FUTURISTIC FRIDAY

In light of “Throwback Thursday or #tbt” which involves posting something that has nostalgic value, we at RunTheMill wanted to turn this popular convention on its head. This weekly posting will share a song that is either ahead of its time or attempts to push us out of our comfort sound zone.

Not much time. Off for President’s Day Weekend. But this will be stuck in my head.

Father John Misty – I Went to the Store One Day

In his previous life, Josh Tillman was a singer-songwriter who produced above-average but relatively straightforward folk. Five albums deep, the former Fleet Foxes drummer seemed entrenched in his craft. That was until the 2012 album, Fear Fun, when Tillman recast himself as the prophetic rock-god Father John Misty – an outlandish character that, despite serving as an alter-ego, has proven to be thoroughly authentic.

The majority of Father John Misty’s work has been a stark departure from the J Tillman catalog. But with “I Went to the Store One Day” he returns to his quieter folk roots, and with stunning results. In this song, Father John considers the first encounter he had with his wife, Emma (seen smiling at the end), who he approached at random outside a convenience store one day in Laurel Canyon. This chance meeting sets in motion a life planned together – marriage, daughters, old age, death. “I never thought it would be so simple,” he sings.

The new album, I Love You, Honeybear is out this week.

The Districts – Flourish and Spoil

Philadelphia, a musical city known more for soul, R&B, and hip-hop, has been efficiently churning out absolutely stellar alternative rock acts over the last few years – Kurt Vile, the War on Drugs, Dr. Dog, and Strand of Oaks to name a few. Now joining these ranks are relative newcomers The Districts. Discovered in high school after their electrifying single Funeral Beds took off on social media, the Districts are releasing their label debut next week – entitled A Flourish and a Spoil. This album is full of rock played the way rock should we played, confident and energetic. Take a listen now on NPR First Listen.

New Ones

Futuristic cowboy rocker Lord Huron is back with a new album on the way. His first single is free to download on the album’s website.

Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors just released their 5th studio album: Medicine. The lead single is great.

Even with a big band her, Natalie Prass has little trouble holding the spotlight. Go listen to her new eponymous album.

The new Decemberists album is little underwhelming given the high bar they have set in past work. However the last track strikes the epic tone that this band is so good at capturing.

Tall Tall Trees

“Bearded man sings songs, violates banjo.” An apt description of Mike Savino on the Tall Tall Trees Bandcamp page. Both of these tracks are from The Seasonal EP, which Savino released in December with production assistance from Kishi Bashi.

Year in Review: 2014

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Here it is: Run the Mill’s first year in review. We put together our favorite songs and albums on Spotify playlists as well as a random collection of highlights from the year in music. Hope you enjoy.

Songs of the Year (In order)

Albums of the year (No order)

Favorite musical moment (tie)

War on Drugs – Suffering

The breakdown at 2:50 is gut-wrenching. More than any other album this year, the ideas driving Lost in a Dream are impeccably matched by the sounds. Suffering is a prime example. It’s a slow-burn until halfway through when you’re ripped out of the daze by this devastating chord.

Perfume Genius – Fool

The minute long howl tapers off, the song goes quiet, and then… that fingersnap.

Biggest feel good moment 

Future Islands performance of Seasons on Letterman

It’s a fantastic song that got a hard-working band the attention they deserve (and catapulted Samuel Herring to be in the running for best frontman on the planet). All because of some goofy late-night dancing.

Biggest Guilty Pleasure

Nick Jonas – Jealous

I was going to say Taylor Swift, but I feel no guilt listening to Taylor Swift. I think the answer has to be Nick Jonas’ Jealous. This song was maximum guilty and maximum pleasure. It’s the kind of song that can ruin your sense of self-worth and shame you in to turning your Spotify on private mode. If you told me two years a go I would listen to a Jonas Brother song as many times as I did this year, I would have imagined my life took a sharp turn for the worse.

Most overlooked album

Blake Mills – Heigh Ho

Heigh Ho is dynamic, vibrant and features consistently compelling song-writing. Unworthy is a good introduction, highlighting what Blake is capable of with a guitar and his voice.

Favorite Album Art

glass-animals-zaba

If you’re an Alt-J fan and don’t know Glass Animals yet, check them out.

Favorite TV soundtrack

Transparent

Along with being my favorite TV show of the year, Transparent has great music. Neil Young, Bob Dylan, the Cave Singers, Bill Callahan and more. The opening credits also have some beautiful piano from Dustin O’Hallloran. Only blemish is the inclusion of “Somebody that I used to know,” a song that had no business being played in 2014.

Favorite album review

Pitchfork’s end of the year review of Run The Jewels, their number one album. 

In his review of the spectacular Run the Jewels 2, Jeff Weis of Pitchfork draws on the current racial unrest in America to show why this album is so important and timely. It’s lavishly hyperbolic, but fittingly so given the album’s content.

“This is volume for the voiceless, a silver bullet for the wolves, and a redistribution of sovereignty. It’s venom to immobilize cheaply uniformed imposters, flatulent greedheads, and cynical buffoons perverting the truth on cable news. When institutions lacked authority and insurrection seemed permanently imminent, El-P and Killer Mike hurled 11 grenades, offering redemption through untrammeled rage. If justice remained elusive, retaliation could be had as fast as closing your eyes and counting to fuck.”

Favorite music video

Spoon – Do You

All I will say is watch until the end.

Prettiest song of the year

Angel Olsen – May as Well

Isn’t this song just lovely?

Weirdest song of the year

Ariel Pink – Plastic Raincoats in the Pig Parade

Mannequins are so afraid
Don’t be afraid to show your stripes
Because the mannequins is always right
Plastic raincoats in the pig parade
All over the world
Cocaine bank got the Portobello Girl
It’s a Tokyo night when you feel alright
The Arkansas moon’s gonna shine tonight
All over the world we’re gonna do it right
So wear your plastic raincoats in the pig parade
Cause the mannequins is so afraid

Greatest song of all time
 
RAC – Tear You Down

According to my roommate Jake, RAC released the greatest song of all time this year. I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention it.