Trampled by Turtles - "Nobody Knows"
91) Death Vessel - "Ilsa Drown (ft. Jonsi)
90) Wake Owl - "Candy" 
89) Bleachers - "I Wanna Get Better" 
88) Clean Bandit - "Rather Be" 
87) Bad Suns - "Cardiac Arrest" 
86) This Century - "Talk to Talk" 
85) Miniature Tigers - "Swimming Pool Blues" 
84) S. Carey - "Apenglow" 
83) James Bay - "Hold Back the River: 
82) ARMS - "Ballad of Big Nothing (Elliott Smith cover)" 
81) The Decemberists - "Make You Better" 
80) Act As If - "L.A. Kid" 
79) The Belle Brigade - "When Everything Was What it Was" 
78) The Far West - "Walk Light on This Poor Heart" 
77) Future Loves Past - "Earth" 
76) KONGOS - "This Time I Won't Forget" 
75) Nashville Cast - "It Ain't Yours to Throw Away" 
74) Robert Ellis - "Good Intentions" 
73) Seahaven - "Solar Eclipse" 
72) Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks - "Chartjunk" 
71) Waters - "Got to My Head" 
70) Big Sean - "I Don't Fuck With You" 
69) Margot & the Nuclear So & So's - "Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie cover)" 
68) The Antlers - "Parade" 
67) Augustana - "Remember Me" 
66) Boy & Bear - "Three Headed Woman" 
65) Brian Lopez - "Crossfire Cries"
64) Cold War Kids - "First" 
63) Grizfolk - "Hymnals" 
62) MisterWives - "Vagabond" 
61) The New Pornographers - "Fantasy Fools "
60) Ray LaMontagne - "Airwaves" 
59) Young the Giant - "Firelight" 
58) Foster the People - "Fire Escape" 
57) Greg Laswell - "Embrace Me" 
56) Johnny Flynn - "Einstein's Idea" 
55) Stephen Steinbrink - "Brand New Manic Brain Holder" 
54) Water Liars - "Let it Breathe" 
53) Bombay Bicycle Club - "Eyes Off You" 
52) Kina Grannis - "This Far"
51) Run River North - "Growing Up" 
50) Nick Mulvey - "Fever to the Form"
49) New Found Glory - "Ready & Willing" 
48) SKATERS - "Deadbolt" 
47) The Menzigers - "Sentimental Physics" 
46) Augustines - "Weary Eyes" 
45) Braid - "Many Enemies
44) Gates - "Not My Blood" 
43) Strange Talk - "Young Hearts" 
42) Zak Waters - "Pony (Ginuwine cover)" 
41) The Chain Gang of 1974 - "Sleepwalking" 
40) alt-J - "Left Hand Free" 
39) Chuck Ragan - "Wake With You" 
38) The Family Crest - "There's a Thunder" 
37) The Strypes - "Blue Collar Jane"
36) Fanfarlo - "Myth of Myself (A Ruse to Exploit Our Weaknesses)" 
35) Mogwai - "Master Card" 
34) Passenger - "27"
33) Yellow Ostrich - "You Are the Stars" 
32) Vacationer - "The Wild Life" 
31) William Tyler - "Whole New Dude" 
30) A Great Big World - "There is an Answer" 
29) American Authors - "Oh, What a Life" 
28) Against Me! - "Two Coffins" 
27) Seryn - "Disappear" 
26) Tokyo Police Club - "Tunnel Vision" 
25) Tove Lo - "Habits (Stay High)" 
24) Tycho - "Montana" 
23) Benjamin Booker - "Always Waiting" 
22) Party Gardens - "Highwaves" 
21) Ryan Adams - "My Wrecking Ball" 
20) Shakey Graves - "Dearly Departed" 
19) James Vincent McMorrow - "Gold" 
18) Hozier - "From Eden" 
17) Death From Above 1979 - "White is Red" 
16) Matthew & the Atlas - "Nowhere Now" 
15) Matt Pond - "These Days (Jackson Browne cover)" 
14) The Autumn Defense - "Under the Wheel"
13) Conor Oberst - "Artifact #1" 
12) Damien Jurado - "Metallic Cloud: 
11) The Apache Relay - "Katie Queen of Tennessee" 1
10) Incan Abraham - "All You Want"
9) Vance Joy - "Mess is Mine"
8) Outsides - "Seesaw"

