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We gave our algorithms the holidays off and asked a few people who know great music for album recommendations. Here are their choices for the best album for every moment of the year.


That Sunday morning when your friends are coming round for brunch but they haven't arrived yet and you notice particularly how beautiful your houseplants look, sitting in the sunlight:

Nap Eyes Whine of the Mystic
It's hazy, razey, blazey, slazey, all like the underside of a leaf.
Sean Michaels @stgramophone

Said the Gramophone

To sit down, do nothing & just listen to:

Mick Jenkins The Water[s]
Every word is as important as it's predecessor. It's like hearing an extremely intelligent conversation.

Remembering you're in love and climate change is probably 50 years away from flooding the West Coast and maybe things aren't so bad:

Allo Darlin' We Come From The Same Place
The London twee quartet, now cast across the world, play jubilant songs that prioritize simplicity, melody and poignant poetry unafraid of reaching for happiness over the alternatives.

Trying to assemble a digital identity that doesn't threaten your IRL one:

Careful The World Doesn't End
Pitch-shifted paranoias, candy-coated threats in the dark, synthesized instruments that embrace their own falseness, the fear of increasingly digital and inorganic body parts that never decay, the lyric 'I can't believe that your body doesn't disappear when you die when you die when you die when you die'

Playing Android: Netrunner:

Aphex Twin Syro
Sure, Syro might not be as revolutionary as, say, Drukqs. But its off-kilter cerebral grooves make for a perfect complement to Netrunner, an intense 1v1 card game about hacking into corporate servers in a cyberpunk future. (Bonus tip: the lovely closing track "aisatsana" makes for some excellent post-game introspection).
Douglas Wilson @doougle

Die Gute Fabrik

Taking it easy:

Steve Gunn Way Out Weather
This record simply demands that you slow down. The pacing of the record allows for the listener to be completely immersed in Gunn's meditative guitar playing and contemplative lyrics. It serves as an invitation to put your hyper-connected mind and body at ease, if only for a little while. It's an album to be lost in, to find comfort in, but most of all to be at peace in.

Walking home alone from the club at 4am:

Starfoxxx Baby I'm off Drugs and I'm Ready to Marry You
Well in addition to the hilarious album/track names, the sounds are pretty magnificent. It feels like a dance album at heart but with tracks that have been given room to breathe, stretched out like silly putty. The relaxing rhythms provide for a natural transition from the sweaty dancefloor to your empty bed. The spaces between the beats are where you will find yourself.
Selomé Samuel @dangerdome

Dipped In Dollars


Bombay Bicycle Club So Long, See You Tomorrow
The rhythm just carries you along.
Jamin @jaminwar

Kill Screen

Intense walks:

Tanya Tagaq Animism
Her howling and growling undress city streets and expose their human-animal eyes skin and beats.

Being nice to your friends:

Run The Jewels RTJ2
Because nothing says "let's be besties forever" like running the jewels.

Taking a bath together:

Sean Nicholas Savage Bermuda Waterfall
It's clean, it's romantic, it's deep and comfortable like a hot bath. made to share

Napping to while bae thinks about how much she loves me:

Frankie Cosmos Zentropy
Every song is a sweet little gem, but most importantly it has a love song about a dog which is way better than love songs about humans.

A moonlit sail:

There's a level of melancholy present that's offset by this glimmer of hope, like the moonlight dancing around the waves. It's a perfect retrospective cruise soundtrack.

Lounging around the house on a rainy day:

Fatima Yellow Memories
Fatima's silk smooth tones on top of the incredible soulful production throughout makes for a deeply relaxing listen.
Jamila @Crueljamila

Cruel Rhythm

Contemplating your own existence:

Royksopp The Inevitable End
Royksopp are good at etheral and gut-wrenching, and this new (and final) album from them is as literal as it gets, in the title alone. A crunchier version of their track with Robyn, "Monument," makes me want to dance... or curl up into a ball.

Making questionable yet exhilarating life choices:

Mitski Bury Me at Makeout Creek
Brooklyn's Mitski made a whole album full of songs that capture the moment when you know you're about to do something self-destructive, but then you do it anyway -- because you're desperate or bored or disappointed or in pain. While the sounds range from harmony-laden noise-pop to slow, delicate balladry, Mitski's self-aware nihilism ties it all together.

Long bike rides through the city when you're really stoned and it's kind of chilly outside and the sun is coming down:

Sea Oleena Shallow
Each song is incredibly patient. Good for reflection.

Car drives in California:

Andras & Oscar Café Romantica

Listening on the tube, half pissed:

Detroit Swindle Boxed Out
You look at people (usually not smiling) and it makes you want to get back on the overground, usually into a club.
Thomas Coxhead @iamcoxhead

The House of Coxhead

When you can't get out of the office, but need your teenage kicks:

Tee-Tahs Buzzkill
These Edmonton punks may be irreverent, but they excel at writing short catchy songs. Fun Forever could be the new Teenage Kicks.
Toby @finestkiss

the finest kiss

Looking back nostalgically on your early internet years (because we have those now):

Princess Nokia Metallic Butterfly
Lyrical references to sidekicks and Xangas, visual references to anime and Chinatown Fair and smart one-step-ahead kitchen-sink production all add up to something like a jittery Twitter dream, or what "FanMail" could have sounded like if it dropped in 2k14

Getting into classic rock without actually having to listen to classic rock:

The War On Drugs Lost In The Dream
Lost In The Dream is the sound of tomorrow's classic rock today.
Bruce Warren @somevelvetblog

Some Velvet Blog

Remembering that acquired tastes are the best kinds of tastes:

Body Cheetah Raking the Wind
Every song on this record feels like WTF but then when you listen to it several times, the mad genius arises from the ashes of broken down melodies and they have effected you, changed you, in a way you could never have anticipated before you pushed play

Setting the bar for albums in 2015:

Travis $cott Days Before Rodeo

The end of the human race:

L.O.T.I.O.N. Second Audio Document
It's only a matter of time until the lizard people take over. They're already in the Oval Office and have their hands in the MKUltra. Google and the CIA and the NSA have been harvesting our data for years. The government's embedded mind-controlling nano-machines into our soil and in our water. This is all bigger than us, and pretty soon we'll all be assimilated. And there's nothing we can do about it.

