The 118 Best Recordings of 2018

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The 118 Best Recordings of 2018

The 118 Best Recordings of 2018 are based on the playlists of this little ole radio show, we’ve compiled representative tracks from our favorite full-length and EP recordings of the year. We realize that these “Best of” lists can seem very subjective, please accept our list as a celebration of the year in music. In 2018 we’ve played nearly 1000 different songs on the show, and we’ve played from over 400 New Releases. More than 250 of these were New MidCoastal Releases. We also conducted over 117 interviews with over 150 different guests. 75 of the representative recordings in our “Best of” list were MidCoastal Releases. Over 35 of the bands and artists in our “Best of” list have joined us as guests on Wednesday MidDay Medley on 90.1 FM. It’s all good!

#1. Calvin Arsenia – Cantaloupe / Bullseye Records / September 15, 2018
[The first release on Bullseye Records. Calvin Arsenia who came home to KC in 2014 after living in Edinburgh, Scotland, and has released the EPs, Moments, Prose, and last year’s full length debut, Catastrophe. This year he released the EP Caviar to special guests who attended his Wickstock West show in West Bottoms. Standing at 6 foot 6 inches, Arsenia’s powerful vocals span a 3.5 octave range, while playing piano, banjo, guitar & harp. Calvin has played Folk Alliance International, KC Fringe Fest, Apocalypse Meow, The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, The Kauffman Center For The Performing Arts, Middle of the Map Fest., The Folly Theatre. Last year he undertook a three month US/European Outlyre Tour where he has played San Francisco, Portland, Vancouver, NYC, Boston, Edinburgh, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Switzerland, Lyon and Paris.]

#2. Bob & Una Walkenhorst – For Tomorrow / BAT Records / October 12, 2018
[25 year old Una Walkenhorst is a singer/songwriter from Kansas City, Missouri. Following the release of her debut album “Scars” in 2014, Una immediately had “new fans. . . coming out of the proverbial woodwork” (AXS). Paired with refreshingly raw vocals, Una’s heartfelt lyrics “will stop you in your tracks (at once beautiful and chilling),” wrote Gilded Palace Radio, as she weaves stories of genuine human experience. Una told KCUR FM that her father was one of the people who made her love music. But having a famous father can be challenging: “I knew that if I started my music career here I would have a lot of opportunities, but not all of them would be because of my music. They would be because I am someone’s daughter,” Walkenhorst says. Loading up her 97 Honda Civic, Una then spent a year traveling across North America promoting her music and connecting with listeners one-on-one. She ended up living in New Orleans. Una Walkenhorst is the youngest daughter of Bob Walkenhorst, a founding member of The Rainmakers, which had national and international hits in the 1980s and 90s, and continue to this day touring and recording new music. In January of 2018 Una Walkenhorst returned home to Kansas City from New Orleans. Over the past several years, Una and Bob had performed together at selected events, including Folk Alliance International. This year the father and daughter duo decided to record an album together, where they split the difference, taking turns as songwriters for the album’s songs, written individually, and recorded together, in clear beautiful harmonies, with that extra special shared musical DNA, that can be heard in the harmonies of The Carter Family, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, or Shy Boys.]

#3. Mikal Shapiro – The Musical II / Mikal Shapiro / May 26, 2018
[The Musical II is the sequel to Shapiro’s 2015 concept album “The Musical.” Mikal Shapiro, on vocals & guitar, Chad Brothers on vocals & guitar, Johnny Hamil on bass, and Matt Richey on drums. Special guests include: Hermon Mehari on trumpet, Tina Bilberry on viola & violin, Damon Parker on keyboards, and Lauren Hughes on vocals. Engineered and co-produced by Joel Nanos at Element Recording & Mastering Studios. Mikal Shapiro is a KC songwriter whose musical influences span popular songs, psych rock, lounge, classic country and old time spirituals. She has toured extensively across the U.S. and has recorded five critically acclaimed albums. KC Star and Tim Finn declared her album “The Musical” to be one of his top five releases of 2015. A third generation storyteller, she draws inspiration from her travels, love life, and the state of the Union.]

#4. Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear – Radio Winners / Glassnote / July 27, 2018
[Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear have garnered international acclaim, and new fans from all over the world. They signed with Glassnote Records and recorded their debut full length album in Nashville with acclaimed producer Jim Abiss. They performed their debut single “Silent Movies” on The Late Show with David Letterman, they’ve toured across the United States, and Europe, more than once. They were featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NBC’s The Today Show, and “Later With Jools Holland and played Bonnaroo, Pilgramage, and the Newport Folk Festival, and the Ryman Theatre, in Nashville. Ruth Ward has continually performed throughout her life, mostly in coffee shops and open mics, for over 30 years, even recording a solo record. In the midst of this she got married and became a mom, and was busy raising a family. Madisen Ward was born in Oklahoma, and grew up in the outskirts of Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from William Chrisman High School in 2007. Madisen’s journey to become a musician, was “melodically passed down” through the songs of his mother, where Madisen grew up watching his mom perform at local coffee shops. Eventually he began to learn to play the guitar, and poured his talent for writing into the music to create original songs. They began playing Madisen’s original songs along with the occassional cover of a classic track, reinterpreted in their own incredibly beautiful performace of two voices and two guitars in harmony and orchestration. Their debut album, The Skeleton Crew, was released May 9, 2015 and was our most played record that year and was #1 on WMM’s The 115 Best Recordings of 2015.]

#5. Amy Farrand & The Like – One / Amy Farrand / April 28, 2018
[Amy Farrand & The Like are Amy Farrand on lead vocals & guitar, Steve Tubbert on bass, Felix Dukes on drums, Kyle Dahlquist on keyboards & backing vocals, Stephan Jean-Francois on trumpet, and Katie Gilchrist on backing vocals. 11-song debut album was recorded with Duane Trower at Weights & Measures Soundlab. Amy Farrand plays over a dozen intruments, bass, drums, lap steel, guitar, she has hosted variety shows, and radio shows and has been a a member of the bands: American Catastrophe, Experimental Instrument Orchestra, Shotgun Idols, Sister Mary Rotten Crotch, Atlantic Fadeout, The Silver Maggies. One reviewer wrote of her, “Amy Farrand is a tough-as-nails vocalist making her an invaluable asset to any live act.”]

#6. Emmaline Twist – Dissimulation / Black Site / August 24, 2018
[Debut LP from Emmaline Twist, Kansas City’s Darkwave / Post-Punk / Shoegaze project. In 2017 the band released “Dissimulation 1,” four songs in digital format, their first since 2016’s single release of “Vega” b/w “Moon Eyes.” The band is Meredith McGrade on vocals & guitar, Kristin Conkright on bass, Jonathan Knecht on drums, and Krysztof Nemeth on baritone guitar. Recorded, Mixed, and Produced at Massive Sound by Paul Malinowski, and Mastered by Mike Nolte at Eureka Mastering. Matched with compelling cover-art created by Amy Abshier. Alex Alexander recently joined the band on synthesizers & guitar.]

#7. Janelle Monáe – Dirty Computer / Wondaland Arts Sociaety – Bad Boy / April 27, 2018
[Nominated for a Grammy Award for Album of The Year, and Best Music Video for “Pynk.” Janelle Monáe moved from Kansas City, Kansas to New York to study theatre at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Her original plan was to pursue a career on Broadway, but she soon changed her mind and returned to music. After moving to Atlanta, GA, where she met OutKast’s Big Boi, Monáe founded the Wondaland Arts Society with like-minded young artists and made appearances on Outcast’s Idlewild, where Janelle is featured on the songs “Call The Law” and “In Your Dreams”. In 2007, Monáe released her first solo work, titled Metropolis. A few months later she was signed to Sean “Diddy” Combs’ label, Bad Boy Records. Dirty Computer is the third studio album by Janelle Monáe. In October 2016, Monáe made her big screen acting debut in the critically acclaimed film Moonlight. Monáe also starred in the film Hidden Figures. While filming her two movie roles, Monáe remained active in music with features on Grimes’ “Venus Fly” from her Art Angels album and also the soundtrack for the Netflix series The Get Down with a song titled, “Hum Along and Dance (Gotta Get Down)”. She was also on the tracks “Isn’t This the World” and “Jalapeño” for the Hidden Figures soundtrack. In an interview with People, Monáe revealed that she was already working on her third studio album when she received the scripts for her two first acting roles; therefore, she put the album on hold. It was confirmed by Monae after “Make Me Feel” was released that Prince, with whom she collaborated on her preceding album, The Electric Lady, had worked on the single, as well as the entire album, before he passed away. This was confirmed after listeners noticed similarities between the single’s sound and the late musician’s work. Monae stated in an interview with BBC Radio 1: “Prince was actually working on the album with me before he passed on to another frequency, and helped me come up with some sounds. And I really miss him, you know, it’s hard for me to talk about him. But I do miss him, and his spirit will never leave me.”

#8. Shy Boys – Bell House / Polyvinyl Record Co. / August 3, 2018
[Shy Boys line-up consists of brothers Collin Rausch and Kyle Rausch, Konnor Ervin, Kyle Little and Ross Brown. The group formed shortly after the trio became roommates in 2012. Kyle Rausch and Konnor Ervin were already band mates in the indie-pop band The ACBs and Collin had been playing for years in the Kansas City area in various bands. The three shared a love for 1960s era pop rock and soon started writing their own music. In 2014 they released the self-titled Shy Boys on High Dive Records. The album received generally positive reviews and the single “Bully Fight” was featured on In June 2014 the band recorded and released two more singles and one of them, “Life Is Peachy,” was featured on Stereogum. On April 4th, 2018, it was announced that the band had signed to Polyvinyl Record Co.]

#9. CS Luxem – Symptoms / Whatever Forever / February 17, 2018
[Debut full-length from CS Luxem who works as a solo artist as well as a collaborator. CS Luxem has released several EPs and has performed all over the United States and Europe. Info at]

#10. Monta At Odds – Argentum Dreams / Haymaker Records / October 19, 2018
[6th full length release from the psychedelic, experimental indie/space rock/electronic collective based in KCK formed by brothers Dedric and Delaney Moore. The band describes their music as: Mutant Disco, minimal synthwave, post-punk dance, Electronica, Indie, Space Rock, Ambient. Current members include: Dedric Moore, Delaney Moore, Alexander Thomas, Adam Davies, Zach Bozich, Aaron Osborne, Matthew Hayden, past supporting members: Mika Tanaya, Sterling Holman, Bree Plaster; Eric Bessenbacher, Ryan Shank, Jeremiah James, Samer Saba, Doug Hutchinson, Erin O’Neill, Sam Behrens, Luke Behrens, Sam Hughes, Tom Romero, Caleb Aldrich, John Aldrich.]

#11. Mysterious Clouds – My Head is Going Round EP / Haymaker Records / May 25, 2018
[Mysterious Clouds is one of the musical projects of Kansas City, Kansas based post-punk psychedelic musical artists, Dedric Moore and Delaney Moore and special guests. For this track and one other on the new EP the band collaborated with Taryn Blake Miller a Lawrence Kansas based musician and songwriter who records as Your Friend. The Delaney brothers are also founders of the band Monta At Odds. The band writes: “While crawling around in the murk of (their last release) Panic on the Noon Meridian, Delaney fed the band a healthy dose of underground West Coast psych. This helped the band see a feel good light that helped them recover from the heaviness of Panic. These songs are for spring and summer listening and are meant to add a bit of happiness to our daily struggle of keeping up the faith and fighting the good fight.]

#12. Jametatone – Frog In The Pot / J. Ashley Miller / December 21, 2017
[New 10-song album from Jametatone, the solo project of J. Ashley Miller who also records with his band as Metatone. J. Ashley Miller is the 2016 Charlotte Street Generative Performing Artist Award Fellow. He is a composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist. His genre-bending trans-modern work has been performed everywhere from YJ’s to the Kauffman Performing Arts Center, to the MoMa PS1 in NYC. Ashley utilizes a diverse range of technologies, techniques, and collaborators to access obscure facets of the human emotional landscape. You can view more of Ashley’s work at]

#13. SSION – O / Dero Arcade / May 11, 2018
[SSION is a multifaceted creative project spearheaded by Cody Critcheloe. An art-punk act fronted by flamboyant vocalist/artist Cody Critcheloe, Ssion recorded a series of underground releases during the 2000s, yet were perhaps best recognized for their extravagant live show. Ssion (pronounced “shun”) were founded in Kansas City, MO, by Critcheloe, who studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, and draw from a range of influences, including the punk spectacle of Iggy Pop and the dance-party new wave of the B-52’s as well as performance art and gay culture. Critcheloe’s artwork graces the cover of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Fever to Tell (2003) and the video for Liars’ “There’s Always Room on the Broom” (2004). Besides Critcheloe, Ssion’s membership includes, among others, backup vocalists Taylor Painter-Wolfe and Shannon Michaels, who respectively create costumes and stage props for the act’s live shows. Critcheloe made his recording debut as Ssion in 1999 with Fucked into Oblivion, a self-released cassette/CD-R. I Don’t Want New Wave & I Don’t Want the Truth, another self-released CD-R, followed in 2001. In 2003 Ssion made their label debut, releasing the Minor Treat EP and the Opportunity Bless My Soul album on Version City Records. Next, following a self-released album, Glory Hound (2005), and EP, Street Jizz (2006), Ssion signed to Sleazetone Records. In 2008 the label released the Fools Gold album and the accompanying Clown remix EP. ~ Jason Birchmeier]

#14. Under the Big Oak Tree – The Ark / DashGo / August 31, 2018
[3rd album from St. Joseph, Missouri based band made up of Kristin Hamilton on guitar & vocals; Doug Ward on bass & vocals; Simon Fink on mandolin, violin, banjo & vocals; and Jason Riley on electric & nylon string guitar. Under the Big Oak Tree’s honeyed blend of vintage folk, acoustic country, and traditional bluegrass has been described as “warm” and “picturesque” with “flawless harmonies.” (St. Joseph Newspress). The band’s 2014 debut recording stood out as “one of the most lush, beautiful records to come out of the local scene,” and made multiple year-end best lists. (St. Joe Live) The group’s second album, Local Honey was released on MudStomp Records in January, 2016 and hailed for it’s “crisp production and stellar musicianship” (The Hank Williams Reader) and christened as “sweet on the ears” (Madisen Ward- Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear).]

#15. Howard Iceberg & The Titanics – Netherlands / Howard Iceberg / March 29, 2018
[Howard Iceberg on lead vocals & harmony vocals; Rich Hill on piano, organ & harmony vocals; Bryan Hicks on bass, electric bass & harmony vocals; and Doug Auwarter on drums. Words and music by Howard Iceberg © 2017 Howard Iceberg. All rights reserved. Produced by Howard Iceberg and Rich Hill. Recorded by Pat Tomek at Largely Studios and Rich Hill at The Hilltop. Mixed by Howard Iceberg & Pat Tomek. Legendary Kansas City Singer Songwriter – Howard Eisberg records and performs under the name Haoward iceberg. Heis one of the most prolific and poetic songwriters of the Kansas City music scene. He has written hundreds, possibly thousands of songs. Howard has done all of this while also leading a distinguished career as an immigration attorney, and he has donated much of his time and music to valuable projects that serve our community. Howard Iceberg began performing in coffeehouses in the late 1980s with fellow area independent songwriters Scott Hrabko and Iris DeMent. Over the past three decades he has released countless CDs, and recorded multiple collections of songs. In 2011, Howard Iceberg & The Titanics released a seven CD, box set, of 106 new songs, all instant classics. In 2014 he released a collection called Spring 2014, on his birthday May 9, 2015 he released, Smooth Sailing which included 13 new songs. In September 2016 Howard released a 2 CD set of 26 new tracks called, “Kansas City Songs.”]