7) Cloud Nothings - "I'm Not Part of Me"
6) Bahamas - "Can't Take You With Me"
5) The Griswolds - "Aurora Borealis"
4) The Barr Brothers - "Even the Darkness Has Arms"
3) Real Estate - "Talking Backwards"
2) Mimicking Birds - "Bloodlines" 
1) The Hold Steady - "Spinners" 

Until Next Year . . . 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Smashley's Best Music of 2012

This marks the 6th year in which I've decided to compile my favorite music of the year in one place and each year, I get a little dorkier about it. What started as a MySpace bulletin/blog post has morphed into an excursion that basically kicks off around January. It's gotten so dorky, in fact, that not only did I make a spreadsheet, but I even went so far as to count down my top 100 songs via Facebook/Twitter since mid-November. It's safe to say, when December rolls around, I probably look forward to this more than Christmas.

All that said, I'm just a girl who happens to have a job in music who also happens to like it (for some people, that's mutually exclusive.) As the years go on, I am more and more influenced by my work, but more often than not my choices reflect something uniquely Ashley while remaining timeless, which is really all we can ask them to do. This year, more than any of them, I feel there is the biggest thread that weaves through each of these. From now on, when anyone asks me what kind of music I listen to, I can probably just point them here.

Without further a-do, here are my Top 10 albums of 2012, followed by the Top 100 songs. As per usual, my album choices will be summed up in 140 characters or less and will let the music do the rest of the talking.

Please enjoy.

Top Albums of 2012
(Top to bottom awesome. In particular order of course.)
Listen to all of them here.

10) Family of the Year - Loma Vista
In 140 characters or less: Glad I gave this joyful band a 2nd chance. This particular song is the cutest ever. If I could print a shirt with all the lyrics, I would.

9) The Lumineers - The Lumineers 
In 140 characters or less: It was love at first Daytrotter stream and charming enough to convert the masses, too. One of the most sincere live performances I've seen.

8) Bad Books - II

In 140 characters or less: This ultimate bromance has struck gold again, as two excellent songwriters backed by a tight support band create SERIOUS harmonies & hooks

7) Dry the River - Shallow Bed 

In 140 characters or less: Mumford & Sons' moodier & less banjo-y younger brothers. The knee-jerk reaction people get when they hear this band is why I work in music.

6) Fun. - Some Nights 

In 140 characters or less: It only took 10 years for the rest of the world to finally hear what made The Format so special. A gigantic triumph in jangle pop.

5) Desert Noises - I Won't See You EP

In 140 characters or less: In just 3 songs, they managed to out-do most full albums released in 2012. Hoping for a breakthrough for music's best kept secret in 2013

4) Good Old War - Come Back as Rain 

In 140 characters or less: Immaculate harmonies and joyous, brilliant pop choruses make this their strongest effort to date. So beautiful & unmistakably Good Old War.

3) Kopecky Family Band - Kids Raising Kids
In 140 characters or less: Calling this band right now as the next dark horse. A debut effort that outshines some seasoned vets and is downright refreshing.

Bonus: "Change" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ew9TMJHH7V4 
This song is much different than the rest of the album, but unbelievably captivating. If you're a music supervisor, it should be in your movie.

 2) Lord Huron - Lonesome Dreams
In 140 characters or less: An 11th hour discovery and first-listen obsession. Stunning, soaring, smart and so exciting that this is just their first album.

