As the Music Director for BTRtoday, I get pitched thousands (yes, thousands) of albums every year. Normally, only a handful of those releases catch my attention and make my year end list of favorites.
Here is what excited me in 2017:
Best comeback album: Rainer Maria, S/T
Rainer Maria’s 2017 album S/T was their first release since 2006’s Catastrophe Keeps Us Together. Despite the 11-year album, the trio sounded like they hadn’t put down their instruments for even a minute.
Best sophomore effort: Son Little – Blue Magic
As Son Little, Aaron Livingston, has worked with The Roots, RJD2 and Portugal The Man. He released his second full-length studio album on Anti- Records in September.
Best dark country/western album: Roselit Bone- Blister Steel
The Portland, Oregon outfit describes their style as “apocalyptic cowboy music.” They released their sophomore album in June on Friendship Fever.
Best debut solo album from a dude in a well-known band: Eric Slick- Palisades
Dr. Dog drummer, Eric Slick, released his debut solo effort Palisades this year. Slick meditated and practiced Jungian dream therapy to reinvent himself and write the songs for the album.
Best debut solo album from a chick in a sort of well known band: Jessica Boudreaux- No Fury
Jessica Boudreaux is the lead singer and guitarist for Portland band Summer Cannibals. She released her debut solo effort, No Fury on her label New Moss Records.
Best new album by an artist using a different name/pseudonym: Art Feynman-Blast Off Through the Wicker
The label Western Vinyl pitched Art Feynman as a new act from California. The funny thing is, Art Feynman is not a new artist, but the project of seasoned musician, Luke Temple, who also happens to be in the band Here We Go Magic.
Lottie’s favorite new artist/album from 2017: Mattiel- S/T
Mattiel Brown is a an ad designer, illustrator and set builder from Georgia. In 2017, she decided to try her hand at songwriting and singing. With the help of her friends, musicians Randy Michael and Jonah Swilley, she wrote and recorded her debut album in nine months. The 12 track album features Brown’s husky voice, bluesy riffs and catchy choruses.
Album that Lottie missed in 2016 and has been listening to on repeat: Breanna Barbara-Mirage Dreams
SO GOOD. You can check out her BTR Live Studio session here.