Top Ten Local Releases of 2015 [Brian Clifton's Picks]

It’s that time of the year: the winter holidays are beginning to commence, the weather is consistently cold, nostalgia for 2015 is slowly creeping over Facebook. That also means that it’s time for our Top Ten lists. To kick of the top ten season, I’m going to list my top picks for songs by local musicians.

10. “Flush” by Youth Pool. This trio is new, but their demo shows a lot of potential. The first song “Flush” weds the dream pop of Wild Nothing with the smart melancholy of The Smiths.

9. “Best Friends” by Radkey. These brothers can write songs. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the word “groovy” used as well as it’s used in “Best Friends.”

8. “Vapors” by Dotzilla. Dotzilla’s album Equality has some of the most hard hitting lyrics and well-crafted beats I’ve heard in a minute. The duo is ushering in a golden age for KC hip hop.

7. “Aceribo” by The Philistines. Part Mars Volta march, part Muse anthem, all aural gold, “Aceribo” balances prog and pop to make a track that will stay in mind for days.

6. “Bad News” by BUMMER. Neanderthal rock has never been better. “Bad News” combines chunky bass and feedback inducing riffs with unrelenting marches. Listen to this one at high volumes.

5. “Panic on the Noon Meridian” by Mysterious Clouds. No matter how many disparate threads Mysterious Clouds starts with, the band is always able to draw them together to create subtle but dramatic arcs to their music.

4. “Hands High” by BLK FLANL. BLK FLANL consists of beat maker DWILL and rapper Barrel Maker. Layering heavy synth lines and snappy drums under jaw-dropping flows, “Hands High” is perfect for a party or for pumping yourself up on a down day.

3. “So Lonesome” by Thunderclaps. The rockabilly duo makes some great music. “So Lonesome” combines shimmering fun with a wholesome bit of the caffeine jitters. The song proves that worries and clever melodies are not mutually exclusive.

2. “Mind Speak” by El-Rey-Tones. Hazy garage pop, check. Tube warmed riffs, check. Reverb heavy vocals, check. There is nothing short of miraculous about “Mind Speak.” Like thick incense, “Mind Speak” has melodies that stick around long over the song is over.

1. “Mythos” by Dreamgirl. Available on The Record Machine’s compilation, “Mythos” is hook after hook polished with neon. Seriously, every part of this song is great. Since the recording came out in September, I haven’t stopped telling everyone I know to listen to this song and this band. Give it a spin, you won’t regret it.

Check out next week when I list my Top Ten Albums of 2015.

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