|Calc's Cool Cuts 2017|
Another great year in the rear view, hope everyone else's holidays go well. The following is the 7th best year end list you'll see.
Ego Murda Sound
Released very early in the year, best listened to at night. I love me some good jungle jams though and this provides.
*Instrumental Math Rock*
Simple, elegant, guitar noodling, nothing else to be said other than it's good.
|52|| ||Buddy and Kaytranada|
Ocean & Montana
This is so chill, Kaytranada's portfolio is expanding by the month and Buddy the late bloomer might be someone to look out for later. "World of Wonders" is top 10 song of the year
|51||Full of Hell|
Savagery, always kind of dug this group but this really stuck with me. Sort of reminds me when I first heard KEN Mode.
At What Cost
Some great pieces on this release but a lot of filler in between them. Kokamoe is top 15 song of the year
Drive It Like It's Stolen!
Only really like the first two songs (which are great) but this release really showed the gap between Ritchie and Groggs for me. It's actually distracting.
Senpai EP II: The Noticing
Sithu is a likeable guy, and a very talented guy. This is nothing more than a sequel to Senpai but for those of us who got a kick out of that, that's not a terrible thing. No more though. No more.
|47||Hail the Sun|
The me from years ago would've loved the return to their old sound but the me now actually liked Culture Scars a lot for what it was. The me now also doesn't do swancore as hard as the me then.
4eva Is a Mighty Long Time
Someone described this as a mix of Kendrick and Outkast, perfect description.
Harmony of Difference
Completely overshadowed by Christian Scott this year for me but still some wonderful music right here. More traditional jazz compositions.
Not as weird as Hallelujah but no shortage of WTF in this release. Expertly crafted amalgamation of noise.
|43||In Love With A Ghost|
This is just some cute stuff. Tells a cute little magical story with cute little bleeps and bloops very well. Bansheebeat/iglooghost hybrid.
|42||Your Old Droog|
While everyone on this site slurps up Jonwayne, Your Old Droog quietly added to the white guy rap catalog this year with a solid, but not great, release that shows him as being one of the better lyricists out today.
Neo Wax Bloom
It's been a long wait and iglooghost's first LP didn't disappoint. So imaginative without being cheesy. Bet he'll be producing a Bjork album or some such nonsense in the future.
Big Fish Theory
Yeah everyone likes this, but the fact that everyone can see what sets this apart from it's contemporaries this year says a lot.
Beyond Death Beyond Reason
Fantastic instrumental hardcore emo stuff. Very reminiscent of something like Circle Takes the Square.
Red meat eatin, beer chuggin, wife beater wearin, pickup truck drivin......
|37||Envy On The Coast|
Really enjoy the sound of the vocalist, very soulful delivery without being dramatic soul-punx bull crap and the music compliments nicely. Looking forward to the full length (or another NK release hopefully now that DEP is done??)
This project turned out better than I thought it would honestly. Don't care one way or another for the subject matter but it's presentation is certainly interesting and the riffz are mmmmm.
Who Told You To Think??!!?!?!?!
Doubt I'll like the next release this cat gives us but this is some beautiful introspective work. Now that he has a kid and he can't spend hours in the library researching obscure references to pepper throughout his songs I wonder if he'll start to stagnate.
Massive sound, great production. Normally don't go for stuff like this either but found this very enjoyable. Might check out catalog from these guys.
|33||Others By No One|
Book I: Dr. Breacher
BTBAM/ Native Construct clone. Technically amazing but not for everyone.
Poppy piano electronic stuff, reminds me of Ronald Jenkees. Catchy as hell but little in the way of substance.
This is some dense stuff. My first exposure to the guy and I'm very impressed.
Die With Your Tongue Out
I kind of see this band as a heavier Circa Survive. Very progressive song structures but more of an edge.
Not as grimy as past releases and maybe a little overlong but this group is approaching the "can do no wrong" vicinity. More no frills hip-hop filled with great beats, great lines, and great production. "Boston Beard is top 10 song of the year.
|28||The Hirsch Effekt|
German crazies giving us more crazy shit. Not as distinctly genre-bending as their last release but still everything you'd want. "Natans" is top 10 song of the year and I think most hardcore bands should write a song like it once in their careers.
Nice little dreamy folk release. I especially like "Runner". A lot of nature noises used in this one as well.
|26||And So I Watch You From Afar|
The Endless Shimmering
Love this band, their past couple albums they tried some studio tricks, vocals, stuff they wouldn't normally do and produced some insanely catchy stuff. With this album they jammed out like they used to and pick up right where they left off.
