BEST OF 2018 – TOP 25 LOCAL VANCOUVER RELEASES

Monday 10th, December 2018 / 18:39
By Glenn Alderson, Lyndon Chiang, Esmée Colbourne, Heath Fenton, Keir Nicoll, Jennie Orton, Alan Ranta Mitch Ray, Daniel Robichaud, Quinn Thomas, Graeme Wiggins, Mat Wilkins, Jordan Yeager

Art d’EccoTrespasser (Paperbag Records)

There’s a playfulness, an almost frustrated energy of rebellion mixed with bedroom eyes nihilism on Trespasser. Whether it’s the relentless earworm that is “Never Tell,” or the Orbison croon behind “Mary,” this is an album that is addictive in its all-encompassing expanse. Trespasser is a dance floor flooded by the smoke machine where you can almost pretend you’re the only one there; like John Travolta before he sold his soul. (JO)

I M U RThirty33 (Independent)

I M U R’s third studio album is both a continuation of the group’s dark, introspective electro-R&B and a step towards the light. Where I M U R has always made songs that are raw and vulnerable – this project is no exception – they continue to push forward with a positive perspective. (JY)

Mathew V The Fifth (604 Records)

Perhaps it’s in the high caliber emotive vocal performances, maybe the songwriting or the glossy production but this album proves that we have a big name pop star on the loose in our town. (QT)

HumansGoing Late (Haven Sounds)

Humans deliver a mature and informed take on electronic music with breathy vocals, pulsating percussion and airy, spaced out mixes, inciting you to stay up all night and dance. (KN)

ACDATYOUNGN*GGA((MEmyself&ihatepeople)) (((ihatepeople))/Opposition)

Vancouver rap music sometimes comes across as slightly behind the times. ACDATYOUNGN*GGA is working to lead the charge in changing that reputation with a seven-song EP (a format having it’s moment) of hook laden, pulsing rap music that fits with the finest off of the Rap Caviar playlist. (GW)

BaptistsBeacon Of Faith (Southern Lord)

Baptists’ third fully is their most evolved release yet. Not many bands can strike that balance of unhinged and technical without losing some of each, but this screams of a band that has full confidence in who they are and what they’re capable of. (MR)

ACTORSIt Will Come To You (Artoffact Records)

A linchpin figure of the local scene releases their best to date. Music for dark nights, sunny days, time alone or with the ones you love, this album is the pinnacle of intersecting tastes. (QT)

We Are the CityAt Night (Light Organ)

Polished west coast idols We Are The City are back at it with a collection of their best beats yet. Dreamy, their open-air ambiance has become fuzzier and thorny. This is a gripping album worthy of many listens. (EC)

Malcolm JackMirror Moon (Independent)

With Capital 6 and Dada Plan, Jack elevated Vancouver’s indie psych scene for years, but Mirror Moon saw him transition from lo-fi troubadour to progressive Americana folk mind-blower. His lyrics are cerebral as ever, propelling him to a musical plateau as slick as Dan Mangan or Calexico. (AR)

Jo Passed Their Prime (Royal Mountain)

More lyrical than Jo Passed’s earlier work, Their Prime shifts into melodic dream pop while staying true to their fuzzy, jam band roots. This is a grown up exploration of fear and transition interwoven with tasty feedback. (EC)

WTCHDRFailed Ambition (Independent)

Vitriolic honesty is the ingredient that sticks out here. Add in some frantic rhythmic assaults and some big, fat, spine-curving beatdown riffs and you’ll have some very bitter, very tasty lemonade. (DR)

Rich HopeI Come Alive (Planned Obsolescence)

One of Vancouver’s finest delivers a slab of soulful wax chock full of swagger and bluesy rock ’n’ roll. Playful and sinister, I’m All Yours will make you cut a rug, peel your tires and rob a bank with nothing but a smile. (DR)

Phono PonyMonkey Paw (Independent)

This quirky multi-dimensional duo has cracked the code with this spaced out collection of polished college rock. Monkey Paw has a healthy mix of garage, blues, electronic and pop, making for a truly unique musical experience. (GA)

AutogrammWhat R U Waiting 4? (Nevado Records)

Synth heavy power pop played with conviction, Autogramm have delievered an album full of driving hooks and sensible melodies. These old-timers are making a new sound that’s sure to get you moving. (GA)

BrassFor Everyone (Never Go Home)

Think of “Coral” – a mild anesthetic – and “Blue Pt. 2” – a heavy sedative – as the medically required bookends to the willfully reckless, manic jaunt that is For Everyone. Beware the dangerously contagious energy within from these punks! (DR)

Bored DecorThe Colour Red (Independent)

With their debut LP The Colour Red, Bored Decor serves up a heaping helping of energetic glam punk. Drums crash, guitars hiss and scream, and keyboards pound out frenetic melodies along politically charged, new-wave-style vocals. (MW)

Parlour PantherHot Magic (Independent)

This queer soul rock trio’s goal with Hot Magic was an album that was to deliver a declaration of love of being true to one’s self and it succeeds. Their lyrics are bold and the vocal delivery captivating. They’ve really put themselves in that rarified spot of creating something uniquely their own — inspirational and sexy. (GW)

JunkAudio Heroin (Junk Music)

Wit, wordplay and big beats round out this impressive offering from Junk. The young rapper has got a flow that stands tall on its own but he’s also invited some big names along for the ride, including CyHi The Prynce. Audio Heroin is Junk living his truth on his best offering to date. (GA)

KellarissaOcean Electro (Mint Records)

Larissa Loyva has one of the strongest voices in Canadian music, and she put it to good use on her third solo album. Ocean Electro hammered home the weight of her progressive lyrics with dynamic, driving synth-pop. (AR)

We Hunt BuffaloHead Smashed In (Fuzzorama)

Just reading the title, we knew what we were in for with this one. The hard-hitting, bluesy, psychedelic sludge this power trio mustered on their third album could just about fill a tar pit or explode a Mastodon’s heart. (AR)

The PrettysTapas (Independent)

Back at the table with Tapas, The Prettys waste no time getting into it, serving up a generous helping of garage pop bangers that demand your full attention, right up until the last course.

LiéHounds (Mint Records)

Hostile and very aggressive, Hounds is the album equivalent of walking down a street on a crisp, cold night ready to incite violence. (EC)

La ChingaBeyond the Sky (Small Stone)

This skuz jamming power trio has been injecting pure ’70s stadium rawk in their veins since 2012, and they practically overdosed on their third album, Beyond the Sky. Where Greta Van Fleet are merely boys, La Chinga proved their manhood. (AR)

Ruby KarintoRuby Karinto (Hozac)

Ruby Karinto’s Self-Titled LP is raw, dissonant, and weirdly addictive. A crazy collection of analog synth leads, bilingual Japanese-English vocals, over a garage rock rhythm section. The type of stuff Siri and Alexa would make love to. (LC)

Process Structural Fatigue (Independent)

This long awaited debut is an unexpected headbutt to extreme metal. With a refreshing take and a unique stamp on the genre, Process makes punishment fun and brutal. (HF)