Heavy Rotation: March 2017

I used to do end of the year reviews of my favorite records that came out each year over on my Tumblr. A few months ago, a friend of mine asked me what I’d been listening to lately, and I realized it would be pretty easy to figure out from all the data collection I have automatically occurring… (I may have abandoned Tumblr, but I recently re-configured my last.fm account to be scrobbling in more ways than it had been, and I’m pretty stoked to see my listening habits in pretty charts again… it makes me nostalgic for 2004.)

So I decided to make a monthly playlist as the time passes, including both my favorite new songs as well as whatever standbys make it into my ears the most often in the given month (which will sometimes include more plays of physical records, which I also make note of in a small notebook… but that’s a story for another time.)

Each month I will post the playlist from Spotify and give you some highlights from the songs included. I love talking music and getting recommendations, so feel free to leave your suggestions!

Features this month:


I stumbled upon this band while looking through similar artists on Spotify… or maybe on one of those “your daily mix” playlists they make using those crazy algorithms? It’s hard to say, but either way — the Spotify computers are doing an amazing job. I love this band. They’re a quartet from the UK and the song on this month’s Heavy Rotation comes from their sophomore album.

Luckily, Rough Trade had a pre-order of this album available when I was ordering the new Grandaddy exclusive pressing… so I saved a bit of the cost on international shipping. This record has been on my turntable at home since I got it in the mail, but the title track “Change of State” featured on the playlist is a great introduction.

The XX

I’ve loved The xx since a creative director at one of my old jobs let me borrow his copy of XX in 2009. I See You is great from start to finish, but I’ve played “On Hold” significantly more times than any other track on the album. After 5 years since their last record, I’m looking forward to falling in love with more songs from this record.


It’s been over 10 years since the last Grandaddy record, and I was ridiculously excited when I heard this album was coming out. The band split in 2006 and had a brief reunion in 2012, but fans have been waiting for this release since a September 2015 tweet… So, the anticipation was killer.

As I said earlier, I pre-ordered the UK exclusive Translucent Blue Vinyl as soon as I heard. (WARNING: here’s where I make a dumb joke about the name of the album) This album might be titled Last Place, but I think it’s first place; I already know this is one of my favorite albums of the year.

If this is your first experience with Grandaddy, I want you to go listen to 2000’s The Sophtware Slump — you won’t be disappointed.

There are several songs on this month’s playlist that come from new records that have been highly anticipated:

  • Two tracks The Jesus and Mary Chain‘s first record in nearly 20 years
  • A single from Feist‘s first record in nearly 6 years
  • A selection from The Magnetic Fields first album in nearly 5 years (and a 50-song memoir album at that!)
  • Depeche Mode‘s first record in 5 years (but they have been consistently creating new work since their formation way back in 1977.)
  • A single from the forthcoming new Gorillaz record (the first in 7 years)

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