the ALBUM list: 2017

The albums of the year that blew my laptop speakers filled with the lyrics I’ll get engraved on a Moleskine or two.

GALLERY by A R I Z O N A // The ultimate soundtrack of any car ride down the PCH or through the Taos Ski Valley. The Best Tracks: Oceans Away, Cross My Mind, Feed the Beast.

American Teen by Khalid // While he may run around a stage for a performance, Khalid shines when it’s just him and the music. The Best Tracks: Let’s Go, Another Sad Love Song.

reputation by Taylor Swift // It’s no 1989, but reputation keeps Swift in the spotlight with whiskey on ice and infectious melodies for those stadium shows  (praise be, Mr. Antonoff). The Best Tracks: Delicate, King of My Heart, Call It What You Want.

Relaxer by Alt-J // Eight stellar tracks of Alt-J’s moody, alternative blues. In what feels like a departure from their last album, Relaxer plays like Marfa, Texas. Once you hear it, you get it. The Best Tracks: House of the Rising Sun, 3WW.

Freudian by Daniel Caesar // A sonic dream. The Best Tracks: Best Part, We Find Love, Blessed.

Blue Lips by Tove Lo // Split into two parts, Blue Lips is some of her best work to date. Raw and not afraid to be real, Tove Lo pulls you in and doesn’t let you get off her electro-pop ride. The Best Tracks: 9th of october, strangers, cycles.

CTRL by SZA // If general admission tickets re-selling at $300+ doesn’t explain why CTRL is on this list, I don’t know what will. An incredible debut effort turned complete critical darling. The Best Tracks: Supermodel, Drew Barrymore, 20 Something.

I see you by The xx // The kind of album that makes you fall in love with music all over again. The Best Tracks: A Violent Noise, Naive, On Hold.

Lust for Life by Lana Del Rey // “To be young and in love” with Del Rey’s latest LP. It’s Ultraviolence meets Born To Die with some Honeymoon flair. The Best Tracks: White Mustang, In My Feelings, Tomorrow Never Came.

Melodrama by Lorde // Quite possibly, my favorite album of all time. It aches and it soars. A listen from start-to-finish may end in all rollercoasters of emotion, but Lorde captures what it means to love, to lose and to attempt to figure out what’s next in 11 brilliant tracks. The Best Tracks: Hard Feelings, Supercut, Perfect Places.

the SONG list: 2017

Dude, I love these songs. THIS is also the longest SONG list yet, so get ready.

INSTRUCTIONS: Please listen to this list with headphones, in order from start-to-finish. Available on both Apple Music and Spotify because 2017 is almost over.

Delicate by Taylor Swift // It’s genius. It’s pop perfection. TRY not to love that mini-drop.

I Dare You by The xx // As I turned 23, I danced to this one as the sun set on a perfect New York night at Forest Hills Stadium.

Don’t Delete the Kisses by Wolf Alice // Too good to play in an Urban Outfitters.

Prom by SZA // Off one of my favorite albums of the year, this song is just so. damn. good.

Right Now by HAIM // Happy Haimukkah. These sisters better be at Coachella 2018.

Wallowa Lake Monster by Sufjan Stevens // ugh! the MAGIC of this track.

New Rules by Dua Lipa // Such a jam and it had the BEST music video of the year.

Palace by Sam Smith // *insert me dancing at 1:00AM through Central Park to this one*

Heroin by Lana Del Rey // Gloomy, mood, and rad.

May I Have This Dance [feat. Chance the Rapper] by Francis and the Lights // MAY I HAVE THIS DANCE?!

New York by St. Vincent // Tear-filled cab rides and over-priced lattes.

9th of october by Tove Lo // Always caught singing along to this song…on the treadmill…at the gym.

Shot Down by Khalid // Really, any track off Khalid’s entire debut album would make this list, but I wanted to keep it vibe-y.

Bored by Billie Eilish // ugh!! part two. I could totally paint watercolors and listen to this one all day long.

House of the Rising Sun by alt-J // The soundtrack to my life as a senior citizen, waking up on a beach in Hawaii every day.

Turn Out the Lights by Julien Baker // That electric guitar and THAT CHORUS.

Hopeless (feat. Cashmere Cat) by Halsey // The end of Hopeless Fountain Kingdom (her sophomore debut) soars away from any inclination of a sophomore slump.

Supercut by Lorde // The heart and soul of why Melodrama is my favorite album of the year.

The Cure by Lady Gaga // The happiest song known to mankind.

