While you’ve undoubtedly heard (or at the very least, heard of) this year’s long list of lauded LP releases from local headliners such as Deafheaven, Mikal Cronin, Thee Oh Sees, Shannon and the Clams, Ty Segall/Fuzz, and the like, there are dozens more digital, vinyl, and cassette releases that may have slipped under your radar.
You probably also caught wind of our extensive local coverage of 2013 debuts and breakthroughs from acts like Dan Casey, Glenn Jackson, Wild Moth, Cool Ghouls, Antwon, and Tony Molina, but there are even more treasures to be found by digging deeper into the musical mine. Think we forgot about your favorite? Feel free to speak your piece in the comments section.
Any Exit and HWY Trust
San Francisco’s Edmund Xavier released two sensational tapes on Oakland label Moon Glyph this year. The first, Any Exit, has been burning its stellar drum machine beats and not-quite-ambient synthesizers into my subconscious since its March release. HWY Trust, out since November, is an equally adventurous companion piece.
Kites Sail High
Motivated / Unmotivated
Increasingly elusive Peninsula dweller Mario Baltodano finally released his proper full-length debut this year, following a bit of a hiatus. Kites Sail High’s appropriately titled Motivated / Unmotivated cassette was released on Patient Sounds in July. Gorgeous samples and inventive production illustrate the complex nature of artistic drive.
Oakland producer Matthew Tammariello (a.k.a. Shortcircles) also released his full-length debut in July. Between Waves is easily one of the best electronic records of the year, but somehow slipped by unnoticed by some. With masterful, R&B-influenced production and surprising vocal features, Between Waves will stay in our rotation for many moons to come.
EMOTIONAL is the experimental pop side-project of LA-via-SF musician Brian Wakefield (Melted Toys), who collaborated with Fred Thomas after playing a basement show at Vacation in San Francisco. Demons was released on Life Like Tapes in early December as a last minute contender for the year’s freshest West Coast sounds.
Asleep in the Ice Palace
Former East Bay residents Dylan Travis and Nina Chase may have relocated further south, but that’s still no excuse to sleep on their chilly, goth-tinged synth pop release Asleep in the Ice Palace. With top-notch mixing on the album and theatrical live shows, the Ice Palace is well worth revisiting this winter.