Another year has come to a close. 2016 was, to put it lightly, was a rough year for many. But from Nanobot HQ there was a lot to appreciate. This year brought everything from Australian blazing rock to whisky swaggering folk, from English visionaries to Texas dreamy electro-funk, and just about everything in between, there was a lot to reflect on and equally plenty to enjoy.
We would like to take a moment to recognize our favorite discoveries, as chosen by us here at Nanobot Rock. Thank you to each and every one of you who has shared, listened to, or read about local independent music this year!
#10 Curtis/Sutton & The Scavengers – Curtis/Sutton
Reminiscent of a warm, late summer wind slithering through the trees, the six tracks of Curtis/Sutton sways humbly along. Steely vintage qualities, driven by foot-tapping rhythms pair nicely as our appreciation for the music of Curtis/Sutton & The Scavengers grew immensely with this release.
#9 J Hacha De Zola – Picaro Obscuro
“With an unwavering commitment to his attention drawing artistic vision, Hacha De Zola paints the darkness once more in vivid tones and sporadic bursts of light set against a backdrop of the dark edges of society.” This release paired unnervingly well with 2016.
#8 The Fireflys – The Illumination of Everything
When a band shows up, year after year, on a top 10 list, you know they’re on to something. Maturing in their sound and filling out their body, after some personnel adjustments, The Fireflys deliver another remarkable album.
#7 Golden Bear – Dimensional Place
Down-tempo grooves shake their thing with sass while airy pop vibrato pings off 32-bit backing rhythms to craft the best 80s vibes you can get in 2016. As equally vintage in sound as they are addicting in composition, Golden Bear has us instantly wanting more.
#6 First Chair – Weights of the World EP
If one were to look to define the word “stunning” they would look no further than this seemingly simple EP. What most bands attempt to gain in twelve tracks, First Chair masters in just a fraction of that. Weights of the World is an incredible piece of work.
#5 Danny Blaqk & The Galaxy – Greatest Hits Vol. 1
This electric sound lives in the lick-laden swaggers and throbbing beats that slick their hair back with grooving bass lines and gyrating keys only to stare into the abyss with dominating vocals. Punctuated rock meets larger-than-life sound and infects every listen with a need for more. No cowbell pun involved here.
#4 Kaleidoscope Jukebox – Into the Ocean
“Within the chaos of the musical voices, there is a siren upon the waves, one that calls upon the weary traveler to rest on the shores without care. However, unlike those in Homer’s legendary text, this is a much more welcoming and honest calling Into The Ocean.” Not only do we need more music like this, 2016 needed this.
#3 Terra Lightfoot – Every Time My Mind Runs Wild
Do not lump Terra Lightfoot in as just another female singer. A captivating voice echoes within a blues-inspired body that struck us to our core. A sound like Lightfoot only comes along every so often and it would be an incredible injustice to dismiss Every Time My Mind Runs Wild.
#2 Billy Momo – Seven Rivers Wild
“Like wandering through an abstract brightly colored, steampunk fantasy world, stumbling across a precious gem, Seven Rivers Wild converges at an apex of stunning musical landscapes speckled with haunting lyrics.” In a year’s worth of records, only one could nudge this off #1; barely.
#1 The Peep Tempel – Joy
As the slurring riffs grind their way through accented vocals with cymbal-a-plenty crashes falling around us, we can’t help but sit here with a fiery, unrelenting passion for this release. Beyond Punk, beyond Rock, Joy ignites feelings within the listener that should be embraced. It is the epitome of a breathless, resounding “whoa” feeling.