Une barque sur l’océan from Miroirs by Andre Laplante // The 7-minute track from Call Me By Your Name takes you away to the Northern Italian countryside.

Listen to the SONG list: 2017 on Apple Music and Spotify.

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the SONG list: september 2017

Huzzah! A new song list! As the seasons change, so does my vocabulary. “Huzzah” may be here to stay until winter and I simply will not stop playing these songs on repeat.

 

Bike Dream by Rostam // Think the Juno soundtrack hanging out with Vampire Weekend. It’s the kind of song that would play in the opener for a really rad movie about skateboarding in Los Angeles.

Echo Saw You by Kaleida // From the first note, Kaleida entrances you. It’s haunting, Bjork-ian and reminisces like a Florence Welsh ballad.

Homemade Dynamite (Remix) [feat. Khalid, Post Malone & SZA] by Lorde // CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW GOOD THE SZA VERSE IS?! Also, Post Malone. But mostly, SZA.

Younger Now by Miley Cyrus //  With her new album out at the end of the month, Cyrus proves herself once again. The music video is also simply brilliant.

Best Part (feat. H.E.R.) by Daniel Caesar // Ugh. This. Song. Has. Me. Feeling. All. The. Feels.

 

Sylvester Stallone by Angus & Julia Stone // It’s no Big Jet Plane, but the closing track off the duo’s new LP is one love song, I’ll be playing all year long.

Poet (In Studio) by Bibi Bourelly // ICYMI: Bibi Bourelly is the real deal. Chills. Tears. Who needs a hug?

The Kids by Charlotte Cardin // I had the chance to hear some of her new music earlier this summer and it’s time to put Miss Cardin on your radar. She’s the next big thing.

Lust for Life (feat. The Weeknd) [BloodPop® Remix] by Lana Del Rey // Bloodpop, Lana and the Weeknd really do make everything better. One last summer remix for those end of Summer blues.

Dusk Till Dawn (feat. Sia) by ZAYN // Eons better than his solo debut, Zayn teams up with Sia for this belter of a track.

Mistakes by Tove Styrke // Kind of silly, but 100% fun. What’s life without a few mistakes??? Like should I have had two bagels this morning? *insert that emoji of the dude with both of his hands raised*

Hear the SONG list: september 2017 on Apple Music.

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the SONG list: april

SPRING is in the AIR. Summer is right around the corner. And ripped jeans are always in style. the SONG list: april is officially here.

Heading Home (feat. Josef Salvat) by GRYFFIN // Is it my favorite song right now?! 100% yes. It’s basically a “driving down the PCH” dream.

You Got Me (feat. Cara Frew) by SNBRN & BLU J // I discovered SNBRN at coachella this year and they are SUPER. Easy EDM, forget the trap. But you’ll be ready for this thing people talk about in New York called “Rooftop SZN.”

Plot Twist by Sigrid // From Island Records, Sigrid is one chart-topper in the works. You’ll belt “SHOTS FIRED” right before that chorus and it has warm weather written all over it.

Lifetimes by Oh Wonder // Yes. Just. Yes. If the spring breeze had a theme song, Oh Wonder has it set.

Don’t Take The Money by Bleachers // One of my favorite bands is gearing up for their upcoming summer LP. The record builds off the greatness that was their last album and explodes into a stadium anthem.

The Cure by Lady Gaga // Casually the most brilliant song of 2017. Can we talk about that HOOK?!?

HUMBLE. by Kendrick Lamar // See you later Drake. Kendrick just broke the record for most albums sold in a week with DAMN.  Easily his best album since his debut and the lead single is going viral.

Get It Together (feat. Black Coffee & Jorja Smith) by Drake // If you listened to the SONG list: december, you heard Jorja Smith croon away on her EP. Drake recruits her for one groovy track.

Wild Horses by Bishop Briggs // The BEST vocalist I’ve seen in a very, very long time. It’s dance, punk, r&B with some EDM. She’s one to watch.

Sign of the Times by Harry Styles // Not David Bowie, but Mr. Styles. The lead single off his solo effort deserves a Gold Medal. And ROCKS that SoulCycle studio.

Listen to the SONG list: april on Apple Music here. AND now on Spotify here.

the FESTIVAL list: coachella 2017

70-80 degrees, palm trees, fresh lemonade, covered stages, art installations and crazy outfits are more than encouraged. It’s not just Coachella, it’s practically heaven. Whether you’re headed to Weekend 2 or just want the scoop on this year’s festival, I’ve recapped my favorite weekend of the year with a list of the top 10 best performers on the lineup.

