Retrospective

Retrospective:
Albums of 2018

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Culture Abuse
— Bay Dream

I might have a soft spot for a concept album about the trials and tribulations of living in the Bay Area, but for my money, this album was near perfect. Every song is catchy, with just the right amount of sonic intricacies to differentiate from the current onslaught of post-hardcore bands releasing softer sounding albums. This one will live on beyond the era it was released. For Fans of: the stoned offspring of The Cars, Title Fight and Archers of Loaf.

Link to Album

 
 
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Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread
— Self Titled

Michael Nau’s latest release embodies every mellow sunny Sunday morning bike ride you’ve ever had. The recording is timeless — simple mumbled ditties soaked in reverb and ornate piano melodies that keep things moving along. Any album that features just the right amount of vibraphone is an easy win for me. For fans of: Mac Demarco’s older brother.

Link to Album

 
 
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Chancha Via Circuito
— Bienaventuranza

After becoming further entrenched in a growing fascination with traditional Cumbia music, I came across Chancha Via Circuito and fell in love. A balance of Argentinian instrumentation and nuanced electronic rhythms is the blend here. This album showed me that uncomfortable time signatures can be really enjoyable to listen to, and aren’t always reserved for inaccessible jazz or latin music. For fans of secretly dancing with your legs under your desk at work.

Link to Album

 
 
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Haley Heynderickx
— I Need to Start a Garden

Simple in song but vocally cathartic, this album sounds like a bit of a bummer on the surface, but it’s the bummer we all need once in a while. If you haven’t had a chance to check out her Tiny Desk Concert, do yourself a favour and reacquaint yourself with the beauty of one woman and her guitar. For fans of Feist with armpit hair.

Link to Album

 
 
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Deafheaven
— Ordinary Corrupt Human Love

What list would be complete without at least one black metal shoegaze concept album? Deafheaven have rightfully appealed to hipsters as a gateway into black metal, and there is no denying how catchy and melodic this album can be. For fans of listening to Explosions In The Sky while burning down a church.

Link to Album

 
 
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Born Ruffians
— Uncle, Duke & The Chief

This feels like it was written as a complete album, yet every track is a standalone hit. Born Ruffians play their own version of breezy indie rock, minus the pretension and tropes of typical indie rock. I really appreciate the casual nature of the lyrics (“Let’s have a seat, we’ll grab a beer…”) that feel unfussed and perfectly paired with the accompanying melodies. For fans of an imaginary version of The War On Drugs who wrote shorter songs that didn’t sound like Bruce Springsteen B-Sides.

Link to Album

 
 
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Tony Molina
— Kill The Lights

The third Bay Area contribution to the list comes from Tony Molina and his album of two minute ditties. This album makes me think that Tony Molina could be huge in his own right, but he keeps it mellow on every level and I appreciate the choice to be more subdued. For fans of looking in the rearview mirror on a rainy day with a side of tambourine.

Link to Album

 
 
 

Khruangbin
— Con Todo El Mundo

If Khruangbin had re-released their last full length, it would have still made the list. I’m a huge fan, as they’ve quickly become one of my favourite live bands of all time. I can see how this music could appeal to white guys with dreads, but part of me just wants to hold onto it for myself and not think about that. For fans of revisiting Iranian psych rock from the 70s.

Link to Album

 
 
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Maribou State
— Kingdoms in Colour

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Link to Album

 
 
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Charlotte Day Wilson
— Stone Woman

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Link to Album

 
 
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City Girls
— Period

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Link to Album

 
 
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Forth Wanderers
— Self Titled

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Link to Album

 
 
 
 

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