#16. The War and Treaty – Healing Tide / Strong World Entertainment / Aug. 10, 2018
[Full length album debut from Michael Trotter Jr & Tanya Blount-Trotter are from Albion, Michigan. For Michael Trotter Jr., the journey began in 2004, when he arrived in Iraq, an untested soldier stricken by fear and self-doubt. His captain made it his personal mission to see to Trotter’s survival. The unit was encamped in one of Saddam Hussein’s private palaces, and in a forgotten corner in its basement, they found a black upright piano that once belonged to the dictator himself. When Trotter shared the fact he could sing, he was encouraged to teach himself to play piano on that confiscated keyboard. “I wrote my first song after that captain was killed,” Trotter recalls. “I sang it for his memorial in Iraq.” Soon after it became his mission to sing at the memorial services for those that had fallen. For the next three years, he sang songs that brought solace and comfort to the members of his unit. His efforts eventually garnered wider recognition as well. He came in first place in “Military Idol,” the army’s version of “American Idol,” during a competition held in Baumholder, Germany. Following his discharge, he was featured on the Hope Channel program “My Story, My Song.” Then he met Tanya Blount. Blount’s musically influences include Mahalia Jackson, Sister Odette and Aretha Franklin. The two fell in love, got married and used the experiences they had gained to create a new musical collaboration. The couple then secured the services of musicians whose skills add a distinctive sound to The War and Treaty’s blend of roots music, blue grass, folk, gospel and soul. Their 2017 EP Down to the River was released July 21, 2017. Recorded in Albion, Michigan, Down to the River boasts a sound that’s both stirring and sensual, driven by joy, determination and an unceasing upward gaze. The music is visceral but never morose, flush with emotion but void of despair… a style that touches on a variety of genres, but never finds itself confined to anyone. The arrangements are uncluttered– harmonies, basslines, guitar and mandolin licks, settle drum patterns and keyboards create an immensely moving soundscape — but the sentiments and emotions are fully realized and soar with a steady, chilling assurance. “The recording process wasn’t like anything I ever experienced,” Tanya recalls. “This EP has allowed me to breathe musically. I feel like all I have wanted to express for the past ten years has come forth with what we’ve done. The combination of heart, soul and the overwhelming amount of love that Michael and I have for one another comes across in this record.“ “I was sitting on the banks of the Euphrates River in Baghdad dreaming about one day being able to play and sing professionally for people all around the world,” Michael reflects. “As we recorded our music, I constantly had flashbacks of those desert dreams. I thought to myself that this is actually the perfect ending to usher in a new beginning in my life.” ] [First Played February 7, 2018]

#17. Other Americans – Other Americans EP / AWAL Records / June 29, 2018
[Debut self-titled EP from Julie Berndsen on lead vocals, Adam Phillips on drums, Brandon Phillips on guitar, Zachary Phillips on bass. Hailing from the musical hotbeds of Kansas City, MO, and Lawrence, KS, the electro-alternative OTHER AMERICANS are comprised of members of such regional luminaries as The Architects, Latenight Callers, Radar State and Brandon Phillips and The Condition, Other Americans is a virtual Midwestern supergroup of sorts. The cohorts first crossed paths in when a mutual friend and matchmaker introduced Brandon Phillips to vocalist Julie Berndsen “We were all looking for something new to do musically, recalls Brandon. “The way I remember it, a mutual friend (KC music producer Joel Nanos) told me that Julie was looking to start something new and I sent her a note about it. We had tacos to see if we liked each other.” With first date jitters behind them, the duo enlisted drummer Adam Phillips, bassist Zachary Phillips and late keyboardist Ehren Starks, who passed away suddenly in March 2018, and began writing the material that would become the EP. The band premiered the late night public access by-way-of 120 Minutes-inspired video for lead single, “Murdering Crows,” directed by artist Adrian Halperin, via The Spill Magazine in May 2018, exposing the band’s brand of kickass dance rock to a broad and international audience. Superlatively catchy and conjuring up well-intentioned comparisons to Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fiery Furnaces, and even a jauntier and more aggressive Passion Pit, the new EP captures the excitement and spontaneity that punctuates coastal indie rock while embracing elements of the electronic dance rock that populates midnight warehouse parties. “All the basic tracking [for the EP] was done at Element Recording and was mastered by Nanos,” he recalls. “Then I took it to my spot and worked and reworked it all for a year until it sounded like something none of us had heard before.” Prior to the EP’s release the band makes their hard fought and won live debut on June 11, 2018, at Kansas City’s Riot Room, an already sold-out performance supporting singer songwriter Meg Myers. The band will also release their video for “Make Me Afraid,” directed by Todd Norris and Mitch Brian, in coming weeks. Illuminated with the knowledge that the journey is as important as the destination, Phillips admits to looking forward to the period of dues paying that their debut brings. “I’m looking forward to all the firsts;. first show. first record. first tour. Magical thinking could have me pining for a post-Grammys Maserati coke party by the sea, but if I’m all wrapped up in making that fantasy come true, I’ll miss the fun of being present for the firsts and the fifths and the tenths.” From there the plan becomes a bit more complicated, “ The ‘Plan” as I see it is to con some major label artist into taking us out as support, steal their identities on laundry day, have reconstructive surgery, then only tour in countries without U.S. extradition treaties,” Brandon jokes.]

#18. Cat Power – Wanderer / Domino Recording Co / October 5, 2018
[10th studio album by Cat Power The album was produced entirely by Marshall herself and was written and recorded in Miami and Los Angeles over the past few years, she stated: “The course my life has taken in this journey—going from town to town, with my guitar, telling my tale; with reverence to the people who did this generations before me. Folk singers, blues singers, and everything in between. They were all wanderers, and I am lucky to be among them.” The album includes a collaboration with Lana Del Rey, whom Marshall opened for on the European leg of her LA to the Moon Tour. It is her first album to not be released on Matador since 1996. In support of the release, Marshall has embarked a world tour, that began in September. Charlyn Marie “Chan” Marshall was born January 21, 1972, She is better known by her stage name Cat Power. She is a singer-songwriter, musician, occasional actress, and model. Cat Power was originally the name of Marshall’s first band, but has become her stage name as a solo artist. Born in Atlanta, Marshall was raised throughout the southern United States, and began performing in local bands in Atlanta in the early 1990s. She was discovered opening for Liz Phair in 1994 by Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth and Tim Foljahn of Two Dollar Guitar, with whom she recorded her first two albums, Dear Sir (1995) and Myra Lee (1996), on the same day in 1994. In 1996 she signed with Matador Records, and released a third album of new material with Shelley and Foljahn, What Would the Community Think. Following this she released the critically acclaimed Moon Pix (1998), recorded with members of Dirty Three, and The Covers Record (2000), a collection of sparsely-arranged cover songs. After a brief hiatus she released You Are Free (2003), featuring guest musicians Dave Grohl and Eddie Vedder, followed by the soul-influenced The Greatest (2006), recorded with numerous Memphis studio musicians. A second album of cover tracks, Jukebox, was released in 2008. In 2012 she released the self-produced Sun, which debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200, the highest charting album of her career to date. Critics have noted the constant evolution of Cat Power’s sound, with a “mix of punk, folk and blues” on her earliest albums, and elements of soul and other genres more prevalent in her later material.]

#19. U.S. Girls – In a Poem Unlimited / 4AD / February 16, 2018
[6th studio album from U.S. Girls, the recording moniker of American-Canadian musician Meghan Remy. Formed in the United States in 2007 as a noise-pop project, Remy later moved the band to Toronto after marrying Canadian musician Max “Slim Twig” Turnbull. She released music on a variety of independent labels in both the United States and Canada before signing to 4AD in 2015. Her first record for that label, Half Free, was released the same year. Half Free garnered a Juno Award nomination for Alternative Album of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2016, and was a shortlisted finalist for the 2016 Polaris Music Prize. In a Poem Unlimited is her follow up and second release on 4AD.] [First play February 28, 2018]

#20. Meshell Ndegeocello – Ventriloquism / Naive / March 16, 2018
[Singer-songwriter, rapper, bassist, and vocalist. Her music incorporates a wide variety of influences, including funk, soul, jazz, hip hop, reggae and rock. She has received significant critical acclaim throughout her career, and has had ten career Grammy Award nominations. She has been credited for having “sparked the neo-soul movement.”Ventriloquism is the 12th studio album from Meshell Ndegeocello. The album covers eleven R&B and pop tracks originally recorded in the 1980s and 1990s. A portion of the profits of the album will go to the ACLU. This album follows “Comet, Come to Me”, her 11th studio album.]

#21. Marcus Lewis Big Band – Brass and Boujee / Independent / August 24, 2018
[Brass & Boujee, the dynamic collaboration between The Marcus Lewis Big Band, Kemet the Phantom, and Kadesh Flow. Marcus has performed at the Grammy Awards, the New Orleans Jazz Fest, the Glastonbury Fest, Nobel Peace Prize Concert and the North Sea Jazz Fest, Sydney Opera House, and the White House. TV shows include SNL, David Letterman, The Today Show, Jools Holland, Arsenio Hall, and American Idol. Marcus has performed with are Aretha Franklin, Prince, Janelle Monáe, Bruno Mars, B.o.B, and Jidenna.]

#22. Cowboy Junkies – All That Reckoning / Latent Records / July 13, 2018
[The Cowboy Junkies are an alternative country and folk rock band formed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1985. The group was formed in 1985 by Alan Anton (bassist), Michael Timmins (songwriter, guitarist), Peter Timmins (drummer) and Margo Timmins (vocalist). The three Timmins are siblings, and Anton worked with Michael Timmins during their first couple of bands. John Timmins was initially a member of the band but left the group before the recording of their first album. The band line-up has never changed since, although they use several guest musicians on many of their albums, including multi-instrumentalist Jeff Bird who has performed on every album except the first. The Junkies’ 1986 debut album, produced by Canadian producer Peter Moore, was the blues-inspired Whites Off Earth Now!!, recorded in the family garage using a single ambisonic microphone. The Junkies gained worldwide fame and recognition with their second album, The Trinity Session, recorded in 1987 at Toronto’s Church of the Holy Trinity. Their sound, again using the ambisonic microphone, and their mix of blues, country, folk, rock and jazz earned them both critical attention and a strong fan base. The Los Angeles Times named the recording as one of the ten best albums of 1988. The Cowboy Junkies have gone on to record a total of sixteen studio albums and five live albums, and remain an active band for over thirty years.]

#23. Broken Arrows – Street Flowers / Intelligent Design / Aug. 3, 2018
[Guest Howard Iceberg sings lead and backing vocals on “Recognize My Heart.” Drums & percussion tracks recorded at Roll Away The Stone Studio. Album notes from Barry Lee: Broken Arrows started recording Street Flowers during the last months of 2017 and into the first of the year 2018. The band had road tested about half the songs in concert during the year, so they had a good starting point. Broken Arrows have four songwriters in the band, and they all wrote material for the record. Sessions for the basic tracks were done at Dave Storms’ studio, The Storms Cellar and the vocals and guitar tracks were finished at Cricket Palace, Mike Penner’s studio. Mike Mixed & Mastered and produced the album. About a third of the way through the sessions band member Barry Lee’s wife Caroline took a turn for the worse and his involvement lessened as he stayed with her to take care of her in her final days. The band recorded a couple of tracks, “Not Coming Back” and “Put Me Down” without Barry but refused to do any more recording until he was able to return. The first song Barry did after Carolyn died was “Recognize My Heart.” Barry was still in shock and you can hear it in his voice on that song. The album has gotten airplay on 102.7, Little Steven’s Underground Garage on Sirius XM and extensively on 90.1 FM KKFI. It was also favorably reviewed in Tuning Fork and in a national publication, Blurt. Early next year Broken Arrows will have a single release on Big Stir Records in L.A.. The photos on the album cover were taken by Barry Lee in and around Lawrence, Kansas. For some reason, there are lots of street flowers there. Broken Arrows are: Barry Lee on vocals, acoustic & electric guitars; Mike Penner on lead guitar & vocals; Bill Ryan on lead guitar & vocals, John Chevalier on bass, acoustic guitar & vocals; and Dave Storms on drums, percussion & vocals.]

#24. Slights – Flow State / Slights / November 30, 2018
[Slights is a collaboration band between Ben Parks & Matthew Dunehoo. In late January, 2017 they recorded an album at Ghost Cat Studios in San Francisco w/ Ryan Kleeman and their friend Andrew Skikne on bass. Ben Parks is also visual artist & painter as well as part of the band, Of Tree. Matthew Dunehoo is also a filmmaker & actor, and has been a member of the bands: Loose Park, Baby Teardrops, Doris Henson. On Nov, 7, we interviewed Ben Parks & Matthew Dunehoo who joined us to talk about the debut release of their new band Slights. The new 11-song album was created over the past year. Matt is also the founder of Elk’s Pride Pictures, based in KCMO. More information at]

#25. Superchunk – What a Time to Be Alive / Merge / February 16, 2018
[11th album release from band formed in 1989 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Superchunk is Mac McCaughan (guitar, vocals), Jim Wilbur (guitar, backing vocals), Jon Wurster (drums, backing vocals), and Laura Ballance (bass, backing vocals). Since releasing their first 7-inch in 1989, Superchunk has run the gamut of milestone albums: early punk rock stompers, polished mid-career masterpieces, and lush, adventurous curveballs. Recorded by Beau Sorenson at Manifold Recording, Pittsboro, NC., except “Break the Glass” and “I Got Cut” at Overdub Lane. Mastered by Matthew Barnhart at Chicago Masterin.]

#26. Amen Dunes – Freedom / Sacred Bones Records / March 30, 2018
[The 5th studio album from Amen Dunes the musical project formed by American singer-songwriter and musician Damon McMahon in 2006 in New York. In addition to his regular collaborators Parker Kindred and Jordi Wheeler, Freedom features Delicate Steve and underground Roman musician Panoram. Chris Coady  (Beach House) produced. The record was recorded at Electric Lady Studios in NYC and Sunset Sound in LA.]

#27. Blood Orange – Negro Swan / Domino Recording Co / August 24, 2018
[Devonté Hynes aka David Joseph Michael Hynes was born December 23, 1985, better known as Blood Orange and formerly Lightspeed Champion, is a British singer, songwriter, composer, producer, dancer and director. From 2004 to 2006, Hynes was a member of the band Test Icicles, playing guitar, synth, and occasionally performing vocals. They released one full-length album in 2005. Hynes went on to release two solo studio albums as Lightspeed Champion and subsequently four more as Blood Orange, between 2008 and 2018. He has written, played or produced for artists such as Tinashe, Solange Knowles, Sky Ferreira, FKA twigs, Haim, Florence and the Machine, Carly Rae Jepsen, Diana Vickers, The Chemical Brothers, Kylie Minogue, A$AP Rocky and Blondie. Hynes was voted the 49th ‘coolest person in rock’ in NME’s 2007 Cool List, jumping to position 20 in the following year’s list.]

#28. Dirty Projectors – Lamp Lit Prose / Domino Recording Co / July 13, 2018
[8th studio album from Brooklyn based band, formed in 2002. The band currently consists of primary recording artist and core member David Longstreth (vocals, guitar), alongside longtime bass guitarist Nat Baldwin, Mike Daniel Johnson (drums), Maia Friedman (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), Felicia Douglass (percussion, keyboards, backing vocals) and Kristin Slipp (keyboards, backing vocals). Since its formation the band has released eight full-length studio albums, and has had numerous lineup changes, with major contributions from guitarist and vocalist Amber Coffman from 2006 to 2013. “If 2017’s Dirty Projectors was the band’s dark night of the soul, Lamp Lit Prose marks a vibrant rebirth. Bright, colorful, and bursting with hope, the music here splits the difference between pop instinct and avant-garde ambition, live-band rigor and super-synthetic production—think Talking Heads for the 2000s. And where lead Projector Dave Longstreth’s songs have, in the past, tended toward high concepts, here he dwells on the rush of simple things: optimism (“Right Now”), romance (“Break-Thru”), and pure, unfiltered excitement (“I Feel Energy”). It features assists from Rostam, Amber Mark, Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold, and HAIM.”]

