When it comes to the local scene, the Bay Area is connected by two cities fertile with overwhelming talent. 2013 has already seen notable releases from a number of great local artists like Giraffage, Deafheaven and sayknowledge, and this is a trend which will continue for the remainder of the year.
With the Bay's best hip hop release of the year, plenty of garage-y goodness and albums from old friends and exciting newcomers all on the way, the next few months are going to continue to expand the boundaries of our already prolific community. The sky's the limit; let's get into the most exciting local releases coming up this fall.
The Dodos, Carrier
A new album by The Dodos is always cause for celebration, though their newest comes cloaked in sadness and introspection. The passing of their guitarist Chris Reimer hangs over the album, both in spirit and in the texture provided by the large helpings of electric guitar that are all over it. Carrier is unquestionably melancholy, but over the course of the album's eleven honest and beautiful songs, it delivers catharsis in the acceptance that while we may lose those we love, the lessons we learn from them will live on with us. The Dodos will be performing at Great American Music Hall on Oct. 16.
Meat Market, Too Tired EP
Oakland's Meat Market are starting off a strong September if you're a fan of rocking out, as their new EP's title track builds on the sound of their stellar, self-titled debut, filling 2-plus minutes with plenty of energy and oh so much guitar.
The Visibles, The Visibles
Even though it's been out digitally for a few months, The Visibles' self-titled debut finally gets its proper release on September 10 and is too good to not include on this list. A little bit of folk, a little bit of psych rock and some enjoyable song-crafting make for a charming and catchy record that has us longing to see more of The Visibles. Check out lead single "Clarendon Hills" and hit up their LP release party Sept. 6 at Rickshaw Stop.
The Fresh & Onlys, Soothsayer EP
San Francisco's fantastic indie poppers The Fresh & Onlys are back with a half-dozen new songs meant to carry us through until the follow up to Long Slow Dance arrives next year. Um, thank you, Onlys. Expect plenty more magic from the band that gave us songs and videos like "Presence of Mind." You can catch them at The Chapel on Sept. 20 with Woods.
Kelley Stoltz, Double Exposure
It's been awhile since Kelley Stoltz delivered a new album, as he's been keeping busy working with Sonny & the Sunsets, The Mantles and more. But the wait is nearly over, as Double Exposure arrives next month from his new home on Jack White's Third Man Records. First taste "Kim Chee Taco Man" is a slice of garage goodness that leaves us wanting more. Stoltz will be playing a record release show at The Chapel on Sept. 28.
Everyone Is Dirty, side-effect
Getting Converse-sponsored studio time this summer was just the tip of the iceberg for Oakland's grungy, violin-wielding Everyone Is Dirty. With a string of raucous live shows and a great video for "Mama, No!!!" in the bag, they're about to deliver a 3-song EP that should greatly expand their fan base ahead of a debut full-length, which arrives in January. They play the Brick & Mortar Music Hall in SF on October 24.
The insatiable Ty Segall is back again with the debut album from his grimy rock trio that live up to the name "Fuzz." Lead single "Loose Sutures" is a proto-metal freakout that's drenched in glorious reverb, and the album seems destined to continue Segall's incredible streak of successes. Fuzz have no local dates scheduled as of yet, though an extensive tour is looming so that could change at any moment.
Dan Casey, Empty City
A Dan Casey by any other name (Yalls, Steezy Ray Vibes) is a wonderful thing, but now we welcome a release with the alter-egos tucked away, and if the first taste is any indication, we're in for a treat. Title track "Empty City" is a beautiful creature, building slowly until the glory can't be held back any longer. Recently featured on NPR, this is a man heading in the right direction and we're happy to join him.
A-1, untitled mixtape
When it comes to Bay Area hip hop, no one is doing it better than super-versatile San Francisco MC, A-1. Last year's The Thurl Tape is still in heavy rotation and the recent video for "Retinas" is a brilliant reminder why. The man can tackle any topic admirably, as he proved on "Guns Off," the vital and criminally underheard song about the death of Trayvon Martin. For his upcoming mixtape, A-1 will be flowing over beats by the best producers in the Soundcloud community, which means that the future is about to arrive. Don't sleep.
The Seshen, 2000 Seasons EP (tentative title)
Once you're in their presence, it's impossible not to be won over by the Bay's electro-pop champions, The Seshen. Last year's self-titled triumph took us to "Oblivion" and their upcoming EP promises to add another edge to an already brilliant sound that has been crushing it at venues all over the area. Any group that counts J Dilla, Erykah Badu, Beach House and Little Dragon as influences and pulls off a sound that's both exceptional and exceptionally their own is the goods, as far as I'm concerned.
The Best of the Rest
Not all great music is confined to the Bay. Some truly fantastic albums by big names and future big names are also getting ready to drop, so here are a few of the ones we're most excited about.
Holy Ghost!, Dynamics
The new Holy Ghost! songs have all been incredible, ratcheting up the excitement for the DFA duo's impending full-length. "Okay" is a bouncy synth romp and the video for the James Murphy-produced, non-album cut "Teenagers In Heat" shows off the fun side of a band that's about to make some serious noise.
The Weeknd, Kiss Land
The weather's about to get colder and the days are about to get shorter, so it's the perfect time to revisit the dark world of Abel Tesfaye, the brooding genius behind the gritty R&B of The Weeknd. His trilogy of mixtapes painted a grim picture of lonely, drug-ravaged nights, so we're interested to see where a couple years of fame find him on his debut studio album.
Haim Days Are Gone
The excruciating wait for Haim's debut album is finally almost over. The trio of sisters have seen their star rise tremendously this year with amazing performances at high-profile festivals and a brilliant new single, "The Wire." Days Are Gone should see them reach the next level of success.
Lorde, Pure Heroine
The 16-year-old New Zealander is on a rapid ascent to the top of the charts, with a firestorm of buzz behind her and an EP that already secured her a #1 hit in "Royals." Basically, this girl is killing it. A world tour and the release of her debut album round out a stunning year from a woman you'll be hearing for a long time.
The Arcade Fire, Reflektor
We practically consider it a holiday when Montreal's finest release a new album, but this one could be the best of the bunch. They casually announced the release to a fan on Twitter and have now been leaving street art hints that suggest it'll be called Reflektor. All we needed to hear was that LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, who worked on the album, called it "really f-ing epic."