M&T Best Songs of 2017

We've compiled a playlist of the 75 best songs from the year that was and highlighted our top 10 below. Make sure to subscribe Read More

M&T Best Albums of 2017

The moment you've all been waiting for...our favorite albums of 2017. We've compiled a list of the 40 best albums of the year and highlighted a Read More

January 2018 Spotify Playlist of the Month

Welcome to 2018. Hopefully we never hear the words 'bomb cyclone' ever again after this far-from-temperate January day here in NYC. To keep you Read More

Best of 2016

M&T Best of 2016

Posted on by Eric in Best of 2016 | 1 Comment

Maimed & Tamed Best of 2016

2016 has come and gone, but before we dig into our first new playlist of 2017 we’ll leave you with a few quick links to check out all of our favorites from the year that was. Thanks for all the music in 2016 because we damn sure needed it.

Top EPs of 2016

Top 100 Songs of 2016

Top 50 Albums of 2016

M&T Best Albums of 2016

Posted on by Eric in Best of 2016 | Leave a comment

Maimed & Tamed Best Albums of 2016

The moment you’ve all been waiting for…our favorite albums of 2016. We’ve compiled a list of the 50 best albums of the year and highlighted a track from each of our top 20 albums below. 2016 was a wild ride and we’re looking forward to even more incredible new music in 2017. Check out our top 20 below and make sure to subscribe to the full Spotify playlist of this year’s top albums.

Full Spotify Playlist

20. Tall Heights – “Neptune”

19. Andrew Bird- Are You Serious

18.Car Seat Headrest- Teens of Denial

17. David Bowie- Blackstar

16. Miike Snow- iii

15. Big Thief- Masterpiece

14. Alpenglow- Callisto

13. Weezer- Weezer (White Album)

12. Kanye West- The Life of Pablo

11. The Avalanches- Wildflower

10. Pinegrove- Cardinal

Blending genres doesn’t necessitate greatness, but in this case, the two are inextricably linked. Just like M&T patron saints Wilco and My Morning Jacket, applying a label like “alt-country” or “rootsy” to Pinegrove feels absurd and even offensive. Yep, there are slide guitars and lead singer Evan Stephens Hall’s twang. But there’s are also emo-inspired yelps (“Cadmium”), punk-rock confidence (“New Friends”), and honest discussion of the challenges of adult relationships – all of which evade genre and definitely merit celebration.


Essential Tracks: “Size of the Moon”, “Old Friends”, “Cadmium”, “New Friends”

9. Mitski- Puberty 2

Mitski does more than one thing exceptionally on Puberty 2. She normalizes the rat’s nest of rage, sorrow, and stubbornness that make up depression and mental illness. She distills these emotions into cutting vignettes, thanks to her acute, raw lyrics. And she somehow trademarks her sound while writing songs that range from seething, almost-spoken-word punk (“My Body’s Made of Crushed Little Stars”) to an almost-pop epic with the best build-up of the year (“Your Best American Girl”).


Essential Tracks: “Your Best American Girl”, “I Bet On Losing Dogs”, “My Body’s Made of Crushed Little Stars”

8. LVL UP- Return to Love

LVL UP is a band who have paid their dues playing grimy bars, DIY spots, and tiny rock clubs over the past five years and are more than deserving of the breakout status they’ve achieved with Return to Love. They’re not reinventing the wheel by any means here, but I think everyone needed (and appreciated) a little extra angst and overdrive in 2016.


Essential Tracks: “Spirit Was”, “Pain”

7. Deep Sea Diver- Secrets

After years of playing guitar for acts like The Shins and Beck, Jessica Dobson is finally getting the praise and credit she deserves for her own project. Released back in February, Deep Sea Diver’s Secrets was the first record I fell in love with this year and couldn’t stop listening to it for the following 11 months. If you weren’t already privy to Dobson’s talents then throw this record on and you’ll quickly realize that she’s the new indie queen you never knew you needed.


Essential Tracks: “See These Eyes”, “Secrets”, “Notice Me”, “Always Waiting”

6. The Low Anthem- eyeland

In their expansive comeback effort, The Low Anthem have proved once again that they’re not afraid to take bold steps with their songwriting and production. In a departure from some of the more folk-centric material of their past, Ben Miller and Jeff Prystowsky create a sonic landscape on eyeland that has you finding new sounds and layers with every listen.