#29. Parquet Courts – Wide Awake / Rough Trade / May 18, 2018
[6th studio album from Parquet Courts, of Denton, Texas, currently residing in New York City, New York. The band consists of Andrew Savage on vocals & guitar, Austin Brown on vocals & guitar, Sean Yeaton on bass, and Max Savage on drums. The band released their debut album, American Specialties, as a limited cassette release, in 2011. The band’s second studio album, Light Up Gold (2012), was initially released on Savage’s Dull Tools label and later reissued on What’s Your Rupture? in 2013.[1] Light Up Gold received widespread critical acclaim in both the DIY underground and mainstream rock press. In 2014, the band reached #55 on the Billboard albums chart with its third studio album, Sunbathing Animal. Later in 2014, the band released “Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth” as a single under an alternative name, Parkay Quarts. Soon after they released their fourth studio album, Content Nausea, on which Sean and Max were absent, due to other commitments.The following year, the band released a mostly instrumental, experimental EP, entitled Monastic Living. On February 4, 2016, the band announced their fifth studio album, entitled Human Performance. The album was released on April 8 through Rough Trade. On October 13, 2017, the band’s co-frontman A. Savage released his first solo album, Thawing Dawn, through Dull Tools.]

#30. Danielle Nicole – Cry No More / Concord Records / February 23, 2018
[Nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Danielle Nicole sings and plays bass on all tracks, with special guest musicians like Sonny Landreth on slide guitar, Walter Trout on guitar, Kenny Wayne Shepherd on guitar, Johnny Lee Schell on guitar, Monster Mike Welsh on guitar, Brandon Miller on guitar, Luther Dickinson on guitar. Danielle Nicole was born Danielle Nicole Schnebelen. Her self-titled solo debut EP was released March 10, 2015 on Concord Records. The self-titled EP features Grammy Award-winning producer-guitarist Anders Osborne, Galactic’s co-founding drummer Stanton Moore and keyboardist Mike Sedovic. On February 25, 2015, American Blues Scene premiered the track “Didn’t Do You No Good” off the new EP. Danielle Nicole was previously in the band Trampled Under Foot with her brothers Kris and Nick Schnebelen. At the 2014 Blues Music Awards, Trampled Under Foot’s album, Badlands, won the ‘Contemporary Blues Album of the Year’ category. At the same ceremony, Danielle Nicole, under the name of Danielle Schnebelen, triumphed in the ‘Best Instrumentalist – Bass’ category. The band was also nominated in the ‘Band of the Year’ category. In September 2015, her debut album, Wolf Den, was released on Concord Records. It reached number 2 in the Billboard Top Blues Albums chart in October that year. Danielle Nicole’s second solo album, Cry No More, peaked at # 1 in the Billboard Top Blues Albums chart. Bill Withers wrote one of the teacks on the new album.]

#31. Grand Marquis – Brighter Days / King Forward Records / April 28, 2018
[KC based American Roots, Blues, & Prohibition Jazz band, formed in 1998 have released 7 albums, including a 7” 45 rpm vinyl recorded at legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, TN. The band is: Ben Ruth on upright bass, sousaphone, backing vocals; Chad Boydston on trumpet, backing vocals; Ryan Wurtz on electric and acoustic guitars; Trevor Turla on trombone, backing vocals; Fritz Hutchison on drums, backing vocals; Bryan Redmond on lead vocals, soprano, alto, tenor & baritone saxophones.]

#32. Carswell & Hope – Exit Plan EP / Silly Goose Records / May 22, 2018
[Music by Carswell & Hope. Lyrics by Nick Carswell. Produced & mixed by Jason Slote & Nick Carswell. Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper @ TurtleTone Studio NYC. Lawrence KS based 5-piece band formed June 25, 2012. The band is: Nick Carswell, Jason Slote, Austin Quick, Chris Handley, and Jordan Tucker. Songwriter Nick Carswell is originally from Ireland and has found a new home on the plains of Kansas.]

#33. Kadesh Flow – Room Service EP / Ryan Davis / March 30, 2018
[Kadesh Flow is Ryan Davis is a rapper with an MBA. At age 11, he began rapping and playing trombone within two weeks of one another. His music has been featured on network television in multiple countries and territories across Southeast Asia. Locally, Kadesh can be found rocking solo hip hop sets, laying down bone bars with KC funk juggernaut The Phantastics, or jamming with various bands throughout the city. The Room Service EP was conceived between shows at MAGfest 2018, when Kadesh Flow, Atlas, and Bill Beats began creating in their hotel room. Producers/Writers include: Kadesh Flow, Atlas, Bill Beats, Shubzilla, Eye-Q, O.Super. Mixed By: Kadesh Flow. Mastered By: Out D Park Productions.]

#34. The Phantastics – Life of the Party EP / Kemet Creative / Aug. 24, 2018
[Eight member band from Kansas City formed in December 0f 2010 made up of: Kemet the Phantom -lead vocals; Kim “Phirst Lady” Newsome on lead vocals; JJ Cantrell on lead guitar & vocals; Danny Florez on electric bass; Ashley Thompson on drums, Ernest Melton on saxophone; Ryan Davis on Trombone and rap vocals; Austin Quick on keyboards. The Phantastics specialize in genre-blending dance floor activators. In 2015, the music group was crowned “Kansas City’s best party band” by the Kansas City Star. Musicianship and diversity are at the core of their success. Rock, Rap, Dance, Funk, Jazz and Soul are all incorporated into their music. “The band that can do it all”, according to I Heart Local Music, has shared the stage with some of music’s most legendary acts including George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic.]

#35. David Byrne – American Utopia / Todomundo – Nonesuch / March 9, 2018
[David Byrne’s first solo studio album since 2004’s Grown Backwards. Even though since then he has released albums with Brian Eno, Fat Boy Slim, and St. Vincent. The album is his 11th outside of his work with talking Heads. The new album is one part of a larger multimedia project entitled Reasons to Be Cheerful which aims to give reasons for being happy and optimistic in spite of political strife and environmental problems. The project was entitled after the Ian Dury song “Reasons to Be Cheerful (Part 3)”. David Byrne writes: “Is this meant ironically? Is it a joke? Do I mean this seriously? In what way? Am I referring to the past or the future? Is it personal or political? These songs don’t describe an imaginary or possibly impossible place but rather attempt to depict the world we live in now. Many of us, I suspect, are not satisfied with that world—the world we have made for ourselves. We look around and we ask ourselves—well, does it have to be like this? Is there another way? These songs are about that looking and that asking. This album is indirectly about those aspirational impulses. Sometimes to describe is to reveal, to see other possibilities. To ask a question is to begin the process of looking for an answer. To be descriptive is also to be prescriptive, in a way. The act of asking is a big step. The songs are sincere—the title is not ironic. The title refers not to a specific utopia, but rather to our longing, frustration, aspirations, fears, and hopes regarding what could be possible, what else is possible. The description, the discontent and the desire—I have a feeling that is what these songs touch on. I have no prescriptions or surefire answers, but I sense that I am not the only one looking and asking, wondering and still holding onto some tiny bit of hope, unwilling to succumb entirely to despair or cynicism.”]

#36. Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7 – The Basement Beat / Sunflower Soul / July 20, 2018
[Hammond organist Chris Hazelton and his large-group Boogaloo 7 pay homage to greats such as Lonnie Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Grant Green, and Lou Donaldson with their groove-centered brand of jazz, all the while pushing the genre forward with exciting new and original music. More info at: Chris Hazelton on Hammond B-3 organ; Nick Howell on trumpet & tamborine; Nick Rowland on alto & tenor sax (tracks 1, 2, & 4); Zak Pischnotte on alto & tenor sax (tracks 3, 5, & 6); Brett Jackson on baritone sax; Matt Hopper on guitar; Danny Rojas on drums; and Pat Conway on congas (tracks 1-4, 6), bongos & cowbell (Track 5); Juan-Carlos Chaurand on congas (Track 5); John Kizilarmut on timbales & güiro (Track 5). Recorded live to 8-track analog tape, mixed, and produced by Chris Hazelton at the FORTRESS OF SOULITUDE. Mastered by Adam Boose at Cauliflower Audio. Pressed by Gotta Groove Records. Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7 will be releasing a single 7″ called “100 Days, 100 Nights” also on July 20, but released on Lugnut Records as part of a tribute to Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings.]

#37. My Oh My! – The War Outside / My Oh My! / May 19, 2018
[My Oh My! is: Stephen Berry on guitars; Grant Buell on pianos, Organ, & Wurlitzer; Sarah Dolt, Stephanie Gaumé & Melissa Geffert on vocals; Jason Harper on bass guitar & tenor saxophone; Jacob Horpinjuk on drums & percussion; and A.M. Merker on lead vocals, guitar, and songwriting. Produced by My Oh My! and Joel Nanos, and recorded, engineered, and mixed by Joel Nanos at Element Recording Studios, and mastered by David Gaumé at Forest Sounds, North Hollywood, CA. More info at:]

#38. Hi-Lux – Hi-Lux EP / Hi-Lux / February 1, 2018
[HI-LÜX is Julia Haile on vocals, Nick Howell on keyboards & organ, Kian Byrne on drums and vocals, Pete Leibert on bass, Tim Braun on guitar. Hi-Lux is based in KC. The band brings together elements of soul, reggae and funk for a unique and dance inspiring sound. More info at:]

#39. Eems – Dreems / Phillip Jackson / June 26, 2018
[Eems is Phillip Jackson, a KC based ukulele loop artist, singer songwriter, rapper, pianist, drummer, The resonance of his bright musical sounds, and lyrical calls, are woven through genres of folk, hip hop, pop, and dance influences. He has shared the stage with notable hop hop artists, and KC Folk Music Fest, Middle of The Map Fest.]

#40. Of Tree – How Does It Feel / Of Tree / October 12, 2018
[Of Tree is Benjamin Parks on guitar & vocals, Laurel Morgan Parks on violin & fiddle & vocals and John Bersuch on percussion & sub-bass. The band explains “we like to build layers, loop strings, bow guitars and mix sampled beats with real ones as a backdrop for melodies on voice and traditional instruments. Emotional and expressive, our music draws inspiration from loss and triumph, failure and hope.” Of Tree began in 2009 and has taken many forms as it has evolved over time, including a full 5 piece folk band and, at one time, a classical trio backing Parks’ voice and guitar. Of Tree launched a Kickstarter Campaign to help record their new album and release their music on vinyl. Of Tree have been actively writing music for this project since the summer of 2016. Laurel writes “As a married couple its been quite a road for us to be able work through music together without taking things too personally (as people in relationships tend to do), but the magic happened last summer when music started pouring out of us and we were able just allow it to happen. Both of us come from fairly strict religious backgrounds and a lot of our lyrics have to do with healing from those experiences. We also deal with themes of finding new footing in life, moving beyond the past and letting go. Really this album is all about healing on a very personal level.” Laurel writes that she is, “very interested in pushing the boundaries of what instrumentation I can marry to my classical violin training. I have been cross pollinating between electronic music I write on the computer using midi inputs with melodies I write on my violin. I enjoy putting a techno beat behind a folk instrument such as the Kalimba or chime and then morphing that into a journey of layered strings and melodic hooks. I am always interested in melody over lyrics. A lot of the music I wrote for this album is inspired from studying folk traditions such as Celtic fiddling, thematic movie music and Peruvian icaros. ” John Bersuch, has been playing with Of Tree since November of 2016. He adds tasteful beats and enjoys thinking outside the box. He once brought a tree to an “Of Tree” show and played it as a percussive instrument. Ben Parks is a visual artist who also plays in the band Slights with Matthew Dunehoo. Laurel Parks also plays in The Wires, John Bersuch is in Bacon Shoe, RLT, and many others.]

#41. Sara Morgan – Average Jane / River Delta Records / January 26, 2018
[KC based Singer/Songwriter, originally from McGehee, Arkansas. Sara Morgan plays saxophone, guitar, banjo, ukulele, and piano. Sara has opened for BJ Thomas, John Michael Montgomery, John Corbett, Sean Rowe, Chuck Mead, Ben Taylor, and was the preshow before Loretta Lynn at The Uptown, November 2014. Ms. Lynn hosted Sara on her tour bus after Sara’s set and prior to Ms. Lynn’s performance.]

#42. Dragon Inn 3 – Double Line / American Laundromat Records / Aug. 17, 2018
[Kansas City based nad formed in 2012 with Grace Bentley, Sharon Bowie, Philip K. Dickey, E.P. Marcus. Dragon Inn 3’s debut LP clocks in at 28 minutes, but the band spent six years whittling away on the songs that would eventually become Double Line. Combining sugary pop hooks, hypnotic beats, and huge MOOG synths, Dragon Inn 3’s playful take on 80s pop could double as the soundtrack to a John Hughes movie (if John Hughes directed Blade Runner). The cinematic origins of Dragon Inn 3 can be traced back to 2012, when Philip Dickey (leader of the indie-pop group Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin) wrote a theme song for the award-winning short film Ghoul School. “If you watch the trailer you can tell it’s the same premise and look as Stranger Things–we just accidentally made it three years before them,” Dickey says. “I had so much fun making the soundtrack with the director (E.P. Marcus) that we decided to start a band.” Dickey recruited his sister, Sharon Bowie, an occupational therapist, and his wife, children’s librarian Grace Bentley, to help with songwriting and vocal duties. The group self-released the Ghoul School Soundtrack EP in late 2012, receiving high praise from Consequence of Sound, Philadelphia’s WXPN, and The Riverfront Times, before climbing to #1 on Bandcamp’s cassette charts. Then it was back to the studio (i.e. the bedrooms, kitchens, garages, and hotel rooms that doubled as makeshift recording studios). In between full-time jobs, parenthood, graduate school classes, and cross country moves, the members of Dragon Inn 3 put Double Line to tape. “I’m a stay-at-home dad now, so I would work on song arrangements and rough mixes when our toddler was taking his naps,” explains Dickey. “Grace would come home from work and record all her parts after his bedtime. We recorded all the breathy vocals in the living room and all the yelly parts in the garage so we wouldn’t wake him up.” The result is a highly addictive album that creates “a soundtrack for the more introspective moments on and off the dance floor,” according to critic David Greenwald. Opening track “What Kind Of World Are You Living In” plays like Blondie if the band hired Hall and Oates to record guitars. The album takes an intimate turn with “Bad Boy,” Bowie’s dreamy “Rocket Launcher,” and Bentley’s introspective cover of Robin Gibb’s “Juliet.” “3 Minute Mile” swoons with arpeggios and a hypnotic MOOG bass, while Bentley softly repeats the phrase “desperation/bad desire.” Then there are Italo-disco tinged tracks “Backstabber” and “Club Sauce,” with sing-songy pop hooks that harken back to Madonna and Whitney Houston’s greatest hits. “Double Line Theme” and “Murder In The Third” show off DI3’s soundtrack aspirations, and sound like lost Tangerine Dream and Giorgio Moroder B-sides. “Up In The Business” provides indelible synth hooks and a triumphant ending to Double Line. With members spread out over the country (KC, LA, and Springfield, MO), the group signed to American Laundromat Records in early 2018. A demo of “Bad Boy” (co-written with Free Energy’s Paul Sprangers) landed in a commercial for Ryan Adams’ Beats 1 Radio show before the song was even completed.]

#43. Lucy Dacus – Historian / Matador / March 2, 2018
[Lucy Dacus was born 1995 and grew up in Richmond, Virginia . She is an indie rock singer-songwriter who has has released two albums, both on Matador Records: 2016’s No Burden and 2018’s Historian. She started studying film at Virginia Commonwealth University but left to pursue her music career. She first performed in New York in March 2015. Sasha Gessen in Pitchfork wrote about Historian: ” It’s not an easy album to wear out. It lasts, and it should, given that so many of its lyrics pick at time, and the way time condenses around deep emotional attachments to other people.”