1) The Rocketboys - Build Anyway
In 140 characters or less: No buzz, blogs or pretension. Just stumbling on them when The Echo sound guy played "Bloodless," between sets. Nothing short of awe inspiring.

Top 100 Songs
(In somewhat particular order, but mostly towards the end.)
Listen to all of them here.

#100: Waters - "For the One" 
#99: Admiral Fallow - "Brother"
#98 : Bowerbirds - "Overcome with Light" 
#97 : Carly Rae Jepsen - "Beautiful" 
#96: Little Green Cars - "The John Wayne"
#95: Hudson Taylor - "Battles"
#94: The Helio Sequence - "October"
#93 : Imagine Dragons - "Demons"
#92: Typhoon - "Common Sentiment" 
#91 : The Tallest Man on Earth - "There's No Leaving Now" 
#90: Yellow Ostrich - "Stay at Home" 
#89 : Torche - "Kicking" 
#88: Bahamas - "Lost in the Light" 
#87: Matchbox Twenty - "I Will" 
#86 : Conner Youngblood - "The Warpath" 
#85 : Margot and the Nuclear So & So's - "A Journalist Falls in Love with Deathrow Inmate #16" 
#84: Matt Pryor - "Your New Favorite" 
#83: A Lull - "Summer Dress"
#82: Brandi Carlile - "That Wasn't Me" 
#81: Brian Lopez - "Montjuic" 
#80: Islands - "Hallways"
#79: Glen Hansard - "Love Don't Keep Me Waiting"
#78: Benjamin Gibbard - "Lily" 
#77: Rocky Votolato - "Little Spring"
#76: Ben Kweller - "Mean to Me" 
#75: This Century - "Skeletons"
#74: Fanfarlo - "Shiny Things"
#73: Passenger - "Let Her Go"
#72: Jack White - "Sixteen Saltines" 
#71: Nicki Minaj - "Beez in the Trap" 
#70: Right Away Great Captain - "I Am Aware" 
#69: Quiet Corral - "City Steep" 
#68: Dr. Dog - "Over Here, Over There" 
#67: alt-J - "Breezeblocks" 
#66: Act As If - "Oh My My
#65: Jay William Henderson - "The Sun Will Burn Our Eyes" 
#64: Two Door Cinema Club - "Sleep Alone"
#63: Night Beds - "Even if We Try" 
#62: Andrew Bird - "Eyeoneye"
#61: Josh Ritter - "Why"
#60: Michael Kiwanuka - "I'm Getting Ready"
#59: Bruno Mars - "Young Girls" 
#58: Ladylike - "Cinema Kiss" 
#57: Ivan & Alyosha - "Running For Cover"
#56: Sam Means - "Will You Hang Around" 
#55: Stepdad - "My Leather, My Fur, My Nails"
#54: Great Lake Swimmers - "Easy Come, Easy Go"
#53: Vinyl Thief - "Faces" 
#52: Roll the Tanks - "Goodnight Jimmy Lee"
#51: Hit the Lights - "Earthquake" 
#50: M. Ward - "Primitive Girl"
#49: Miniature Tigers - "Boomerang" 
#48: Taylor Swift ft. The Civil Wars - "Safe and Sound"
#47: The Mowglis - "San Francisco" 
#46: Jukebox the Ghost - "Oh Emily"
#45: Princeton - "Florida"
#44: John Mayer - "Queen of California"
#43: Morning Parade - "Headlights"
#42: Dinosaur Feathers - "Certain Times" 
#41: Geographer - "The Myth of Youth" 
#40: Of Monsters and Men - "Your Bones"
#39: Civil Twilight - "Every Walk That I've Ever Taken Has Been in Your Direction"
#38: Gospel Claws - "Hambone" 
#37: The Wanted - "Glad You Came" 
#36: Rufus Wainwright - "Out of the Game"
#35: Silversun Pickups - "Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)"
#34: Gold Fields - "Moves" 
#33: Maroon 5 ft. Rozzi Crane - "Come Away to the Water"
#32: Electric Guest - "American Daydream"
#31: Dead Sara - "Weatherman"
#30: Local Natives - "Breakers"
#29: Green Day - "Oh Love"
#28: The Avett Brothers - "Live and Die" 
#27: The Secret Sisters - "Tomorrow Will Be Kinder"
#26: Neon Trees - "Everybody Talks" 
#25: Release the Sunbird - "I Will Walk" 
#24: Damien Jurado - "Museum of Flight"
#23: Fort Atlantic - "No One Will Know" 
#22: Band of Horses - "Knock Knock"
#21: One Direction - "What Makes You Beautiful" 
#20: Husky - "History's Door" 
#19: Walk the Moon - "Shiver, Shiver"
#18: Robert Francis - "Eighteen"
#17: Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons - "Seventeen"
#16: John K. Samson - "When I Write My Masters Thesis"
#15: Passion Pit - "Carried Away"
#14: The Fray - "Be Still"
#13: Maroon 5 ft. Wiz Khalifa - "Payphone"
#12: Father John Misty - "Only Son of the Ladiesman"
#11: Amos Lee - "The Darkness"
#10: James Vincent McMorrow - "Sparrow & the Wolf" 
#9: The Shins  - "It's Only Life"
#8: Sara Bareilles - "Bright Lights and Cityscapes" 
#7: Reubens Accomplice - "Field Science" 
#6: Nada Surf - "The Moon is Calling" 
#5: Ed Sheeran - "The A Team" 
#4: Delta Spirit - "California"
#3: Mumford & Sons - "Lover of the Light"
#2: Japandroids - "The House that Heaven Built"
#1: Ben Howard - "Old Pine" 

