Michael's Top Ten Artists of the Year
1. Boygenius - Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus formed a supergroup that absolutely took the alt world by storm. The released an EP with six fantastic tracks, had a small tour, and played a tiny desk set at NPR. This doesn't even take into account all that the individual members achieved individually. 2018 was good to Boygenius.
2. Father John Misty - In May he released a brand new album that was critically acclaimed. He followed that up with a long tour and a prominent spot at Austin City Limits. Then for the hell of it decided to release a live album. If that's not kicking ass and taking names, I don't know what is.
3. Snail Mail - She took the top prize for Alt Revue's Album of the Year and many other publication's album of the year awards as well. Snail Mail just brought it with her debut full-length album. She then toured the hell out of the year and when her tour ended, she decided to tour some more into 2019. Good on you Snail Mail, can't wait to see you in Austin in January!
4. The Wombats - The Wombats released their fourth studio album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life, in February (which little side story that I've never told before, this album got me thinking about the idea of creating Alt Revue, which wouldn't be accomplished until late June. Then ironically, The Wombats (with Pixies and Weezer) were the first concert review I did for Alt Revue, which The Wombats showed some love for on Instagram). Anyway, side stories aside, The Wombats toured with Pixies and Weezer as an opener, but by the end of the year were a headlining act and featured in a prominent slot at Austin City Limits. So thanks for the inspiration for Alt Revue and thanks for the great music in 2018!
5. Shakey Graves - Austin Texas' favorite son Shakey Graves had a great year with two headlining tours, a album drop, and a prominent spot at Austin City Limits where he dominated. His star is still on the rise, but he's moving to the top a lot faster than many other acts.
6. Mt. Joy - Mt. Joy released their debut album which featured hit after hit. Mt. Joy toured tirelessly throughout the year to promote it and made numerous televised appearances. This culminated with a coveted spot at Austin City Limits. They have continued to keep the ball rolling for 2019 with booking more dates supporting Rainbow Kitten Surprise and The Head and the Heart!
7. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats - Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats had a fantastic year after the release of Tearing at the Seams in March. The album featured four hits, most notably "You Worry Me". Rateliff was everywhere this year touring extensively and making televised appearances all over the place. The group significantly raised their star this year.
8. Japanese Breakfast - Japanese Breakfast toured extensively this year in support of her last release Soft Sounds from Another Planet, that was released in 2017. This touring included a spot at Austin City Limits where she performed an absolutely fantastic set. She recently gave a speech on race in America at the University of Pennsylvania and has already been setting up dates for next year. I'm just excited to see when we get new music from the rising star.
9. Gary Clark Jr. - Gary Clark Jr. toured extensively this year for his "Sonny Boy Slim" Tour, made numerous televised appearances, and announced an album for 2019. Dude was everywhere straight killing it. I attended a concert of his in San Antonio this year and have to say, dude killed it this year.
10. Maggie Rogers - Maggie Rogers has yet to release a full-length album, but she had an absolutely great 2018! First she toured extensively throughout the year, released two smash singles, played SNL, and got the coveted supporting spot of Mumford & Sons Anticipated Delta Tour. Her album releases early next year, so it seems her star is only going to shine brighter!
Frankie's Top Ten Artists of the Year
1. Foxing - I cannot shut up about my love for Foxing. It’s bordering on creepy. I think this band is so good and continues to make huge strides in their musical journey. I'm very proud to have been on board since the beginning.
2. Microwave - Microwave is music for extroverted introverts and i think that is why they appeal to me so much. Their songs are all incredibly catchy, fun to listen to, and are about doing the absolute bare minimum to get by. Their lyrics are relatable and highly “Tweetable” for me.
3. TV Girl - Have you ever gone to a show blindly, not knowing any band on the setlist and expecting very little, and left with a new favorite band? TV Girl swept me off my feet from the first synth notes and i’ve been hooked ever sense. Their songs are the soundtrack to the era of hookup culture, leather jackets, and binge drinking.
4. Lorde - This might seem out of place, but i listen to a lot of Lorde. I love that Lorde’s song are pop but also a little funky and different. Lorde is very self-referential in her lyrics and humble about her roots and quick rise in fame. She seems like a very down to earth person and that comes through in her music.
5. Many Rooms - I didn’t know of Many Rooms (Brianna Hunt) until she bravely got on stage to open for Foxing armed with a couple pedals, her guitar, and her voice. She blew me away with her sweet, soft, emotional songs, and garnered my respect when she continued to put on an incredible show in the face of a disrespectful crowd.
6. Diet Cig - When I hear Diet Cig I immediately think of Tumblr, floral dresses, and big riot boots. I love how feminine their song content is, while still being tough with a touch of crazy. They have songs that make me proud to be a girl!
7. Now, Now - Now, Now has grown tremendously since I first heard a song by them four years ago, and that evolution keeps them high on my list of favorites. I love that their lyrics are straight forward, no guessing at what a song is about, which makes them simpler to relate to.
8. Camp Cope - Camp Cope is a breath of fresh air in a male-dominated music scene. I love that that are angry, funny, proud girls writing music that makes other women feel angry, funny, and proud. When I grow up, i want to be just like them!
9. Pinegrove - I have a massive amount of respect for the growth Pinegrove has experienced this year; namely their front man Evan Hall. Their songs speak of repentance and forgiveness, and they practice what they preach.
10. Say Anything - It was a sad end of the year for Say Anything fans with the news that the man behind the music, Max Bemis, has decided to suspend the project indefinitely. We’ve gotten some truly great music out of Say Anything, timeless pieces i’ll never get sick of hearing.