#44. FACEFACE – MMmm / FACEFACE / February 15, 2018
[KC based experimental electronic hiphop musical collaboration with.Ryan Lee Toms is a Kansas City based multi-instumentalist, composer and artist who has recorded original experimental dance electronic music as RLT with John Bersuch. Ryan also plays guitar with the math rock band HMPH! and he plays drums for the Kansas City based, 5-piece post-punk deathrock band Beelzebabes. All the while Ryan has also been nurturing a fourth collaboration called FACEFACE, an experimental electronic hiphop musical collaboration with Paul S. Nyakatura, is a Kansas City based award winning voiceover artist, stand up comedian, commercial producer, and rapper and hip hop artist. Paul is the voice of FACEFACE and featured in the FACEFACE video for their new song, “We Awesome,” all shot in one take from Celestial Pictures.]

#45. Soccer Mommy – Clean / Fat Possum Records / March 2, 2018
[Soccer Mommy is the stage name of bedroom pop and indie rock musician Sophie Allison. Allison was born in Switzerland and grew up in Nashville, TN. She attended Nashville School of the Arts, a speciality high school where she studied guitar and played in the swing band. She first picked up a guitar at age 6, which prompted her to start making music. She began posting home-recorded songs to Bandcamp as Soccer Mommy in 2015, during the summer when she was about to leave for college at New York University, where she studied music business. While in college, she played her first show as Soccer Mommy at the community art space Silent Barn in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and shortly after landed a record deal with Fat Possum.She dropped out after a year in 2017 to return to Nashville and pursue her music career. Since beginning her career as Soccer Mommy, Allison has released two full-length albums. Her first, For Young Hearts, was released in 2016 on Orchid Tapes. Her second album, Collection, was released in 2017 on Fat Possum Records. Her debut album proper, titled Clean, was released on March 2, 2018. She has toured with Mitski, Jay Som, Slowdive, Frankie Cosmos, Phoebe Bridgers and others]

#46. Vigil & Thieves – Make Sure They Hear You / Vigil & Thieves / August 24, 2018
[Kansas City based 4-piece band with Sarah Storm on vocals, guitar, & keyboards; Steph Castor on guitar; Matthew Muckenthaler on bass, and Andrew Flaherty on drums.]

#47. The Get Up Kids – Kicker EP / Polyvinyl Record Co / June 8, 2018
[Matt Pryor on vocals & guitars, Jim Suptic on guitar, Rob Pope on bass, James Dewees on keyboards, Ryan Pope on drums. On March 29, 2018, Polyvinyl Records announced on their Instagram account that they had signed the band and that new music will be coming soon. The Get Up Kids are an American rock band from Kansas City, Missouri. Formed in 1995, the band was a major player in the mid-1990s emo scene, otherwise known as the “second wave” of emo music. As they gained prominence, they began touring with bands such as Green Day and Weezer before becoming headliners themselves, eventually embarking on international tours of Japan and Europe. They founded Heroes & Villains Records, an imprint of the successful indie rock label Vagrant Records. While the imprint was started to release albums by The Get Up Kids, it served as a launching pad for several side-projects such as The New Amsterdams and Reggie and the Full Effect. The Get Up Kids were viewed throughout their existence as a prototypical emo band, having been major players in the Midwest emo movement of the mid-1990s. Their second album Something to Write Home About remains their most widely acclaimed album, and is considered to be one of the quintessential albums of the second-wave emo movement. However, like many early emo bands, The Get Up Kids sought to dissociate themselves with the term, as it was considered dismissive to be seen as an “emo band.”[8] The band departed heavily from their established style with the release of their 2002 album On a Wire, which saw the band take on a much more layered, alternative rock sound. Years later, guitarist Jim Suptic even apologized for having the influence they did on many of the modern third-wave emo bands, commenting that “[t]he punk scene we came out of and the punk scene now are completely different. It’s like glam rock now … If this is the world we helped create, then I apologize.” Due to internal conflicts, the band broke up in 2005. Three years later, the band reunited to support the tenth anniversary re-release of Something to Write Home About, and soon afterward entered the studio to write new material. In early 2010, the band released Simple Science, their first release in six years, followed in 2011 by the full-length There Are Rules. The Get Up Kids Members Rob Pope is also in the band Spoon; Jim Suptic is in the bands: Blackpool Lights, and Radar State; James Dewees is in the band Reggie and the Full Effect; and Matt Pryor performs often as a solo artists, and in the bands: Radar State, and The New Amsterdams.]

#48. Amanda Fish – Free / VizzTone / September 14, 2018
[Amanda Fish began as a singer songwriter in late 2012, refining her original material as a solo act for 2 years before she formed her band in early 2014, a Roots Rock and Soul project featuring Amanda’s signature ‘from-the-gut’ vocals locked into a sturdy groove. In 2015, she released her first LP, “Down In The Dirt”, on VizzTone Label Group, for which she was awarded the 2016 “Sean Costello Rising Star” Blues Blast Music Award. Amanda and her band set Beale Street on fire in the 2017 International Blues Challenge Semi Finals, playing new material slated for her next release.]

#49. First Aid Kit – Ruins / Columbia / January 19, 2018
[4th full length album from Swedish folk duo of sisters: Klara (vocals/guitar) and Johanna Söderberg (vocals/keyboards/Autoharp/bass guitar). When performing live, the duo are accompanied by a drummer, a pedal steel guitarist and recently a keyboard player. They have now released four albums, two EPs and a handful of singles. In 2015 they were nominated for a Brit Award as one of the 5 best international groups. Sisters Johanna & Klara Söderberg are from Enskede, in the outskirts of Stockholm. Johanna was born Oct 31, 1990 and Klara on Jan 8, 1993. Their father was a member of the Swedish rock band Lolita Pop but he quit before Johanna was born and later became a teacher of history & religion. Their mother is a teacher of cinematography. From childhood, Klara & Johanna were eager singers by giving concerts using a jump rope as a pretend microphone. Klara’s first favorite songs were Judy Garland’s songs from The Wizard of Oz and Billie Holiday’s version of Gloomy Sunday, that she sang without much understanding of the English lyrics. Klara wrote her first song “Femton mil i min Barbiebil” when she was six. They both attended the International English school of Enskede. Klara applied for admission to a music school but she was not accepted. In 2005 when Klara was 12, a friend introduced her to the band Bright Eyes. This led her to country music stars such as Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Carter family, Louvin Brothers, Townes Van Zandt, Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. The same year she received a guitar as a Christmas present and quickly learned to play it. Johanna enjoyed a wide range of music from Britney Spears to German Techno. However, it wasn’t until watching the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? and listening to the film’s soundtrack that she was inspired to sing “Down to the River to Pray” with sister, Klara. Fascinated by the result they started to sing together at home and then as street singers, in the Stockholm metro and in front of liquor stores. They came up with the name for their band simply by randomly opening a dictionary.Klara and Johanna also started to write and compose their own country-folk songs inspired by Devendra Banhart and CocoRosie, among others, without much influence from their parents who were more fond of Patti Smith, Velvet Underground and Pixies. Their father confessed later in a Swedish radio program that he was astonished and actually a little jealous of the ease his daughters had in producing top-notch music. The most important advice their father gave to them was to sing so loud that even somebody behind the wall could hear it.]

#50. Fantastic Negrito – Please Don’t Be Dead / Cooking Vinyl / June 15, 2018
[Nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Fantastic Negrito was raised in an orthodox Muslim household. His father was a Somali-Caribbean immigrant who mostly played traditional African music. When, at the age of 12, Negrito’s family moved from Massachusetts to Oakland, California. Oakland in 1970s was a million miles from Negrito’s conservative childhood. He went from Arab chants to Funkadelic in one day. By the time he was 20, Negrito had taught himself to play every instrument he could get his hands on. He was recording music, and after some difficulties on the streets he packed his bags and headed to LA, armed with a demo on cassette. Negrito signed with a million dollar deal at Interscope. The record deal was a disaster. Gangsta rap was ruling the airwaves and Negrito was in the wrong place at the wrong era. Negrito came out of the deal with a failed album and his confidence gutted. In 2000, Negrito was in a near fatal car accident that put him in a coma. For four weeks it was touch and go. Because his muscles atrophied while bedridden, he had to go through months of frustrating physical therapy to regain use of his legs. Rods were placed throughout his body. And worst of all, his playing hand was mutilated. Back in Oakland, Negrito forgot about life as a musician. He got married, he planted vegetables, raised his own chickens, and made money growing weed. He also settled into being a man, on his own, clear of the distractions of wanting to be a star. And then his son Kyu was born. He began recording without the hindrances that come with chasing trends. Negrito turned to the original DNA of all American music, the Blues. The beating life had given him primed him to channel his literal and musical forefathers: the Blues musicians of the Delta]

#51. Scruffy & the Janitors – Modeling Is Hard / This Tall Records / March 2, 2018
[Saint Joseph, MO based trio formed by Steven Foster on vocals & bass, Teriq Newton on guitar & vocals, and Trevin Newton on drums. Scruffy & The Janitors have been described as creating working-class punk and catchy alt-rock. Scruffy & The Janitors have played at: SXSW, Middle Of the Map Fest, NXNE, and Lawrence Field Day Fest. They have also opened for:KONGOS, Kitten, J. Roddy Walston & the Business, Brick + Mortar, Radkey, Cheap Girls, Skaters, Bass Drum Of Death, Your Friend, Rev Gusto, and Dreamgirl.]

#52. Second Hand King – Frankie / Second Hand King / June 9, 2018
[KC based Joe Stanziola records as Second Hand King. His name was derived from a 1966 Doo Wop song known as, “The Joker Went Wild” by Brian Hyland. Joe has released five previous albums: All My Fears (2012), The Lower Depths (2013), Chuck (2014), Before The Bomb Drops (2015), and Almost Blue (2016).]

#53. Angélique Kidjo – Remain In Light / Kravenworks / June 8, 2018
[Angélique Kidjo has partnered with producer Jeff Bhasker (Rihanna, Kanye West, Harry Styles, Bruno Mars, Drake, Jay-Z) to create Remain In Light – a new project that finds the Benin-born artist reclaiming rock for Africa, bringing Talking Heads’ landmark 1980 album full circle. The record is a track-by-track re-imagination of the original, considered to be one of the greatest albums of the ’80s and deeply influenced by music from West Africa, notably Fela Kuti’s afrobeat. With her version of Remain In Light, Angélique celebrates the genius of Talking Heads, Brian Eno and the touchstones that made the original so revered and injects it with her euphoric singing, explosive percussion, horn orchestrations, and select lyrics performed in languages from her home country. Remain In Light features appearances by Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, Blood Orange, Tony Allen, Antibalas Horns, Angélique’s longtime guitarist Dominic James, and Magatte Sow (percussionist for the ‘Black Panther’ film score). On May 5, 2017, Kidjo presented her “Remain In Light” concert at Carnegie Hall. Her sold out performance was a reinvention of the iconic album by the rock band Talking Heads. The concert included special guest Nona Hendryx, Lionel Loueke, Antibalas, Jason Lindner and an unplanned duet with David Byrne on the song “Once In A Lifetime”. Angélique Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin Kidjo, known as Angélique Kidjo (born July 14, 1960), is a Grammy Award-winning Beninese singer-songwriter, actress and activist, noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos. Time magazine has called her “Africa’s premier diva”. The BBC included Kidjo in its list of the African continent’s 50 most iconic figures. The Guardian has listed her as one of its Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World and Kidjo is the first woman to be listed among “The 40 Most Powerful Celebrities In Africa” by Forbes magazine. The Daily Telegraph in London described her as “The undisputed queen of African music” during the 2012 Olympic Games River of Music Festival. In March 2013, NPR, National Public Radio in America, called her “Africa’s greatest living diva”. Kidjo is listed among the “2014 Most Influential Africans” by New African magazine and Jeune Afrique. Forbes Afrique put Kidjo on the cover of their “100 most influential women” issue in 2015. On June 6, 2013, Kidjo was elected vice-president of the Confédération Internationale des Sociétés d´Auteurs et Compositeurs (CISAC). She now resides in New York City, where she is an occasional contributor to the New York Times. Kidjo has received Honorary Doctorates from Yale University, Berklee College of Music and Middlebury College. She is the 2018 Harvard University Jazz Master In Residence. Her musical influences include the Afropop, Caribbean zouk, Congolese rumba, jazz, gospel, and Latin styles; as well as her childhood idols Bella Bellow, James Brown, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Miriam Makeba and Carlos Santana. She has recorded George Gershwin’s “Summertime”, Ravel’s Boléro, Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child” and the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter”, and has collaborated with Dave Matthews and the Dave Matthews Band, Kelly Price, Alicia Keys, Branford Marsalis, Ziggy Marley, Philip Glass, Peter Gabriel, Bono, Carlos Santana, John Legend, Herbie Hancock, Josh Groban, Dr John, the Kronos Quartet and Cassandra Wilson. Kidjo’s hit songs include “Agolo”, “We We”, “Adouma”, “Wombo Lombo”, “Afirika”, “Batonga”, and her version of “Malaika”. Her album Logozo is ranked number 37 in the Greatest Dance Albums of All Time list compiled by Vice Magazine’s Thump web site. Kidjo is fluent in 5 languages: Fon, French, Yorùbá, Gen (Mina), and English. She sings in all of them, and she also has her own personal language, which includes words that serve as song titles such as “Batonga.” “Malaika” is a song sung in the Swahili language. Kidjo often utilizes Benin’s traditional Zilin vocal technique and jazz vocalese. Kidjo is the recipient of the 2015 Crystal Award given by the World Economic Forum of Davos in Switzerland and has received the Ambassador Of Conscience Award from Amnesty International in 2016 She also is included in the exhibits at the National Museum of African American History that officially opened on Sept. 24, 2016 on the National Mall.]

#54. Mary Gauthier – Rifles and Rosary Beads / In The Black / Jan. 26, 2018
[Nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Folk Album. Brand new collection of songs by Mary Gauthier, co-written with U.S. veterans and their families, through Songwriting With Soldiers, a non-profit organization that pairs US veterans with professional songwriters. These songs are a glimpse inside the hearts and souls of both male and female soldiers, and their spouses. From Pop Matters: “SongwritingWith:Soldiers is an organization founded by songwriter Darden Smith that holds retreats pairing wounded veterans with established songwriters to help them to find a voice to express their experiences and through their sharing work towards emotional and spiritual healing. Songwriters who have participated in the program include Beth Nielsen Chapman, Marshall Crenshaw, Radney Foster, and Amy Speace, and some of the songs produced have been recorded by major country artists including Willie Nelson, Trisha Yearwood, Luke Bryan, and Garth Brooks. Mary Gauthier is a natural to serve as a contributor to this cause, her powerful autobiographical songwriting on past records addressing such topics as addiction, abandonment, and the search for meaning amidst pain. Turning her empathetic ear to the plights of others, she guides a group of veterans and their families through the composition of 11 highly effective and affecting songs. Of the experience, Gauthier writes “None of the veterans are artists. They don’t write songs; they don’t know that songs can be used to move trauma. Their understanding of song doesn’t include that. For me, it’s been the whole damn deal. Songwriting saved me. It’s what I think the best songs do, help articulate the ineffable, make the invisible visible, creating resonance, so that people (including the songwriter) don’t feel alone.” Gauthier was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Born to a mother she never knew and left in St Vincent’s Women and Infants Asylum, Gauthier was adopted when she was a year old by an Italian Catholic couple from Thibodaux, Louisiana. At age 15, she ran away from home, and spent the next several years in drug rehabilitation, halfway houses, and living with friends; she spent her 18th birthday in a jail cell. Struggling to deal with being adopted, she used drugs and alcohol. These experiences provided fodder for her songwriting later on. Spurred on by friends, she enrolled at Louisiana State University as a philosophy major, dropping out during her senior year. After attending the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, she opened a Cajun restaurant in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, Dixie Kitchen (also the title of her first album). Mary ran, and cooked at, the restaurant for eleven years. She was arrested for drunk driving opening night, July 12, 1990, and has been sober ever since. After achieving sobriety, she was driven to dedicate herself full-time to songwriting, and embarked upon a career in music. She wrote her first song at age 35. She sold her share in the restaurant to finance her second album, Drag Queens in Limousines, in 1998. The summer of the release of this album, she was invited to play 11 major folk festivals, including the Newport Folk Festival. Drag Queens in Limousines won in The 1st Annual Independent Music Awards for Folk/Singer-Songwriter Song, and she was nominated for Best New Artist of the year by the Boston Music Awards. She was nominated for three Gay and Lesbian American Music Awards (GLAMA) and won best country artist of the year. In 2002 her third album, Filth and Fire, was named “Best Indy CD of the year” by Jon Pareles of The New York Times. She moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2001 and secured a publishing deal with Harlan Howard Songs, then secured a record deal with Lost Highway, a division of Universal Music, in 2003. Her first major label release, in 2005, Mercy Now was on the top 10 list for the year in dozens of publications, including NY Times, LA Times, Daily News, and Billboard Magazine.]

