This week it’s our yearly top 30 countdown. My favorite favorite records of 2018!
This week it’s our yearly top 30 countdown. My favorite favorite records of 2018!
Dashboard Confessional – Crooked Shadows
Nanami Ozone – Alone Too/3 Mile Drive
Envy – Alnair in August
Burning House – Tracer
Long Neck – Will This Do?
Doe – Grow Into It
Young Scum – Young Scum
Double Grave – Empty Hands
Damien Jurado – The Horizon Just Laughed
Camp Cope – How To Socialise & Make Friends
Open – Sudden Terrors
Deadens – Queen/Underflow
Infant Island – Infant Island
Michael Cera Palin – I Don’t Know How To Explain It
Clearance – At Your Liesure
Sollunar – Formation
I Me Mine – ELLIPSIS
awakebutstillinbed – what people call low self-esteem is really just seeing yourself the way that other people see you
Sleeping Giant – I Am
30: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – While We’re At It
Ska: The skacore legends return with their first album new album in 7 years.
29: Mouse On Keys – Tres
Instrumental: Tres is an almost slow jazz version of post rock.
28: Jeff Rosenstock – Post-
Punk: Rosenstock dropped Post- on New Years day. The album almost reminds me of early Green Day.
27: Mxpx – Mxpx
Punk: Mxpx doing Mxpx things and giving us another gem!
26: Foxhole – Well Kept Thing
Post Rock: Foxhole’s first new music in 12 years is easily their best. And it’s now a Grammy nominated record!
25: Wild Pink – Yolk In The Fur
Indie Folk: Yolk In The Future is a more matured and full vision of what Wild Pink showcased on their self-titled debut. Just a warm record.
24: Illuminati Hotties – Kiss Yr Frenemies
Power Pop: 1. Illuminati Hotties is an A+ band name. 2. Kiss Yr Frenemies is full of catchy pop tunes!
23: Giraffes? Giraffes! – Memory Lame
Math Rock: Memory Lame feels like a collaboration between Don Cab and Battles with more chaos thrown in.
22: Scrunchies – Stunner
Punk: Stunner has an old school feel to it that I love.
21: Saves the Day – 9
Punk/Emo: Some people complained about the lyrical content of 9, and I get it, but the vibe of the record is fun and self aware and it fits perfectly in Saves the Day’s catalog.
20: Hammock – Universalis
Ambient: Another beautiful record from Hammock.
19: El Ten Eleven – Banker’s Hill
Post Rock: El Ten Eleven always delivers a unique spin to post rock with the way they use loops. Banker’s Hill my favorite record they’ve released since 2007’s Every Direction Is North.
18: Lifted Bells – Minor Tantrums
Math Rock/Emo: The Bob Nanna project returns with its most mathy and technical effort to date.
17: Thrice – Palms
Post Hardcore/Emo: I didn’t instantly connect with Palms the same way I have previous Thrice albums, but once it clicked, I feel in love.
16: CHVRCHES – Love Is Dead
Pop/Electronic: Why I have not listened to CHVRCHES before? Definitely a worthwhile listen.
15: The Out Circuit – Enter The Ghost
Ambient/Indie: Nearly 11 years between records will shift your sound, for sure. The Out Circuit follows up a post hardcore masterpiece with a more ambient approach and it’s still just as brilliant.
14: Fine China – Not Thrilled
New Wave: So many bands returned in 2018 to deliver their best new music in years and Fine China was no exception. Not Thrilled has the band’s catchiest tunes yet.
13: Foxing – Nearer My God
Emo/Indie: One of the staples of the emo revival stepped out their comfort zone to deliver their best record yet.
12: Pohgoh – Secret Club
Emo: Pohgoh returns with their first album in 21 years.
11: Hop Along – Bark Your Head Off, Dog
Indie Rock/Singer Songwriter: How Simple alone was going to have Bark Your Head Off, Dog on my list. Lots of great pop songs delivered with Frances Quinlan’s cutting vocal delivery.
10: Cursive – Vitriola
Emo/Post Hardcore: Cursive returns with a harder edge. I didn’t hate their more arty work but it didn’t connect the same way as their early material. Vitriola comes back with that youthful aggression.
