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Lucman's Mid-year Favourites

Is the year half over already? Wow, life, stop racing by so fast, please. As for music, the year has been somewhat disappointing in that regard but a couple of gems came out of the first half so without further ado here are my favourites from January to June.
13William Ryan Key

Honourable Mentions:

More music from Ryan Key! The emotional undercurrent found in Yellowcard's music is on display here as well even if the sound has been stripped back.
12Whale Bones
Island Fire

A compelling record with plenty of post-rock and emo shout outs. I don't really see it making the top ten by the end of the year but it's a strong debut nonetheless.
No Discordance

I wanted to include this one somewhere because it's great. If you have a craving for some Iron Chic or The Menzingers these guys can definitely scratch that itch.
10Mayday Parade


The Yellowcard shaped hole in my heart is far too big for any one band to refill. Mayday Parade steps up and tries their darndest to fill that bottomless chasm with Sunnyland, and for the most part, they actually succeed. It's slightly darker than Yellowcard ever were but it's still filled with that summer aesthetic I cannot get enough of.

Favourite track: "Sunnyland"
Fundamental Things


Speaking of summer music, not many bands can execute that style as well as Talkie can. I adored their 2015 effort, Hablas, for its experimental and outright carefree nature. Fundamental Things cleans the mess up a bit and hones in on a specific sound. A sound they pull off ridiculously well, I should add.

Favourite track: "Marcy"
8Mat Kearney


Might get some flak for this one but anyhow I stand by my opinion that this is Kearney's best record to date. The lyrics can be cheesy at times but the record's style is so easy to get into and enjoy. It's the perfect album to chill out to on the beach even if it lacks any real depth lyrically.

Favourite track: "I Can't Wait For You To Get Here"
7Matt Maltese
Bad Contestant


Matt Maltese's baritone, crooning voice recalls that of another Matt we all know. Bad Contestant plays out like a vintage Boxer with a romantic allure to it that's frankly irresistible. The record is at its best when it slows right down but there are a surprising amount of "poppy" choices here as well, almost equally brilliant.

Favourite track: "Less and Less"
6The Republic of Wolves


When I first heard "Bask" I knew this one was going to be special. And of course, it ended up being brilliant. The dark, alt-rock sound is right up my alley. This will only climb higher as time passes and by the end of the year, I can easily see it making the top ten.

Favourite track: "Bask"
5Sleeping Giant


This just goes hard, nuff said. Seriously, though, Sleeping Giant's farewell is a neck-breaking celebration of old-school hardcore at its catchiest. Although Rolo Tomassi's latest is the better heavy album I've probably spun this one a lot more.

Favourite track: "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts"


Filled with infectious hooks and a gorgeous atmosphere, Chime was my introduction to Dessa's intriguing mix of pop and hip/hop and it will most definitely not be my last. Admittedly, not every song is a home run, however, to counter that it includes a number of songs that could easily find a place among the top ten of the year.

Favourite song: "Half of You"
3The Summer Kills
Last Night We Became Swans


Imagine a more atmospheric Joshua Tree-era U2 with Thrice's Dustin Kensure at the helm and you'd be getting close to the sound of this beauty. The nocturnal, post-rock sound this goes for is nothing short of sublime.

Favourite song: "Like New Year's Day"
2Rolo Tomassi
Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It


When I heard "Rituals" for the first time I had to do a double take. After the opening tracks, I was expecting to hear a softer post-hardcore record with some sparse screaming scattered throughout, not the 180 turn in sound I was hearing. I was utterly captivated. The best metal album I've heard since Norma Jean's Polar Similar.

Favourite song: "A Flood of Light"
1The Choir


The Choir is a band I have a massive amount of respect for even though I've never been able to personally enjoy their music. That is until I decided to listen to Bloodshot. This is a saddening, melancholic release that revolves around the effects of divorce and heartbreak. This heavy subject matter is contrasted by a beautiful, almost summery aesthetic. It's a wonderful release and definitely the one to beat this year.

Favourite song: "The Time Has Come"
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