Best Of My Years: Nada Alic

2 Dec

The ‘Best Of My Years’ series is a collection of lists from friends and family. An aggregation of ‘Top 10’ definitive lifetime albums.

Songs are often manifest within experience, and as a result, some albums have become definitive of certain memories. These are the albums that can evoke nostalgia or induce emotion; the albums that have given definition to our lives.

Our second list comes from friend, idol, and fellow blogger Nada Alic. She writes over at Friends With Both Arms – one of the blogs that inspired me to start.

Occasional writer at BOOOOOOOM, Nada is constantly pushing great material out – and does so in creatively accessible ways. From her Mixtape Series to her Silver Series, Nada sparks inspirational envy.

So enjoy, the best of Nada’s years (so far).

Check back next week for more BOMY, and if you haven’t already here is last weeks list.

David Bazan – Strange Negotiations (2011)

Wolves At The Door:
I recently had a coversation with a friend of mine about what constitutes an ‘album of the year’. Does it refer to an artists’ personal growth? Comparing it to records-passed. Best overall? Deepest connection to me, personally? Although many Bazan lovers might not agree with me, my favorite record of his is in fact, Strange Negotiations. If you ask me in a few months- that might change. But for me, Strange Negotiations played it’s role in my life this year the same way that Headphones did year ago. But it’s just more relevant to me now. And I think he’s really discovered himself and has become even more perceptive about his understanding of the world. And I always feel honored to share in that conversation as a listener. Plus, Virginia just ruins me.

The Weakerthans – Reconstruction Site (2003)

One Great City!:
Reconstruction Site reminds me of home, and all of my friends listening to and loving the Weakerthans. It reminds me of shitty Tim Hortons coffee, cool dry winter days, and the matter-of-fact way that John Samson sang so poetically about mundane things. It makes me feel nostalgic.

Blake Mills – Break Mirrors (2010)

Hey Lover:
Blake Mills is the most underrated artist I can think of. He’s a total genius and this album is the closest thing to perfect I’ve come across. He doesn’t take himself so seriously because he’s got nothing at stake, he’s already such an expert guitarist and has a real knack for writing a fucking beautiful song (Hey Lover, It’ll All Work Out). That’s what I love about this record- it was made with the intention just to make it, and when you’re Lucinda Williams’ touring guitarist, I guess you’re not in it for the glory. This record also really connected me further with my boyfriend because it was something we mutually discovered and enjoyed. Man, it’s great.

Sharon Van Etten – Because I Was In Love (2009)

Consolation Prize:
Although Epic first caught my attention- it was the sweeping sorrow of Because I Was In Love that really resonated with me. There was something really delicate about her at the time- this record was a catharsis that helped her emerge from heartache, but sometimes it feels really good just to stew in it alongside her. It’s a real redeeming part of love-lost. And she’s only getting better. I can’t wait for Tramp.

Land of Talk – Cloak and Cipher (2010)

Quarry Hymns:
Land of Talk was a band my boyfriend really got me into and it served as a soundtrack to my past year- one of my (now) best friends walked by my office while I was playing Cloak and Cipher and asked me if I was playing Land of Talk. It was that conversation piece that led me to having one of the most meaningful friendships I’ve ever known. Due in part to the fact that they’re a Canadian band and we’re both Canadian.

Wye Oak – Civilian (2011)

Wye Oak’s Civilian is bold and noisy and just one of those records you want to put on when you’re alone in your house because it just paints the walls darker. There’s something so brooding about it. I got the chance to work with Wye Oak for a showcase I was doing at SxSW then afterwards edited a video of them playing “Holy Holy” on a swingset. So if anything, they take the cake for “most times listened to on repeat” and I still didn’t hate the song afterwards so that’s a good sign!

My Morning Jacket – Circuital (2011)

Holdin’ On To Black Metal:
I was pretty late on the My Morning Jacket train but it was Circuital that grabbed me. There’s something that reminds me of the Grateful Dead- something so classic yet experimental about it.

Gillian Welch – Time (The Revelator) (2001)

I had this really romantic moment with this record- where I was on a bus in the middle of the night in San Francisco, headed to meet my boyfriend and I had no idea when my stop was or when the ride would end but I just sat to the lull of the bus seat and listened to Gillian Welch sing, “time’s a revelator” and that has never been more true until now. When I can look back at that moment in April (which feels like ages ago) and be really proud of the exciting things I was apart of and how I was out there on my own, feeling safe in the complete unknown. Whenever I hear her voice, it’s like I’m taking advice from a wise woman.

Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1998)

This changed a lot of things for me. When I heard this in college it totally re-arranged my understanding of experimental folk music. I melted into these lyrics and couldn’t believe someone wrote like this. It felt very surreal and almost spiritual.

Faces on Film – The Troubles (2008)

Indicator, Indicator:
I know I repeat myself often- but Faces on Film wrote the namesake for my music blog, Friends With Both Arms. It was their first track off their album The Troubles. So to give it it’s due credit, it holds a lot of meaning for me. And thank god I still love the band and this record- because I named the blog on a whim without expecting it’d be going on for this long. It’s just another one of those underrated records- every song is so beautiful that some times I just want to cry about it. Hah, I hope you’re conjuring up that image right now: me, ice cream and the Troubles.. It’ll happen one day, I’m sure.

Close runner ups- Dark Dark Dark (Wild Go) Bowerbirds (Hymns for a Dark Horse) The War on Drugs (Slave Ambient) St. Vincent (Strange Mercy) Braids (Native Speaker) Fruit Bats (The Ruminant Band) Mountain Man (Made the Harbour) Little Scream (The Golden Record) The Shivers (More) Feist (Let it Die)

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