9: Pool Kids – Music To Practice Safe Sex To
Emo: If you like 90’s American Football, Braid, Cap n Jazz, this album is for you!
8: Good Game – Good Luck Have Fun
Math Rock: Stumbled across this record accidentally and was an instant fan. Great noodlely guitar work with lots of starts and stops.
7: Death Cab For Cutie – Thank You For Today
Indie Rock: I’m not sure what Death Cab would need to do for me to not love a record they put out.
6: Restorations – LP5000
Post Hardcore: I’m only just getting on the Restorations bandwagon but LP5000 was a perfect record to hear first!
5: mewithoutYou – [Untitled]
Post Hardcore: I have yet to fully take in mewithoutYou’s latest record. There’s a lot of interesting and complex lyrical themes to dive into and all the vocal and musical layers. On it’s face, it’s a fantastic record.
4: Deafheaven – Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
Black Metal/Shoegaze: I really wasn’t prepared for the beautiful moments of Ordinary Corrupt Human Love. Deafheaven stepped up their game big time!
3: Pianos Become The Teeth – Wait For Love
Post Hardcore/Emo: Pianos Become The Teeth took the shift in sound from 2014’s Keep You and improved upon the more melodic elements. Great hooks on Wait For Love.
2: In Parallel – Broken Codes
New Wave/Shoegaze: Somewhere where Joy Division meets Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode, you’ll find In Parallel. Broken Codes is brooding and beautiful.
1: Hopesfall – Arbiter
Post Hardcore: Hopesfall returned with a perfect follow-up to Magnetic North. It would’ve been a perfect follow-up to The Satellite Years. The way the band blended the atmospheric and spacey side of their sound with the heavy, works perfectly. And Jay has never sounded better on vocals. A perfect record start to finish!
This week I am counting down my favorite records from 2017.
Slowdive – Slowdive
Demon Hunter – Outlive
The Movielife – Cities In Search Of A Heart
Frail Hands – Frail Hands
Golden Streets Of Paradise – World War (Re-release)
Cayetana – New Kind Of Normal
Heat – Overnight
Ratboys – GN
SNST – Turn Out The Lights
Sollunar – I & II
Smidley – Smidley
Sinai Vessel – Brokenlegged
Shallov – Concrete & Glass
Hundred Suns – The Prestaliis
Circa Survive – The Amulet
Rozwell Kids – Precious Art
How Water Music – Light It Up
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Luciferian Towers
Brand New – Science Fiction
30.Benjamin Gibbard – Bandwagonesque
We have to wait until 2018 for the new Death Cab For Cutie record, but 2017 gave us frontman Ben Gibbard covering Teenage Fanclub’s Bandwagonesque. And it’s glorious!
29. People Like You – Verse
One of many excellent releases from Topshelf Records this year. Emo/Indie/Jazz/Classical fusion that just works! https://peoplelikeyoumusic.bandcamp.com/
28. Comeback Kid – Outsider
One of the few heavy records that caught my attention this year. Comeback Kid has always been in a league of their own. Outsider sees the band take a slight metal turn. https://comebackkid-hc.bandcamp.com/album/outsider
27. Del Paxton – All Day, Every Day, All Night
New wave emo revival at it’s finest! https://delpaxton.bandcamp.com/album/all-day-every-day-all-night
26. Football, Etc. – Corner
In its simplicity Corner is full of catchy melodies and hooks. Reminds me of the mid-90’s emo scene without sounding like a knock-off. https://footballetc.bandcamp.com/album/corner
25. Land Of Talk – Life After Youth
I saw Land Of Talk open for American Football and was blown away.I picked up Life After You that night. https://landoftalk.bandcamp.com/
24. Minus The Bear – Voids
My favorite Minus the Bear record since their debut, Highly Refined Pirates. Worth a buy for Call the Cops alone! https://minusthebear.bandcamp.com/album/voids
23. Racquet Club – Racquet Club
The new project from Blair Shehan picks up right where The Jealous Sound left off, injecting a little bit of Knapsack’s punk attitude.
