End of Year Day 18: The Sky We Scrape

By Maryam Hassan

Throughout December we at PT:HQ are bringing you end of year lists from bands, labels and promoters. We’ll have a new one for you everyday so keep your eyes peeled for them! See all the lists here.

The Sky We Scrape


Top 3 (err… 5) Albums:

1. David Bazan and Passenger String Quartet – Vol 1

David Bazan is, hands down, my favorite singer and songwriter. I know – I’m super emo, right? But hey – I grew up seeing Pedro The Lion as a young, wide eyed youth group kid and Bazan’s lyrics and song structures helped shape how I write music. Our individual paths of self and, well, spiritual discovery, I guess, followed a similar winding road, so his music has always hit home with me in ways that most other artists can’t. This album is a collection of songs both old and new – revisited and reworked with beautiful string arrangements that makes me eager to hear what comes next from Bazan. In the meantime I’ll be at home wearing the grooves out of this LP.

http://undertowstore.com/products/david-bazan-passenger-string-quartet-volume-1 I can’t find a stream but here is a link to download!

2. Restorations – LP3

I was relatively late to the Restorations train, though I’ve heard them before in passing. They straight up blew my mind at FEST this year, and then 4 days later I got to play a show with them in Chicago. “LP3” has more layers than Shrek 2 (what?) and the tone on this album is unreal. Holy guac. This album just doesn’t quit. Everyone keeps referring to this band as “punk rock for adults”, so I guess by that qualifier – I’m an adult. Also, I think that’s dumb.

3. I Am The Avalanche – Wolverines

“Wolverines” is the album that I listened to pretty much every single day on our last EU tour. That might not have been the best idea since singing along at full volume for hours on end in a van isn’t ideal for your voice… but hey – lesson (possibly) learned. This record is a lot more straight-forward than “Avalanche United”, but still retains the typical sick riffs that IATA is known for within their anthemic pop-punk singalong songs. I wish I could see this band play every night of my life, but then I’d never sing again because I can’t help but sing along to every word.

4. Pup – Pup
Come on. I mean… Pup, yous guys. Everyone else is probably writing about this record, so I’m just going to say… Pup, yous guys.

5. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Start to finish, this album is incredible. Great songs, great content. I’ve heard some people saying “enough already” about Laura Jane Grace writing about trans issues. That’s stupid. Write about what’s important to you. Tell your story. Especially if that story is set to incredible music. Another one of my favorite lyricists of all time. It’s been a really good year for music.

Top 3 Songs:

1. The Felix Culpa – “Bloodletting Lines”

Karma City is one of two new songs released by The Felix Culpa this year to come out of their reunion as a band. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing the turds in this band for way too long, and I can honestly say that if it wouldn’t be so weird – I’d probably already have a tattoo of their logo on me. The new split that they released with Foreign Tongues is just bananas and I wish that it had more than two songs from each band, but I’ll take what I can get. Both tracks are delicious but I had to pick one, so that’s that, mattress man.

2. Silver Snakes – “Four Crows”

This track is a straight-up barn burner that sets off Silver Snakes’ new album realllll hard. The only bummer is that the rest of the record seems to be pretty bland in comparison, which is why the album didn’t get anywhere near making the cut for top records of the year. If this band made another record of songs of this caliber – holy poopers. My chest would explode.

3. RVIVR – “Goodbyes”

This track is off of RVIVR’s new EP, and this song just makes me smile. Another one of those super-positive bands that makes me happy to be playing music and makes me want high five all of my friends RIGHT NOW.

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