Small Circle – Cyclical

Cameron released You’re Not As ____ As You Think with Sorority Noise this year and it is easily one of my favorite of the year. Cameron is back at again with his new side project Small Circle and is still killing it. You’re Not As ____ As You Think is dark and heavy. Cyclical is light and bright. Yes, those are…

Hundred Suns – The Prestaliis

Ever heard of Wovenwar? Basically after As I Lay Dying disbanded the dudes created a new band called Wovenwar and added Shane from Oh, Sleeper to do essentially only clean vocals for a new metal project. Hundred Suns is kinda like that but not really. Chris LeMasters from Dead and Divine, Ryan Leger from Every Time I Die,…

Wage War – Deadweight

2009 was a great year for metal music. I think a better way of saying that is I really liked metal music in the early stages of high-school. There are bands I still like from that time of my life that are still bands today like August Burns Red, Norma Jean, and Underoath. And there…

Vagabon – Infinite Worlds

I kinda had very similar feelings about Pinegrove’s Cardinal when it came out last year. Let me rehash. Pinegrove released a short record full length—8 songs—and I am usually hesitant with less-than-ten-track-records. It was the first music I ever heard from Pinegrove. And though there were many things that just didn’t click about the record for…

Lo Tom – Lo Tom

Again, let me be quick. Anything David Bazan has his hands on, I’m listening to. And that is the beauty of Lo Tom’s self-titled debut. Bazan is on lead vocals, and the band is playing rock songs again. You can tell by the way this project has been talked about that this first record was…

Japanese Breakfast – Soft Sounds From Another Planet

First Jay Som, now Japanese Breakfast. Genres are weird, but these two bands kinda go together. They are female led, a bit of alternative, a bit of indie pop, a bit of a lot of stuff. And though Japanese Breakfast’s new record Soft Sounds From Another Planet isn’t quite as well-structured and melodic as Jay Som’s Everybody Works,…

’68 – Two Parts Viper

When ’68 released In Humor and Sadness, I remember feeling overwhelmed. There was a lot going on for just two musicians (Josh Scogin—former frontman of the Chariot and Michael McClellan—former drummer from Becoming the Archetype). Though I did not get into the record initially, now looking back the track titles were creative and the instrumentation, vocals,…

Day Wave – The Days We Had

Day Wave’s EP Hard to Read is just so dang good. I don’t even care if you listen to this new album, just go back and listen to that EP (wow, what a great sell on getting you to read this review). Although I do not think The Days We Had is as good, it is far more accessible than the EP. It is also even more straightforward, which is difficult to imagine with how consistent the EP is. But that consistency can become boring and lack the dynamics that the EP had.

Mac DeMarco – This Old Dog

Mac Demarco is the first singer to sound like Bob Dylan that I have liked. There’s just something about the way Dylan ends a lot of his notes that I do not have the tolerance for. Yet with Mac, it doesn’t bother me and I don’t know why.

David Bazan – Care

Blanco was my favorite record of 2016. It was the first record by David Bazan I ever listened to and one that took a long time to sink in and for me to love. But to date, it is one of my favorite records of all time. So when I heard that less than a year later, Bazan was coming out with another record, I was both enthralled and tentative, understanding the difficulty of topping Blanco.

Hippo Campus – Landmark

Hippo Campus is an indie-rock/indie-pop quartet from St. Paul, Minnesota and Landmark is truly a landmark debut release. It is a groovy record both fun and mature. Featuring bright and positive killers for warm summer afternoons are tracks like “Way It Goes”, “Vines”, and “Simple Season”.

Hearts Like Lions – If I Never Speak Again

I just finished my seminary application and I must have listened to this record ten times in doing so. The reason why I love Heart Lion Lions’ debut If I Never Speak Again is because it is so constant and consistent. The record carries a steady and mostly upbeat rhythm. There is not a single bad song on it. It is solid through and through.