22. Jeremy Enigk – Ghosts
We waited 8 years for Ghosts and it was worth it! Jeremy Enigk never disappoints. https://jeremyenigk.bandcamp.com/album/ghosts
21. Julien Baker – Turn Out The Lights
On her sophomore record, Julien Baker adds a richness to her sad songs. It’s still simple and heartfelt but the added lushness to the soundscape provides a warmth that you didn’t know Baker’s music was missing.
20. Prawn – Run
Prawn’s third full-length is an epic masterpiece. The band continues to expand and build on their brand of emo. One of the best bands to come out of the emo revival! https://prawnnj.bandcamp.com/album/run
19. Echo Lad – Echo Lad
The best record you didn’t know existed this year! Philadelphia’s Echo Lad delivered pure gold on their math rock infused debut LP. https://echolad.bandcamp.com/album/echo-lad
18. Mastodon – Emperor Of Sand
Having finally gotten over wanting to hear Crack the Skye part 2, I was finally able to enjoy a new Mastodon record.
17. Quicksand – Interiors
Quicksand’s first new record in 22 years did not disappoint. https://quicksandnyc.bandcamp.com/album/interiors
16. Lights – Skin & Earth
Lights is a pop powerhouse. Skin & Earth didn’t get the recognition it deserves, as Lights never does, but this is what pop music should be!
15. Oso Oso – The Yunahon Mixtape
Reindeer Games has been my favorite song of the year ever since the Yunahon Mixtape released in January. https://osoosoband.bandcamp.com/album/the-yunahon-mixtape
14. Gingerlys – Gingerlys
Power pop at it’s finest. A late year release that deserves your attention! https://gingerlys.bandcamp.com/album/gingerlys-2
13. Eisley – I’m Only Dreaming
I’ve been a huge Eisley fan since the band was originally Moss Eisley. Even with some restructuring and member changes, Sherri Bemis’ voice shines and keeps the band moving forward. https://eisley.bandcamp.com/releases
12. Diet Cig- Swear I’m Good At This
Diet Cig’s Alex Luciano is what a ball of energy in human form looks like. Power pop meets punk rock. https://dietcig.bandcamp.com/
11. Sorority Noise – You’re Not As ___ As You Think
The emotion and heartache that comes through on every single song makes Sorority Noise’s third full-length an absolute gem. https://sororitynoise.bandcamp.com/album/youre-not-as-as-you-think
10. The Menzingers – After The Party
After The Party is a record for all of us aging punks! “Where are we gonna go now that our 20’s are over?” https://themenzingers.bandcamp.com/album/after-the-party
9. Tigers Jaw – Spin
Admittedly, this is my first time giving a Tigers Jaw record a spin (no pun intended) and I love it!
8. At The Drive-In – Inter Alia
Tons of great reunion records this year. At The Drive-In’s return was the one I was most concerned about but the band delivered a return to form! No Mars Volta hangover here!
7. Lo Tom – Lo Tom
David Bazan making a rock record with Jason Martin sounded in good in real life as it did on paper. Great to hear Bazan’s voice over guitars again! https://lotomlotom.bandcamp.com/
6. Able Baker Fox – Visions
Able Baker Fox deliver a dose of post hardcore nostalgia. https://ablebakerfox.bandcamp.com/album/visions-2
5. Pet Symmetry – Vision
Evan Weiss does not release bad records. Vision is fun. I saw Pet Symmetry live and they were having more fun then any band I’ve seen recently. Catchy catchy rock and roll! https://petsymmetryband.bandcamp.com/album/vision
4. Charly Bliss – Guppy
Charly Bliss took everything good about post grunge alternative and infused it with upbeat pop hooks and the result is an sugary infectious record that’s love at first listen. https://charlybliss.bandcamp.com/
3. Rainer Maria – Rainer Maria
Rainer Maria’s first new record in 11 years is full of blistering riffs from Kaia Fischer, carried by William Kuehn holding it down on the drums, and of course Caithlin De Marrais’ soaring vocals. They sound refreshed and like they have a lot of life left! https://rainermaria.bandcamp.com/album/s-t
2. Wild Ones – Mirror Touch
I picked up a Topshelf Records subscription this year and while the label released great music all year, the gem of their 2017 catalog is electro pop act Wild One’s Mirror Touch. The record is catchy as hell and each song has a unique element that keeps you on your toes. https://wildones.bandcamp.com/
1. Paramore – After Laughter
Paramore just straight up makes good records. Everything since Riot has been a solid album of the year contender. Change of sound and style doesn’t matter. The songs are all hits!
