Daniel Palmer’s suggested listening picks for 2021 include Jake McKelvie & the Countertops, Jackson Browne, and Kamasi Washington

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It’s that time of year again! WOUB Culture has reached out to a variety of folks involved in various capacities with the music and arts throughout WOUB’s diverse coverage region to inquire: “what have you been listening to this year, my friend?” Find their answers on WOUB Culture all throughout the month of December. 

Daniel Palmer
Daniel Palmer (Submitted)

My name is Daniel Palmer and I’m the frontman and writer for local band Sneakthief. I’m a sucker for acoustic guitar and jazz. Here are some of my favorite tracks and albums of 2021!

1) “Clot the Wobblin” – Jake McKelvie & the Countertops

I got to play with Jake in 2019, and since seeing him live I’ve been hooked. I feel like the opening track of his album “Here’s What You Do” really encapsulates his writing and playing style really well. How do you Clot a Wobblin? What is clotting? What is a Wobblin? Who knows, but his ability to wrap seemingly nonsense with lines that make you feel what he’s writing about are really fun.

2) “Lookers” – The Menzingers

The Menzingers are slowly becoming one of my favorite bands. I don’t have a whole lot to say about this other than it’s really good. The big reverb at the beginning makes that first hit *chef’s kiss*

3) “Doctor My Eyes” – Jackson Browne

1970’s soft rock doesn’t get much better than “Doctor My Eyes” by Jackson Browne. Love this track. I purchased the vinyl of this song and the mix is actually pretty different than the streaming mix! I think it’s the same recording but the background vocals are much more prominent which I think is fun.

4) “Yellowstone/Barnegat” – Sneakthief

Can I put myself in this? I am anyways! I worked really hard on these tracks and am really proud of both of them. They proved to myself that I was capable in a time when I didn’t feel very capable, and they were also letters to myself to learn to deal with grief and anger I felt after my father’s passing.

5) “Juniper” – Katy Kirby

My partner showed me this one. I didn’t love it the first couple times I listened but the more I heard it the more it grew on me. Now I listen on my own. Love the guitar tone on this one. Katy’s vocals are so smooth as well. Can’t help but groove a bit when listening to it.

6) “Ponderosa Snake House” – Palette Knife

Our pals up in Columbus made this killer album, and I’d be wrong if I didn’t say it was in my top 10 of the year. Really witty, fun and relatable lyrics and insanely talented riffage!

7) “In Sickness & In Flames” – The Front Bottoms

I can’t not put The Front Bottoms on this list. Not sure what about their music scratches that itch but oh golly it scratches it. My favorite track off this album was ‘leaf pile’.

8) “Live At Montreux” – Don Ellis

I was put onto this live album by John Hurlbut down at the Fur Peace Ranch a few years ago. This one also scratches an itch somewhere and the more I listen the more I love. I think it’s starting to become a comfort album in the sense that it’s familiar but every time I listen to it I discover something new.

9) “Harmony of Difference” – Kamasi Washington

Similar to number eight on this list, this one is becoming a comfort album as well. The album cover features four pieces of art that represent each of the four songs. Then the final track combines them all. Didn’t know this the first couple times I listened, but there is actually art for the final song that combines the art of the four tracks. It’s a really interesting concept and I think it was executed really nicely.