About: Dark, twisted, mesmerizing — and as engaging as ever.
Album: Prima Donna
About: “Smile” is one of the best tracks of the year.
Album: (Split) Young Death / Nightmarket
About: Feels like a cool extension of everything that made “Rival Dealer” majestic.
Album: (Split) The Middle/Turn Away
About: Stunning R&B-styled love songs, sexy as hell.
About: Wonderfully experimental. Buried, muted, and inventive.
Lewis Del Mar
Album: Lewis Del Mar EP
About: Crystalline guitar riffs and surfer-slacker grooves.
Album: All We’ve Known
About: Reminds me of cross between Justin Vernon and a male version of Daughter.
About: Some of the most beautiful falsetto you’ll ever hear.
Album: Colleen Green
About: Catchy, melodic, percussive pop-rock. Lovely, compact tracks. Ramones.
Album: Sunbeams Through Your Head
About: It’s mellowed out, and yet some of the instrumentation reminds me of Slint.
About: This is as good an EP as you’ll likely hear on any given year. I knew when I first heard it that it was going to be my favorite EP of 2016. I liked it so much I went and bought the cassette. It’s the kind of music that manages to be transportive and emotional. Plush proves it can sweep up listeners with the pinging guitar and pleading vocals of “Dreams of You” and it’s wistful, lulling tracks like the gorgeous “Go2Bed” — but still take a more traditional punk-pop lo-fi rock sound like “Please Don’t Let Me Go” and make it fresh. “Sheer Power” is a slow-building tour-de-force that moves from gossamer wings to blasting your ears off. Maybe that song is the band’s purest representation. It begins lightly – soft, dreamy and hazy guitars (with muted vocals) meandering like Warpaint — before bringing down a storm of fuzzed-out guitars and smashing high hats. It manages to be both sexy and brutal. Tremendous EP. You can purchase it here. — David D. Robbins Jr.