Nobody’s Gonna Get Hurt
Kevin Conaway’s 2018 Mix Album
Listen on Spotify
Back in 2010, I started a yearly tradition [stole an idea from a friend] of compiling a mix of music that was in some way significant to me during that year, arranging it so that it flowed and felt like a cohesive album, and giving it away to anyone who wants a copy. Nine years and nine installments later, we have “Nobody’s Gonna Get Hurt,” my 2018 Mix Album. This year’s mix is composed entirely of songs that were released in 2018. There are songs from friends, songs from bands I saw live, songs from albums that I loved, and songs that individually stood out to me. A lot of time and effort goes into not just selecting the songs, but making sure they are in the perfect order, and I’m very pleased with the result of this year’s mix. I hope that you enjoy it as well. The only things that I ask are that you give at least one listen to all the songs in the order that I have them, and that you let me know your thoughts on it. Enjoy!
01. AWOLNATION - Passion
I had been a little disappointed with AWOLNATION’s last album, but they came back in a big way with Here Come the Runts. By the way, this will be a theme that I will revisit a couple times on this mix. Anyway, the more I listened to this album, the more I really loved it. I saw AWOLNATION early in the year at a show in Columbus and they killed it!
02. Michael McFarland - The Last Sunset
Michael is one of my best friends and is a great singer/songwriter. One of his songs was featured on my first Annual Mix back in 2010. In fact, he owns the record for most appearances on my Annual Mixes, with this song being his sixth! His new album, House of Ghosts, is a full length, full band production. It sounds great, and I’d call it his best release to date. I like this song as the second track on my mix, just as I liked it as the second track on his record, which was my suggestion ;-)
03. Dear Rouge - Live Through the Night
Last year, I had written about how a somewhat impromptu weekend road trip to Niagara Falls had changed my music listening habits after we spent the whole weekend listening to The Verge, the Canadian alternative rock station on Sirius Radio. Well, here we are a year later, and The Verge is still my main go-to station. Dear Rouge is a band that I discovered on that station. Their new album, PHASES, was one of my favorites this year.
04. Letters of Transit - Home, Again
Letters of Transit is the new band that my friend Jack Storey is in. Jack and I had played several shows together before he moved to Columbus. Those that are friends with me on Facebook may remember some posts several years ago for the Jack Storey Acoustic Dance Party shows. I think with each show we added various other nouns and adjectives to the name. Jack’s previous serious band, The Unethical Development of Hopeless Romanticism [could that name BE any longer?! [said in my best Chandler voice]], was featured on my 2010 Mix. Anyway, I was very happy to hear that Jack was recording music again and blown away by how great it sounded!
05. Reuben and the Dark - Heart in Two
Reuben and the Dark was another band that I started hearing on The Verge this year. The album, Arms of a Dream, was one of my favorite albums this year, and this beautiful and passionate song really stood out to me.
06. POSTDATA - Black Cloud
POSTDATA was another discovery from The Verge this year. This is the side project of the band Wintersleep (another Verge band). I actually wasn’t all that impressed by the album, but there was something about this song that I loved.
07. Sean Benjamin - Elaborate
Sean is a great singer/songwriter who is also a great friend of mine, and was also featured back on that 2010 Mix. Sean is always fun to hang out with, play shows with, or just get in a deep [or sometimes bizarre] conversation with. He’s been working on an EP this year at Michael McFarland’s studio [the same studio I’ve been working at, by the way]. It’s still a work in progress at the time of me typing this, but it sounds great so far and has some excellent songs on it! This song was one that he produced for himself though, and it turned out fantastic!
08. Dan McCoy - Everything I Don’t Want to Be
Dan was featured on my mix last year. Dan is great friend, an excellent writer, a fantastic performer, and an all-around fun guy. I met Dan several years ago when we both played at a Lake Humane Society Rescue Rock-Off event. Since then we’ve played several shows together, many of them for doggos. One of my favorite shows that I played this year was an “in-the-round” format show in Willoughby that Dan organized. Dan released this song as a stand-alone single earlier this year.
09. Dan Owen - Hideaway
Two Dan’s back-to-back! That was not intentional. Anyway, Dan Owen was a find from a Spotify playlist. I love the sound and feel of this song, and how much passion he performs it with. This was one of my favorite songs this year.
