Drive-By Truckers have always been outspoken, telling a distinctly American story via craft, character and concept, all backed by sonic ambition and social conscience. Having reached their 20th anniversary this year, singer/songwriter/
The 2015 Talkies — the Talkhouse Music’s yearly best album poll — revealed that our contributors have some pretty eclectic taste. So, we decided to ask a few of our musician-writers to dive deeper into their lists and make us a playlist featuring their favorite tracks from their favorite albums of the year. Patterson Hood, of Drive-By Truckers, shares his picks today.
— the editors of the Talkhouse Music
Deerhunter – “Snakeskin” from Fading Frontier
Probably the 2015 album that I play the most. The most accessible and focused album yet by one of my very favorite bands.
Kurt Vile – “Pretty Pimpin” from B‘lieve I’m Goin Down
Super catchy lead-off track from Vile’s best record yet. If someone had told me a year ago that I’d love a song called “Pretty Pimpin” so much, I’d have had great doubt.
Jay Gonzalez – “Shenorock Lane” from The Bitter Suite
My Drive-By Truckers compadre Jay made one of my very favorite records last year: a five-song, thirteen-minute suite, pressed onto one side of vinyl. The last song on it is autobiographical and gorgeous.
Donnie Fritts – “Errol Flynn” from Oh My Goodness
The legendary Muscle Shoals musician and Kristofferson sideman stripped it all down and made the greatest record of his very long career. This song makes me tear up every time I hear it.
Jason Isbell – “Children of Children” from Something More Than Free
My favorite song on Jason’s breakout new album.
Sufjan Stevens – “Fourth of July” from Carrie & Lowell
I’ve long admired Sufjan’s talent, but always with a little bit of distance. Carrie & Lowell totally destroyed me the first time I heard it and every time since. Stunning and heartbreaking. “Why do you cry, my little Versailles” may be my favorite line of the year.
Will Johnson – “The Watchman” from Swan City Vampires
Centro-matic was my favorite band and Will’s first album since their breakup may be my favorite thing he’s ever done. This song, written in the aftermath of losing his mother, is beautiful and haunting with some gorgeously primal guitar playing.
Joey Kneiser – “Heaven Only Wants Us Once We’re Dead” from The Wildness
The Glossary frontman steps out with a stellar new solo album. This song is a knockout.
Courtney Barnett – “Pedestrian at Best” from Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
The feel-good hit of last summer. I’ve heard it so may times and still love it.
Kendrick Lamar – “The Blacker the Berry” from To Pimp a Butterfly
My favorite song of the year. My favorite album of the year.
Father John Misty – “I Went to the Store One Day” from I Love You Honeybear
FJM manages to get intimate and real while keeping his humor and cynicism intact. This song’s delicate balancing act makes for a songwriting tour de force.