That I’m a big ol’ music weirdo should come as no surprise to anyone who has read some of my previous writing about it. I have tracked just about all of my music listening to last.fm since 2014, both to maintain a record and gather minute statistics about myself.
I turned 16 in 2010, and my 25th birthday was this past November. The latter half of my adolescent identity formation therefore took place during this past decade, and the music I listened to during those years acted as a score, a signpost, a catharsis, a reflection. I’ve come to mark events in my life with the music I was listening to at the time. And having spent my teen years sitting in front of a computer listening to music at pretty much all times, I developed a pretty large collection.
As I’ve previously expressed, Brand New’s The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me (2006) is perhaps one of the finest albums in my rotation; each track cuts and bleeds and I adore them all, individually and as a collected work.
Without delving too deeply into Brand New history (which is long and dramatic), in the recording process for The Devil and God, nine of their demos for their album leaked out to the internet. Fans nicknamed the songs included in the leak as Fight Off Your Demons, and gave each track a name to facilitate discussion and reference. Upset at the leak, Brand New went on to scrap the demos; some were refashioned for the eventual album release (“Untitled 06,” nicknamed “Mamas,” became “Luca,” and “Untitled 08,” nicknamed “Yeah,” became “Sowing Season”), others later appeared as b-sides (“Untitled 03” became “aloC-acoC”/”Brothers”) or singles (“Untitled 07” became “(Fork and Knife)”). The remaining tracks, however, remained exclusively in their unmastered, unmixed, lossy leaked version: fantastic, but difficult to enjoy even for non-audiophiles.
As the year closes, naturally I must compile experiences and interests from the period into data and statistics.
Okay, maybe I’m not being quite that heartless, but last.fm sure makes it easy to indulge that desire. I scrobble (almost) all of my music to last.fm as I enjoy having a record of my listening habits for both reference and analysis. This year I finally found a solid app to do so from my phone, too, though my scrobbles lack what I listen to at work, which is a lot, as well as about half the year of listening on my phone. Therefore, as we head into 2016, I’d like to look back on what I listened to the most in 2015 (not necessarily my favorite releases from the year — my musical discovery process is best described as ‘stumbling across things years after release’).