As usual, our year-end wrap-up podcast comes leaden with hemming, hawing and caveats aplenty. How can another wide-ranging year full of impressive Bay Area releases be distilled down to a coherent list of "best" works? The obvious answer is that it can't. Ultimately, this podcast collects thirteen bands that had an impressive 2013, including a number of groups that won't be a surprise to attendees of Bay Bridged events or close followers of the blog.
This was once again a banner year for local garage rock, with another stellar album from Thee Oh Sees and extremely catchy debut LPs from Cool Ghouls and Warm Soda. The Bay Area also delivered some compelling heavier releases, with Deafheaven's breakout Sunbather and the retro psych rock of Fuzz. If it's something poppier you're after, though, consider the noisy pop of Tony Molina or Mikal Cronin's great MCII. Local songwriters also delivered this year, including Wymond Miles, Joseph Childress and Dan Casey.
Another two excellent local songwriters will actually be touring together next year with their bands, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down and Sonny & The Sunsets. Sonny Smith may win the award for hardest working (or at least most prolific) local musician this year, releasing an LP with the Sunsets and the third volume of his 100 Records series, and compiling the wonderful I Need You Bad compilation, which showcased a variety of great local bands. Finally, we've included here one from SF electronic pop artist Giraffage, from his stellar 2013 mixtape Needs.
Here's to more great local music in 2014!
Wymond Miles -- "Passion Plays"
Sonny & The Sunsets -- "Dark Corners"
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down -- "Holy Roller"
Cool Ghouls -- "Queen Sophie"
Warm Soda -- "Waiting For Your Call"
Fuzz -- "Loose Sutures"
Tony Molina -- "Change My Ways"
Mikal Cronin -- "Shout It Out"
Deafheaven -- "Dream House"
Thee Oh Sees -- "Minotaur"
Joseph Childress -- "Dance with Me"
Dan Casey -- "Empty City"
Giraffage -- "Feels"