Welcome to this year's Ode to Friendship Collection. I know I always say this but I really do think this is my best one yet. If you're new to OTF, it's an annual mix I create for my dearest friends composed of the new music I've been listening to the past year. I've started doling out CDs to my lucky friends but don't fret if you're not on the list. I've uploaded this year's collection to iTunes as an iMix for your listening and purchasing pleasure. I've never done it before so please let me know if there are any problems.
1. Madi Diaz- Love You Now
1. Madi Diaz- Love You Now
Madi Diaz opened for The Civil Wars tour this fall. She was such a cute little thing and I absolutely loved her lyrics and playful spirit. I believe she's finished working on her first full-length album but not sure how to get it just yet.
2. Mumford & Sons- The Cave
You've probably heard of Mumford & Sons by now, unless you live in a cave. They're one of the breakout indie artists of this year. "Little Lion Man" has been featured on plenty of radio stations. While it's a fantastic song, I thought I'd feature something else. Which will probably be on the radio soon, if it's not already.
3. Ray LaMontagne- Beg Steal or Borrow
I've been listening to Ray for awhile but never got around to buying his CD until now. The backing of the Pariah Dogs makes his most recent album stand out even more to me. Love, love, love it!
4. Brooke Fraser- Orphans, Kingdoms
Brooke is another one I've been listening to for a long time but somehow not owning. Truthfully, there's no way I can afford my music habit so this happens more often than I'd like. Brooke's latest album is as beautiful as her others. She explores faith and social justice in such a unique voice. Her lyrics blow me away every time.
5. Audrey Assad- Everything is Yours
6. Audrey Assad- Restless
6. Audrey Assad- Restless
I believe I first saw Audrey mentioned on Matthew Paul Turner's blog, just before her album was released. I was hooked from the start. She's quite fun to follow on Twitter too!
7. William Fitzsimmons- If You Would Come Back Home
8. William Fitzsimmons- You Still Hurt Me
I had heard one or two William Fitzsimmons songs but fell head over heels for his music when my good friend Laura featured him on a mix she made for me before I traveled to Boston a couple of years ago. The lyrics...oh, the lyrics! The Sparrow and the Crow is not a lighthearted album as he explores the aftermath of his divorce but there is beauty in the heartbreak and themes we can all relate to.
9. Neulore- Grow
10. Neulore- Eve
A blog that I happened upon earlier this summer mentioned the music of Neulore. I headed over to their website and listened to the streaming album. Thus, a new music obsession was born. Apples and Eve is such an interesting concept: songs written to Eve from Adam's perspective. I was seriously torn about which song to feature- thankfully there was room for two!
11. So Elated- Exit Door
So Elated was one of the opening acts for Sleeping at Last's Christmas show last year. First of all, I highly recommend So Elated's Christmas album. Second of all, I highly recommend you see them live some time!
12. The Civil Wars- Poison and Wine
I came across The Civil Wars on January 1 of this year and that's how I knew this would be a good year for music no matter what else happened. I've been lucky enough to see them perform twice and I cannot wait for their first full-length album to debut February 1. If you know me in real life, you've already heard me rhapsodize about The Civil Wars and if you've read this blog for awhile, you've seen them mentioned a time or two as well.
13. Josh Ritter- Change of Time
I don't know what first brought Josh Ritter to my attention but I'm drawn to the stories he tells and the feelings his music evokes in me.
14. Matthew Perryman Jones- Out of Reach
15. M. Ward featuring Lucinda Williams- Oh Lonesome Me
My friend Brooke introduced me to M. Ward a few years ago. I got to know him better through She + Him, who are incidentally phenomenal live.
16. The Swell Season- Low Rising
I was obsessed with Once, both the movie and the soundtrack. I was elated when their first CD as a duo finally came out!
17. The Rescues- Lost Along the Way
My blogger friend Trish mentioned The Rescues awhile back and I was instantly captivated. I hope I can see them in person some day soon!
18. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals- Only Love
I first saw this 70s-reminiscent band on The Ellen DeGeneres show. You can't help but want to dance when you listen to their music!
19. Three Days Grace- World So Cold
I've enjoyed Three Days Grace ever since first hearing their song, I Hate Everything About You. Those who have known me awhile know I love my hard rock music. I can't go long without listening to it! While I know it's not for everyone, I still hope you'll appreciate this song of their latest album.
2010 * Ode to Friendship Productions by Leigh
Disclosure: I do not benefit from linking to iTunes or any artist's individual site, other than the joy of knowing I'm hooking you up with good quality music. Amazon Affiliate links are included in this post. If you click through to Amazon from HopefulLeigh, any purchase you make benefits this site. Thanks!