2018 Year In Review: Dan Bowyer

Spinning Thoughts is proud of the music diversity found throughout the many contributors on the team. With each AOTY list shared, we hope to encourage a dialog that inspires the sharing of music with others. Let us know what your Top Ten Albums of 2018 are on Twitter: @SpinThoughts!

Dan Bowyer | Contributor

Top Singles

Unturned – “Vertigo”

Minnesotans Unturned dropped their single “Vertigo” to a warm response, with good reason. Upbeat hooks and catchy melodies are apparent throughout the 3 minute track.

Certainty – “Pretty Eyes”

Certainty is one of the most underrated bands in the scene, as evidenced by their single ‘Pretty Eyes’. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if labels come calling for Certainty in 2019. If they don’t, it’s their loss.

Calling All Captains – “Disconnected”

The scene lost their minds for another single entitled “Disconnected” in 2018, but the one from Edmonton, Canada’s Calling All Captains is on this list. The band comes out swinging with hard-hitting riffs on this track and have recently signed with Equal Vision Records.

Rarity – “I’ll Come Around”

Rarity has been through a lot over the last while and their perseverance is to be commended. “I’ll Come Around” is some of their best work and foreshadows the release of an excellent album in 2019.

Boston Manor – “Halo”

Although lyrically “Halo” deals with very heavy subject matter, musically it is the track that perfectly illustrates Boston Manor’s transition in sound from their debut full-length, 2016’s Be Nothing to where the band is now with the release of 2018’s Welcome To The Neighbourhood by combining the best elements of the sounds found on both.

Capstan – “Stars Before the Sun”

Recent Fearless Records signees Capstan bring the perfect balance of soft and heavy on their latest single “Stars Before The Sun”. It is a sign of the good things to come on their full length record that is set for release in 2019. Lyrically, “Stars Before The Sun” leaves the listener with an important reminder: “Be present in every fleeting second before it all becomes the past”.

Top 5 EPs

5. Overgrow – The House You Made

Still relatively unknown, yet beginning to break out of Ohio, Jake Ciccotelli’s project Overgrow will continue to turn heads and break out as 2019 beckons. Five tracks tackling deeply emotional subjects comprise The House You Made.

4. CastlefieldTunnel Vision

Yet another talented band from Canada’s capital city, Castlefield move to new heights with their latest EP Tunnel Vision. The band’s reach outside of their home country continues to grow as this latest effort has been well received both north and south of the border.

3. First GhostThis Place Is a Movie

The next of many Canadian entries on this list, First Ghost are yet another example of the talent that Canada is blessed with. If you skip a track on This Place Is a Movie, you’re missing out.

2. Ever ElsewhereThe Homes We’ve Known

Although Ever Elsewhere have just celebrated their first anniversary as a band, no one would know it while listening to their 2018 EP The Homes We’ve Known. It pops with the polish of well put together veterans and is an indicator of the good things to come for Ever Elsewhere.

1. Youth Fountain – Youth Fountain

The release of the year, hands down. Vancouver duo Youth Fountain exploded onto the scene in 2018 following their signing with Pure Noise Records. The palpable emotion and passionate delivery of their debut EP simply leaves the listener counting the days until their next release.

Top 10 Albums

10. We Were SharksLost Touch

Ottawa, Canada veterans We Were Sharks bring the energy on their latest full-length Lost Touch. Successful tours followed release of this record alongside the likes of Boys of Fall and Youth Fountain.

9. Hawthorne HeightsBad Frequencies

Hawthorne Heights have a self-depreciating sense of humor with regard to their longevity, stocking “I used to listen to Hawthorne Heights in High School” shirts at their online store. Bad Frequencies is an indication that Hawthorne Heights might not be outside your window with their radio anymore, but they continue to progress.

8. Like PacificIn Spite of Me

The constant hard work of Toronto’s Like Pacific continues to show on their latest effort In Spite of Me, as illustrated by tracks such as “Sedatives” and the album’s title track.

7. Charmer – Charmer

A cool emo-throwback vibe musically and a love of 90s sitcom “Boy Meets World” make Charmer’s self-titled record a must for any 2018 top ten list.

6. Hot MulliganPilot

Hot Mulligan take a big step forward with Pilot, as evidenced by their single “How Do You Know It’s Not Armadillo Shells?” and numerous other gems amongst the album’s 11 tracks.

5. BearingsBlue In The Dark

The work ethic that Canadians Bearings developed for years playing house shows hold them in good stead as their debut full-length Blue In The Dark is straight fire. The band find themselves on a larger stage now, having supported Seaway and Like Pacific across Canada this past summer and ROAM with Like Pacific on a US run in the fall.

4. Trophy EyesThe American Dream

Trophy Eyes continue their strong momentum forward with The American Dream, the perfect follow-up to 2016’s Chemical Miracle. Standout tracks include “Friday Forever” and “Something Bigger Than This.”

3. Teenage WristChrome Neon Jesus

Teenage Wrist sound like Silverchair updated for 2018. Their debut full-length on Epitaph stayed too far under the radar in 2018. Don’t be surprised if Teenage Wrist becomes the world’s favorite band in 2019.

2. Senses FailIf There Is Light, It Will Find You

Buddy Nielsen and friends return with their latest effort, and not unlike labelmates Hawthorne Heights, the band acknowledges their longevity on tracks such as “Is It Gonna Be the Year?”. The band still has it however, as they prepare to hit the road alongside The Amity Affliction, Silent Planet and Belmont in early 2019.

1. Real FriendsComposure

The fact that there isn’t a skippable track on Real Friends’ latest effort Composure is what lands it in the number one spot as Album of the Year. The Chicago-area quartet may just have celebrated their eighth anniversary as a band, yet Composure points to the fact that they show no signs of slowing down.

What are your thoughts on Dan’s 2018 Year In Review?
Let him know on Twitter: @39dgb

TAGS: Unturned | Certainty | Calling All Captains | Rarity | Boston Manor | Capstan | Overgrow | Castlefield | First Ghost | Ever Elsewhere | Youth Fountain | We Were Sharks | Hawthorne Heights | Like Pacific | Charmer | Hot Mulligan | Bearings | Trophy Eyes | Teenage Wrist | Senses Fail | Real Friends

Dan Bowyer

Email: dan.spinningthoughts@outlook.com
Twitter: @39dgb

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