The Sounds of 617: Local Music Lovers Pick Their Favorites of the Year


Neemz, “It’s above me” (LP)

The sound of Boston Editor-in-chief Knar Bedian said 23-year-old Tusmeen Abuhasan’s debut album sounded “more like a victory lap” than a first.

The Chelsea Curve is a favorite of “Bay State Rock” DJ Carmelita.Ruben

The Chelsea curve, “Inconceivable”, “7000 hours”, “Recharge it” (simple)

Carmelita, longtime host of “Bay State Rock”, absolutely adore the songs of this ‘pure, hard and feminine’ mod-pop group recorded for Red on Red Records. The group begins a residency at the Jungle in Somerville December 17th.

Hoonah, “The marram grass” (LP)

The hills and valleys of western Massachusetts bring us Sarah Smith, who registers her “adorable and intimate touching people” as Hoonah, as Becca Smith attests. The latter Smith, unrelated, lodges WMBR ‘Breakfast of Champions’ Wednesday.

Dino Gala, “Funfair”, “Emergency exit”, “Run It Back” (simple)

This independent group from Allston makes “music for the screaming dance,” says Amani Cavender, who provides studio support to the recording company, the non-profit studio and rehearsal space on Mass Ave.

Adi Sun, “Twin Flame” (Single)

Angelle Wood, longtime host of “Boston broadcasts”, calls Adi Sun’s new solo single “alternative-leaning dream pop rock” from “Boston’s most creative songwriter,” at the end of Shoegaze-y’s group Phenomenal Sun.

Oompa "Indifferent" was a favorite of author and podcaster Dart Adams.
Oompa’s “Unbothered” was a favorite of author and podcaster Dart Adams.Ally Schmaling

Oompa, ” No problem “ (LP)

Author and podcaster Dart Adams says poet and rapper Oompa “has always been great since the night I first saw her play as a judge in a rap competition over five years ago.” On her groundbreaking third album, she increases the pop dosage.

Violin head, “Between the wealth” (LP)

Recording for Run for Cover Records, local emo / post-punk band Fiddlehead released their second album in May. It is “a legitimate classic of melodic hard-core,” says Ben Kochan of The WMBR Late Risers Club.

Françoise forever, “Paranoia party” (PE)

Experimental pop singer-songwriter Frances Garrett followed the dizzying TikTok hit “Space Girl” with this six-song EP. Ariana O’Rourke, who works in marketing at Record Co., enthusiastically calls him “a gay bop, and I’m about it!” “

Van Buren, “Bad for the press” (LP)

Allston pudding‘s Harry Gustafson says that every member of this Brockton hip-hop collective can make a claim that he is the most talented member of the group. “But why bother trying to figure this out when you can hear them lining up for a roll call” when they first debut?

Future teens, “Deliberately alive” (LP)

Sally Pigeon, Editor-in-Chief of The sound of Boston, recommends this self-described “deception pop group” to fans of Paramore’s “After Laughter” aesthetic – all strong melodies, pop-rock guitar lines and introspective lyrics. “

Kadeem releases his EP "Universum" in 2021.
Kadeem released his EP “Universum” in 2021.Mitchell Preffer

Kadeem with Frank the Butcher, “Universum” (PE)

Somerville’s Erik Sarno (aka Loman) Vinyl index and Union sound wants the world to hear the Mattapan native’s ‘intoxicating and abstract’ new mixtape, which ‘connects hip-hop with fine art and existentialism’.

The Jacklights, “Derivative” (PE)

This trio led by guitarist / singer Nilagia McCoy makes melodic pop-punk that instantly brings Carmelita “back to the purity of my early punk rock days.”

Maria Finkelmeier and Jean Laurenz, “Descending” (LP)

Maria Finkelmeier joins forces with the great-great-great-niece of journalist and connoisseur of ghost stories Lafcadio Hearn. “Danny Elfman’s dark side meets David Lynch with a hint of voodoo,” according to Leslie Miller Jewett, commercial director at Record Co.

Light foot, “Unknown land” (LP)

Erik Sarno praises this “lively and punchy” collection of instrumental rhythms from producer Lightfoot, “a leader and inspiration in our stage and beyond”.

the stars of Henley Row, “I have never met a king”, “Dry eyes … Goodbye” (simple)

A rotating cast of characters affiliated with a private recording studio in Stoneham, the Henley Row All-Stars are “a Boston-area music collective that makes great music that’s mostly [flown] under the radar, ”according to Annelle Wood.

Blood camp, “Black Martyr”, “Cenobite”, “Trap”, “21 shots” (simple)

Industrial hip-hop from locals Haasan Barclay and Shaka Dendy. Their music is “grainy, uplifting, and genre-changing,” says Jamie Rowe, head of studio operations at Record Co.

Husbands, “The moon goes out sometimes” (LP)

They call their music “slowgaze”. Tim Gilman, Monday DJ on WMBR’s longstanding Breakfast of Champions program, calls Husbands’ new album a “strong, slow and melodic throwback to 90s alternative rock”.

Michael Kane and the Morning Afters, “Rip this world apart”, “Carol Kaye” (simple), “New Costumes” (PE)

Anngelle Wood loves this Worcester-based five-piece rock band who say they are working on an upcoming album.

Coral moons'
“Fieldcrest” by Coral Moons evokes “memories of childhood bleached by the sun,” says Alexis den Boggende, editor of Sound of Boston.TatianaAriola

Coral moons, “Crest of the Fields” (LP)

The sound of Boston Writer Alexis den Boggende enjoys the “melancholy retro-rock” of this local indie group, led by singer Carly Kraft. Their new album evokes “memories of childhood bleached by the sun”. Coral moons play at Brighton Music Hall on December 14.

Pink navel, “Epic” (LP)

Raised on the South Shore, Devin Bailey (the eclectic musician behind Pink Navel) considers himself to be an Internet native more than any city or region in particular. The feature film “Epic,” played live on Twitch, is “frenzied” in the best sense of the word, says WMBR’s Tim Gilman.

Small chicane, “Misty” (PE)

This transplanted duo from Ohio, singer Olivia Martinez and multi-instrumentalist Cody Von Lehmden, are Anngelle Wood’s “new favorite group out of nowhere”.

WMBR's Banti Gheneti is a huge fan of Bent Knee and his album
WMBR’s Banti Gheneti is a huge fan of the band Bent Knee and his album “Frosting”.Rich ferri

Knee bent, “Icing” (LP)

Boston’s most “unquestionably original” group are releasing their latest album on clear vinyl in the spring, but you can stream it now on Bandcamp. “Funny and weird electric anthems, with ambient tracks built in,” says WMBR’s Banti Gheneti.

Really, “Really from” (LP)

Formerly known as People Like You, this quartet of Berklee alumni released a full set of their “independent jazz” in March. Allston pudding‘s Harry Gustafson says he can imagine jazz aficionados starting a mosh pit to the band’s music while the kids on the stage gaze at Coltrane.

Ex-Hyena, “Artificial pulse “ (LP), “Nightmare pills” (Single)

This electronic duo creates “dystopian dance music for the inevitable end of time”. Longtime collaborators Reuben Bettsak and Bo Barringer make “music that jumps out at you,” explains Carmelita.

Foolish optimism, “Hierz”, “Why? “ (simple)

Self-taught Brittany Tsewole from Lowell records as Insane Optimism. She made a detour to her rock band as the pandemic persisted, cutting out chamber pop with a touch of jazz. “A breath of fresh air,” says Annelle Wood. And who among us couldn’t use one?


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