Essential Tracks: “am i the dream or am i the dreamer”, “ozzie”, “the pepsi moon”, “in the air hockey fire”

5. Fort Frances- Alio

There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of these Chicago indie rockers, but put on Fort Frances’ Alio and you’ll feel right at home. Their songs sound familiar, not because they’re unoriginal, but because they so easily get stuck in your head and stay there for a long, long time. Alio isn’t all just catchy hooks either, from the first track to the last, this record could stand up against nearly everything else released in 2016.


Essential Tracks: “These Are The Mountains Moving”, “Days Get Heavy”, “Building A Wall”

4. Hiss Golden Messenger- Heart Like a Levee

MC Taylor strikes again. In the follow up to 2014’s Lateness of Dancers, Taylor and the rest of Hiss Golden Messenger have created an album that you want to have on repeat all of the time. From the delectable riffs and perfect guitar tones, to the subtle beauty of the lyrics, and everything else in between, Heart Like a Levee is one of those albums that checks all the boxes.


Essential Tracks: “Biloxi”, “Heart Like a Levee”, “All of Me Wants All of You”, “As the Crow Flies”

3. Japanese Breakfast- Psychopomp

Right in the thick of the shitstorm that was 2016, Japanese Breakfast (aka Michelle Zauner) burst onto the scene with her debut album, Psychopomp, which she created in the wake of her mother’s passing. Despite its inspiration, Psychopomp is bright and open — the opposite of the sonic fetal position that you might expect from a woman in grief. Psychopomp has bottled that triumphant feeling of finding beauty and joy despite whatever bullshit that life might be throwing at you. And for that reason alone — not to mention the album’s spirited melodies, surging vocals, and dense compositions — Psychopomp should be on your short list.


Essential Tracks: “Everybody Wants To Love You”, “The Woman That Loves You”

2. Band of Horses- Why Are You OK

If we chose to rank our albums by sheer amount of spins from front to back then Why Are You OK would take the cake. Songs like “Solemn Oath” and “Casual Party” immediately shot into the upper echelon of BOH’s catalogue, right beside classics like “Is There A Ghost” and “The Funeral.” But when you hear J Mascis’ turn on “In A Drawer” or the two-part epic that is “Dull Times/The Moon,” you quickly realize that Ben Bridwell and co. were going for so much more than a couple of radio singles. I don’t have much more space here to reinforce that point, but if you have 15 minutes then do yourself a favor and listen to Bridwell break down “Solemn Oath” on Song Exploder. You won’t be disappointed.


Essential Tracks: “Dull Times/The Moon”, “Solemn Oath”, “Casual Party”, “In A Drawer”

1. Local Natives- Sunlit Youth

Even though we may have listened to Band of Horses more this year, in the end Local Natives lands firmly in our top spot with Sunlit Youth. As a selfish fan I might argue that this is the record that should have followed 2010’s Gorilla Manor, but understandably the band had some very deep and dense personal adversity to work through on Hummingbird. Not to say that we should just gloss over the band’s second release, but it’s clear to hear that they’ve arrived at a very exciting place with Sunlit Youth. Not only have Local Natives taken a giant leap forward with their recorded material, but to hear Sunlit Youth cuts like “Past Lives”, “Fountains of Youth” and “Villainy” performed live it’s easy to see that the band is turning into quite the formidable force on stage as well. If they keep on this course I wouldn’t be surprised to see their next release at the top of this list again and their name at the top of festival lineups.


Essential Tracks: “Past Lives”, “Masters” “Coins”

M&T Best Songs of 2016

Posted on by Eric in Best of 2016 | Leave a comment

Maimed & Tamed Best Songs of 2016

Let’s cut to the chase, 2016 was a pretty shitty year. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t have plenty to celebrate though and one silver lining was all of the incredible music that was released in 2016. Here we’ve compiled a playlist of the 100 best songs from the year that was and highlighted our top 20 below. Make sure to subscribe to the full 100-track Spotify playlist and then peruse our top 20 below.

