So, I’ve been kind of avoiding this… there are some decisions I don’t like having to make, because the field of material has made these decisions a Herculean act. (Although, I wouldn’t exactly call this “labour” a penance for murder, as this task was greatly enjoyable, and wouldn’t really be called a “punishment” by any definition of the word. Also, I haven’t killed anyone.)
I have to say, the music I’ve heard this year has been INCREDIBLE!!! The talent, passion, and emotion that’s been poured into these albums has given me a lot to ponder, while making these very hard choices.
In the long run, my decisions came down to two factors:
1. What has made its way into my regular listening rotation? (This didn’t do much to whittle it down)
2. What do I find myself listening to by choice most often? (Still… not much help)
I’ve listened, and re-listened, and re-re-listened to the music from this year and honestly, I can safely say that EVERYTHING is deserving of honorable mention; but my choices for Colorado Album of the Year, Non-Colorado Album of the Year, and EP of the Year are thus:
Colorado Album of the Year:
“Oh Yeah For Sure” by Kenny’s Login
I came to this conclusion because right now, it feels like the whole world is on edge. I spend most of my life in what could be described as “news junkie hell”… I suppose you could almost call it an addiction. The comment sections of the news stories on Facebook were a Pandora’s Box that I never should have opened; lest I deepened my disgust with what’s become to society over the last decade or so.
This album was free from all that. It was a “vacation.” After listening to it, I felt a little better…
… until I got back into the disgusting toxic sludge pit that exists in the comment sections.
I find myself playing the album more and more at parties and social gatherings, because it’s (mostly) void of politics, the lyrics are fun, and it makes people want to dance and feel good; which, now that I think of it, was also a determinate factor in last year’s selection (“Damn Right” by the Dendrites); so I guess that makes me consistent in at least SOME regard.
Non-Colorado Album of the Year:
“Safe At Home” by United Defiance
When I first finished listening to this album, I was sweating, pacing, and my heart was pounding! The raw energy in this album really gets the blood flowing for a good hike, workout, or house cleaning; but can be dangerous while navigating traffic (fair warning).
The lyrics are inspiring, and invoke personal strength and motivation. Personally, I use this album to psych myself up for my art shows and other occasions where I have to present strength and confidence in order to project the professional image that I need to.
Some people use cocaine… I use audio.
EP of the Year:
“Detour” by Sunset Silhouette
This was the hardest category for me to decide. There were so many great EP’s released this year, so vastly spread out among styles and tastes, that this category was literally like comparing apples to bacon… both are delicious, but VASTLY different.
Frankly, I have a love/hate relationship with EP’s. They always leave me wanting more… but I guess that’s kind of their purpose. I just always feel a little sad when I realize that I thoroughly enjoyed what I heard, but thirst for more…
It’s like the series finale for the show, “My Name is Earl”… I mean, here’s this GREAT show that’s gone on for several seasons, and they just end the motherfucker on a TOTAL cliffhanger… what the fuck?!?!?! I WANT RESOLUTION, DAMN IT!!!
… but I digress…
If the purpose of an EP is to leave the audience with a proverbial “cliffhanger,” then Sunset Silhouette did it right! Their first EP was exactly what was needed to stoke interest in their highly awaited upcoming full-length album!
Three songs… just enough to make you want the resolution that comes with the release of a full-length album by displaying the depth of the music to expect in future releases, which is foreshadowed by increasingly attended performances.
Sunset Silhouette has utilized their EP to perfectly punctuate the beginning of what will undoubtedly be a very bright future.
In conclusion, like I said before, this has been a banner year for great music! If 2018 was any indication of what the next year will bring, I anxiously await it with bated breath! I would like to congratulate these winners on beating out some of the stiffest competition in the music world (at least, in my opinion)! To everyone else, hooooooooly shit, you made this hard for me! Truly, I hold everyone in the absolute highest of regards, artistically and professionally!
Happy holidays and New Year, everyone!