I’ve listened to more new music this year than perhaps any other in my recent memory — and by that I mean music that is both fresh to my ears, or a brand new release. When I realized that I got sad for a moment. Am I leaving my beloved artists behind?!  But then I realized it is partly a byproduct of reviewing and, to a larger degree, the momentum of my curiosity.

2016 has been so full of excellent music! And I want to hear all of it, I want to know all of it. I’ve got two running playlists to help me keep track of what new releases to listen to/what I’m really digging. There’s an albums list, which I’ve done annually going back to 2012, and a songs list, a newer endeavor that I started in an effort to help jog my memory to figure out what to listen. I’ve updated it four or five times now by going through my recent listens to pick out my favorites. I’ve kept it to one song per artist, picking my favorite new single or track or the one that I would most likely to play if I wanted to introduce someone to the artist. But it’s turned into a standout way to listen to some of my favorite tracks — and to share them.

October is going to be one hell of a new music month with the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Joyce Manor and American Football putting out new releases, so I figured I would post what I’ve got going already to highlight a few really standout artists. If you haven’t heard of Xenia Rubios yet, you will — she’s a standout songwriter with a velvet voice and razorship wit wrapped up in an electric, groovy sound. There’s Amanda Shires on one of my favorite ballads of the year, there’s Moose Blood, who are easily taking over the pop-punk crown, and there’s Joseph, a wonderful pop-rock-folk mix that sits somewhere between Haim and The Staves.

So take a listen — and let me know what I ought to add.