Best Of: January
Best Album: Migos- Culture 2
Although long and very hit or miss, I still feel Culture 2 was the best release in January. Migos is on top of their game, with bangers like "Motorsport," "Too Playa" and "BBO," Culture 2 will be in rotation for the foreseeable future.
Best Album: Justine Skye - ULTRAVIOLET
New year, same music taste! Alright 2018 brought up some fun new singles and albums, but what takes the cake is Justine Skye's new album, ULTRAVIOLET! She's been throwing singles around for awhile, an EP here and there, but when you tune in to ULTRAVIOLET it feels like the moment we've all been waiting for. Breakups, bops and saying no to fuck boys are key in this new album. She also does a rad job of sampling Nelly’s 2002 single “Flap Your Wings” on “Back for More."
Best Show: ZAHARA / Dorothea / Toni Lee at Vera Project
My favorite show of the month had to be Vera Project hosting ZAHARA, Dorothea, and Toni Lee. ZAHARA is one of my favorite Seattle acts, she possess so much soul and it carries through each performance. Never seen Toni Lee and their opening was the great ambience to the space.
Best Album: Ty Segall - Freedom's Goblin
In today’s new music climate, there’s something inherently exciting about an album that isn’t just available to stream the second it comes out. This is partially what made Ty Segall’s new album, Freedom’s Goblin my favorite of this month. It already was an experience in itself, as I had to go to my local music store to pick it up. The album itself is incredible. The whole thing is a mixture of classic 70’s rock, garage, psychedelic, and funk. It’s reminiscent of Queen, David Bowie and The Beatles, but in a very modern way. The whole thing is surrounded with romance, from the fuzzy feeling you’ll get from purchasing this album in an actual store, to the drawn out ballads to Segall’s recent marriage (and his dog in “Fanny Dog”), to the nostalgic sound of the entire project. I definitely recommend going out and buying this record (or if you just really can’t stand leaving the house you can purchase the album on his Bandcamp.
Best Show: Timbrrr! Winter Music Festival
I could go on for days about how fun Timbrrr was (in fact I did, and you can read it here.) The whole experience was the perfect weekend getaway, filled with amazing PNW artists, breathtaking views, and delicious alcoholic beverages. It’s a show I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
Best Album: Porches - The House
While not quite reaching the same emotional intensity as 2015's Pool (one of my favorite albums of that year), The House proves that Aaron Maine is trying to continually stretch himself. On his latest release he ups the electronic ante, with lead single "Find Me" being a certified banger. When I first heard it on KEXP I thought it was someone else's remix of a Porches' song but nope that's all Maine.
Best Show: The City Hall single release, with Grubby Sweetheart, Josh and Sebastian of Seacats, and Middle Names
I'm really diggin' The City Hall's new single "Post" and their release show at the Royal Room at the beginning of the month was the perfect way to celebrate. Josh and Sebastian gave us a stripped down, emotionally raw performance that felt a lot like a Sun Kil Moon show. Grubby Sweetheart were so good, that the news of their recent break up only hits even harder! But thank god I caught them at this show. Casey and Luke of The City Hall nailed their performance with some killer harmonies and catchy riffs. You can read more about the show here.
Best Single: The City Hall - "Post"
The first single from The City Hall’s upcoming album Real Nice & Hurtful, “Post”, ruminates in the shared space occupied by self-reflection and a nuanced analysis of the surrounding world. Instead of the deep undertones dragging the listener under, they’re astutely paired with a sparklingly bright pop instrumentation that leaves you dazzled by all that you just heard.
Best Show: DMM Comp Release at Kremwerk
I have to admit my bias from the start, before the evening commenced I knew it was going to be a great show, and with such a stacked lineup it comes as no surprise that each set continued to build off the momentum of the last. Beginning with Brakebill, the audience was thrown into a night of elevated energy. This was only furthered with performances by The City Hall, and Ancient Mariner. Seacats had the entire dance floor moving, while Perry Porter clearly came to take no prisoners. Michete was next, generously playing plenty of tracks off her latest release Cool Tricks 3. Raven Hollywood closed the night, with the perfect blend of melodious hip hop.