10. SOHN – His debut album is what I turn on in the painting and photography studio and his Friday afternoon set did not disappoint. Grab one of the fresh strawberry banana mango smoothies by the stage for this one.

9. Oh Wonder – A PURE delight. With palm trees outlining their technicolor set, you’ll smile and sway to this duo. Their second LP is out this Spring and you’ll get a few sneak peeks of the record.

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8. GRYFFIN – Head to the Sahara tent and get ready to DANCE. Leave a few minutes early as this tent will surely be PACKED. Throw your hands up and plan to stay for his entire set.

7. The xx – Magical harmonies that tug your heart strings. This band has been on my must-see list for years and they lived up to EVERY EXPECTATION. Grab your spot early. You’ll want to be right in the crossfire of their light show.

6. Banks – The CLEAR winner of the first day fo Coachella. Banks soared through material from her incredible sophomore release, The Altar. With modern dance, lace, and fabric, it’s a fusion of performance art and symphonic brilliance.

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5. Bishop Briggs – TALK ABOUT A POWERHOUSE. She’ll blow you completely away with her mad voice control and range. Even if you haven’t heard her debut EP, skip the other acts and head to her Sunday night set.

4. Bon Iver – Strategically placed between Future and Gaga’s sets for some crowd control,  their Coachella performance was out. of. this. world. If you aren’t into slow, sad songs skip it. Yet, if you do, enjoy their sonic waves in the California breeze.

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3. Future – Aka where DRAKE showed up, followed by MIGOS, and Ty Dolla $ign. Get ready to jump, be squeezed, and have the time of your life. It was low key the most star-studded set of the weekend with Katy Perry, Tyler the Creator, Amber Rose and more watching from that artist guest lounge.

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2. Lady Gaga – A-YO it’s a wild good time. She gives those super fans (hey, what’s up) and her smash hits wild new choreography, an EPIC set, tons of Gaga-jokes, and fireworks. Her new single (which she premiered 😆 during Weekend 1) is sure to be THE CURE to your Day 2 sunburn.

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1. Lorde – The. most. brilliant. festival. set. I honestly think I’ve ever seen. Lorde isn’t a wild dancer anymore, she’s a polished performer. The visual design is spectacular, her vocals are impeccable and its a performance people will be bragging about for years having witnessed. Coachella, melodramatic royalty.

Other notable highlights: HP’s Antarctic Tent, The Head and the Heart, the margaritas between the Outdoor and Coachella stage, Lady Gaga’s merchandise, Autograf, Local Natives, SNBRN, and Father John Misty.

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the SONG list: march

As it gets warmer in this New York state of mind, the MUSIC just keeps getting better.

River by Leon Bridges // The moment I heard this song in Big Little Lies, I was instantly hooked. It’s not a brand new song, yet sometimes the best songs for the moment aren’t topping the iTunes charts. Music never loses its soul.

Stay (feat. Alessia Cara) by Zedd // At times, Zedd falls into that EDM-pop trap. However, this track builds, climbs, and explodes. Summer music festival ready. Basically, summer anything ready.

Dog Years by Maggie Rogers // “We will be alright, in the afterlife.”

Selfish (feat. Rihanna) by Future // He can drop two albums back-to-back and it’s no lie that Future is the man of the hour right now. I’m playing this song EVERYDAY – no pun intended. Thank Yeezus for introducing the world to smart auto-tuning.

Quiet by MILCK // Sue me, but I totally judged a song by its album cover and immediately pressed play when I saw this single. It’s feels like a 2009 Starbucks coffee shop playlist given a 2017 upgrade. 

Liability by Lorde // When Lorde dropped “Green Light” I spammed all my friends with Snapchat videos of me playing the song during all aspects of life. “Liability” changes the pace as a raw ballad. Full of truth, it’s Bowie-esque and the excitement for Melodrama only keeps growing.

Shot Down by Khalid // His debut album made the TREND list and this American Teen will have you jamming along during that 9-5 (or 10-6 in my case). If you just listen to one song on this list, press play on this one.

Bad Blood by NAO // You are welcome. Headphones required. No bad computer speakers allowed.

Love by Lana Del Rey // With a cosmic music video, fueled by that exoplanet discovery from NASA, LDR is officially back. Find that convertible. Find your American flag. Break out that Born To Die LP.

