Shindigmusic’s The Best Albums of 2017 Shindigmusic’s The Best Albums of 2017
It’s been another big year for music around the region and it produced a number of stellar releases from some of our favorite local... Shindigmusic’s The Best Albums of 2017

It’s been another big year for music around the region and it produced a number of stellar releases from some of our favorite local artists. As 2017 draws to a close, we here at Shindigmusic would like to share our staff’s picks for the standout records over the year. Here are Shindigmusic’s top albums of the year.

SHINDIG’S BEST ALBUM STAFF PICKS

Robert Locke / Editor-in-chief

1.  Pallbearer – Heartless (Profound Lore/Nuclear Blast) Stream it

I knew upon first listen this was a game-changer album for the band. Much more polished and refined than previous efforts. A doom metal album made for mass consumption. If that wasn’t in existence before, then it certainly is now. The opening track I Saw The End totally floored me and this album has been in heavy rotation since its release. “Heartless” continues the bands path towards prog rock and finds them mining territory usually reserved for bands like Led Zeppelin and Soundgarden, that sonic balance between melody and straight up riffage. As Jimmy Page would say “Perfect light and shade.”  The band should be very proud.

2.  Jamie Lou & the Hullabaloo – Femi-Socialite (Indie Release)  Stream it

3.  Welles – Codeine EP (C3)  Stream it

4.  Issac Alexander – Like A Sinking Stone (Max Recordings)  Stream it

5. Country Florist – Waveland (Drawing Room)  Stream it


Justin Bates / Managing Editor-Writer

1. Jamie Lou & the Hullabaloo – Femi-Socialite (Indie Release) Stream it

This Russellville band has been on my radar for quite some time, but it wasn’t until I saw them perform for the first time at our “A Night at the Garden” show that I really became a big believer in their music. I love the dynamics in the band’s songwriting and the catchy, melodic, powerhouse vocals from singer-songwriter Jamie Lou Connolly. I completely expect Jamie Lou & the Hullabaloo to explode at any moment. They’ve got what it takes. 

2.  Pallbearer – Heartless (Profound Lore/ Nuclear Blast) Stream it

3.  Big Piph – Celebrate (Indie Release) Stream it

4.  Dylan Earl – New Country to Be (Fabulan) Stream it

5.  Recognizer – Recognizer (Indie Release) Stream it


Dave Morris / Writer

1. Spirit Adrift – Curse Of Conception (20 Buck Spin) Stream it

Check out Dave’s interview with Nate Garrett of Spirit Adrift on Shindigmusic!

2. Pallbearer – Heartless (Profound Lore/ Nuclear Blast) Stream it

3. ESC – ESC (Indie Release) Stream it

4. Welles – Codeine EP (C3)  Stream it

5. Cory Branan – Adios (Bloodshot) Stream it


Kim Smootz / Podcasts

1. Jamie Lou & the Hullabaloo – Femi-Socialite (Indie Release) Stream it

We’ve known Jamie Lou for years but this album really solidifies the sound and presence of the Hullabaloo. It’s just proof of the continued evolution of Jamie Lou. The lyrics on You Can’t really speak to me on a personal level. – Kim Smootz

2. Welles – Codeine EP (C3)  Stream it

3.  Dazz & Brie – Can’t Chase Girls & Your Money Too (Indie Release) Stream It

4.  Big Piph – Celebrate (Indie Release) Stream it

5. Dylan Earl – New Country to Be (Fabulan) Stream it


Skyler Gambert / Writer

1. The Phlegms – ABORT THIS DEMOthen sterlize yourself (Indie Release)

If you haven’t seen The Phlegms play live, go do it right now. Find them and make them play for you. You need it and you need it now. This demo was recorded at their practice space here in town, but doesn’t capture what they bring on in the flesh. This is the only documentation we have but it will give you a taste of what the Phlegms can do.

Avery Martin’s songwriting will turn your stomach over and give you unnervingly pleasurable chills. The instrumentalists, Grant Williams, Pete McKitrick, and Ethan Nash, produce persistent, head throbbing riffage with only momentary lapses into melodic relief. When listen to The Phlegms you don’t think, you just feel. They are a sick band. You can try and shake it with this demo, but you won’t be able to cough it up until you see them live.

