Well, it seems this number keeps jumping higher and higher. There was a clearer method of listening this year, with more time at home to set a practice around all things, listening was no different. On Friday mornings, I would set aside a couple of hours for discovery — something I’d neglected to do consistently last year with my travel schedule. I’d forgotten about the excitement of it. I’d scour Bandcamp, search for blogs, text my pals who listen even more adventurously than I do and ask them to send me things. I’d compile a list (by hand, foolishly) of any new release that got my interest. Ones I was expecting, ones from artists I knew well. But also ones from artists I was barely familiar with. I’d go into the weekend with anywhere from 10–30 new albums to spin through while cleaning my house or doing laundry or playing a video game or (if you’re like me and pretty indifferent to most NBA announcers) watching a basketball game. What this meant is that usually by Sunday afternoon, I was coming out of the weekend with 2–4 albums that were my favorite among the bunch. Ones that stayed atop the new music rotation for a week until the process started all over again the next Friday. I still listened to more old, comfortable, familiar tunes this year. Still spun more classic records from my preexisting collection and (especially with 68to05 as a project that consumed me) still immersed myself in the music of my youth, the music from before I was born. But streamlining this new release listening process meant that I was pulling more new music from more corners. …


Hanif Abdurraqib

Poet. Writer. | Poetry editor @MuzzleMagazine | Author of The Crown Ain't Worth Much & They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us. | Ohioan

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