Full Spotify Playlist

20. Grammar- “Americana”

19. Joan As Police Woman- “Broke Me In Two”

18. Vita and the Woolf- “Qiet”

17. Big Thief- “Real Love”

16. Car Seat Headrest- “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales”

15. Florist- “The Birds Outside Sang”

14. Ray LaMontagne- “Part One – Hey, No Pressure”

13. Radiohead- “Burn The Witch”

12. Baba Sonya- “Human-Made Machines”

11. A Tribe Called Quest- “We The People…”

10. Blood Orange- “Best to You”

Equal parts dance-pop and Emily Dickinson, the lushest, catchiest song of the year is complemented by acutely painful lyrics of romantic insecurity.


9. The Low Anthem- “am i the dream or am i the dreamer”

The five-year wait between albums from these Providence folk rockers was well worth it. eyeland was quite the sonic departure from 2011’s Smart Flesh and that was highlighted by the expansive textures and layers of “am i the dream or am i the dreamer” which I’d be more than happy to argue is their best song to date.


8. Local Natives- “Past Lives”

Local Natives came back on the scene in a big way in 2016 and “Past Lives” is just one example of why this band is poised to make stellar records for a long, long time.


7. Leagues- “Slow and Steady”

Once this one catches on expect it to be featured in about 100 breakup scenes in television and movies.


6. ANOHNI- “Drone Bomb Me”

ANONHI has always had a gift for drama, and she has outdone herself with “Drone Bomb Me.” Told from the vantage point of a suicidal Afghani girl whose family has died in a drone strike, “Drone Bomb Me” is devastating yet too beautiful to turn away from – the best “car crash” you’ll ever listen to.


5. Carl Broemel- “4th of July”

We all know and love Carl from My Morning Jacket, but his second solo effort gave him the opportunity to showcase his lyrical ideas and expand on the killer guitar chops he’s been known to show off with MMJ. With “4th of July” Carl creates an epic journey that would be worthy of the upper echelon of MMJ’s catalogue had he lent it to the band.


4. The Avalanches- “Because I’m Me”

When you don’t release an album for 16 years there’s sure to be lots of hype and I think it’s safe to say that The Avalanches lived up to that hype. It’s tough to pick just one standout track from Wildflower, but “Because I’m Me” is the perfect album opener and sets the bar ridiculously high for the group’s glorious comeback.


3. Mitski- “Your Best American Girl”

Through both whispers and screams, Mitski shares her all-too-relatable ache to be “American enough” via the most epic crescendo of the year.


2. Band of Horses- “Dull Times/The Moon”

Speaking of album openers, “Dull Times/The Moon” is another example of a band opening with a big statement. The 7-minute track includes two very distinct movements that play perfectly into each other. Nearly 15 years on and the band is still making bold choices that further cement their place as one of our best Americana bands in the 21st century.


1. Kanye West- “Ultralight Beam”

Kanye, Kanye, Kanye. You beautiful, crazy bastard. They say there’s a very thin line between genius and insanity and Mr. West has been toeing that line for years now. It seems The Life of Pablo might have been the project that pushed him firmly over that line, but before he started all of his paranoid rants he gave us the best track of 2016. Between the preaching child sample, Kirk Franklin, that choir, and Chance’s masterful verse, Kanye made good on his promise to deliver the perfect gospel track for TLOP. The production on the track is some next level stuff (as evidenced by this super interesting article and mini-doc on Vox) and if you don’t feel something otherworldly in your bones when that choir kicks in then you better check your pulse. Finally, if Kanye’s never the same on stage again let’s try to remember him like he was during this unreal performance of “Ultralight Beam” on SNL.


M&T Best EPs of 2016

Posted on by Eric in Best of 2016 | Leave a comment

Maimed & Tamed Best EPs of 2016

With 2016 in the rearview, what better way to kick off our reflection on the year that was than with a look at our favorite EPs from the last 12 months. We’ve said in the past that some may argue EPs should be lumped in with albums, but we like to do things the logical way here at M&T so we’ll be comparing apples to apples and keeping the oranges separate. Check out the list below and subscribe to a playlist of one track from each EP here.

10. Yoke Lore- Far Shore

9. Eryn Allen Kane- Aviary: Act II

8. Good Looking Friends- You Won’t Die

7. The Rare Occasions- Futureproof

6. Lemaitre- Afterglow

5. Wolf Parade- EP4

4. Ron Gallo- RG3

3. Baba Sonya- The “People Things Work Out For” Sessions

2. Lewis Del Mar- EP

1. The Wild Reeds- Best Wishes