2. The Chads – Debt Canceling, Supernatural Power of God (Indie Release) Stream it

3. Aquarian Blood – Last Nite In Paradise (Goner ) Stream it

4. Eraser Field – Demos (Indie Release) Stream It

5. William Eggelston – Musik (Secretly Canadian) Stream it


Katherine Purcell / Writer

1. Andy Pickett – Andy Pickett (Radio Milk) Stream it

Thanks to a killer White Denim set at Homegrown this August (one of my favorite shows all year), Andy Pickett, a lovable, bearded singer/songwriter, came onto my radar shortly before his album released this November.  Pickett’s self-titled album includes a backing band of none other than White Denim’s own James Petralli and Steve Terebecki.  Additionally, the album was masterfully self-produced by the trio in Austin.  

The music is slow and rhythmic, featuring layers of piano, bass, minor chords, and muted horns.  It sounds like ’70s pop mixed with early ’80s new wave.  When Pickett described his sound, he said he “wants most everything [he] makes to feel like a warm hug dipped in warm blankets.”  The warm and nostalgic sound is familiar, yet hard to pin down to one genre.  Give it a spin and decide for yourself.   – Katherine Purcell  Stream it

2. Combsy – Combsy (Horton) Stream it

3. Escape Tones – Dead Pixels (Indie Release) Stream it

4. Arkansauce – If I Were You (Indie Release) Stream it

5. The Chads – Debt Canceling, Supernatural Power of God (Indie Release) Stream it


SHINDIG’S BEST ALBUM GUEST PICKS

Roger Barrett / On The Map Fest

1. Pallbearer – Heartless (Profound Lore/ Nuclear Blast) Stream it

Truly crushing and beautiful. Hearing their song “A Plea For Understanding” takes me back to listening to Metallica’s “Fade To Black” for the first time – it’s a song that is also devastating lyrically. There are only a handful of bands that are incredible to experience live, on record, and without music. Heartless is Pallbearer’s most dynamic and progressive record, and I look forward to the next one.

2. 607 – New Wave Arkansas (TTS) Stream it

3. Auric – First and Last (Indie Release) Stream it

4. White Mansion – Lonesome (Indie Release) Stream it

5. Tiffany Lee – Jailbird (Indie Release) Stream it

 

Jamie Lou Connolly / Jamie Lou & The Hullabaloo

1. Issac Alexander – Like A Sinking Stone (Max Recordings)  Stream it

2. Dazz & Brie – Can’t Chase Girls & Your Money Too (Indie Release) Stream It

3. Auric – First and Last (Indie Release) Stream it

4. Dylan Earl – New Country to Be (Fabulan) Stream it

5.  Arkansauce – If I Were You (Indie Release) Stream it

 

Drew DeFrance / DeFrance

1. Dazz & Brie – Can’t Chase Girls & Your Money Too (Indie Release) Stream It

These girls knocked it out of the park on this one! It’s great songs, great performances & production by & even greater group of wonderful folks!

2. Issac Alexander – Like A Sinking Stone (Max Recordings)  Stream it

3. Ben Richman – American Deadbeat (Indie Release) Stream it

4. SUMOKEM – The Guardian Of Yosemite (Cursed Tongue) Stream it

5. Mark Currey – TARRANT County (Moonpie Music) Stream it

 

Timothy Dennis / KUAF Ozarks At Large

1. Dylan Earl – New Country to Be (Fabulan) Stream it

New Country to Be is a solid album in its own right, but it takes my top spot because on it, Dylan Earl has honed a sound and aesthetic that is more reminiscent of Nashville’s golden age of the 70s into the 80s than the pop-country that’s monopolized the airwaves for the past decade. What’s more incredible is that someone of my generation, a millennial, has tapped into this sound, and just hearing the songs, one gets the sense that these songs were crafted by a road warrior, someone who has actually lived, breathed and bled the words he sings.

2. The Too’s – Outer Sounds (Indie Release) Stream it

3. Jamie Lou & the Hullabaloo – Femi-Socialite (Indie Release) Stream it

4. National Park Radio – Old Forests (Indie Release) Stream it

5. Arkansauce – If I Were You (Indie Release) Stream it

 

Erik Ebsen / Auric

1. Jamie Lou & the Hullabaloo – Femi-Socialite (Indie Release) Stream it

Nothing excites me more than seeing an artist you never heard about do their thing and proceed to blow your mind. When I saw Jamie Lou & Co. live at George’s, I was immediately perplexed at how solid this band was. The Hullaballoo nimbly toes the line between singer-songwriter and a sound similar to Pink Floyd or Fleetwood Mac without sounding like either one.

