They’re the collection of songs that stick with us, that put us where we want to be in just the right moments: music that takes those unexpected creative flips and turns in composition, the songwriting that floors us. They inspire us, rev us up, sometimes they make us cry. Mostly, they’re just fun to listen to and when they’re coming from our friends and neighbors it only makes the heart grow fonder.
they are gutting a body of water – sweater curse
The sophomore album from they are gutting a body of water dropped on New Year’s day–an emotionally necessary project that remains to be just as soft and heartfelt. It’s simple and to the point, biting at the core of all of us and drawing out our flaws and triumphs so we can come to terms with it all. Highlight tracks: “chasto fanwo”, “hi hello”, “loosies”
Bruiser and Bicycle – You’re All Invited
The breakout EP from Albany’s newest garage rock outfit made humble fans of noisey tunes very excited, dare I say hopeful.You’re All Invited starts and ends with a bang, yanking you in with a whirling, distorted vortex and spitting you out with a commanding, seven-minute sprawl. Set to pounding instrumentals, the five-track piece is cradled by thought-provoking songwriting that invites listeners to set apart some time and space to reflect. It’s a steady marching project with elements of immersive psych rock that make this up-and-coming band a standout act. Highlight tracks: “Trading Paint for Kisses”, “A Puzzle” “You’re All Invited”
Alenni – Constellations
Bright, sparkly, sweet and earnest — Constellations is just what 2017 needed. Alenni takes on the tried and true subjects of crumbling relationships, dreams and ambition but tops it off with a positive outlook, Highlight tracks: “Hourglass”, “Good Morning Darling”, “Nebulous”
Scum Couch – Insufficiency
An earful of organized chaos in thick fuzzy layers, with a strong lyrical drive and clear cut monotone vocals from Mark O’Brien make up this perfectly satisfying piece of work. Highlight tracks: “Necro”, “Contact”, “Officer”
Mom Jeans, Pictures of Vernon, Prince Daddy & The Hyena – Now That’s What I Call Music Vol. 420
I’m cheating a little bit because indie label Counter Intuitive pulled together three incredible bands for this split and only one of them is a local. Each band brings a couple standard hits to the table and the two “Thrashville” tracks from Albany heroes Prince Daddy & The Hyena are enthralling.
The best local songs of 2017:
Hate Club – “Vice Versa”
Hate Club put out their debut EP No, Seriously in the spring. Since then, it’s been a blast to see the four tracks–and their latest single “Between the Shadow of Two Gunmen Pt. 2”–morph and evolve. “Vice Versa” is a particular favorite of mine for its emo vibe and explosive climax as Noah Bondy belts out, “I hope things work out/ No seriously / I do!”
KATANI – “Kodak Mellow-nin”
This rap duo has an 2018 album coming and it’s exciting to think of what else they have in store. KATANI has been instrumental in smashing the patriarchy by flipping misogynistic tracks, using each chart-topping hit as a platform for a whole new message. Their latest track, taking on Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” is a banger.
they are gutting a body of water – “hi hello”
Revisiting my review from January, this closing track of Sweater Curse “radiates the frustration, angst, fears and reclusiveness of the generation that ‘gets’ each other (but doesn’t at all.)”
Souly Had – “aquarius”
One of the several Entréband members, Souly Had has harnessed the hip-pop genre in stride. The adorable and catchy “aquarius” is a flirty single that is more than capable of rising as a major hit.
Kississippi, Prince Daddy & The Hyena – “Thrashville 2/ 3”
This mashup is killer. On Counter Intuitive’s 420 split, the Albany band is joined by Kississippi vocalist Zoe Reynolds, her pitch-perfect croon facing off with Kory Gregory’s scathing grit in a complementary and wonderfully timed give and take.