Call of the Starforger
This is Vektor's album from last year. If you want more of that than this is for you. This fact angers some people (for some reason) but I choose to see it in a good light. More great modern thrash for my virgin ears.
As a filthy American, I don't know exactly what kind of music this is (I keep seeing pop everywhere and no, it's not pop). But this woman's voice is angelic, and she does every acrobatic vocal trick in the book on this album. Absolutely beautiful stuff made even more so that it's done in Spanish.
I: You Are Loved
Really like the sound this band has here. Very dreamy lightly gloomy riffs work pretty well with the pop vocal melodies. First three songs are killer together.
Toxic City Music
Dirty drone album based on how yucky NYC is. Conjures a ton of imagery through it's soundscapes. Very good
|21||Wolf and Bear|
Everything Is Going Grey
DGD rip-off through and through. Imagine if DGD replaced their poppiness with a tad more hardcore influence and that's what this is. And I love it. Greyblood is top 10 song of the year
|20||The World Is a Beautiful Place...|
Weird how this band's EPs are the worst things ever and their LPs are so great. Faker is top 15 song of the year too.
*Indie Rock/ Pop*
Just discovered this recently, it has a real Death Cab from the bedroom type feel if that makes sense. Not bad at all and it's free so...
Art in the Age of Automation
Adding the "Quartet" back in their name and going back to what got them where they are results in a solid entry.
Another surprise for me, as I don't dig most black metal as I hear groups that love getting lost in their own dissonance to write anything worth listening to for more than a few minutes. The addition of some eastern european sax a la Niechec and some nifty -core type riffz elevate this to pretty damn great status however.
Turn Out The Lights
This must've caught me on a weird night because I do not like stuff like this. Baker's voice exudes tangible emotion while staying away from being too wispy and weak (hate that). The music, while sparse, just fits. One of those personal surprises everyone likes finding.
The Same Stories That Never Get Old
Strangely absent from this site's conscious this year, this album is great. Nothing else to say really.
Every thing you've read about this being weird and amazing and under the radar is true. It takes patience to take in this whole thing but it's worth it.
An electronic record that uses only a piano. It's one of the best electronic releases of the year too. Very novel concept and executed wonderfully.
The lead single "Succulent" had me pre-order this but I was a little underwhelmed. Still a great concept album though and if anything shows a mountain of potential for the future
|11||The Dear Hunter|
All Is As All Should Be
I've said all the words I can say about this band. This is great stuff. No surprise.
Are they skating by on a name? Probably. If this album was released by a nobody band blah blah blah but hey, sometimes all the hype is spot on. A little too interlude-y but what's here is cut thick and hits hard. Great album.
The Expanding Domain (ded005)
Lee Bannon now calls himself Dedekind Cut and he's quickly becoming one of my favorite producers. He's explored damn near every corner of slow-burning electronic music and this little release is among is most introspective and emotive. He has another release coming out on Friday that I'm sure will not disappoint.
Genre tag will scare people away but the full, lush production of this release is a nice wrinkle to this band's sound in comparison to a lot of black metal I hear. Adds a good weight and substance to the post-hardcore/black metal line these guys toe so well.
Awkward and Depressed
I like everything about this album, it's music is top tier, it's funny, and Peev Shalpatine might be the best song of the year. And turning the horrid Old Grey style of music into something so amazing is worthy of mad props by itself. Great album to unironically listen to.
*Instrumental Math Rock*
This people, is what CHON should've turned into. If you liked the demos more than their new plastic sound this should be up your alley.
A lot of nature related field recordings turn this jazz-tinged downtempo album into one worthy of everyone's time. Fills it's runtime well and doesn't extend passages for the sake of longer songs.
No frills, no dressing, this is my favorite alternative release of the year. This band is just writes catchy, inventive tunes and the drumming during the outro of "Locked Up" has been stuck in my head for months. I'm kind of sad knowing an LP probably won't sound like this but I'm stoked as to what they will release next year.
Dark Time Sunshine's beat maker produces some insanely tight foggy beats. In consistent rotation for my nighttime driving since it came out I wouldn't be too upset if he focused on this project. Maybe a deep-bass album next? Drone? This guy's flair I feel can translate well to anything electronic.
The Centennial Trilogy
A trailblazing trumpeter in today's contemporary jazz scene. I'll compare this to The Epic to pique interest but the sound is supremely fresh and modern. This is a compilation of 3 EPs released over the course of the year listened to back to back and it's a lot of music, but for me it flies by.
Never considered myself an ambient guy but this, this was transformative for me. Bibio's mastery of the notion of nostalgia is remarkable and the feels in this release when the mood strikes was like nothing I've felt in music ever.