ALBUM: Take A Rest
RELEASE DATE: June 9, 2017
TORA makes it onto my Top 10 list solely on the strength of the track Amsterdam. This is a song I had on repeat for hours/days/weeks and I’m still just as much in love with it, if not even more. The entire record is full of ambient layers, it’s very dancy in a lazy way. Take A Rest was my soundtrack to summer, and where it’s TORA’s debut LP I’m super excited to see what else they release in the future.
TRY TRACKS: Amsterdam, Mercury
ALBUM: Hot Thoughts
LABEL: Matador Records
RELEASE DATE: March 17, 2017
I have a confession. I have never listened to Spoon before previous to this album, which happens to be their 9th!! It’s a band that I was well aware of but never got around to checking out. Apparently, I’ve been missing out. Hot Thoughts is loaded with big sounds without it actually going over the top. It’s a good mix electronic indie rock woven with piano hooks and just the right amount of funk.
TRY TRACKS: Hot Thoughts, Can I Sit Next To You
ARTIST: Matt Mays
ALBUM: Once Upon A Hell Of A Time
RELEASE DATE: October 20, 2017
This album was a grower. Upon my first listen I wasn’t that into it, mainly for the fact that I was hoping for a Coyote 2.0. But the more I listened to it, the more I fell in love with it. It’s an introspective album of heartbreak, falling out of love and letting go, and being broken, then getting on with your life. It’s a bit dark, but above all it’s a great rock n’ roll record.
TRY TRACKS: 78’s, 33’s & 45’s; Drive On
ARTIST: David R. Elliott
ALBUM: Strawberry Grass
LABEL: Working Class Records
RELEASE DATE: June 20, 2017
I’ve said many times before, I think David R. Elliott is a prolific writer. With a total of 16 releases under his Bandcamp page ranging from folk, alt.country, to psych-ish rock n’ roll, and no matter which LP/EP you pick you know you’re going to hear clever lyrics and songwriting. What sets Strawberry Grass apart from other 2017 releases is its fully analog recording (mixed and produced my Mike Trask at MRC). It’s an authentic scrappy rootsy punk sound that Saint John seems to foster so well.
TRY TRACKS: I’m Not Him; Letter To My Son
ARTIST: Avec le Soleil Sortant de sa Bouche
ALBUM: Pas Pire Pop, I Love You So Much
LABEL: Constellation Records
RELEASE DATE: January 20, 2017
Is Krautrock still a thing? How else can you describe Pas Pire Pop, I Love You So Much? What a quirky way to musically kick off 2017! It’s a psychedelic electronic sonic gem that is divided into three movements. It’s like a super interesting long form jam. In an era where everything is starting to sound the same Avec le Soleil Sortant de sa Bouche keeps my love of weirdo music alive.
TRY TRACKS: Alize et Margaret D. Midi moins le quart. Sur la plage, un palmier ensanglante II; Tourner incessamment dans l’eclatement euphorique de soi – Road Painting Ahead I
ARTIST: Methyl Ethel
ALBUM: Everything Is Forgotten
RELEASE DATE: March 3, 2017
For not being the biggest fan of pop music this album stayed in my heavy rotation all year long because Methyl Ethel has thrown the cliché out the window. The combination of jangly guitar paired with some synth electro pop again created a dark quirky texture of sounds.
TRY TRACKS: Drink Wine; L’ Heure des Sorcières
ALBUM: Panther in the Dollhouse
LABEL: Six Shooter Records
RELEASE DATE: July 7, 2017
Statistically, husband and wife duos can be messy. (Sonny and Cher, Ike and Tina, Bey and Jay Z, etc.) But Hamilton’s Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet prove with their 4th studio record that sometimes, just sometimes, it can work. Panther in the Dollhouse is a bit of a departure from the folkier sounds that I associate with them and takes you on a ride covering all the soundscapes from power harmony pop, rock, and blues. It’s an anti-album about the complications of life, and if you’re looking for a feels-good album you’d better move on.
TRY TRACKS: I Can’t Take You With Me; Nighthawks; Manitoba Death Star; any of them, really.
ALBUM: Family Hangover
LABEL: Madic Records
RELEASE DATE: June 9, 2017
Walrus have a couple EP’s out already but Family Hangover is their first full length album, and what a way to start their career! It’s a retro sounding jangle garage rock record with sick bass lines, maybe a reason why I love this album so much.
TRY TRACKS: In Timely Fashion; Step Outside
ARTIST: Not You
LABEL: Fundog Records
RELEASE DATE: May 12, 2017
The first time I listened to this album I absolutely knew this would end up on my favourite albums list. A Halifax supergroup, it’s an all-female foursome made up of other bands like Dog Day, Bad Vibrations, Moon, and more! The album is full of shoegaze tones and distortion with melodies, harmonies and pop hooks (but not how you’d expect).
TRY TRACKS: Mabel, twofour, PT
ARTIST: The Hypochondriacs
ALBUM: In 3/4
RELEASE DATE: September 9, 2017
I don’t know what I can say about this album that I haven’t said before. This record is witty, tragic, heartbreaking, and addictive. Give it a listen, or a few!
TRY TRACKS: Just Like Before; Two Bottles Of Whiskey; Reaching Out
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