Getting back to basics:

Benjamin Booker Benjamin Booker
in a decade of bleeps, bloops and a "more is more" mindset in rock production, Benjamin Booker shines like beacon of hope for a sound that once was. his raw, rollicking brand of rock harkens to a simpler time, when blues standards reigned king and "garage rock" was really made in a garage. when you're ready to strip down, shut up, and rock out—this is the record for you.

Psych-pop daydreamin':

Springtime Carnivore Springtime Carnivore
Justin Gage @aquadrunkard

Aquarium Drunkard

Speeding on the autobahn:

Caribou Our Love
Because it feels like the perfect high speed driving album

Plotting the proletariat revolution:

Open Mike Eagle Dark Comedy
Jeff Weiss @passionweiss

Passion of the Weiss

Halfhearted attempts at athleticism:

FKA Twigs LP1
This summer I discovered that the songs on LP1 are basically the same tempo as my running pace (ie they are slow). I listened to this album maybe five times in the two weeks I decided to 'get healthy'. I was always home by track 6.

Making me feel at home no matter where I am in the world:

Leland Aleem Fakir $truggling Artist
I always listen to to this record (and specifically "Momma's Hoopty") when i'm on the plane, traveling, or in the car. It always makes me feel at home no matter where I am in the world and, at the end of the day, I am a struggling artist myself so I can relate to Leland. I also love his selection of beats. It reminds me of LA; home.
Joe Kay @j0ekay



HTRK Psychic 9-5 Club
Because it's borne from the stuff of tragedy and redemption.
Sam Valenti IV @valenti

Ghostly International


Amen Dunes Love
I remember listening to this album a lot this summer. I would just put it on and sit on the floor and stare out into nothing until my eyes crossed and time slowed down. Something about the cyclical warble of vocals and piano keys works together to generate a self-induced hypnotic state. After listening to the 8 minute title track I no longer know who I am or what I'm doing with my life. In short, it's potent and dizzying - highly effective for zoning out and reaching altered states of consciousness. Probably also good for naps.
Nada Alic @fwba

Friends With Both Arms

Summertime extremism:

Boxcutter Shea EP
Summertime extremism is about riding your bike holding the hands of your friends instead of handlebars. It’s about being a dancecat— dancing wildly in your living room, dancing wildly waiting for the train, dancing with lemon & lime, dancing wildly alone and together. It’s having the Shea EP on you in you and with you in the holoscene.

Drinking with friends:

YG My Krazy Life
Bicken Back Bein Bool

Sunday mornings in February:

Marissa Nadler July

Quiet day (the day you don't talk to anyone):

Oren Ambarchi Quixotism
Lulls you into enjoying your own company
Brian Whitman @bwhitman

The Echo Nest

Dreaming—and writing—about the future:

Popcaan Where We Come From
Jenna Wortham @jennydeluxe

New York Times

Driving to the airport at early hours in the morning:

Emilie Nicolas Like I'm a Warrior
It's so calm but energetic at the same time. Keeps me awake but is not intrusive.

Take-off in an airplane:

Iceage Plowing into the Field of Love
It captures the dread and promise of the unknown.

Dunking fresh strawberries in chocolate while sipping chrysanthemum tea and reading occult texts:

Mathematique Feel EP
Mathematique is succulent synths, rousing club beats, and far out anthems to drift the night away...

Getting real:

Future Islands Singles
A great record by a perennially great band, Singles is simply true, physical and emotional pop music. The melodies, the bass lines, the unmistakable delivery of Sam Herring... these are urgent, arresting songs that encourage some real, uninhibited energy.

Playing German-style board games:

Clark Clark
Hard-driving and precise, perfect for concentrating on your strategy. Slower tracks give you time to survey the board, then the album speeds up to keep the game moving. Time your big move to a suspenseful track like “Beacon” for maximum effect.
Zoya @zoyamachine

Hype Machine

Waking unexpectedly early on a Saturday morning and the day is alive with possibility:

Kero Kero Bonito Intro Bonito mixtape
These 15 original tracks deliver an effervescent mix of bubblegum bass, hip-hop and J-pop with vocals flipping between English and Japanese. The trio's infectious joie de vivre is a perfect Saturday soundtrack.
Dev Sherlock @d_e_v

Hype Machine

Dance party at the office:

Todd Terje It's Album Time
It's a dance party variety pack—samba to one song, tap dance to another, do the robot to the next. Dance breaks are important throughout the workday.
Josh Rowe @jrowe913

Hype Machine

For romanticizing a life on another planet, or maybe just in another country:

Naadia Naadia
The sounds and words intensely consider love, death and the more fleeting things–a fitting reminder when trying to imagine another world: it's perfect just in our minds.

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