I tend to associate certain musical groups and artists with particular periods of my life. New Edition, for instance, makes me nostalgic for middle school. Many of those artists persist in my life beyond that specific period, but their music reminds me of the time when I first began to listen to them. Recently a handful of artists have released albums or individual songs that recall a time in my life not too long ago. I’m not sure how I would label this time. It’s the period encompassing dating and the first few years of marriage, prior to our move to Eugene and my starting work at Wipf and Stock Publishers. It’s that weird period many people experience wherein school wraps up (in my case the final year or so of dissertating) and a job solidifies. Some of my favorites from that period have put out new stuff. I like the new music, but I think I like the memories they evoke even more. Here’s a list of the meaningful albums from that 6 year period and the new stuff out this year. [NB: Links are to artists, albums, and/or songs on Spotify. Also, Sufjan Stevens and Iron & Wine were busy guys during those years!]

Jose GonzalezVeneer (2006), In Our Nature (2007), and Vestiges & Claws (2015)

Death Cab for CutieTransatlanticism (2003), Plans (2005), and Kintsugi (2015)

Sufjan StevensMichigan (2003), Seven Swans (2004), Come on Feel the Illinoise (2005), Songs For Christmas (2006), The Avalanche (2006), and Carrie & Lowell (2015)

Iron & WineThe Creek Drank The Cradle (2002), The Sea & the Rhythm (2003), Our Endless Numbered Days (2004), Woman King (2005), The Shepherd’s Dog (2007), and Archive Series Volume No. 1 (2015)

The WeepiesHappiness (2004), Say I Am You (2006), and the soon-to-be-released Sirens (out April 28, 2015), containing “Sirens,” “No Trouble,” and “Crooked Smile.”

Josh RouseNashville (2005), Subtitulo (2006), Country Mouse, City House (2007), and The Embers of Time (2015)

UPDATE 4/22/2015: Great Lake SwimmersGreat Lake Swimmers (2003), Bodies and Minds (2005), Ongiara (2007), and A Forest of Arms (2015)

In putting this list together, I notice they all have a similar aesthetic. Hmm. Wonder what it was about that time of my life and this style of music?