credit: Suns’ Facebook
The year-end albums post, now in its third edition, happens to be the thing I most look forward to writing all year for CT. Perhaps it’s because the other two have been the site’s most-read pieces. By a lot. It adds a kind of pressure that isn’t a factor when I’m reviewing one album.
More to the point, though, I like the challenge of summarizing the city’s year in music as I experienced it. Combing through the albums I’ve listened to and feel comfortable writing about and then selecting the ones that represent my year is the first step. Well, setting 12 as the magic number is one. Then doing what I just wrote is two. Next is arranging and rearranging and rearranging again how the albums should be ranked. Then the writing, finally.
So many questions rolled through my head: Does it matter at all to Mazes Blazes’ ranking that the album is, perhaps, a comeback album for a band that last released an album in 2009? Is it OK for me to consider Mazes Blazes a comeback album? (I do.) How many years does it take, on average, for an album to solidly be a comeback album, no question? Then there’s Outer Minds, which released a pair of full-lengths in 2012. Should the one I preferred — Behind the Mirror — get a bump for being from a band that released two albums in one year? Does it matter that Outer Minds’ live show is a total terror, and that they were the Empty Bottle’s unofficial house band for playing there like once a month? Then how about Suns, which self-released its first full-length album in December, and whose following is so mighty that the album probably would not have been recorded when it was recorded had it not been for a successful fundraising campaign on Kickstarter? How about Advance Base and Pony Trash and Absinthe & the Dirty Floors, three bands that made the list without my having seen them live? Should live shows matter in an albums list? (I think so.) Does it matter?
The number one reason I put this list together is to get you, the reader, to give some (though hopefully many) of my picks a listen. I wouldn’t write about an album here if I didn’t want you to listen to it. And hey, if you like what you’ve read and want to support some local artists, go ahead and buy some albums. Links are provided below to every album that made my list. The low is four bucks to a high of 12.
These 12 albums are the best local releases of the year. Are you ready?