#55. Kian Byrne – Up & Down / Kian Bryne / July 11, 2018
[Kian Byrne is a Kansas City based multi-instrumentalist. He plays drums in The Elders, and drums for Hi-Lüx, and bass for The New Riddim, and for YUM. You can learn more at:]

#56. Yo La Tengo – There’s a Riot Going On / Matador Records / March 16, 2018
[15th album from band formed in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1984. Since 1992, the lineup has consisted of Ira Kaplan (guitars, piano, vocals), Georgia Hubley (drums, piano, vocals), and James McNew (bass, vocals). In 2015, original guitarist Dave Schramm rejoined the band and appears on their f14th album, Stuff Like That There. Despite achieving limited mainstream success, Yo La Tengo has been called “the quintessential critics’ band” and maintains a strong cult following. They chose the name “Yo La Tengo” (Spanish for “I have it”; or referring to a female-gender object or person, also “I’ve Got Her”) in an effort to avoid any connotations in English. The name came from a baseball anecdote. During the 1962 season, New York Mets center fielder Richie Ashburn and Venezuelan shortstop Elio Chacón found themselves colliding in the outfield. When Ashburn went for a catch, he would scream, “I got it! I got it!” only to run into Chacón, who spoke only Spanish. Ashburn learned to yell, “¡Yo la tengo! ¡Yo la tengo!” instead. In a later game, Ashburn happily saw Chacón backing off. He relaxed, positioned himself to catch the ball, and was instead run over by left fielder Frank Thomas, who understood no Spanish and had missed a team meeting that proposed using the words “¡Yo la tengo!” as a way to avoid outfield collisions. After getting up, Thomas asked Ashburn, “What the hell is a Yellow Tango?”]

#57. Kississippi – Sunset Blush / Bug Crusher Records / April 6, 2018
[Debut full length album from Philadelphia based indie folk band fronted by Zoe Allaire Reynolds (with Adam DaSilva, Jeremy Probst, Allegra Eidinger (They/Them), and Kaylen Alan Krebsbach.]

#58. Gully Boys – Not So Brave / Gully Boys / August 12, 2018
[Minneapolis, Minnesota based three piece all female band, with Kaytee Callahan on vocals & guitar, Natalie Klemond on bass/ & vocals, and Jazmyne McGill ~on drums & vocals. All songs written and performed by Kathy Callahan, Nadirah McGill, and Natalie Klemond. Recorded and mixed by Nick Tveitbakk at Pachyderm Studio. Mastered by Bruce Templeton. More info at]

#59. The Big Iron – The Big Iron / The Big Iron / April 27, 2018
[The band’s 4th full-length was produced, mixed and mastered by Duane Trower at Weights and Measures Soundlab. Album cover and photos by Todd Zimmer. All songs by The Big Iron. It’s the band’s follow-up to 2014’s “We Will Fall”, 2008’s “Thanks for the Therapy,” and their 2001 debut recording, “Bury My Mistakes.” Ricky Reyes on guitar; Jon Paul on drums; Jeff Pendergraft on vocals, and Mike Farren on bass. More info at:]

#60. Serene Fiend – Sowing Discord / DK Records / July 27, 2018
[Industrial pop-rock project from Lawrence, Kansas based Joel Bonner. Vocals, guitar, bass, synthesizers, Drum Programming, Mixing, Mastering by Joel Bonner. Written by Joel Bonner. I Heart Local Music calls Sowing Discord “warm and beautiful, wrapping you up its lush sound.”]

#61. Khrystal. – The Awkward Muva / Khrystal. / July 13, 2018
[Khrystal Coppage is Editor-in-Chief of Khorage Magazine. She served as Production Manager at UMKC University News from 2015 to 2016. She graduated from UMKC in 2016 where she studied Family Studies. She graduated from Kansas City Kansas Community College in 2013. She is a graduate of Sumner Academy of Arts & Science, in KCK. You can hear her debut album at; Khrystal also released the three song EP, The Glow Up produced by Duncan Burnett on Novembr 7, 2017.]

#62. Salty – Dry Rub / Independent / November 21, 2018
[Salty was formerly know as Lil Toughies. Formed in early 2016. The current lineup includes: Jonathan Brokaw (JB) on guitar and vocals, Zach Turner on synthesizers, Ethan Eckert on drums, and Jesslay Huh on bass. More info at or]

#63. Blue False Indigo – More Light / Blue False Indigo / September 7, 2018
[They call their music “Spooky-Folk.” Makayla Scott on vocals & guitar; A.J Reynolds on vocals & keys; and Kara LePage on vocals & bass started the band in October 2013, in Springfield, Missouri.]

#64. Thee Devotion – Chapel / Woundup Records / April 7, 2018
[Thee Devotion is a KC based, “chickenshack” & “garage soul” band formed on January 1, 2008 with Davin Watne on guitar, keyboards, harmonica & vocal; Chris Teasely on keyboards, organ, harmonica, flute, trumpet, & vocals; Bruce Eddy on bass and vocals; and Keith Patterson on drums and vocals. Chapel is their second record and was produced by Bill Honan who also played piano and moog. Jesus Negron and Sean Branagan played percussion and David Williams played pedal steel on the record. All songs written by Thee Devotion.]

#65. Christine and The Queens – Chris / Because Music / September 21, 2018
[Chris is the second studio album by French singer Christine and the Queens, released in both English and French versions through Because Music. It was preceded by the release of two singles, each of which were released in both English and French versions: “Girlfriend” / “Damn, dis-moi”, featuring Dâm-Funk, and “Doesn’t Matter” / “Doesn’t Matter (Voleur de soleil)”. An English-language single, “5 Dollars”, was also released alongside an S&M-inspired video, followed by the French version of “La Marcheuse”. Héloïse Letissier (born 1 June 1988), known professionally as Christine and the Queens (or, as of 2017, simply Chris), is a French singer, songwriter and producer. Born in Nantes, France, Letissier studied theatre before forming her solo musical group Christine and the Queens. Letissier has been signed to the independent record label Because Music since 2012. Her work combines music, performance, art videos, drawings and photography.]

#66. The Project H – Everyday, Forever/ The Project H / March 23, 2018
[This is the fourth album from the collective that includes: Clint Ashlock – trumpet, Ryan Heinlein – trombone, Brett Jackson – woodwinds, Matt Leifer – drums, Andrew Ouellette – keys, Dominique Sanders – bass, Jeff Stocks- guitars. The Project H were winners of the 2014 Pitch Music Award for Best Jazz Ensemble.]

#67. No Magic – In Cocoon / French Exit Records / November 9, 2018
[All songs written by Ben Sauder. Produced by Joel Martin. Mixed by Joel Martin and Ben Sauder. Mastered by Steve Squire. No Magic is Ben Sauder on guitars, keys, stairs, vocals, & auxiliary; Joel Martin on guitars, basses, keys, drums, vocals, patience; Heidi Gluck on bass, acoustic guitars, piano, slide guitar, vocals; and Jeff Stolz on drums and modelos. With: Leslie Butsch – Saxophone on “Backspin” and “San Francisco”. Kyle “Strings” Stringer – Bass on “While I Got You” and “Apart”. Brother Bobby Sauder – Bass on “Firefly”. Nicholas Stahl – Drums on “While I Got You”. Chris Luxem – Chorus Chant Vocals on “Smoke”. Garrett Marsh – Acoustic riff on “San Francisco”. Design and layout – Carl Smith. Cover photo – Ga Ji Ashlin Wang. Inside photo – Austin Pulliam.]

#68. They Call Me Sauce – Soul Food 4 / Sauce / November 21, 2018
[Kansas City based Hip-Hop artist Sauce is back with his 4th original release. Sauce’s earlier releases charted on Billboard, iTunes and Amazon Hip-Hop charts. Royce “Sauce” Handy is a rapper, a songwriter, a beat maker, a designer, a teacher, an MC, a business owner, a social media manager, a husband, a father., a community organizer. He has worked with the AdHoc Group Against Crime, Teens in Transition, Storytellers Inc., Arts Tech, Mid-America Regional Council, UMKC, Representative Brandon Ellington, Mayor Sly James. He is co-owner of The Rap Asylum, We are RAP, and owner of Melanin Connoisseur. Sauce has collaborated with visual artists, the hip hop community and with the collective NUBLVCKCITY. Last year Sauce released his EP Summer Sauce which was part of WMM’s 117 Best Recordings of 2017. Throughout November and December he will be touring midwestern and southern cities with Mae C., Kartez Marcel, VP3, and Kadesh Flow. More info at:

#69. Heidi Phillips & Danny Krause – Honest I’m Fine / Heidi Phillips / June 23, 2018
[Heidi Phillips on vocals, guitar, mandolin, & drums; Danny Krause on vocals, guitar, mandolin, & bass; Zeke Krause on percussion; and Linn Buck on piano. Heidi and Danny played together in the short lived band Abileen who released a great album and broke up just as the album was being released. Before that Heidi was the co-songwriter for the alternative rock band Frogpond that she formed in 1994. Frogpond achieved considerable success and was signed to Tristar Music and Columbia Records. Through a few line up changes the band included Heidi Phillips, Justine Volpe, Krisite Stremel, Megan Hamilton, Tawni Freeland and Billy Johnson who played drums on all of their recordings and who passed away on Feb 14, 2018 at the age of 42.]

#70. The Matchsellers – BLUEGRASTRONAUTS / The Matchsellers / March 16, 2018
[3rd full length release from classically trained violinist Julie Bates from Kansas City, and a Chicago blues guitarist from Warsaw, Indiana, Andrew Morris. The Matchsellers have traveled the US and Europe developing their brand of off the wall bluegrass & old-time music. In 2017 they began collaborating with two of the Midwest’s finest musicians, Chad Graves a dobro player that has been featured in Rolling Stone and The Bluegrass Situation, and Betsey Beymer a much sought after bassist from Lakin, KS.]

#71. HighWesthus – TAKOTSUBO: a love story / Datura Records / Oct. 24, 2018
[Written and produced and performed by HighWesthuss. HighWesthus was born in Chicago and is based in Kansas City. Last year Datura Records released The Trilogy. A set pf three releases that began with the May 2015 release, Part I. The Dead, and continued with the November 2015 release, Part II. The Wise. HighWesthus is a freelance multimedia artist living in Kansas City. He graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2012 with a BFA in Animation. He is one of four owners of Strange Paper Studio, based in Kansas City. HighWesthus specializes in illistration, animation, graphic design, dideo editing, sound editing, music producing, writng anf storytelling.]

#72. St. Vincent – MassEducation / Loma Vist-Concord Music / October 12, 2018
[“MassEducation” a brand new acoustic rendition of her previous album Masseduction, Clark’s fifth studio album, was released in October 2017. Pitchfork writes: “Recorded over two days at Manhattan’s Reservoir Studios studios, MassEducation strips its hypersexual, neon-clad predecessor for parts, exposing its songs as tales of longing and nostalgia. Clark seemed to always know that her record contained two lives: “This needs to be something people can really dance to,” she said of a song on her last album, “until they listen to the words and then they’re crying.” Hiding melancholy behind pop production is nothing new, but on an album so saturated with sadness, these pared-down renderings give Clark a chance to indulge in their underlying sentiments.” Anne Erin Clark was born September 28, 1982, in Tulsa Oklahoma. She is known professionally as St. Vincent, a musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. After studying at Berklee College of Music for three years, she began her music career as a member of The Polyphonic Spree. Clark was also a member of Sufjan Stevens’s touring band before forming her own band in 2006. St. Vincent’s work has received consistent praise for its distinct musical style, which blends soft rock, experimental rock, electropop, and jazz influences. Her debut album was Marry Me (2007), followed by Actor (2009), Strange Mercy (2011), St. Vincent (2014), and Masseduction (2017). She released a collaborative album with David Byrne in 2012 titled Love This Giant. Clark also contributed backing vocals for Swans on their 2014 album, To Be Kind. Her fourth solo album, the eponymous St. Vincent, was named album of the year by The Guardian, Entertainment Weekly, NME, and Slant Magazine, as well as second best album of the year by Time magazine. The album won her a Grammy for Best Alternative Album, her first Grammy award. She was the first solo female performer in 20 years to win a Grammy in that category.]

#73. The Beths – Future Me Hates Me / Carpark Records / August 10, 2018
[The Beths are from Auckland, New Zealand. Elizabeth Stokes on lead vocals & guitar, Jonathan Pearce on guitar & vocals, Benjamin Sinclair on bass & vocals, Ivan Luketina-Johnston on drums & vocals. Their debut album on Carpark Records. Elizabeth Stokes previously worked in a folk band. “Fronting this kind of band was a new experience for me,” says Stokes. “I never thought I had the right voice for it.” All four members of The Beths studied jazz at university, resulting in a toolkit of deft instrumental chops and tricked-out arrangements that operate on a level rarely found in guitar-pop. Beths guitarist and studio guru Jonathan Pearce (whose other acts as producer include recent Captured Tracks signing Wax Chattels) brings it all home with an approach that’s equal parts seasoned perfectionist and D.I.Y. Channeling their stew of personal-canon heroes while drawing inspiration from contemporaries like Alvvays and Courtney Barnett, The Beths serve up deeply emotional lyrics packaged within heavenly sounds that delight in probing the limits of the pop form. “That’s another New Zealand thing,” Stokes concludes with a laugh. “We’re putting our hearts on our sleeves—and then apologizing for it.”]

#74. Stephonne – Caged Bird Sings Songs About Red Beard / Glory Blue Music / July 27, 2018
[Full length debut from Kansas City based singer songwriter and actor, who calls himself the lovechild of Prince and Billie Holiday. 31 year old Stephonne Singleton was born in Kansas City and grew up in the inner-city, of Wyandotte County going to High School at Bishop Ward. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Benedictine College and his Masters in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University.]

