Sufjan Stevens for releasing Carrie & Lowell, an album that had such genuine emotion, heart, and honesty to it. I can actually only listen to the song Fourth of July if I can fully focus on it and take stock after. Stevens had been tinkering around and generally being a bit goofy for the last few years, so for him to put this painstakingly thoughtful and beautiful album out into the world was gobsmacking. It doesn't feel like many artists today put themselves out there to this degree, to this depth. Harrowing.
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I look forward to more amazing, thoughtful, full-throttle cool-pop from female artists like Daughter, hopefully Haim, Sydney artist Gordi, and Meg Mac. I think the 'boutique' festival trend will settle a bit and a few might quietly disappear, while a few others will more firmly establish themselves. It does become hard to keep track of them all. I also predict CDs will soon become even more endangered, and occupy just a fraction of their current space at JB Hi Fi. Streaming or vinyl it is, folks.