Femi-Socialite is an incredible collection of songs that I feel anyone interested in any era of rock music could appreciate. The songs stand out from each other, they get as quiet and loud as they need to be. My personal favorites are “When Someday” with its roaring delay-drenched guitar and “Femi-Socialite”, with one of best build ups I’ve ever heard. This band kills it and I really want to hear more from them in the coming years.

2.  Pallbearer – Heartless (Profound Lore/ Nuclear Blast) Stream it

3. SUMOKEM – The Guardian Of Yosemite (Cursed Tongue) Stream it

4. ESC – ESC (Indie Release) Stream it

5. Terminus – Pre-Release Demos

 

Phillip Harris / KABF Shoog RadioThe Sonic TempleThe Martyrs

1. Pallbearer – Heartless (Profound Lore/ Nuclear Blast) Stream it

Pallbearer doesn’t need me to plug their album. They have virtually every meaningful music organization doing it for them. Heartless is one of the biggest things to happen in heavy music in a long time. If Pallbearer’s preceding albums caused deep tremors in the scene, Heartless is a beautiful and foreboding tectonic collision. Make an appointment to see Pallbearer’s show with Sumokem January 19 at Rev Room. Sooner than later I predict it’ll cost a lot more to see these guys up close.

2.  Dazz & Brie – Can’t Chase Girls & Your Money Too (Indie Release) Stream It

3. Jamie Lou & the Hullabaloo – Femi-Socialite (Indie Release)  Stream it

4. Brian Nahlen – Cicada Moon (Better Tomorrow) Buy it

5. Recognizer – Recognizer (Indie Release) Stream it

 

Meredith Kimbrough / Lost John

1. The Too’s – Outer Sounds (Indie Release) Stream it

Okay, I had a really hard time picking number one and generally trying to sort them at all. I think they’re all great records and I have plenty to say about each one. But I listened to Outer Sounds more times this year than I can count, so I figure it belongs at the top. It’s one of those records that makes perfect company at every part of the day, for every mood. I find myself wanting to get pretty sentimental and talk about how it feels to listen to it when you’re 100 miles into a 600-mile drive, but I won’t. I don’t know – how do you talk about why you love a record? The tones are great, the harmonies are great, the songs are infectious. Go buy it and see for yourself.

2. Dylan Earl – New Country to Be (Fabulan) Stream it

3. Jamie Lou & the Hullabaloo – Femi-Socialite (Indie Release)  Stream it

4. Trout Fishing In America – Strangest Times (Indie Release) Stream It

5. Sad Palamino – Sad Palomino (Indie Release) Stream it

 

Chris King / Revolution Music RoomStickyz Rock N’ Roll Chicken Shack

1. Pallbearer – Heartless (Profound Lore/ Nuclear Blast) Stream it

2. Dylan Earl – New Country to Be (Fabulan) Stream it

3. Dazz & Brie – Can’t Chase Girls & Your Money Too (Indie Release) Stream It

4. Illustrada – Illustrada (Indie Release) Stream it

5. Bree Ogden – Untamed (Indie Release) Stream it

 

Peter Read / Nightflying

1. Jamie Lou & the Hullabaloo – Femi-Socialite (Indie Release)  Stream it

2. Eric Hughes Band – Meet Me In Memphis (Indie Release) Stream it

3. Keith Hays – That’s Enough For Now (A Little Anonymous Music Co.) Stream it

4. Dave Miller – Southern Dreams (Indie Release) Stream it

5. Gil Franklin Band – Ghosts (Indie Release) Stream it


What were your favorite local releases from 2017? Let us know!

 

Justin Bates

Justin co-founded FayetteSound in 2016 and ShindigMusic! in the summer of 2017. He is a Pearl Jam enthusiast and avid collector of music from all genres in all formats, with a particular preference for vinyl.
He’s the spouse of artist Stacy, of Stacy Bee Art fame.