My Favorite Musical Artists

This is a list of my current favorite musical artists. I gravitate towards rock-related genres (folk, alternative, indie), but I have included exceptions.

  • Bon Iver
  • Sufjan Stevens
  • Local Natives
  • The Head and the Heart
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Penny and Sparrow
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Young the Giant
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • Gregory Alan Isakov
  • The Oh Hellos
  • Frank Ocean
  • The Civil Wars
  • Chance the Rapper

Honorable Mention: Lake Street Dive, Alabama Shakes, Leon Bridges, The Avett Brothers, Shakey Graves, Florence + the Machine, Josh, Garrels, Kings Kaleidoscope, Cold War Kids, Arctic Monkeys, Noname, Joey Bada$$, J Cole, Nas, Jay Z, Kanye West, Drake, Earl Sweatshirt, Eminem, Queen, Simon & Garfunkle.

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5 thoughts on “My Favorite Musical Artists

  1. This is a helpful way to introduce your favorite singers to others. Two of your favorites are on my “top ten” list as well – The Head and the Heart and Sufjan Stevens – and I included Bon Iver on my “honorable mention.” I like The Lumineers, too. If you were forced to choose one album for the aforementioned, what would it be? For The Head and the Heart, I would go with their sophomore album, “Let’s Be Still,” if for no other reason than it contains the masterful song, “Another Story.” For Sufjan Stevens, it feels painful to make a selection, but I’ll go with “Seven Swans” tied closely with “Illinois.” “Carrie & Lowell” is a fine album, although the downcast atmosphere fails to showcase the full range of Stevens’ talent. For Bon Iver, you can’t bear his freshman album, “For Emma, Forever Ago.” And for The Lumineers, I will also go with their eponymous freshman album.

    Having watched the videos of your other favorite artists, I’m only interested in exploring two: Lake Street Dive (their jazzy sound appeals to me) and maybe Alabama Shakes. Pick one album from each of those two singers to explore. SIDE NOTE: I can”t believe you have a rap artist on the top ten! I’ve never been able to get around that genre.

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    • I would go with The Head and the Hearts freshman album (self-titled) mostly because of these songs (Rivers and Roads, Ghosts, and Sounds like Hallelujah – but I like every single song on the album). I love their two albums almost equally. The same goes for Bon Iver. It is difficult for me to choose my favorite of the two. However, I would choose the sophomore album (self-titled) due to its “spring feel” – both in content and sound. I would choose The Lumineers most recent album, Cleopatra. I really enjoy the songs Sleep on the Floor, Ophelia, Cleopatra, and My Eyes). So far I have enjoyed Carrie & Lowell most out of Sufjan Stevens’ albums, but I need to listen to him more (he has a lot of music!).

      For Alabama Shakes, definitely go with their newest album, Sound & Color. I shared the video of the song from that album called Sound & Color. With Lake Street Dive, I have enjoyed all of their albums a lot, but I guess I might suggest their second of three albums, Bad Self Portraits.

      A rap artist did make my list. That song (Sing About Me / I’m Dying of Thirst) is one of my favorites songs of all time. And that album (Good Kid M.A.A.D City) is one of my favorite albums of all time. I have drifted somewhat from rap, but I earnestly defend the genre, even if there is much brokenness in it. I really enjoyed watching this video about the form of hip-hop/rap – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWveXdj6oZU ).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with listening to rap music or drinking IPA beers, but don’t expect this aesthetic fascist to give such things his seal of approval. 😉

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  2. Of the unfamiliar music artists on your list, Lake Street Dive has the most gravitational pull for me. And it just occurred to me why. Their sound and style bear a family resemblance to one of the bands on my Top Ten list that I encourage you to explore further: Over the Rhine (http://overtherhine.com). This husband and wife duo (Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler) are Christian, but their music would not be classified under that rubric. Read this interview with Detweiler in Christianity Today: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/februaryweb-only/bigmoments-february8.html. Since the band has produced so many albums, it’s difficult to know where to begin. My suggestion is to pull up Over the Rhine on Spotify and start listening. Alternatively, here are my album picks from early in the band’s career to the present:

    * Good Dog Bad Dog (1996)
    * Ohio (2003)
    * Drunkard’s Prayer (2005)
    * The Long Surrender (2011)

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    • Thank you! I will definitely look into them. Thank you for the suggestion.

      I also wanted to ask you to ask you to list your favorite five or so favorite albums of Sufjan Stevens. Would you do that?

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