Best of 2017 Vancouver Local Releases

Tuesday 19th, December 2017 / 14:09

25.

Storc

storc
Independent

Don’t let the lowercase ‘s’ fool you, storc brings the hardcore punk stylings of the early ’80s back with a heavy fist. People are having more sex now because they heard storc now brings you punk rock, not babies. (JP)

24.

The X Presidents

Hands Up
Kush Grove

The X Presidents’ self-produced second album is a largely introspective affair, with tracks ranging in tone from melancholic, guitar-driven reflections like “What I Should Have Said” and “Get Me Through” to the more feel-good “Carefree” and “Tumblin’.” Jazz, blues, and rock influences underscore the album, resulting in a cohesive, relevant release from a local hip-hop crew worth keeping an eye out for. (JY)

23.

Rene Therrien

Y So Much?
Independent

Released while she was living in France, Renee Therrien has created an album worthy of recognition beyond Vancouver. Beautifully soulful, there is nothing but quality from start to finish. (MR)

22.

Petunia and the Vipers

Lonesome, Heavy and Lonesome
Independent

Lonesome, Heavy and Lonesome (Independent)
Bringing feel-good rockabilly boogie-woogie to the dancefloor, Petunia and his Vipers keep your feet tapping until the dawn of spring. Also smoked with moonlight slow-burns, Petunia and the Vipers prove they’re ready to bloom. (JP)

21.

Wormwitch

Strike Mortal Soil
Independent

A very strong offering from a solid band. Shifting from black metal to pure rock ‘n’ roll, Strike Mortal Soil cements Wormwitch as one to keep an eye on. (MR)

20.

Belle Game

Fear/Nothing
Arts & Crafts

Fear/Nothing marks a successful change in direction for the crush pop act. The folk leanings of their earlier work have been shed for an emotional synth/electronic pop sound that consistently entertains. (JO)

19.

Minimal Violence

Acid Lakes
Lobster Theremin

Channeling the hot, hazy BC summer of 2017, Lida P and Ashlee Luk pump out a deep-rave acid-techno EP heavy enough to give any listener a concussion. (AR)

18.

Colin Cowan and the Elastic Stars

Cosmos in Summer
Independent

The fourth instalment in Colin Cowan’s seasonal tetralogy under the Elastic Stars banner is his most experimental psych-pop cosmic album to date, and that guy was already way out there. (AR)

17.

Ora Cogan

Crickets
Hand Drawn Dracula

The inspiration for Cogan’s seventh album draws inspiration from a Vancouver Island retreat, and captures a suitably reflective blend of symphonic folk-rock and supernatural ambient somewhere between Karen Dalton and Grouper. (AR)

16.

Cloudface

Variations
Independent

For this meditative tape, David Reynolds plumbs the depths of the Korg Mono/Poly synthesizer to concoct spellbinding splays of rhythmic noise and ambient gestures that will color your dreams. (AR)

15.

Tanglers

Spring Chicken
Independent

Spring Chicken is a garage-esque exploration of various musical genres that span from country twang to bluesy landscapes with grungy undertones. Each song explores a style of its own over an indie-rock skeleton. (JP)

14.

The Courtneys

II
Flying Nun

Tegan and Sara’s favourite reverb-soaked three-piece return with II, an album bigger, catchier, and more focused than their debut. The Courtneys have refined their nostalgic, sunny grunge-pop across the release, making a confident step forward. (WT)

13.

Kim Gray

Compulsion
Bad Diet Records

Since leaving garage band Skinny Kids to embark on a spacier solo endeavour, Kim Gray has been putting out releases each better than the last. While Gray’s approach to songwriting tends to wind down well-travelled trails, his lo-fi experimentation and pensive lyricism on Compulsion make for a warm listen. (WT)

12.

Sam Tudor

Quotidian Dream
Independent

Sam Tudor creates folk that is simultaneously anthemic, thoughtful, and melancholic. His newest record Quotidian Dream is about the inevitable anxiety and confusion that goes together with the equally inevitable process of growing up. (MW)

11.

Dead Quiet

Grand Rites
Independent

Dead Quiet’s second album has all the bravado and focus of a stoner metal band that is at the top of their game. With some interesting additions to their established sound, Grand Rites makes for a compelling listen. (MR)

10.

Japandroids

Near to the Wild Heart of Life
Arts & Crafts

Japandroids have built upon and further refined those key elements that have made this band one of Vancouver’s most sought-after acts. Vivid lyricism worthy of Springsteen, anthemic hooks, and a devotion to rock ‘n’ roll purity feel even more grand and life affirming on Near To The Wild Heart Of Life. (JO)

9.

Needles//Pins

Good Night, Tomorrow
Mint Records

Punk trio Needles//Pins step up their game with their third record. Recalling the wistful nostalgia of the Gaslight Anthem and the ramshackle passion of early Against Me, Needles//Pins get your blood pumping in all the right ways. (JO)

8.

The Boom Booms

A Million Miles
Independent

A decade into their careers, alt-soul/r&b unit the Boom Booms have put out their strongest record to date with A Million Miles. Boasting an incredibly glossy, modern production, they truly shine as songwriters on tracks like the pining “Otherside” and the funk-inflected “All Day All Night.” (JO)

7.

The Orange Kyte

Grow It Right
Little Cloud Records

As aptly named an album as any, psych rock unit the Orange Kyte have matured sonically over time. Grow It Right is the culmination of that growth, and it’s been worth the wait. (MR)

6.

Peach Pit

Being So normal
Kingfisher Bluez

Peach Pit prove they deserve all of the online buzz they’ve earned with the release of Being So Normal. Sharply written cuts like “Seventeen” and “Drop The Guillotine” speak to the band’s undeniable chemistry, especially the thoroughly charming mix of Neil Smith’s smooth unassuming vocals and guitarist Chris Vanderkooy’s effortlessly precise leads. (JO)

5.

Destroyer

Ken
Merge Records

Dan Bejar has bestowed upon us another wonderful collection of songs from his beautiful mind. This is his first outing away from his JC/DC studio team and the results, while noticeably different, are still the same old Bejar. Needless to say, we are still in love. (GA)

4.

So Loki

Shine
Owake Records

So Loki’s Shine is a masterfully crafted release. With vocals by Sam Lucia and production by Geoffrey Millar, the record oozes with both experimentation and refinement, resulting in a hip hop album influenced by Vancouver’s often electronic-centric music scene. (JY)

3.

Dopey’s Robe

Who and When is Stephen Networks?
Independent

The rise of Dopey’s Robe in such a short time has been impressive, as has their prolific output. Who & When Is Stephen Networks? is a polished step forward for this garage/psych band that is ready to take a serious run at it. (MR)

2.

Woolworm

Deserve to Die
Mint Records

Woolworm captivated the attention of the Vancouver music scene and beyond with their dark and brooding, smart and somehow mysteriously poppy jams. All ten tracks shine with a newfound level of polish and professionalism that make this pleasantly cynical four-piece come to life in a way we’ve never really heard before. (GA)

1.

Louise Burns

Young Mopes
Light Organ

Louise Burns continues to shine bright under the spotlight of her solo career with Young Mopes, an impeccably produced and polished collection of reverb drenched indie rock, highlighted by her soaring vocals and confident persona as a songwriter. Having grown up in the music industry has allowed Burns to mature in a way that not many artists get to realize; this third LP puts her at the top of her game and no doubt at the top of many year-end lists as well. (GA)