September Song by Agnes Obel // Also from that show in Monterey 😉, who needs lyrics when the orchestration is up there with the UP and Black Swan soundtracks.

Hear the SONG list: march on Apple Music

the AWARD SHOW list: the GRAMMYs

THE BEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR. Well, hopefully. Will Bieber show up? Will Katy Perry drop a 🔥 new single? Will Beyoncé finally take home the BIG AWARD for a visual album? All good questions. You just won’t find me paying attention during the country music categories. The LISTS of CHARLIE’s official picks for music’s biggest night are here:

BEST NEW ARTIST: Chance the Rapper. Chance the Rapper. Chance the Rapper. Really, just anyone besides The Chainsmokers.

BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM: Bowie’s got a chance and Radiohead put out a stellar album. However, I’m rooting for Bon Iver’s 22, A Million. It’s just. so. good.

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM: Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande FTW. Sia, Adele, Bieber, and Lovato put out great albums, but Grande’s multi-faceted third LP shines and rocks Side-to-Side.

BEST ROCK ALBUM: Cage the Elephant’s Tell Me I’m Pretty. Can they also get a Grammy for the most simple, yet elegant album cover for a Rock album?!

BEST RAP ALBUM: Yeezy. Yeezy. The Life of Pablo soars. Yes, Drake likes to chart singles and break records, but Kanye’s TLOP is brilliant from start to finish. No one can debate that. AND CAN WE TALK ABOUT THAT TOUR’s STAGE?!

BEST DANCE/ELECTRONIC ALBUM: Flume’s Skin or I’ll LOSE IT. Feel free to blast the Vic Mensa feature anytime of day too.

BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM: Rihanna’s ANTI has this one on lock. It’s Rihanna’s best work to date and proves she doesn’t follow anyone’s rules. and come on. the album goes to work work work work work.

**OKAY, so what is the difference between SONG and RECORD of the year? SONG of the YEAR honors the songwriting. RECORD of the YEAR honors the production/performance

SONG OF THE YEAR: Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” takes the prize. LIKE COULD you get that pop hook out of your head?! Nope, didn’t think so.

RECORD OF THE YEAR: I mean when Adele sang “Hello” for the first time I’m pretty sure 5% of the world just fainted. Adele will surely take home this one.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: BEYONCE put out the BEST Album of the YEAR. No competition. Lemonade is a work of art. I ain’t sorry about this pick.

 

the SONG list: february

Does anyone else feel like January came and went in about 5 seconds?! SAME here. Anyways, life in NY has been crazy busy. While I apologize for the lack of lists, I’ve got some exciting things in the works 😏. A-YO here we go, the SONG list: february is here.

Drew Barrymore by SZA // Ever since she crooned that hook on Rihanna’s “Consideration,” I’ve been a huge fan of SZA. No Santa Clarita Diet references included. This track sways and grooves.

Little Bit of You by Kevin Garrett // His last writing effort ended up on LEMONADE and now he’s back to his own tunes. Garrett is immensely talented, completely underrated and electric.

On + Off by Maggie Rogers // Alt Pop Perfection. You’ll be head-banging to this one on the 1 train at 8:30 AM. I promise.

Fly by SHELLS // FOUND THIS ONE on one of my favorite apps, Cymbal. Filled with crystallized ambiance, it’s a mellowed out Cascada track.

Scared to Be Lonely by Martin Garrix & Dua Lipa // Your gym playlist thanks me for this one. From the huge drops to the richness of Lipa’s vocals, what a treadmill jam.

Electric (feat. Khalid) by Alina Baraz // She captivated the alternative scene with her Urban Flora EP, now she’s crafting her harmonious vocals with Khalid.

Changing by John Mayer // Who doesn’t appreciate a good John Mayer jam. Is it mind-blowing revolutionary?! No. But that’s 100% okay with me.

(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano by Sampha // He’s on the road with The xx this summer and ready to take the music festival world by force. An ode to the music.

Phase Me Out by VÉRITÉ // CHARLIE these are all moody, sad songs?! Sorry. Welcome to my iPod. BUT, each one is carefully layered and produced. Phase Me Out builds and builds, never to fall.

Big Picture by London Grammar // hi. new London Grammar. god, bless. I’ll be just playing this one on repeat for a week.

Hear the SONG list: february on Apple Music.

the SONG list: january

Snow-filled weekends. My iPhone won’t stop calling me “Sir Charles.” Using Beats headphones as earmuffs because beanies make my head look weird. Finding new coffee spots. Navigating without Google Maps. the SONG list: january.