#75. The Fey – Strawberry Lemonade EP / The Record Machine / July 13, 2018
[The Fey is a Rock/Soul sextet based in Lincoln, Nebraska. The band has created 3 EP’s under the alias “AZP”, but have recently made a name change to, The Fey. Charles Hull, Founder and Managing Director, Silver Street Records writes, “Don’t let The Fey’s new EP title Strawberry Lemonade fool you; this record is no light beach drink. Rather, it’s a cocktail of the molotov variety, the kind you’ll want to toss into the middle of your ‘songs that rock’ summer playlist. From the opening salvos of ‘Contender’, to the slow burn of ‘Bones Underwater’, to the final soothing swells of ‘The Cool’, Strawberry Lemonade is a masterclass in modern songwriting, arrangement, instrumentation, and production.” Music arranged and composed by Zach Watkins. Lyrics written by Zach Watkins and Ishma Valenti. The Fey is: Zach Watkins on lead/backup vocals, keys, percussion; Ishma Valenti on rap vocals; Trey Shotkoske on drums; Michael Rogers on guitars; John Fucinaro on bass, and Ludwing Siebenhor. Additional Backup vocals by Jasmin Ondap and Aly Millanes. Engineered and mixed by James Fleege at Silver Street. Mastered by Doug Van Sloun at Focus Mastering. Produced by Zach Watkins and James Fleege at Silver Street. Album art by Zach Watkins]

#76. Dreamgirl – Dreamgirl / Dreamgirl /January 1, 2018
[Originally formed in 2013, in St. Joe Missouri by members who play with ‘60s-inspired psychedelic & surf rock.The band’s 2015 EP Illuminaughty was self-produced, and recorded over two days, at the home of Austin Marks. The band released their full length album, Dreamgirl on January 1, 2018 Engineered by Sam Stephan and Co-Engineered by Ian Dobyns and Mastered by David Gaumé at Forest Sounds, North Hollywood, CA. The current line-up includes: Lacey Hopkins on lead vocals, Austin Marks on guitar & backing vocals, Sam Stephen on keyboards, Ian Dobyns on drums, Chase Horseman on bass.]

#77. Jake Wells – Orange and Blue – EP / Sound 81 Productions / May 17, 2018
[Kansas City based indie folk singer songwriter. Jake Wells was born in Florida grew up in Colorado. Jake studied Music Composition at University of Northern Colorado. “Jake’s sound evokes an emotionality and maturity much deeper than his age of 22 would imply.” He was named one of Spotify’s top 20. He has performed on stages since he was a teenager. His single releases are currently gaining radio play in the Midwest on several FM stations.]

#78. Daisy Buckët – Pansy / Independent / July 25, 2017
[Executive Producer: Spencer Brown & Amy Hull. Co-Producer: Michael Wood. Album Concept & Design: Brandon Shelton. Photography: Vixen Pin-Up Photography. All tracks recorded at Sound 81 Productions, Kansas City, Missouri. Mixing & Engineering: Justin Wilson. The album of 10 tracks include five tracks recorded with Jeff Freling of Victor & Penny with Erin McGrane and the Loose Change Orchestra. There are also two tracks recorded with the KC psychedelic glam rock band The Philistines, with Kimmie Queen, Cody Wyoming on backing vocals, Cody Wyoming on guitar, Steve Gardels on drums, Rod Peal on guitar, Josh Mobley on piano, Barry Kidd on bass. There are two original songs written for this album. This past year Daisy has performed with the Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus, shows in Ohio, Connecticut, and New York at the historic Duplex Cabaret, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Spencer Brown is a professional actor, singer, spokesmodel, super hero, and has appeared at The Unicorn Theatre, Late Night Theatre, The KC Fringe, Union Station, The Folly Theatre, Off Center Theatre, Just Off Broadway Theatre. Since 2008 Spencer has toured internationally and recorded several albums as a member of the acclaimed The Kinsey Sicks, America’s Favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet. Most recently they were seen on Watch What Happens Live! With Andy Cohen.]

#79. Yanna the Supa Flowa – The Supa Flowa EP / R.I.O.T. LLC / May 4, 2018
[Formerly KC based Supa Flowa, aka Yanna, is a multi-media artist and rapper. The Supa Flowa Ep is a very vulnerable, yet an uplifting play on Yanna’s experience in dealing with anxiety, self doubt, and becoming comfortable with the androgynous, “sunflower dyke” that she is. Her goal is to reach out to queer & LGBTQIA youth; who have endured similar experiences to hers, in finding and cultivating self love and peace of mind.]

#80. Duncan Burnett – The Almighty EP / R.I.O.T LLC / May 4, 2018
[Olathe, Kansas based hip hop artist, singer, songwriter, producer, musician, drummer. From Tim Finn’s Back To Rockville(KC Star) Blog Sept. 9, 2015 – When he settled on hip-hop as his music genre, Duncan Burnett had two missions in mind. The first: Keep the messages positive. “I’m big on spirituality and being a positive influence,” he said. “When I started, my goal was to have my nieces and nephews be able to listen to their uncle’s music and love it and be able to repeat every line and lyric but also to have people my age relate to it.” His second mission was to provide live music during his performances. A trained drummer and percussionist, Burnett, 26, has been performing live since he was 7 years old. Live music, he said, is in his blood.]

#81. Doby Watson – Family Mattress Deluxe / Error Records / February 23, 2018
[Family Mattress Deluxe, a collection of songs written by Doby and co-produced with Zack Hames. Songs written by Doby Watson featuring Adamah, Hanna Maria Albina, Austin Swearengin and AKADUNGEONMASTER. With artwork by Ada Brumback and Nathan Landolt. Doby Watson was born in 1986. Instead of attending college, as Richard Gintowt wrote for The Pitch in 2009, “Watson spent his young-adult years touring the country with a guitar and a box of Clif Bars, one for lunch, then a real meal for dinner, and a bunch of sad and beautiful homespun songs that are as sparse and haunting as those of Leonard Cohen or Jason Molina.” In 2009 Doby released Twenty Two. In 2013 He released Watson & May an EP in collaboration with Margo May that was produced & engineered by Lennon Bone. Double Shift Music released Doby’s album Live-In Son in 2014, and the EP collaborative: Swearengin, Watson & May in 2016. More info at:]

#82. tUnE-yArDs – I can feel you creep into my private life / 4AD / January 19, 2018
[4th album from the music project of New England native Merrill Garbus (born March 4, 1979). Garbus’s music draws from an eclectic variety of sources and utilizes elements such as loop pedals, ukulele, vocals, and lo-fi percussion, in addition to electric bass played by Nate Brenner. Tune-Yards’ 2011 album Whokill was ranked the number one album of that year in The Village Voice’s annual Pazz and Jop critic’s poll. Garbus was raised in New York City and in New Canaan, Connecticut. She attended Smith College. She was a puppeteer for the Sandglass Theater in Vermont and lived in Montreal where she played ukulele in the band Sister Suvi with guitarist Patrick Gregoire & drummer Nico Dann. Merrill’s sister Ruth Garbus is also a musician who has played solo and in the band Happy Birthday. After releasing her first Tune-Yards album in 2006, she moved to Oakland, California, where her partner in Tune-Yards, Nate Brenner, also lives. The first Tune-Yards album, BiRd-BrAiNs was originally self-released by Garbus on recycled cassette tape. It was recorded using only a handheld voice recorder. A limited edition vinyl was released in June 2009, via the Portland-based imprint Marriage Records. In July 2009, it was announced that Tune-Yards had signed to 4AD, and a limited edition pressing of Bird-Brains was released on August 17, 2009. A full worldwide release followed on November 16, 2009 (and November 17 in North America). The autumn 2009 pressing was remastered at Abbey Road Studios by Christian Wright, and includes two new bonus tracks: “Want Me To” and “Real Live Flesh.”]

#83. John Keck – Out In The Cold – 12th Street Singles / John Keck / May 1, 2018
[Written by John Keck. Produced/Engineered/Mixed by Chase Horseman at Element Recording & Mastering Studios. Mastered by Ian Dobyns. John Keck on Guitar & vocals. This EP represents the first studio release in 5 years and is the first of 3 songs in a planned series of work. “Out in the Cold” a reflection on our society. These 3 songs were written while living on historic 12th Street in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. This is John’s first release since his 2013 Jack Moon Sessions, which was recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis. About “Missouri Queen” John Keck wrote: “This is an ode to my single mother and the advice she’s given me. I wanted a short biographical song that allows me to give a frame of reference for where all of my songs come from and this was born. My Grandfather flew a B-29 in WWII called the “Missouri Queen”. There were Japanese fighters with floodlights on their noses that would chase the B-29s and light them up so they could be shot down. She told me that he would say “Don’t get caught in the light”, which is advice that she passed down for me to interrupt My Dad was a pilot and always gone when i was growing up, I would look up at the stars and confuse them with taillights of airplanes. Hence the shooting stars. When my parents separated, my mom returned to the farm where my grandparents lived and it became an integral part of my life. When I pushed my mom for more advice for the song she repeated what she has always told me, which is this story. “A Persian king asked the wisest man of his country for advice that would always be true, and he replied ‘This too shall pass.’”More at:]

#84. Joan Baez – Whistle Down the Wind / Razor & Tie Recordings / March 2, 2018
[Whitsle Down The Wind is the 31st album release from Joan Chandos Baez born January 9, 1941, her first studio album in almost a decade. The album features songs written by such composers as Tom Waits, Josh Ritter and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Joe Henry produced the album. Joan Baez is a singer, songwriter, musician, and activist whose contemporary folk music often includes songs of protest or social justice. Baez has performed publicly for over 60 years,is fluent in Spanish and English, and has recorded songs in at least six other languages. Although regarded as a folk singer, her music has diversified since the counterculture era of the 1960s, and encompasses genres such as folk rock, pop, country and gospel music. She was one of the first major artists to record the songs of Bob Dylan in the early 1960s; Baez was already an internationally celebrated artist and did much to popularize his early songwriting efforts. Baez also performed fourteen songs at the 1969 Woodstock Festival and has displayed a lifelong commitment to political and social activism in the fields of nonviolence, civil rights, human rights and the environment. Baez was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 7, 2017.]

#85. Chess Club – Hit The Ball / Black Site / June 9, 2018
[Lawrence Kansas based Emo / math pop band with Griffin Nelson on guitar & vocals, Cooper Avery on drums, and David Krejci on bass.]

#86. Warm Bodies – Warm Bodies / Lumpy Records / February 27, 2018
[Pitchfork’s April 8, 2018 review: Olivia Gibb’s messy, experimental garage rock sounds unhinged and strangely human on Warm Bodies’ debut. Come for the unnerving body horror, stay for the fiery guitar solos. // While some wonder who’s going to make rock’n’roll wild again, Warm Bodies’ Olivia Gibb is barking like a dog out here. The Kansas City, Missouri artist is effortlessly wild. When she sings, she jumps in and out of cartoonish shrieks. Her bug-eyed and immensely expressive live performances would make John Waters proud. If you visit her website, you can buy some ceramic clown nightmares. Punk’s underground has always been flush with fringe characters—Warm Bodies share a label with noxious weirdos Lumpy and the Dumpers, for example—but Gibb stands out from the heap. On Warm Bodies’ messy and muscular debut album, you can find her screaming about her eyes which have fallen out of their sockets. // “My Face Fell Off” is a minute-long blast of surrealist speed punk, so while Gibb screams for help in locating her face, her bandmates come in frenzied. Drummer Gabe Coppage crashes forward at a turbulent clip while Ian Teeple keeps pace, rattling out power chords and guitar solos. This exact sort of noisy punk maelstrom has been the band’s calling card for a couple years now. The song originally appeared on Warm Bodies’ 2016 demo, and while the two versions are similar, you can hear just how much they’ve leveled up. On Warm Bodies, they’re faster, the recording quality is less scuzzy, and most pressingly, Gibb sounds far more unhinged than she did on her relatively more reserved early recordings. // Take “Something Weird Is Eating Me,” a song that addresses the more uncomfortable truths of the human body. After alluding broadly to a “mess” under her clothes, she gets extremely specific: “A burning lump full of yellow gunk/And I’m itchy itchy itchy itchy,” her voice oozing the discomfort that the song’s lyrics so directly imply. Later, when Gibb shouts about her sexual encounter with real-life plane hijacker D.B. Cooper, Teeple sets the stage with a clattering, rapid-fire hook. This is the band’s secret formula: Gibb whips up fever dreams with her singular voice and Teeple grounds everything with earworms and sick guitar solos. // Across its 20 minutes, Warm Bodies isn’t strictly a wall-to-wall shredfest. It’s an album bookended by electronics, opening with the tense swell of warped synths and finishing with the pulse of crackling, ethereal noise. Then there’s “Stinky dUMBOMix,” a song that’s all synthesizers, drum machines, whistles, and handclaps. It’s only a minute long, but it’s a crucial moment that places the music beyond garage punk and into the context of low-key experimentation. // With that handful of left-field sonic tics, Warm Bodies lean fully into the psychedelia that powers Gibb’s lyrics: melted faces, gnarly rashes, dog cosplay, and fucking a never-been-caught skydiving thief. Chaos is an intrinsic part of their DNA, which means more relatable, day-to-day subjects adopt a funhouse-mirror approach. “Psychic Connection” is a love song that’s both surreal and knowable—Gibb breaks down the unspoken “mind control” shorthand you have with the person you love. Then there’s “I Need a Doctor,” where Teeple’s woozy guitar and the call-and-response of “I need a doctor! (She needs a doctor!)” invoke sick-day queasiness. On an album of hysterical vocals and high-speed guitar work, Warm Bodies is riveting because of how human it is—its joy, rage, infatuations, and yes, literal boils.]

#87. Anna Calvi – Hunter / Domino Recording Co / August 31, 2018
[3rd album from London singer. Produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave) at Konk Studios in London with some further production in LA, the album was recorded with Anna’s band – Mally Harpaz on various instruments and Alex Thomas on drums – with the addition of Adrian Utley from Portishead on keys and Martyn Casey from The Bad Seeds on bass. It has a new rawness, a primal energy into which Calvi pushes the limits of her guitar and voice beyond anything she’s recorded before. Hunter is the embodiment of the feeling of truly letting go. For the songwriter and virtuosic guitarist, it was a catharsis, an opportunity to be more truthful than ever. The first new music since 2014’s collaborative release with David Byrne, Strange Weather EP, her self-titled debut album and the 2013 follow-up One Breath, Hunter is a visceral album exploring sexuality and breaking the laws of gender conformity. A queer and a feminist record, it is galvanising in its hunt for freedom. It was important to Calvi that it was as vulnerable as it is strong; as beautiful as it is harsh; as much about the hunted as it is about the hunter. But she’s careful not to characterise any of these traits as “masculine” or “feminine” – the whole point is that one person, of any gender, can be both. The power is in the contrast itself; in the way she oscillates between extremes, sounding freer than ever before. She wanted to express herself while being “free from the story that either gender is given, free from worrying how people would judge me on what I want to do with my body & myself. For me, that’s quite a utopian vision.”]

#88. The Internet – Hive Mind / Sony / July 20, 2018
[Los Angeles based band with: Syd Bennett, Matthew Martin, Patrick Paige II, Christopher Allan Smith and Steve Lacy. THE INTERNET began as two people – Syd and Matt. Syd taught herself how to record, engineer, and produce at age 15. She also sings, imbuing every song with a sultry, mellifluous, quiet power. Matt produces and plays synths. She’s now 23; he’s now 26. Like all post-modern relationships, the duo initially met on Myspace in 2008, only to meet in-person three years later. THE INTERNET have released two albums previously – 2011’s Purple Naked Ladies, and 2012’s Feel Good. THE INTERNET branched off from the Odd Future collective and started their own band in 2011. Syd had been writing music since she was small; she put this on hold to become OF’s DJ and producer, and picked her songs back up in 2011 to make her first full-length album with Matt. When they play live, THE INTERNET is a band – a six-person outfit whose youngest member is 17. They began playing as a full-band in order to tour behind Feel Good, and the band members all contributed their talents to THE INTERNET’s 2015 album EGO DEATH.]

#89. The Breeders – All Nerve / 4AD / March 2, 2018
[The band’s 5th full-length studio album, released 10 years after their previous album Mountain Battles (2008). The album also marks the band’s first in 25 years with their “Last Splash” lineup. Kim Deal on lead vocals, guitar, moog, casiotone; Kelley Deal on guitar, Kenmore 12-stitch, vocals; Jim MacPherson on drums, Josephine Wiggs on bass guitar, double bass, vocals, cello; (Tanya Donelly on vocals and guitar was also on Last Splash, but left the band to form Belly.) The Breeders were last in Kansas Ciyy on September 3, 2014, at recordBar, with a reunion tour of The Last Slash line-up.]

