It’s been a while – over 140 days since my last music post to be exact. Back when I still had the energy to put pieces together I knew an elongated burnout was pretty much inevitable and just pretended to plan around it. In other (more honest) words, I just wanted to milk whatever energy I had for as long as possible in the hopes that it’d somehow be useful in future. This “plan” was fundamentally flawed on multiple levels, as best evidenced by my false assumption that this burnout would sync up with a return to normality. For God knows what reason I thought that I’d be able to swap this place out for normal friendships, fading off into the distance in a world where I don’t have to know who Stephen Donnelly is and where I don’t have opinions on every record with a synthesizer of some sort in it. However, as we’re still stuck in this hellscape (as well as the fact that this blog makes potential internet friends view me as way cooler than I actually am) I’ve intermittently thought about trying to tie up loose ends on here – I’ll probably never get back to writing as much (or as soppily) as I did back in May or June but there are certain records and artists I’m mad at myself for never getting to cover. This piece is the culmination of that urge – I’d initially planned on putting a series of posts together but eventually amalgamated whatever I had composed into one uncurated mess. I’ve never really liked the tone of year-end lists and have intentionally avoided trying to structure this piece like one – these aren’t the best records of the year (or even just a list of my favourite ones), they’re just records my friends are now sick of hearing about. Does this distinction change or mean anything? Probably not. Here’s the music I’ve been obsessively thinking about lately, for better or for worse.