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Listening To A New Album Every Day For A Year

new album every day for a year

Last March, I began listening to different album each day.

I am doing the same this year — one new album every day of 2018. You can follow along with me on the spreadsheet embedded below or by taking a look at the “Listen with Me” RSS feed in the sidebar of williamwickey.com.

Why listen to an album a day?

I used to listen to a lot of music. But, a few years back, I just stopped.

Growing up, I was always searching for new music — cycling through Atlanta radio stations; flipping through grocery store music magazines; scrolling through mIRC, Napster, and Limewire.

I was always looking for something new.

After college, I hosted a 2-hour mixed format radio show on 89.1 KHOL in Wyoming. I deejayed wrote music reviews, and edited pre-recorded programming.

I loved the job but, eventually, music became work. When I left the radio station, I hung up my headphones and went on a long music hiatus.

In 2016, Spotify sent me my “Wrapped” year in review listening trends. I had listened to less than 200 songs the entire year, all from two or three repeat gym workout playlists. I took the report as an indictment and decided to make a change.  

Music is supposed to be enjoyable, after all. 

Additionally, I believe that deliberate, mindful listening can be an enriching and meditative endeavor. Music can be calming, stimulating, mood-setting, even therapeutic and mind-altering. I have many thoughts about this and may gather those in a separate post at some point. 

My personal selection guidelines:

  • Variety is the spice of life.
  • Listen deliberately.
  • Start with the first song.
  • No scheduling; pick in the morning.
  • First pick, best pick.
  • If it doesn’t float your boat, cut anchor.
  • Keep listening.

A New Album Every Day – The List

This spreadsheet is for personal tracking, but it also offers a nice alternative to the RSS feed for sharing. Logging the album each day is part of maintaining the habit.

My original intention was to do some analysis on the albums, but since I am entering the data on my phone, I decided it’s a hassle to enter in more than just the album year. When I finish another year, perhaps I will append each album with additional data points and do a more interesting dissection.

2017 Music Superlatives

So far, there have been many more hits than misses. Heare a few notable albums from last year.

Most Pleasantly Surprising Albums

  • Fred Eaglesmith – 6 Volts
  • Odeza – In Return

Best Albums to Work To

  • D’Angelo Black – Messiah and Voodoo
  • Monument Valley 2 Soundtrack
  • Max Richter – Infra
  • Emancipator – Safe In The Steep Cliffs
  • Trent Reznor & Atticus Rose – The Social Network Original Soundtrack

Most Disappointing Albums 

  • Leonard Cohen – Songs of Love and Hate
  • Sigur Ros – Kevikur
  • Charles Mingus – Ah Um

Favorites of The Year

  • Townes Van Zandt – Townes Van Zandt
  • Neil Young – After The Gold Rush
  • Solange – A Seat At The Table
  • Childish Gambino – Awaken My Love
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival – Green River
  • Willie Nelson – Always On My Mind
  • Nirvana – Nevermind

Best Album Of 2017

  • Kodak Black – Project Baby 2

Why write about listening to an album a day?

I’m posting to keep myself accountable and for the same reason I post the articles I read in the “Read With Me” RSS feed: I like talking about them with people and I want suggestions.

So, if you have any recommendations, send them my way.

The post Listening To A New Album Every Day For A Year first appeared on williamwickey.com.


  1. atw15 says:

    Just found this post. I’ve been listening to an album a day for 212 days. Very cool of you to post your list, I’m definitely going to steal some from there. I was wondering if you had a place you were selecting your albums from. I have a few lists that I pull from and I also rely on Spotify’s Discover section. Any idea how long you think you want to continue this for?

  2. wwickey says:

    Nice. Thanks.

    I don’t have one place or strategy for selecting albums.
    I try to ask as many people as I can what they’re listening to. That’s my favorite source.
    I keep a running list of artists and albums I’d like to get to in my phone. I reference the list if I need inspiration, but I don’t schedule out what I’m going to listen to in advance. I pick it each morning.
    I listen primarily on Spotify. Once I finish an album, Sportify rolls right into a radio playlist based on the album. That puts a lot of different artists on my radar. Discover is good too.
    When I have an artist in mind, but not an album, I’ll sometimes consult http://besteveralbums.com.

    I am going to officially continue through the end of the year. After that, I’ll keep listening to music every day, but I’ll be less rigorous about documenting it.

    What are your 2-3 favorite albums so far?

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