Every year, we hear tons and tons of new music at KRFC. So much great music was released this year that it's difficult to keep track of it all -- so we asked our programmers and staff to choose some of their favorites, and in no particular order, here they are. Enjoy!
Check out part one of our favorites.
A Deeper Understanding by The War on Drugs
For the second time in just three years The War on Drugs has produced my favorite album of the year. I wasn't as convinced upfront, as this album is even "expandier" than their previous releases, which is saying something. But, as the year went on A Deeper Understanding was my soundtrack to times when I was happy, and times when I was sad. It's an album to get completely lost in, like a sublime daydream.
– Daniel Lockwood, Programmer
A Stranger in This Time by Tim Grimm and the Family Band
Timely songs reflecting current events. Musicians include Tim, his wife, Jan, and sons Connor and Jackson. Very well produced and recorded by David Weber at Airtime Studios in Bloomington, Indiana. Tim visited the KRFC studios and Avogadro’s Number in October of this year.
– Steve Brockway, Programmer
Popular Manipulations by The Districts
Fat Possum Records
Asking an audiophile to choose just one album to sum up the year of music is difficult and challenging. There are so many factors that go into determining a “good album” let alone the best of the year. This was made even more difficult this year because 2017, shockingly, was one of the better years in album releases. The releases this year were a healthy balance of new bands and nostalgic memories.
If I had to choose my number one album for this year, it would be the District’s third full-length release “Popular Manipulations.” The album is the perfect blend of early 20’s emotional angst and balanced musical compositions. Blending repetitious loops with raw and emotional lyrics, the album perfectly encapsulates the feeling of pain and sadness that comes from letting go of your innocence and losing your first love. The album leaves you feeling nostalgic for a more innocent time in life without it sounding trite or feeling cliché. The lead singer, Rob Grote, has summed up what it feels like to grow up as a lover of 80’s RomComs, living in a world of existential dread and uncertainty but still having hope for the future and love. The first single “If Before I Wake” has, what I consider, one of the best lines ever, “would you start to miss me, or am I all alone? No, I’m just a narcissist.”
– James Lopez, General Manager
Resurrection by Gasoline Lollipops
The final CD in the Gas Pops trilogy (Dawn, Death and Resurrection), Resurrection continues with the bands gritty alt country/punk/goth music style. Lead singer and song writer Clay Rose delves into familiar issues of sex, drugs, death and rock and roll that resonate with us all. Rose once again pens issues and events into songs that allow the listener to hear and feel the darker side of life.
The album also translates well live. Some bands sound one way live and another way in the studio, but the Gas Pops preserve their gritty live performances in all of their studio releases, and Resurrection continues in that tradition.
– Troy Lepper, Programmer
Country Hustle by Jeb Loy Nichols
The title might lead you down the wrong lane, Country Hustle is triangulated by the swamp rock of Tony Joe White, the New Orleans funk of Dr John and the husky drawl of JJ Cale, with beats and dub woven in.
– Lex Krausz, Programmer
A Drink After Midnight by The Country Side of Harmonica Sam
As with a lot of Ameripolitan musicians, these Swedish Cats are dedicated to being true to the roots. If you want to be transported to a honky tonk in the early 60’s, grab yerself a drink and run a needle through this new release hero of The Poudre Valley Barn Dance.
– Liza, Programmer