THIS ONE TIME AT BANDCAMP: Volume 22 - Bandcamp 2014 Wrap-Up
All around, 2014 was a great year for music. I started this column midway through 2014 as a way to catalog and share some of the music I find on Bandcamp. For the last column of the year, I decided to do things a little differently. No new artists this week, but instead, here is a round-up of my top ten Bandcamp finds from 2014. Not all of these artists released music in 2014, but they all certainly shaped the landscape of my music taste for the year.
1. Grand Mariner: These guys from New Jersey make some amazing surf rock that was the soundtrack of my summer. Happy To Birth even made it on to my overall top ten albums of the year.
2. Native America: Stunning psychedelic garage pop from New Orleans. The entire album is a true gem, and was one of the few things that helped me through a dreadful term paper this passed semester.
3. Shirt/Pants: Shirt/Pants was one of the first submissions I ever got to this column. (READ: I do listen to music submissions.) I was immediately impressed by the garage rock pouring from these Virginia teens. Just in time for this article, yesterday they put a recording of one of my favorite Shirt/Pants songs, “knockoff” on their Bandcamp.
4. Pope: It’s probably safe to say there were a couple days in 2014 where I listened to nothing but Known Weed Smoker on repeat. Actually a release from 2013, Pope’s album is a special brand of New Orleans mellow lo-fi post-punk that speaks to my soul.
5. Leggy: Good female-fronted post-punk bands take the ranks of my favorite things somewhere near chocolate ice cream and coffee. I fell in love with them after seeing them play the basement of a burger joint in Columbia Heights, and yes, the ladies have long legs.
6. Two Inch Astronaut: Few bands follow in the steps of the original punk scene from the ‘80s. While it will never be what it was, Two Inch Astronaut has made a valiant effort to remind us that punk isn’t dead. Their new album, Foulbrood, got some love from NPR that was well deserved.
7. Vundabar: These boys from Boston make some tastefully surfy post-punk with professional sounding overtones. Absolutely every song on their full length Antics is worth a listen.
8. TELE/VISIONS: There is something beautifully haunting about the lo-fi indie pop from this New Yorker. 2013 was released this year reflecting on last year, and I wonder if he will do the same thing for 2014.
9. Wakes: Boston’s Wakes emulates the meaning of lo-fi in a way that brings you back to the 1950s even though it’s 2014. I also might like his Waxahatchee cover more than the original.
10. We Are Trees: Indie folk pop manages to be almost universally likable, so it’s hard not to fall in love with Virginia Beach’s We Are Trees. It’s easy to get lost in their sound, so it’s a shame the project came to an end a couple years ago.
For readers of this column, I hope that some of these and other Bandcamp finds helped to shape what you listened to this past year, and continue to in 2015. If there is one thing that Bandcamp has taught me, it’s that the amount of music being made is endless and perpetually replenished. Happy New Year!
HI! We’re running another show with all of our friends. On January 31 at The Petting Zoo in Philly (Diamond and Carlisle, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19121). It starts at 8:30, and it’s ten dollars for admission.