Article By Michael Smith
From Janaurys 2016 Vandala Magazine
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1) Beach House – Depression Cherry
An absolute masterpiece, that takes listeners on an astral journey through a star filled night sky. You’ll tear up at times, and likely cry at some point while listening. There is an artistry to this brand of sadness though, and it is much more than just a heart wrencher with no direction; the songwriting has never been stronger for the duo, best examples with album closer “Days Of Kandy” which is by far one of the greatest tracks of the band’s career, and one of the best endings to an album you will ever hear, breaking your heart, yet instilling a bit of hope and optimism.
2) Metz – Metz II
The Toronto trio, strengthen the idea that they are the best Rock ‘n’ Roll band in the world. Louder, than their first release, and and absolute treat in the resurgence of early 90’s post-punk. This album is an absolute must to hear, and this band is an absolute must to see live, where these (and their other) songs are made even more powerful.
3) Youth Lagoon – Savage Hills Ballroom
Quirky, but still humble release, that combines tales of heartbreak, addiction, and an all together melancholy atmosphere; doing so with a charm, that continues to make Trevor Powers one of the best young musicians and performers right now; “Highway Patrol Stun Gun” is one of the strongest tracks of 2015, and one of the strongest tracks in general of the last several years.
4) Soko – My Dreams Dictate My Reality
Sad, heartbreaking, dark at times, anxious at others, an album that touches on all of the emotional stages of grief and loss, capturing it with a masterful allure.
5) Chelsea Wolfe – Abyss
An eerily mysterious album in a genre that is very much her own, finding the embracing the beauty in the dark side of music, and emotions.
6) Viet Cong – S/T
Amazing debut release, that is catchy, droney, anxious, exciting, and hitting everything you want from a great alt-rock album, and band, even not letting a small controversy surrounding their name slow them down.
7) Shannon & The Clams – Gone By The Dawn
50’s R&B style with classic Clams style garage rock breakup album, combining the pain and heartache of a long term relationship coming to an end, with the fun John Waters style grit and playfulness.
8) Thee Tsunamis – Saturday Night Sweetheart
Throwback, Kinks inspired garage rock album. Aggressive at times, fun others, a lot of dirty bubblegum threw out.
9) White Reaper – White Reaper Does It Again
Super catchy, and fun, garage rock release. Addictive hooks, and lively Friday night attitude, that’s even more exciting live.
10) Static Daydream – S/T
Lush, shoegaze whirlwind throwing back to pedal heavy droning of the 90’s and late 80’s, dark, dreamy, chaotic, and fun.