Struck’s Favorite Things 2016 — Music
Bringing joy to your ear holes
Whether we’re head-bopping with our headphones in or passive-aggressively sliding our own songs into someone’s meticulously curated Sonos playlist, we friggen love music at Struck. Here’s what we’re spinning these days.
Essie Nagler — Integrated Producer
Sturgil Simpson — A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
I’m kind of a latecomer to Sturgil, I was introduced to him about a year or so ago and I immediately fell in love. He has this, “I don’t give a fuck if you like me or not attitude, I’ll still make music” thing about him, which I was like, “hell yea!” His newest album A Sailor’s Guide to Earth is pretty phenomenal. The first song on the album ‘Welcome to Earth’ is a love song for his son and it’s amazing. I’m not one for kids, but this song makes me feel ALL the feels. My other favorite song on the album is ‘Oh Sarah’, Sturgill’s version of a love song to his wife. It makes me yearn for a man to write a gut-wrenching love song for me. Oh, did I mention I went to see him in concert this year too? He doesn’t say much; he lets his music speak for him… and that it does. I was pleasantly surprised at how much him and his band just jammed. Half the time I couldn’t understand what he way saying, but damn it sounded and felt good. Thank you Sturgill for making me feel so many different feels.
Matt Anderson — CEO
Beyonce — Lemonade
It’s an album, it’s a film, it’s a stirring piece of art, it’s a document of the past, it’s a recording of the present — it’s a masterpiece, from a woman who’s already given us more than we deserve. She’s the queen.
Chance the Rapper — Coloring Book
It’s one of the most spiritual albums of the year. And it also boasts my favorite line of the year: “Is you is or is you ain’t got gaaaaas money?!” So good.
Ryan Coons — Copywriter
Kevin Devine — Instigator
“Nobody asks you if you’re ready, when they’re handing you the baby”
My wife and I have followed Kevin Devine for years (her since being a sophomore in high school), and his life seems to mirror our own path. Each album he puts out is like a mirror held up to our own experience, and Instigator is no exception. From politically-driven ennui, to embarrassed reflections on a youth spent partying a little too much, Instigator perfectly captures the mind of someone in their early 30’s. But the kicker are the final two songs “Before You’re Here” and “I Was Alive Back Then.” Both written to his unborn child, these songs just absolutely destroy me every time I listen to them, making me ugly cry as I think forward to bringing my own little bundle of joy into the world.
Pinegrove — Cardinal
I enjoyed this album when it came out, but it really didn’t evolve into one of my favorites until I saw the folksy indie-rock band play live a few weeks ago. The core of Pinegrove is just two friends from New Jersey who grab whoever’s (whomever? I should know this) available when it is time to tour, so all their songs take on different compositions depending on who brings what instruments and ideas with them on tour. It’s beautiful to see this kind of musicianship evolve on the fly. Going back to the record the lyrical themes of friendship, community and empathy feel more genuine because they put those words into practice, trusting their new friends to add to the music as they share the stage together
Ben Peters — Director of Strategy
Bon Iver — 22, A Million
The most pretentious possible choice but damn if this record isn’t a lost satellite of loneliness just blipping out until it’s dead. It’s also somehow full of earworms? Who knew.
Sarah Higgins — Senior UX Designer
Because it’s soft and sweet and nice to listen to the nice man that makes my coffee at Maratha’s every morning. [Editor’s Note: Sarah is talking about one of the baristas at our in-building coffee house in PDX, who is a singer-songwriter, and he for sure has an angelic voice.]
Jordan Manke — Interactive Designer
Anderson Paak — Malibu
One of the most talented musicians, the kind of guy that sounds equally as good live as he does on the studio version. I can listen to this album 3x over and never get tired of it. It’s groovy, it’s funny, and you’re constantly just vibin’ your head to the beat. It’s great.
Flume — Skin
This is the first album on my “Get Shit Done” playlist. The intro (Helix) of all the songs on here instantly would get anyone hyped. I also had the pleasure of seeing him live with Robyn and Abe on a business trip to the Salt Lake office!
Jeremy Chase — Director of Client Services
Sunflower Bean — Human Ceremony
Whenever I feel rock is truly, truly dead I thankfully will come across an artist that reassures me it ain’t so. This trio from NYC has modern sensibilities but also pulls in elements from 60s psychedelia, and heavy 70s does of Zeppelin and Sabbath. They sound like a band still exploring boundaries of their identity, but it’s sure fun to listen to the experimentation.
Come back at the end of the week to see what we loved in the world of books, video games, podcast and other miscellany.