Due to the demands of recent deadlines, an annual writers retreat, and an illness, I’ve fallen behind on some things… including my music column “Listening Closer.” But that will return next week with a focus on new music by Shearwater.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been listening to great stuff.

Mavis Staples’s EP Your Good Fortune was one of my favorite records of 2015. And here she comes already with another one: Livin’ On a High Note.

You can read all about it in this revealing New Yorker article.

And here’s a track from it.

Also on the “I Can’t Wait” list… PJ Harvey’s The Hope Six Demolition Project. Here’s “The Wheel.”

Thanks to my new friend and coworker Dusty Henry, music critic for The Seattle Weekly, who woke me up to some great music that I would have otherwise missed in 2015.

For those suffering Radiohead withdrawal, here’s Aero Flynn: “Dk/Pi”…

And here’s Car Seat Headrest, another new sound for my headphones.