#90. Sona – Sona EP 2 / Something Sounds Weird / September 14, 2018
[Sona began as the love child of husband and wife Brian and Jenna Goodman. Add Bobby Reeves on drums makes this alternative indie rock shoegaze post-punkLawrence Kansas based band a “power trio.” The EP was recorded at Fire & Ice Studios Baldwin, KS and was engineered/mixed by Steve Squire and mastered by Duane Trower with all songs written by SONA.]

#91. Miki P – Dome of Swallows / Miki P/ September 1, 2018
[Debut full length album from Miki P containing 10 original songs. Kansas City, Missouri Miki P. She started playing guitar in middle school,. She taught herself to play the drums, while listening to Mitch Mitchell, Keith Moon and Ringo Starr. As a teen she played drums for various groups including the band American Slim. She wrote songs for their first full-length album Irreplaceable in the Spring of 2017, followed by a single “Queen of Hearts” released April 11, 2018. She also plays ukulele & piano, teaching herself how to play both the instruments and using them frequently in all projects she is involved in. She has played Middle of the Map Fest, Royal’s Kaufman Stadium, the Record Bar, Uptown Theater, Arrowhead Stadium, Nelson Atkins Museum, the Crossroads Music Festival and the SXSW Music Festival. More info at:]

#92. Noname – Room 25 / Noname / September 14, 2018
[Debut album from Fatimah Nyeema Warner who was born September 18, 1991, and is better known by her stage name Noname. She is an American rapper and poet. Warner is from the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, where she began rapping and performing slam poetry in 2010. In 2013, she gained wider recognition following her appearance on the track “Lost” from Chance the Rapper’s popular mixtape Acid Rap. Noname released her debut mixtape, Telefone, on July 31, 2016, to widespread critical acclaim. Noname grew up in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago. She was raised by her grandparents; as a teenager, she listened to blues musicians Buddy Guy and Howlin’ Wolf, and spent time in her mother’s bookstore. She first started writing poetry after taking a creative writing class in high school. As a teen, she spent time in the YOUMedia project—a space for young artists to create and network—then based in the Harold Washington Library. There, she befriended many local talents, including Chance the Rapper. Noname’s interest in poetry led her to compete in local open mics and slam poetry competitions; she placed third in Chicago’s annual Louder than a Bomb competition. Noname gradually turned her talents to freestyle rapping with friends, collaborating with many local Chicago artists including Chance the Rapper, Saba, Mick Jenkins, and Ramaj Eroc. Recorded in about a month’s time, the album chronicles the two years since the release of Telefone, most notably her move from Chicago to Los Angeles and an intense, short-lived relationship. On the experience, she compared her maturity on Room 25 to Telefone, saying “Telefone was a very PG record because I was very PG. I just hadn’t had sex.” Unlike Telefone, Room 25 was created due to a financial obligation. Noname said in an interview, “It came to a point where it was, like, I needed to make an album because I need to pay my rent. I could’ve done another Telefone tour, but I can’t play those songs anymore. Like, I could, but I physically hate it because I’ve just been playing them for so long.” Noname paid for the entire album herself using money from touring and guest appearances on Chance the Rapper projects.]

#93. The UK’s – American Way of Death – EP / The UK’s / November 17, 2018
[Kansas City based band formed in July 2010 with Noah Bartelt on lead vocals & guitar, Scott Combs on guitar & vocals, Katelyn Miles on bass, Tarquin Eugene Kellough on drums. This EP is their follow up release to their 2016 debut album “Bad Seed”, featuring their single “The Poison Squad” released in March of 2018 and four more tracks. More info at:]

#94. Sunny War – With the Sun / Org Music – Hen House Studios / Feb. 2, 2018
[“Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter and guitarist Sunny War (née Sydney Lyndella Ward) was born to a single mom in Nashville. She had what’s she’s described as a nomadic childhood, moving around from Michigan, Colorado, and living on the streets of San Francisco. Now in her mid-20s, War settled down in Los Angeles as a teenager, and became known for her street playing in Venice Beach. War is a fantastic guitar player. She learned her plucking style by playing “Blackbird” by The Beatles, and by falling in love with the blues. “I feel like I am a blues guitarist, but I don’t think I’m a blues artist,” she says. “I only use the scales and techniques that I know, and the only time I was trained in music was on blues guitar. I really love Elizabeth Cotten and Mississippi John Hurt,” says War.” – from NPR Music]

#95. Cris Williamson – Motherland / Wolf Moon Records / November 14, 2017
[Produced by Julie Wolf. Legendary singer songwriter Cris Williamson recently released her 32nd album, Motherland. Cris Williamson is a brilliant songwriter, poet, pioneer, and renegade who recorded her first album in the 1964 when she was sixteen. Cris Williamson’s groundbreaking album, The Changer and the Changed, was released in 1975, and became one of the best-selling independent releases of all time, selling over 500,000 copies. The sales of these records allowed the independent label Olivia Records to release music from a whole new movement of diverse female artists, all overlooked by mainstream music. Cris Williamson helped to forge a historic movement in the male dominated music industry, fostering the creation of completely female owned record labels, touring companies, and music festivals. The movement, (often misclassified as a genre) was about opening the doors, and smashing glass ceilings, for so many women to follow, who had been shut-out of the game, simply because of their gender. Cris seemed to shrug all of that off with an earthy sexy confidence that makes audiences swoon for her. She wrote music for people desiring to find their own identities in modern folk and pop music. No one had ever courageously written and performed so many brilliant full length albums of songs by women, about women, for women. At the same time, these songs are universal to us all. These songs were all impeccably and professionally produced and have stood the test of time and could go up against any of the songs by Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, or James Taylor. Only difference is mainstream radio and television has almost completely ignored Cris Williamson. Despite this injustice, through her amazing voice, and spirit, and open heart, Cris has helped make the world a better place for all female and LGBTQIA artists who follow the path she cleared. We owe her for that. Cris Williamson was part of NPR Music’s 2017 feature on The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women with The Changer and the Changed: A Record of the Times (Olivia Records, 1975) Ann Powere of NPR Music writes: “Produced by Williamson and featuring dozens of the era’s finest women musicians — including guitarists Meg Christian and June Millington, bass virtuoso Jacqueline Robbins and vocalists Holly Near and Margie Adam — Changer blended pop, country and folk elements in songs that were both cuttingly intimate and generously communal. (A few featured large choruses inspired by the sing-alongs women’s music artists inspired in concert.) Williamson’s own keyboard playing ranged from contemplative to dance-floor funky. The clear and confident lesbian desire behind love songs like “Sweet Woman” and “Dream Child” made Williamson a sex symbol; her philosophical side made Changer a record of spiritual growth, too. Speaking what at the time remained mostly unspoken in pop, this album truly changed lives. ” The Cris piece from NPR Music’s The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women (7/24/2017): “I’m kind of hand-carried, person to person,” Cris Williamson told the journalist Ben Fong-Torres in 1981, when asked how people discovered her music. “There are secretaries who’ve told me they can’t get through the day without running home during lunch hour and playing it.” Such was the impact of the Wyoming native’s voice, clear as a mountain stream, and her empathetic songwriting, which made this album one of the best-selling independent releases of all time and the cornerstone of the feminist “women’s music” movement. Produced by Williamson and featuring dozens of the era’s finest women musicians — including guitarists Meg Christian and June Millington, bass virtuoso Jacqueline Robbins and vocalists Holly Near and Margie Adam — Changer blended pop, country and folk elements in songs that were both cuttingly intimate and generously communal. (A few featured large choruses inspired by the sing-alongs women’s music artists inspired in concert.) Williamson’s own keyboard playing ranged from contemplative to dance-floor funky. The clear and confident lesbian desire behind love songs like “Sweet Woman” and “Dream Child” made Williamson a sex symbol; her philosophical side made Changer a record of spiritual growth, too. Speaking what at the time remained mostly unspoken in pop, this album truly changed lives. —Ann Powers (NPR Music) From – Ginny Berson belonged to the Furies collective, a radical, separatist household that published journals, taught classes, and advocated communal living apart from men. Judy Dlugacz, 20, had postponed law school to pursue lesbian activism and was interested in finding an economically workable means of serving the women’s community. Performing as a folk musician at area clubs and coffeehouses, Meg Christian was eager to meet other women songwriters like Cris Williamson—who had released her first album in 1964 at age 16. When Williamson came on tour to D.C., Christian and Berson not only arranged to bring other women’s music fans to the concert; in a gesture that changed history, they also scheduled a follow-up interview on Georgetown University’s “Radio Free Women” program. On the show, Berson spoke about how she and other members of the Furies collective were searching for a bigger project to invest in— “something that’s for women, by women, and supported by women’s money”—and Williamson responded with a simple yet provocative suggestion, “Why don’t you start a women’s record company?”]

#96. Adrianne Lenker – abysskiss / Saddle Creek / October 5, 2018
[Adrianne Lenker has been writing songs since she was 10 years old. Her “back story” has been well documented in various interviews and profiles for Big Thief over the last 3 years. Despite, or more likely because of, the constant touring and studio work, the last few years have been some of the most prolific for Lenker as a writer. Songs pop out at soundcheck. They pop out on late night drives between cities. They pop out in green rooms, hotel stairwells, gardens, and kitchens around the world. In the hands of Lenker, songwriting is not an old dead craft. It is alive. It is vital. With little regard for standard album cycle practice or the idea of resting at all, Lenker set out to make a document. Songs can be slippery and following 2+ years on the road with Big Thief, Lenker felt a growing need to document this particular time in her life in an intimate, immediate way. The result is her new album, abysskiss, out October 5th via Saddle Creek. “I want to archive the songs in their original forms every few years,” explains Lenker. “My first solo record I made was Hours Were the Birds. I had just turned 21 and moved to New York City where I was sleeping in a warehouse, working in a restaurant and photographing pigeons. Now five years later, another skin is being shed.” Following a two week road trip through the southwestern United States, Lenker headed into the studio with longtime friend Luke Temple. Temple put on his loosely fitting, bright orange, 100% wool producer hat and for one week they made music. The songs chosen for this collection were the songs that felt the most alive in the room. These are not castaways or B-sides. Some of these songs have been alive for years while some were written just days before the session. Some will appear in different future forms, some will not. The thread that connects these songs is not something that can easily be put down in words. Intuition connects these songs. They are a record of a time. With this collection, Lenker further illuminates to the listening public what those close to her already know; here we have a songwriter of the highest order, following her voice and the greater Voices that pass through her with an unflinching openness and clarity of translation.]

#97. Those Far Out Arrows – Part Time Lizards / High Dive Records / Nov. 2, 2018
[Omaha, Nebraska band formed in 2013, by brothers Ben Keelan-White & Evan Keelan-White wbo perform with Derek Levasseur & Tanner Rogerson. Recorded & mixed by Those Far Out Arrows in Fall of 2016. Mastered by Jon Ochsner at ARC Studios in Omaha, Nebraska music writer Tim McMahan said, “They (Those Far Out Arrows) unapologetically cross ’60s British psychedelic with Bowery proto-punk a la Velvet Underground.” Those Far Out Arrows were recently signed to KC record label, High Dive Records.]

#98. Cat Dail – Fight For Love / Lucky Magnet Records / April 6, 2018
[Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, & producer Cat Dail, lives some of the time in NYC and some of the time in Chesterfield, NH. She’s released 5 albums on her label Lucky Magnet Records. Cat has been active in the Indie rock scene since the 1990s, leading her NYC band, Cat played a residency at the Bitter End, and most colleges and clubs from Vermont to Virginia, Colorado to California. More info at:]

#99. Superorganism – Superorganism / Domino Records / March 2, 2018
[Superorganism is an indie pop band that formed in early 2017. The group is made up of 8 members, one of which is a 17-year-old Japanese girl only known as Orono. The 7 other members go by the names of Harry, Emily, Ruby, B, Tucan, Soul, and Robert. The group, started with members from all over the world including The United States, Japan, South Korea, London, Australia, and New Zealand, makes original internet-age electronically-tinged indie pop music. Bandmembers Harry, Emily, Ruby, B, Tucan, Soul, and Robert were all longtime friends who decided it was finally time to work together. Harry and Emily met Orono during one of their old band’s Japan shows (she attended as a fan), and they struck up a Facebook friendship with their future bandmate. After discovering she could sing, they invited her to add lyrics and vocals to a demo they’d been working on for a new project at the beginning of 2017.]

#100. Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy / Matador / February 16, 2018
[Twin Fantasy (Face to Face) is the eleventh studio album by indie rock band Car Seat Headrest, released on February 16, 2018. It is a complete re-recording and reworking of the band’s sixth studio album, Twin Fantasy, released in 2011. Originally a started as a solo recording project by 26 year old, Will Toledo, in Leesburg, Virginia. Toledo chose the name “Car Seat Headrest” after recording the vocals of his first albums in the back seat of his car, for privacy. Car Seat Headrest released 12 albums on Bandcamp. Toledo’s production has gradually grown less lo-fi, but he still remains an effective example of the DIY ethic. Toledo saw a large influx of new fans with his 2011 release Twin Fantasy, which has become the most popular of his self-released albums. In September 2015, Car Seat Headrest announced on his Facebook page that he had signed an album deal with Matador Records. In October 2015, Car Seat Headrest released the compilation album, Teens of Style under the label. This was his first album that was not self-released via Bandcamp. The new album, Teens of Denial, was created with traditional studio processes. Car Seat Headrest is currently on tour in the Northwest, and after a May 8 show in Brooklyn, the band travels to Europe for dates in May and then will be back touring the state through June and July.]

#101. Joan As Policewoman – Damned Devotion / Play It Again Sam / Feb. 9, 2018
[Joan As Police Woman, is Joan Wasser, born July 26, 1970), she is an American musician, singer-songwriter and producer. She began her career playing violin with the Dambuilders and played with Black Beetle, Antony and the Johnsons, and Those Bastard Souls. Since 2004 she has released her solo material as Joan As Police Woman. She has released five regular studio albums, one EP, a number of singles and a collection of covers. Throughout her career, she has regularly collaborated with other artists as a writer, performer and arranger. “Tell Me,” is the first single from the new album. Joan Wasser talked about its plea for openness and intimacy, “I am always wanting more intimate dialogue,” she says. “Fear of being vulnerable, future tripping and feelings of shame, paranoia and jealousy get in the way. You got to separate now what’s real, what’s not real – stop using jealousy (not real) as a way to avoid having to clarify and tell me what you really want (real). Why don’t we try trusting each other enough to be fully transparent? What is there to lose?”]

#102. The Sexy Accident – Chamcakes Babypagne / Jesse kates / Sept. 8, 2018
[Chamcakes Babypagne is a selection of songs from The Sexy Accident’s sixth full-length album, Champagne Babycakes, re-imagined and reconstructed by Steve Fisk, namelessnumberheadman, Akkilles and many talented guest musicians. All songs written by Jesse Kates / Halaster Music [ASCAP] except You’ve Got To Ride Your Bicycle Ha Ha Ha by Jonas Kates. Mastering by Mike Nolte at Eureka.The Sexy Accident is a pop band from Kansas City. They’ve released over 70 songs on six albums and four EPs. Their September 23, 2016 album, Chanpagne Babycakes included 12 songs produced by Seattle legend Steve Fisk, and a game deck of 45 cards designed by Gavin Snider. The current line up consist of: Jesse Kates on guitar & vocals, Ramone Hall on drums, Jamie Lin on vocals, Pete Marten on bass, and Ryan Leip on keys.]

#103. Oh Dear Oh My – ASHDLA’ / Oh Dear Oh My / July 11, 2018
[KC synth/drum duo, is made up of Rani & Curt. This is their 2nd release. They’ve been playing locally for 3 years. This EP Ashdla’ is named for the Navajo word for Five. There are five tracks on their EP, as Curt is himself Navajo. Oh Dear Oh My tend toward dark & dancy but can’t seem to commit to a single rock genre.]

