The Very Belated 2020 Fall & Winter Mega Mix

This year is a weird time warp. In quarantine, time is a construct. April felt like it was 200 days long. July feels like 100 years ago. Yet, wait, it’s February 2021… Anyone else feeling it?

I know Fall is a distant memory and Winter is practically over (let’s hope, anyway). But after much delay, the 2020 Fall & Winter Mix is happening. And boy howdy, is it HAPPENING. Somehow, it mushroomed into 80 songs. 5 hours of music.

There’s SO many really great tracks in this one and I honestly can’t pick favorites, but in case you’re a skim listener and can’t devote 5 hours to this, here are a few highlights. Call it a Top 12, if you will.

  • The opening track by Iceland’s Daði Freyr is a bizarrely addictive little tune. If you somehow missed it this summer, go watch the video. It is seriously the best thing EVER.
  • HOKO is my favorite 2020 new-to-me artist. I love every single thing the guy does. “I Don’t Know Where We Went Wrong” is the perfect song for this pandemic moment in the U.S. And because I’m breaking all the rules, there’s a second HOKO song on this mix, but you’re going to have to listen all the way through to hear it.
  • The Heavy Hours definitely grabbed my ear at first listen. They’re young and I am digging everything I’ve heard. Go follow them now before everyone knows this Ohio band.
  • “Paris” by The Brevet has been an ear worm since January 2020 and I’m so glad it’s out, finally. Good luck getting this one out of your head.
  • If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know that I’m freaking out about new music from Wil Seabrook. In an indirect way, Wil is one of the reasons that the Krissie Mix exists.
  • Caiola, the solo project of Mo Lowda and the Humble front man Jordan Caiola, is worth every listen you can give him. His solo album is one of my favorite releases of 2020 and this song…gut punch good.
  • “Heavy Load” by Great Peacock is perfect from start to finish. Their new album, Forever Worse Better, is spectacular. Definitely in the running for Top 10 of the year. Emotions for days and days and days.
  • It’s so good to hear Augustana (aka Dan Layus) back in full form. “Take” has been on repeat for months now.
  • Animal Years … My boys are back with a pop ditty that will put a smile on your face and make you dance.
  • Bruce Springsteen. No words needed. Listen to Letter To You from start to finish. On a recent Q&A, someone asked him if “Burnin’ Train” was a show opener and he replied with, “You nailed it.” Here’s to hoping for many more Bruce shows in the future. (Also, Bruce was framed. Fight me.)
  • If you dig the harder rock n’ roll, don’t sleep on the new Golden State album, Blood Finger Prick. “Little Glass Jar” is currently my favorite. James Grundler‘s voice is absurd. He also followed me on Instagram when I posted about the new album and I freaked out a little bit.
  • Speaking of rockers, can you say Dead Sara? “Hands Up” marks their return. Nice to hear Emily’s voice again.

Full liner notes – all 10 PAGES of them – are here, if you are one of the long-time listeners that digs them. I apologize now. It’s ridiculous, I know.

Apple Music version is here.

Shhh. Here’s a bonus Summer Mix. Don’t tell.

Talk to me, gang. How’s your summer?

I know. It kind of stinks. But I hope you’re making the best of it and finding joy in new things.

Me, I’ve been listening to a ton of new music. So I decided to sneak in a 2020 Summer Mix II. Because why not, right?

No fancy blog post. Just some new tunes to brighten your ears.

Get the liner notes here.

Apple Music version is here.

The Summer Mix – whether we have summer or not.

Well, right about now, we’re all probably feeling quite the same. Our summers are, bit by bit, being taken away by coronavirus.

To quote Justin Hopkins, “Fun is canceled.”

Enter the Summer Mix to help cure a bit of the blues I’m having about the thought of no concerts, festivals, or even pool time this summer.

Honestly, the Mix is a little bit of happy and a little bit of mellow … and it took forever to come together, but I’m sorta loving it. Where else are you gonna hear Jason Isbell and Harry Styles on the same playlist? 

I do have a few “must hears” on this Mix…I usually try to keep quiet about my favorites, but I can’t help myself this time. Don’t skip out on what I think will be the song of the summer by Hoko, the new single from my Foxfire Run fellas, and a major new Brit Pop crush in Sea Girls

Liner notes are here.

Apple Music version is here.

Playlists saved my Quarantine

Well, it’s been an interesting month. Six weeks. Eternity.

Hope you’re all doing okay. That you’re healthy, first of all, but that you’re also mentally okay.

I have good days and bad days. I’m a bit of a worrier, so my imagination gets the best of me some days. But I’m hanging in there.

Definitely getting by with a little help from my friends. One bunch, in particular. My core Rock Boat group.

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Sometime at the end of March we decided to start having Thursday night Zoom happy hours. And they are epic. We talk for HOURS. The shortest one was like an hour and a half. Two weeks ago, we started at 8 PM and Jen and I were the last one’s standing at 1 AM.

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Somewhere along the way, the playlists started. Themed collaborative (for the most part) playlists.

The first one was an individual challenge – My Life in 15 Songs. Stacy and I had done this one a few years back, but the rest of the gang hadn’t. So we made it a thing. And a bunch of people made them.

It’s just kept going since then. Something comes up in our conversation, and then it’s dubbed the theme for the coming week’s playlist. We make them collaborative… each person gets to add three songs.

Honestly, these playlists have become my favorite thing about Quarantine. They make me smile. They’re not edited or overthought … They just ARE. And that makes them amazing. And fun. And a little glimpse at all of our personalities.

I love that this particular group of friends all gets it. Music is just our language. I could talk about music with these people forever.

Anyway, since these things are bringing me so much joy, I thought I’d share them here.  They’re all on Spotify…

 

Spring Mix time…not talking about salad, gang

Hey, hi, how ya been?

Sorry, I’ve been MIA for a while. No excuses, really. Just haven’t felt like writing. I promise I’ll be better.

For now, though, I’m going to cut to the chase. I’m here to deliver the Spring Mix.

Not gonna lie, folks, I’m REALLY loving this one. It’s long…close to 50 songs! There’s something on this one for everyone… And that run of the first 15 songs? It’s my favorite thing I’ve done in awhile.

I had a lot to say about these songs, so here are the ridiculously long liner notes. Sorry, not sorry?

And because I’m COMPLETELY on top of things – don’t let the Mix fool you – you should see the Spotify playlist below. The Apple playlist refuses to embed, but you can get to it with that link…

Happy almost spring…Hope you find something new to love!