Folk/Country

The 10 Best Bay Area Albums of 2015

Well, another year has gone by. Local music critic, Lindsay Stickney has made my job so much easier by using her discerning and well honed ear to choose her favorite Bay Area albums of 2015. A lot of these bands are friends and I am certainly fans of all of these artists so I was personally pleased with Lindsay's choices (which I had NO say in whatsoever).

I hope you will enjoy her picks as well. Congrats to every single band who put out music in the Bay Area this year. The Deli SF loves you all and we completely acknowledge that this was an amazing year for well produced albums and truly talented artists.

I love you all.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. May 2016 be more musically fruitful and inspiring!

The Deli SF Editor,
Jordannah Elizabeth

1. The Stone Foxes, Twelve Spells

Bursting, bluesy-rock vibes that make you feel less like you’re listening to a record and more like you’re singing along to gospel in a church of rock n’ roll, Twelve Spells delivers an experience. With tracks like “Cold Like a Killer”, we’re reminded of how good it feels to effortlessly sway our hips to a single-note piano and how refreshing a vibrating guitar riff can be for the soul.

2. Monophonics, Sound of Sinning

Kings of dark, slinky soul, The Monophonics’ Sound of Sinning is heavily influenced by the psychedelic rock vibes of San Francisco, providing a funky 60’s-70’s sound that takes you through a colorful ride of epic horns and funky, noir beats. Packed with gut-wrenching vocals, hazy harmonies and hammond organs, it’s easy to get lost in this record and drift away to tracks like “Falling Apart”.

3. Lee Gallagher, Lee Gallagher and The Hallelujah

Lee Gallagher’s typical folky, country roots are uprooted and replaced by a much more soulful sound layered with emotional instrumentation and howling vocals. In Lee Gallagher and The Hallelujah, we’re carried back to a delightful 70’s trippy wave of movement that prove that a simplistic sound is sometimes the most powerful.

4. Lila Rose, We. Animals.

Bass. Power. Killer vocals. Power. We. Animals. is like your sweetest nightmare induced with passion, heartbreak, manic, and complexity. With whimsical beats, haunting vocals, and tribal drums, Lila Rose delivers an intense, sexually-charged album that lays its foundation on raw aggression. Tracks like “Tracking” will abruptly awaken the pissed off, sensual warrior in you.

5. Growwler, Even Tenor

Easing in with delicate acoustics and finishing with an aggressive bluesy piano sequence, the opening song “Long Hair, Short Wits” is a true ode to the San Francisco rock n’ roll scene and is a testament to the effectiveness of brilliant, simplistic instrumentation. Even Tenor is like a nostalgic storytelling that makes us miss the moments that we never lived for.

6. Ice Cream, Ice Cream

Sweet, sweet, classic garage rock. Ice Cream’s self-titled album forces us to remember the reasons we fell in love with rock in the first place. Dirty, honest guitar riffs, quick, aggressive drum patterns, weaved into gritty barely-there vocals, Ice Cream is the perfect combination of garage sound and punk attitude that will pour gasoline on that flickering fire inside.

7. Al Lover, Cave Ritual

The great Al Lover does it again. Cave Ritual is in fact exactly how it sounds: eerie, tribal, smoky, and sensual to the extreme. Textured beats layered with staccato samples give the album an imaginative sound that catapults us into a contemporary, psychedelic rock trance. Every track will take you to the sun, the moon, and then back again. Twice.

8. The Union Trade, A Place of Long Years

The Union Trade are masters of melancholy and it couldn’t be more gorgeously displayed than in their album A Place of Long Years. The subtle, aching cello atop the fluid, chilling piano make songs like “Svalbard” an escape from reality into the ethereal landscapes of your most tragic, stunning daydreams.

9. Guy Fox, Night Owl

Guy Fox are a musical enigma: elements of funk, old-school jazz, indie, pop, and rock can all be traced at different peaks in their most recent album Night Owl. Whether it be the use of timely instrumentation or charming lyricism, Guy Fox delivers an indecisive yet addicting sound. Tracks like “The City Line” create a steamy, devious tone portraying San Francisco as a playground designed for the mischievous.

10.Toro y Moi, What For?

Light, energetic beats coupled with smooth, romantic vocals make What For? the soundtrack to your hazy, yellow summer nights. Toro y Moi is known for his synthy-pop sounds, but the release of his fourth album slayed all former musical confinement. Tracks like “Lilly” walk the perfect, delicate line of modern synth and 60’s psychedelic rock, transporting you to a blurry wonderland that you’ll want to lay in for a while.

   

What Will Happen to Santa Claus

Back in 2008 The Giving Tree Band released a great Christmas EP that contained mostly covers of classic Christmas songs, but one original "What Will Happen to Santa Claus". The band has now released a fun and festive animated video for the track that contemplates the impact global warming will have on the North Pole and in turn Santa's Workshop. Merry Christmas!

   

Will Mackie-Jenkins

Will Mackie-Jenkins released his debut EP Cherries In Bloom, early this month. The former dweller of the Appalachian mountains kicks off the EP with a harmonica drenched love ballad to Chicago in the Winter. Despite it being in the 50's today it still hits home every time.

You can catch Will Mackie-Jenkins at The Store (2002 N. Halsted) on January 16th with All The Wine and Elk Walking.

   

Glyders

The Psych Rock trio Glyders released their latest 7" via Tall Pat Records. The self-titled release contains four track including the fantastic Side A single "Every Boy an Girl". Glyders have a late '60's rock vibe mixed with an undercurrent of angry that gives them a full and powerful sound.

   

Luke Sweeney Releases Loveless Christmas + Plays Amnesia - 12/22

The San Francisco frontman and singer/songwriter, Luke Sweeney has released a new Christmas song to celebrate his holiday residency at Amnesia. We're excited to share his charming new song and to give you details on the final date of the residency. Don't miss it!

"For December 22nd we have holiday-decorated solos & duets by Bart Davenport, Sarah Bethe Nelson, Anna Hillburg, DONCAT, Michael Shaw, and Jitsun Vincent plus some special guests w/ DJ Golden Grams. I write a holiday original once a year, and I plan on playing a few of them for the occasion. It will be an inspired time sharing the stage with friends and creating some warm winter magic.” - Luke Sweeney

Tuesday 12/22 solos & duets with Bart Davenport, Sarah Bethe Nelson, Anna Hillburg, DONCAT, Michael Shaw & Jitsun Vincent, and Luke Sweeney. Presented by BFF.fm- Best Frequencies Forever