10. Meg Myers - Tear Me to Pieces
I forget now how I first discovered Meg Myers, but I’ve become a huge fan of her. Her sophomore album, Take Me to The Disco, was one of my favorites this year.
11. The Struts - Ashes (Part 2)
The Struts are so fun! It is impossible to not smile while listening to their music. They’re not just a gimmick though, they’re a really good rock band and their new album, YOUNG&DANGEROUS, was one of my favorite albums this year. I also saw them live twice this year and loved every minute of it!
12. Seth Ohm Band - Need U
Seth is another great friend who I’ve played many shows with. In fact, he was also playing at that “in-the-round” show that I had mentioned above. When Seth was working on his new EP, Intoxicating, he reached out to me about adding some harmony vocals and extra guitar parts for some of the songs. You can hear some of my vocals in the background of this song. Working on Seth’s EP was a fun experience, and I love the way it turned out!
13. iamCurbie - Currents
iamCurbie is the stage name for Curbie Ciamarra. I met Curbie two years ago in New Jersey at the Singer-Songwriter Cape May conference. This year, we met up with him at the conference again, and happened to be playing at the same show. It was a really fun gig!
14. Metric - Die Happy
I was a bit disappointed with Metric’s last album. Their new album though, Art of Doubt, was one of my favorites this year. This song isn’t a single [at least as of now] but it was my favorite track on the album. I guess I’m drawn to dystopian songs… for some reason…
15. Garbage - Afterglow
Okay, I know I said that all of the songs on this mix were released this year, and technically… I’m not wrong. Garbage released a special 20th anniversary edition of their second album, Version 2.0, this year, which included several bonus tracks, such as this one. I’ve always liked Garbage, but never realized just how much I loved them until diving into their catalog this year and then seeing them live for the first time and being blown away by how good they were! This was one of my favorite concerts that I saw this year.
16. The Exploding Boy - Pointless Action
The Exploding Boy was a random find while perusing AlbumOfTheYear.org, a site that I check out every Friday to see what albums are being released. I’d never heard of the band, but thought the cover design looked interesting, so I checked out the album. Alarms! ended up being one of my favorite albums this year.
17. Ghost - Life Eternal
Ghost’s new album, Prequelle, was probably my overall favorite album this year.
18. Glen Phillips - Nobody’s Gonna Get Hurt
Glen Phillips is the lead singer for Toad the Wet Sprocket. I first heard this song at a Toad concert earlier this year. I’m familiar with most of Toad’s music but hadn’t heard this song. The first lyric made me laugh. Then as the song went on and I figured out what the song was about, I was captivated by it. The first thing I did when I got home was look up the song and found out that it was a Glen solo song that was released this year as a bonus track on his most recent album. I think this song is one of the most cleverly written and most beautiful songs I’ve heard this year. If I had to pick an overall favorite song this year, it would probably be this one.
19. Kamelot - Burns to Embrace
I have heard Kamelot before but never really followed them closely. I checked out their new album this year, The Shadow Theory, and really liked it a lot. This song immediately jumped out to me - I love heavy songs that use a children’s choir. I don’t know why, but there’s just something that feels extra dark and militaristic with songs that do that.
20. Coheed and Cambria - Queen of the Dark
I’ve been a fan of Coheed and Cambria for a long time, but I honestly can’t say I’ve truly liked an album of theirs since 2007. I loved this new album though! Vaxis - Act 1: The Unheavenly Creatures is a great comeback for the band and was one of my favorite albums this year. Coheed is known for being very conceptual - their previous albums [with the exception of the last one] all followed a story arc, which concluded with their 2013 album. This new album is the beginning of a new story. I’m excited to see where this leads the band, as they now sound inspired again for the first time in a long time.
I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to the music on this mix, and I hope you also enjoyed reading about it. If you are interested in hearing more great new music, I have a playlist for you to check out! Earlier this year I started a playlist on Spotify of new music, which I update regularly. Many of the songs on this mix were at one point on the playlist, or probably will be. The playlist is called “Caught In The Current.” Check it out and give it a follow if you like it (and while you’re at it, feel free to give me a follow on there too).
Thanks for reading and listening.
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