#104. Wade D. Brown – From A Child / Wade D. Brown / May 25, 2018
[Debut album from Wade D. Brown on vocal, guitar & harmonica; Colby Earleywine on percussion, Katie West on bass; Mike West on banjo & mandolin. Produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Mike West at 9th Ward Pickin’ Parlor in Lawrence, KS February 2018. All words and music Copyright 2018 Wade D. Brown. Wade D. Brown grew up in small town rural Kansas and describes having a “dreamers disease” from a very young age. He quotes Kerouac, Woody Guthrie, and Waldo Emerson for developing his curiosity about being a “life long freedom seeker.” The notion of “self obtained freedom” is the central issue at the heart of Wade D. Brown’s music. With primary influences from pre-war delta and ragtime blues, medicine show music, bluegrass, vaudeville, and country folk, Wade D. Brown’s music is a contrast of light and dark themes. Songs like Home Country Pie and Summer Bliss paint pictures of simple happiness, while songs such as Old Habits and Paper Cups evoke a sense of complex loneliness. Wade D. Brown says that his goal as a songwriter is to “use music rooted in traditional forms with a poetic lyric to create an original sound that challenges the listener emotionally and conceptually.”]

#105. Foxing – Nearer My God / Triple Crown Records / August 10, 2018
[Third album from the critically acclaimed St. Louis based band formed September 2, 2011 with: Conor Murphy, E.M. Hudson, Enrique Sampson, Jon Hellwig. Pitchfork writes: “The band’s previous albums, The Albatross and Dealer, were bookended by muted introductions and finales, hand-crafted keepsakes meant to be dog-eared and footnoted. Nearer My God is likewise a closed system bound with melodic and lyrical leitmotifs, but designed more like a multimedia extravaganza. About two minutes into the opener “Grand Paradise,” Murphy is “shock-collared at the gates of heaven” when the drums finally come in and it’s a legit drop for light shows they’ll never afford at festivals that have never considered booking them. Nearly an hour later, he cries, “Heaven won’t take me in”.” Produced and Engineered by Chris Walla and E.M. Hudson. Additional production by Mike V. Davis. Additional Engineering by Conor Murphy, Enrique Sampson, Joe Reinhart, Mike V. Davis. Editing by Ryan Wasoba, Mike V. Davis. Mastered by Joe Lambert. Arrangements by E.M. Hudson. Lyrics by Conor Murphy.]

#106. Erin Eades – Diary / Erin Eades / October 19, 2018
[Debut EP from Erin Eades on acoustic guitar, cigar box guitar, vocals; Lucas Parker on electric guitar, bass (tracks 1, 2, 4, 5); Kenny Carter on bass (track 3); Colby Earlywine on drums; Jamie Malone on background vocals; Jay Vern on piano, B3 organ. Erin Eades is a singer-songwriter in Kansas City, MO. Originally from the mountain state of West Virginia, Eades began making music at the age of 12, when out of boredom her father handed her a 1950’s Gibson that had been stored away, waiting for someone to play. It wasn’t long before she began writing songs, recording her first album at age 17 as part of the duo Special Guest. After a more than decade-long hiatus from music, Eades began playing music again after moving to Kansas City and began her solo career in 2015. She has since played dozens of venues in the Kansas City area, won the 2016 HRC Kansas City Battle of the Bands Acoustic Stage, and has started to play more regionally, sharing her heartfelt lyrics, classic melodies, and percussive guitar style with audiences in the Midwest. Her music is genuine, and shares bits of her story, drawing from experiences that many find relatable. Influenced by the strong female singer-songwriters she listened to growing up, including Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and Jewel, she followed their lead and added her own tinges of twang, angst, and blues. Eades released her debut single, “Looking From the Bottom” in 2017.]

#107. Timbers – Timbers / Timbers / March 1, 2018
[Timbers first professionally recorded, mixed and mastered release. Recorded in the basement of Jacob’s Well Church in Kansas City, Missouri. Tracked, mixed and mastered by Mike Crawford. Timbers includes: Aaron Mitchum on guitar & lead vocals; Abigail Jones on banjo, guitar & vocals; Devon Teran on guitar, lap and pedal steel guitar, & dobro; Riley Taylor on upright bass & electric bass; and Nate Lewis on drums.]

#108. Bernice – Puff: In the Air Without a Shape / Arts & Crafts / May 25, 2018
[Toronto-based experimental soul-pop group includes; robin dann, thom gill, dan fortin, felicity williams, and phil melanson. “Puff: In the air without a shape,” is that band’s airy, minimalist follow up to their 2017 kaleidoscopic maximalist EP. Puff was produced by Grammy Award-winner Shawn Everett). Reminiscent of recent records by Feist and Frank Ocean where soulful vocal melodies take the lead over sparse, airy arrangements, Bernice’s new album attempts to reproduce the playful intimacy of the band’s live show.]

#109. Femi Kuti – One People One World / Knitting Factory Records / February 23, 2018
[Olufela Olufemi Anikulapo Kuti was born June 16, 1962 and is popularly known as Femi Kuti, a Nigerian musician born in London and raised in Lagos. He is the eldest son of afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, and a grandchild of a political campaigner, women’s rights activist and traditional aristocrat Funmilayo Ransome Kuti. Femi’s musical career started when he began playing in his father’s band, Egypt 80. In 1986, Femi started his own band, Positive Force, and began establishing himself as an artist independent of his father’s massive legacy. His first record was released in 1995 by Tabu/Motown, followed four years later by Shoki Shoki (MCA), which garnered widespread critical acclaim. In 2001 he collaborated with Common, Mos Def and Jaguar Wright on Fight to Win, an effort to cross over to a mainstream audience, and started touring the United States with Jane’s Addiction. In 2004 he opened The Shrine, his club, where he recorded the live album Africa Shrine. After a 4-year absence due to personal setbacks, he re-emerged in 2008 with Day by Day and Africa for Africa in 2010, for which he received two Grammy nominations. In 2012 he was both inducted into the Headies Hall of Fame (the most prestigious music awards in Nigeria), was the opening act on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ European arena tour and became an Ambassador for Amnesty International.]

#110. Melody’s Echo Chamber – Bon Voyage / Fat Possum Records / June 16, 2018
[Melody’s Echo Chamber is the main project of French musician Melody Prochet. When Prochet’s previous project My Bee’s Garden supported Tame Impala on their European tour in 2010, Prochet collaborated with Kevin Parker to produce her new solo material as Melody’s Echo Chamber. The material was recorded in Parker’s makeshift studio in Perth, Australia and Prochet’s grandmother’s seaside home in the south of France. The self-titled debut album was released on Fat Possum Records in the Fall of 2012.]

#111. Noah Davis – Magic – EP / Noah Davis / April 7, 2018
[For Noah, the love of music began at a young age while his father played old gospel and blues albums. Noah recalls his late father explaining the meanings of songs by bands such as Cream, CCR, Curtis Mayfield, The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Neil Young. A multiracial kid whose parents both loved rock and soul. Noah’s parents introduced him to the Ed Sullivan Show. Noah came to realize early in his life that music is NOT about color, but about the heart and soul. Jimi Hendrix’s concept of the musical church made a lasting impression on Noah who took it to heart and fully embraced these ideals, demonstrating that music should not just entertain but speak to and heal, hearts, minds, and souls. Noah Davis released his debut full length album “100%” on March 4, 2016. Noah Davis is releasing a new EP called “A Simple Gospel” on December 8, 2018. More information at]

#112. Helen Gillet – Helkiase / Helen Gillet / July 6, 2018
[Cover of English punk band X-Ray Spex from Germfree Adolescents, released Nov. 10, 1978. Written by Polystyrene aka Marianne Joan Elliott-Said born July 3, 1957, a British musician, singer-songwriter, frontwoman for X-Ray Spex. She died of Metastatic Breast Cancer on April 25, 2011, at the age of 53.] [Originally from Leuven, Belgium and now based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Globe Trotting, multi-faceted, jazz-based cellist, singer, composer and improviser Helen Gillet is a “mixed bag” of musical influence. Downbeat Magazine recently nominated her a Rising Star in the 61st Annual Critic’s Poll. She believes music to be an expression of the honest human condition; performing an eclectic mix of French pop, Avant Garde Jazz, North Indian, Folk and Classical styles. Helen Gillet’s 2018 solo album is Inspired by Helkiase, a cure-all medicine invented by the nuns of Notre Dame à la Rose hospital in Lessines, Belgium. (The hospital was one of Europe’s longest continually operating hospitals founded in XIII’s century). Gillet’s latest music deals with the more recent personal layers of complicated grief and finding new strength, sense of humor and inspiration. This recording captures the current spirit of Gillet’s live performance and features her newest original songs “Slow Drag Pavageau” written about legendary dancer and New Orleans bassist Alcide Pavageau, as well as “You Found Me,” “Skin,” and “Vautour,”song inspired by Israeili composer and artist Naama Tsabar. All songs are performed by Helen Gillet using a Boss RC50 Loop station and mainly cello and voice. Tracks 7 “Tonnerre” and 4 “Helkiase” use a Moog Sub Fatty synthesizer and vinyl scratching of a famous 1940 General de Gaulle speech. Live studio sessions and evening concerts recorded by Andrew “Goat” Gilchrist at the House of 1Hz on March 8th and 9th 2018 in New Orleans, LA. Mastered by Bruce Barielle.]

#113. Stacy Busch – 3-Song EP / Stacy Busch / July, 2018
[Stacy says these songs “were written for the Outskrts LBTQ Festival and performed live with live dancers. They are meant to be anthem-like in their themes of coming together as a community.” 28 year old Stacy Busch is originally from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She is a multimedia artist & performer. Her collaborative concert experiences are designed to be provocative and accessible to cultivate broader artistic interest and, reach under-served and/or misrepresented communities. Stacy is the founder and president of No Divide KC, an arts and social justice non-profit that creates artistic events for various social causes. Stacy’s work has been performed nationally as well as in France and Iceland. She recently partnered with Gilda’s Club KC, Owen/Cox Dance and Charlotte Street Foundation to compose and perform the music for “Collective: Our Stories of Cancer.” In 2018, her service with No Divide KC will include partnerships with the Kansas City Ballet School and the Johnson County Library. Stacy’s work has been performed at: the Kansas City Fringe Festival, Art in the Loop Kansas City, the experimental concert series ArtSounds, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and UMKC Composer’s Guild Concerts. She has partnered with the Kansas City Streetcar, the UMKC dance program, Charlotte Street Foundation and the electronic music non-profit KcEMA. In addition to Kansas City, Stacy’s work has been featured at the University of Colorado-Boulder, the University of Michigan, Western Michigan University, Central Michigan University. It has also been performed by ensembles including: Bent Frequency, the Beo String Quartet and the Zodiac Trio. She is a two-time ArtSounds Grant recipient, a UMKC Women’s Council Grant recipient and was a CITS Scholar at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Stacy received her Masters in Music in composition from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and her Bachelors in Music in composition from Western Michigan University. Her teachers include Rome Prize winners Paul Rudy and James Mobberley as well as Pulitzer Prize winners Zhou Long and Chen Yi. Other influential teachers include Guggenheim Fellow Curtis Curtis-Smith, Christopher Biggs and Lisa Coons. Prior to studying music, Stacy studied print journalism at Boston University.]

#114. Eggs on Mars – Mama Pancake / Eggs On Mars / November 9, 2018
[KC based 3-piece, lo-fi, psych-surf-garage rock band with Brad Smith on guitars, vocals & keyboards; Justin Longmeyer on bass; and Mason Potter on drums & percussion. Mama Pancake was recorded May through September of 2018. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Rodd Fenton. All songs by Eggs on Mars.]

#115. Digital Leather – Headache Heaven / Digital Leather / January 23, 2018
[14th album and 21 song digital release from Omaha, Nebraska based Synth punk, New Wave, pop, lo-fi, and psychedelic musical project led by multi-instrumentalist Shawn Foree. Originally from Yuma, Arizona, Foree began calling his project Digital Leather when he moved to Tucson, where he studied American Literature at University of Arizona. He used student loan money to buy equipment. He managed to release his first three albums after recording them in his bedroom on labels such as Tic Tac Totally, Jay Reatard’s Shattered Records imprint, and FDH Records. He supported this “bedroom project” with several nationwide and European tours. Sorcerer, released on Goner Records in 2008, is a half-live, half-studio record. In 2009, Foree began working on a collection of songs in a fully operational studio. Released in September 2009 by Fat Possum Records, Warm Brother garnered positive reviews. After relocating to Omaha, Nebraska, a 5-piece band formed. They toured around and as a band with synth-leads courtesy of The Faint’s Todd Fink.]

#116. Tunde Olaniran – Stranger / Magic Wheel / October 5, 2018
[Second full length album from Flint Michigan based Tunde Olaniran. In 2014, Olaniran released his first EP titled Yung Archetype (see: Jungian archetypes). Olaniran released his first full-length album in 2015 titled Transgressor. NPR’s Stephen Thompson notes, Olaniran, “presides over a bighearted sound and style that revolve around spirited statements of affirmation, a sprawling artistic palette and the pursuit of boldness in every sense of the word… It all adds up to a finely calibrated mix of purpose and playfulness, executed to stylish perfection.”]

#117. Tash Sultana – Flow State / Lonely Lands Records – Mom + Pop / August 31, 2018
[Natasha “Tash” Sultana was born June 15, 1995. She is an Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Described as a “one-woman band who brings new meaning to the concept of multi-tasking”. Half Australian and half Maltese, Sultana was born and grew up in Melbourne. She received a guitar from her grandfather when she was three, and has played ever since. She now can play over 10 instruments including guitar, bass, trumpet, flute, percussion and saxophone. Sultana’s teenage years were troubled. A self-described drug addict, she developed drug-induced psychosis when she was 17, and had to undergo several months of therapy to recover. Unable to find regular work, she turned to busking on the streets of Melbourne to get by.]

#118. Marc Ribot – Songs of Resistance 1942-2018 / -Anti Records / Sept. 14, 2018
[Written & Arranged by Marc Ribot (Knockwurst Music). Background Vocals: Rea Dubach & Lukas Rutzen, Sax: James Brandon Lewis, Trombone: Curtis Fowlkes, Bass: Tony Garnier , Percussion: Reinaldo de Jesus , Drums: Chad Taylor. With his new album Songs of Resistance 1948 – 2018, Ribot—one of the world’s most accomplished and acclaimed guitar players—set out to assemble a set of songs that spoke to this political moment with appropriate ambition, passion, and fury. The eleven songs on the record are drawn from the World War II anti-Fascist Italian partisans, the U.S. civil rights movement, and Mexican protest ballads, as well as original compositions, and feature a wide range of guest vocalists, including Tom Waits, Steve Earle, Meshell Ndegeocello, Justin Vivian Bond, Fay Victor, Sam Amidon, and Ohene Cornelius. Ribot began working on the project at the end of 2016, responding not just to the American elections, but to the political trends he was seeing around the world. “I am alarmed by Trump and the movement he’s part of,” he says. “I’ve spent a good chunk of my life running around the world on tour—I’m kind of an accidental internationalist—and I see that he’s not an isolated phenomenon. And if we don’t deal with what is going on, it is going to deal with us.” Ribot was born in Newark,NJ in 1954. As a teen, he played guitar in garage bands while studying with his mentor, Haitian classical guitarist and composer Frantz Casseus. He moved to New York City in 1978. He was a member of the soul/punk Realtones, and John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards. Ribot also worked with Brother Jack McDuff, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Chuck Berry, and many others. Fay Victor was born July 26, 1965. She is an American musician, composer, lyricist and educator. Originally a singer in the traditional jazz field, she has been working in jazz, blues, opera, free improvising, avant-garde, modern classical music, and occasional acting since re-settling in New York in 2003. PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT: THE INDIVISIBLE PROJECT (501c4) ]

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