This week I am counting down my favorite ep’s and 7”s from 2017.
There was a TON of great music in 2017. I personally listened to 168 new release this year. And I had 70 records competing for my Top 30 favorite albums. So this year, for the first time, I have a separate list just for EP’s and 7″ records.
Petal – Comfort
Strengthen What Remains – 2017 Promo
Teen Divorce – Almost Heaven
Zao – Pyrrhic Victory
Household/Infinite Me – Split
15. Colder Planets – Sad Nature
Sad Nature is 3 songs of Rainer Maria inspired twinkly slow jams. https://colderplanets.bandcamp.com/album/sad-nature
14. The East – Lipstick & Moonshine
The two songs from Italian emo outfit The East are soaring anthems that excite me for more music from the group. https://bethshalomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/lipstick-moonshine
13. Blind Lion – Spring
Spring was the third ep from Blind Lion in their seasons series (Bummed we never got the Summer ep) and it was easily the best of the series. https://blindlion.bandcamp.com/
12. No Vacation – Intermission
California surf rock meets dream pop. https://novacationgrrl.bandcamp.com/album/intermission
11. Madison Minor – The Not So Evil Robot
The second of three ep’s released by Australia’s Madison Minor is full of upbeat, 2000’s style emocore. RIYL Hawthorne Heights https://boyonastringmusic.bandcamp.com/album/the-not-so-evil-robot-ep
10. Lightcliffe – Mistakes I Seem to Make
London’s Lightcliffe released 2 songs earlier this year that remind of American Football, if American Football was a straight forward rock band. https://lightcliffe.bandcamp.com/
9. Hands – New Heaven/New Earth
It’s nice to see Shane Ochsner go a little heavier this time around. And it’s nice to have another Hand’s 7″.
8. Expert Timing – Selective Hearing
Expert Timing falls somewhere between power pop and emo. The songs are hook driven pop gems! https://experttiming.bandcamp.com/album/selective-hearing
7. Dear Seattle – Dear Seattle
Hook driven rock that sounds like Nirvana inspired emo. https://dearseattle.bandcamp.com/
6. Better Than Mending – Treatments
One of two ep’s released by UK post hardcore band Better Than Mending. This is the more melodic of the two records. Both are worth your time! https://betterthanmending.bandcamp.com/album/treatments
5. For Everest/Carb On Carb – Split
For Everest follows up last year’s brilliant We Are At Home In The Body with two fantastic songs on this split. They teamed up with New Zealand’s Carb on Carb. https://foreverest.bandcamp.com/
4. Citysick – Thanks For Trying
Thanks For Trying came out in January and remained one of my favorite ep’s throughout the year. https://citysickca.bandcamp.com/album/thanks-for-trying
3. Old State – Weight
Old State is carrying the torch of bands like Thursday and Thrice. Beautiful quiet, introspective moments that explode into full-throated screaming emotion. https://oldstate.bandcamp.com/
2. Glacier Veins – Dreamspace
Glacier Veins was my love at first listen band last year. An artist not to miss. They had to albums on my favorite releases list. This year they signed with Common Ground Records and released a fantastic ep called Dreamspace. This band has yet to disappoint me. https://commongroundrecords.bandcamp.com/album/dreamspace
1. Baggage – The Good That Never Comes
A band from Michigan writing about how Flint has been left for dead and donating all the proceeds of that album to get clean water to citizens in Flint. Oh, and the songs will blow you away. Baggage just opened for Jimmy Eat World! This ep is incredible and blew me away instantly. https://baggageband.bandcamp.com/