'Til 2013! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Smashley's Best Music of 2011

First of all, apologies for any confusion about what happened to this blog. In short: I moved myself across the country in April and subsequently, fell off the face of the Earth. Plans are being made to re-launch Multitracking: A Mix Exchange as it once was in 2012, with more mixers and more follow-through. Stay tuned!

But since I had no where else to host this, here's my Best of 2011 (for music, of course, since I have no other social skills.) Nicely compacted into internet-friendly, short-attention-span format, complete with 140-characters-or-less explanations and a whole lotta links. 

You can also listen to all of the artists/songs here, if you're into that sort of thing:

Here's to another year of still liking music, 

With love, 

  Top 10 Albums of 2011 
(Top to bottom awesome. In particular order, of course.) 

10) The Belle Brigade - The Belle Brigade
In 140 characters or less: Brother/sister duo with impeccable vocal synergy and infectious folk-infused pop sensibilities. Also: a video with SO MANY PUPPIES.

9) Ryan Adams - Ashes and Fire
In 140 characters or less: The revitalization of an old love for Mr. Adams, featuring in the most honest Ryan incarnation that he's had in many years. 

8) Typhoon - A New Kind of House
In 140 characters or less: Didn't quite get them the last record, but this EP feels like a much more concentrated effort to polish some of the chamber-pop chaos.

7) The Decemberists - The King is Dead
In 140 characters or less: This band finally stops keeping their fans at arm's length with less rock opera and more strategic songwriting. A perfect album. 

6) Augustana - Augustana
In 140 characters or less: Highly under appreciated and misrepresented band who clearly spent a lot of time with Counting Crows before putting this album to tape

5) The Head and the Heart - The Head and the Heart
In 140 characters or less: A happy, unique surprise in a sort of crowded folk revival. As tight a musical outfit as I've heard in a very long time.  

4) Source Victoria - Slow Luck
In 140 characters or less: It's been a long time since I've looked forward to an album as much as this one. A brooding, pulls-you-head-first-into-it, atmospheric triumph

3) Bon Iver - Bon Iver
In 140 characters or less: There is absolutely no room for skeptics or cynicism here: from a one-man-show to a nine-man-army, this project is 100% the real deal. 