Feel (feat. Kehlani) by Post Malone // To be honest, Post Malone’s ENTIRE debut album is brilliant. This collab with Kehlani is a standout track and it will have you swaying all day long.

Rennen by SOHN // The stellar title track off his second LP – out Friday. Begging to be made into a bomb modern dance combo, put SOHN on your festival “to-see” list.

Show Me Love by Laura Mvula // Shazam-ed in Shameless’ latest season finale. It’s dynamic, layered and explores every kind of music trick in the book.

Lucy the Tease by Allan Rayman // It’s a salty, soulful Lukas Graham hit with killer reminiscent EDM hooks. Yep. A strange explanation. But it’s a strange wonder.

Rooting for You by London Grammar // MY FAVORITE BAND OF ALL TIME. THEY ARE GREAT. THEY ARE BACK. HI. HELLO. PLEASE PLAY LOLLAPALOOZA. OR AUSTIN CITY LIMIT. I’LL SEE YA THERE. Their music video is also superb. Watch it here.

Shape of You by Ed Sheeran // Before last week, I was an average, “sure, Ed Sheeran is okay” fan. Yet, the man dropped two singles and TAYLOR SWIFT-ed me. His new stuff is great.

Don’t Leave by Snakehips & MØ // I’m a sucker for a good MØ party track. Also, snakehips rules because they come without actual snakes.

Be the One by Dua Lipa // The. ONE. to. WATCH. this. YEAR. One huge voice. Full of chart-topping potential. Uber-catchy. Your “bad pop” song of the month.

Say Something Loving by The xx // Headphones required. The xx comes back to life this FRIDAY with their new album. Really just me excited for them playing the day before my birthday in NY.

Swingin’ Party by Lorde // TGLORDEISBACKWITHNEWMUSICTHISYEAR. See you at Gov Ball 😉

Listen to the SONG list: january only on Apple Music.

the ALBUM list: 2016

I think we can all agree that the MUSIC in 2016 has been INCREDIBLE. Minus the annoying radio hits giving pop music a bad name, music has been stellar. From TLOP to Joanne, I’ve got my top 10 albums of the year in that list formation. Always listen with headphones.

Blonde by Frank Ocean // ICYMI: Ocean’s done it again. Blonde is a triumph. Easily the album of the year. Harmonious vocals glue his masterpiece together. Best Track: Ivy

Joanne by Lady Gaga // Smart collaborations, brilliant lyrics, insane vocals. Gaga’s best LP yet. Basically living proof that the Super Bowl is going to be INSANE. Best Track: Million Reasons

ANTI by Rihanna // She shut down the internet with the wildest album drop strategy of the year and throws lip-singing rumors out the door with “Love on the Brain.” ANTI is bold, experimental, and ultimately stellar. Best Track: Needed Me

Cleopatra by the Lumineers // 11 tracks are all the Lumineers need to make you fall in love with their simple production. Heart-felt lyrics with stadium production. The album that completed many summer nights. Best Track: Ophelia

Lemonade by Beyoncé // Who needs interviews when you can drop another surprise album by premiering it on HBO? From country to rock, Queen B tackles every genre telling a tale of heartbreak, understanding, and strength. Best Track: All Night

Don’t You by Wet // A hauntingly beautiful debut from Wet. After seeing them open for Tobias Jesso Jr. last fall, I knew they were something else. Elegant sadness and raw emotion bundled up into this one. Best Track: Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl

The Altar by Banks // Tied with Blonde as my favorite album of 2016. Banks returned with a SPECTACULAR sophomore album. I dare you to TRY and not dance/groove along to her spell-binding tunes. It’s SO good. Best Track: Lovesick

22, A Million by Bon Iver // Transcendent in every way. Jazz instruments included, Bon Iver brings out the synthesizer to evoke various emotions. Have the chance to see him perform this one live? DO IT MAN. Best Track: 8 (circle)

The Life of Pablo by Kanye West // ICONIC. KANYE. AT. HIS. BEST. As crazy and controversial as Mr. West is, you can’t deny his genius. Yeezys not included. Best Track: Highlights

This is Acting by Sia // Just those vocals. VOCALS. vocals. VOCALS. Plus Sean Paul. Because Sean Paul. Sia crafts pop’s most impressive album of the year. Best Track: Bird Set Free.

Hear the best tracks of the ALBUM list: 2016 on Apple Music.