Every so often, Ken sends over an album that blows me away. This year, it was Madi Diaz.
History of a Feeling is Diaz's fifth(!) album, but a first for me. The album is probably the rawest and most honest record I've heard since Julien Baker's Turn Out the Lights from however long ago, and this is even more nakedly brutal in its approach. It's one thing to put a bad relationship on blast using metaphor and painting a picture; it's another to lead an angry chorus with "I hope you fuck her with your eyes closed/and think of me." The whole record is an exercise in rage, and it feels as cathartic to me as much as I hope it was for Diaz.
The raw, unadorned musicality of this album resonates in so many ways. I would have really loved this record during my more emotionally stunted college years. As a 40-year-old man in a wonderful marriage, I can still relate heavily to the purest forms of sentiment dripping from each song. It's stark and it's significant, and that goes a long way for me.
I don't know when I was sure this was my favorite album of the year, but I'm definitely not surprised. It's just an incredible work of art.
Songs of note: "Rage," "Crying in Public," "Think of Me," "Man in Me," "New Person, Old Place"