2) Desert Noises - Mountain Sea
In 140 characters or less: One of the best kept secrets in music, by far. I have a lot of hope for this little band from Utah with a totally massive harmonized sound.

1) Blind Pilot - We Are the Tide
In 140 characters or less: Whatever didn't spark for me the last album quickly ignited into a flame. Beautifully produced, exceptionally written folk-pop masterpiece.

 Top 40 Songs of 2011 
(Some from albums I may have fully enjoyed, some are the only songs I liked . Which is which is left a mystery. In sort of particular order, mostly near the top.)

40) Allen Stone - "Unaware"
From: Allen Stone

39) Fun. ft. Janelle Monae - "We Are Young"
From: Some Nights (2012)

38) The Fray - "Heartbeat"
From: Scars and Stories (2012)

37) Ladylike - "On to Me"
From: Vol. 1

36) Kreayshawn - "Gucci Gucci"
From: Gucci Gucci

35) M83 - "Midnight City"
From: Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

34) Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - "Nothing But Our Love"
From: It's a Corporate World

33) Oh Land - "Rainbow"
From: Oh Land

32) Bayside - "Already Gone" 
From: Killing Time

31) Blink 182 - "Up All Night"
From: Neighborhoods

30) A Lull - "Some Love"
From: Confetti

29) SPEAK - "You Know As Well As I"
From: I Believe in Everything

28) Portugal. The Man - "Got it All (This Can't Be Living Now)"
From: In the Mountain In the Clouds

27) Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - "If I Had a Gun"
From: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

26) What Laura Says - "Girl Not Gonna Leave"
From: TALK

25) Foster the People - "Houdini"
From: Torches

24) Childish Gambino - "Fire Fly"
From: Camp

23) Gym Class Heroes - "Stereo Hearts"
From: The Papercut Chronicles

22) ARMS - "Fleeced"
From: Summer Skills

21) Accidental Seabirds - "Untitled"
From: The Snow and the Full Moon

20) J. Cole - "Work Out"
From: Cole World -The Sideline Story

19) Death Cab for Cutie - "You Are a Tourist"
From: Codes and Keys

18) Paramore - "Monster"
From: Monster

17) The Whisperlights - "Ditch the Watch"
From: Surfaces

15) Boy & Bear - "The Feeding Line"
From: Moonfire

14) The Script - "If You Ever Come Back"
From: Science & Faith

13) Kopecky Family Band - "Little Baby Sister"
From: Of Epic Proportions

12) Adele - "Set Fire to the Rain"
From: 21

11) Austin Gibbs - "Held Her a Little Too Tight"
From: Charlie

10) Fleet Foxes - "Montezuma"
From: Helplessness Blues

9) Kinch - "Once, I Was a Mainsail"
From: The Incandenza

8) Vanaprasta - "Self Indulgent Feeling"
From: Healthy Geometry

7) Cage the Elephant - "Shake Me Down"
From: Thank You Happy Birthday

6) The Summer Set - "When We Were Young"
From: Everything's Fine

5) Incubus - "Switchblade"
From: If Not Now When?

4) Walk the Moon - "Anna Sun"
From: I Want! I Want!

3) Matt Nathanson - "Faster"
From: Modern Love

2) Manchester Orchestra - "Simple Math"
From: Simple Math

1) Grouplove - "Colours"
From: Never Trust a Happy Song

  Final 5 Fun Facts of 2011 
(Because I can.) 

5) Best Music Video:  
Manchester Orchestra - "Simple Math"

4) Best Non-2011 Discovery: 
Good Old War -  Only Way to Be Alone

3) Favorite Show of 2011:
Incubus - Performing Make Yourself front to back
@ Incubus HQ

2) Favorite Album Cover of 2011: 

1) Most Anticipated (rumored) in 2012:

  • Nada Surf
  • Fanfarlo
  • Mumford and Sons
  • Good Old War
  • Miniature Tigers
  • Fun.
  • Ben Kweller
  • The Fray