Artist Spotlight

Indie Artist Spotlight: Favorite Reviews of 2015

1 Comment 4 January 2016

Indie Artist Spotlight: Favorite Reviews of 2015

As we ramp up our Indie Artist Spotlight for 2016, it’s only natural to reflect on the past year and the multitude of albums, EPs and singles that made their way to our Indie-Music inboxes. There was truly some inspired and creative work coming in throughout the year, starting with a release on New Year’s Day of 2015. It was impossible to narrow it down to a Top 10; so we’ve taken a few liberties and even crafted a shout-out to our home base city. So without further ado, here are our favorite releases reviewed on Indie-Music.com over the past year. We hope you enjoy them (again) as much as we did.

Look out for new reviews published starting in February.

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Close to Home
Seattle and the neighboring vicinity have produced some of our favorite records over the past few years, and though there might be a hint of favoritism for this prolific PNW city…there’s no denying the music. Need proof? Check our top releases that merely scratch the surface of what’s happening in the current Seattle scene.


Tess Henley - WonderlandTess Henley - Wonderland
“It’s clear that Tess Henley has a natural gift for rhythm and melody; she is a talented and true-to-herself songwriter who knows exactly who she is. Working with a producer of Was’ caliber has only served to polish an already shining jewel in the neo soul music scene. Wonderland is such a breath of fresh air, and finds Henley maturing and expressing herself in all her unique glory.”

Read the full review: http://www.indie-music.com/ee/index.php/blog/comments/review_tess_henley_wonderland


Planes on Paper - The RuinsPlanes on Paper - The Ruins
“Getting reacquainted with the captured magic that exists between duo Jen Borst and Navid Eliot feels like welcoming old friends back after an absence. There is still a potency within the songs they sing together, a synergy between every breath and note they share. But when you take a moment and listen closely to these two as individuals, you hear the clear, plaintive and unusual charm in Borst’s voice and the equally dynamic, unique tone of Eliot. Separately, they both have a wonderful gift for lending character to their words; together, they blend into each other with a fluid ease that manages to soar even higher.” (We are aware this review is from 2014, but technically the EP was released in 2015. And, it’s our list. And we love this record.)

Read the full review: http://www.indie-music.com/ee/index.php/blog/comments/review_planes_on_paper_the_ruins


Lowlands - The WhaleLowlands - The Whale
“These are players who blend easily and bring out the best in each other. They are completely in sync, putting together a polished and difficult-to-deny infectious sound that shines very brightly. The subtle moments set the tone of this record just as much as the grander, elaborate arrangements. Every detail has been attended to from the first note to the last, and The Whale is an impressive album.”

Read the full review: http://www.indie-music.com/ee/index.php/blog/comments/review_lowlands_the_whale


The Local Strangers - Take What You Can CarryThe Local Strangers - Take What You Can Carry
“The Local Strangers have put their hearts on their sleeves with the release of Take What You Can Carry. The songs themselves are exceptionally strong lyrically and the added instrumentation on the first disc elevates them to new heights. And with roots in acoustic performance, you would expect that the live second disc would deliver the goods. But both discs are required listening because they put the formidable vocal talents of both Zoli and Hart on the full display that they deserve; this pairing is a potent one, and the result of their musical union is vibrant and undeniable.”

Read the full review: http://www.indie-music.com/ee/index.php/blog/comments/review_the_local_strangers_take_what_you_can_carry


The Grizzled Mighty - Closed Knuckle JawThe Grizzled Mighty - Closed Knuckle Jaw
“As a listener, it’s pure musical therapy; after a long week of highs, lows and everything in between, putting this record on at full volume has a way of dispelling the demons that lurk in the shadows. And there’s that word: pure. Ryan Granger (vocals, guitar) and Lupe Flores (drums) do not make music full of posture or pretentious drama. Enter Closed Knuckle Jaw: It’s real, it’s honest, and it’s coming straight at you like a freight train. Even in its quieter moments.”

Read the full review: http://www.indie-music.com/ee/index.php/blog/comments/review_the_grizzled_mighty_closed_knuckle_jaw

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Lord Huron - Strange TrailsLord Huron - Strange Trails
“Lord Huron has managed to once again harness its own brand of peculiarly charming and agile lyricism on Strange Trails. From the first haunting note to the last, this record enchants and entertains. But the brilliance truly lies in Schneider’s ability to tap into each individual listener’s imagination…”

Read the full review: http://www.indie-music.com/ee/index.php/blog/comments/review_lord_huron_strange_trails


City and Colour - If I Should Go Before YouCity and Colour - If I Should Go Before You
“The progression - lyrically, vocally, and musically - that this album represents in the City and Colour catalog cannot be denied. If I Should Go Before You is full of warmth, complexity and some achingly gorgeous performances that cut straight to the heart. Dallas Green continues to impress with his ability to deliver soulful lyrics and breathtaking vocals that seem to both defy and define the laws of nature.”

Read the full review: http://www.indie-music.com/ee/index.php/blog/comments/review_city_and_colour_if_i_should_go_before_you


Mary Jennings - MetamorphosisMary Jennings - Metamorphosis
“Mary Jennings delivers her brand of piano pop on a grand scale, an enveloping and sensory experience that’s exhilarating. Metamorphosis, in perfect illustration of its album title, feels like something of a coming-out party. Jennings sounds like she’s blooming and changing into some other-worldly pop star across the expanse of this record.”

Read the full review: http://www.indie-music.com/ee/index.php/blog/comments/review_mary_jennings_metamorphosis


The Lionheads - Human Walk
The Lionheads - Human Walk
“The Lionheads possess natural talent for bringing magical moments into their songcraft. These are massive-sounding songs from a band with massive potential. There are many reasons to heap praise upon what this band has accomplished with the debut of Human Walk. But what most impresses me is that the foundation for this highly charismatic pop record is rooted in powerful, dynamic storytelling backed up by an electric performance. I suspect The Lionheads won’t remain a Nordic secret for long.”

Read the full review: http://www.indie-music.com/ee/index.php/blog/comments/review_the_lionheads_human_walk


Tumbleweed Wanderers - RealizeTumbleweed Wanderers - Realize
“Tumbleweed Wanderers employ well-balanced, focused songwriting and the band’s hard work crafting their performances is apparent; but that makes Realize no less enchanting in its ability to create some warm and wonderful musical moments. The sometimes otherworldly sound of the band makes this a mesmerizing listen that you won’t want to end. This is great music, plain and simple.”

Read the full review: http://www.indie-music.com/ee/index.php/blog/comments/review_tumbleweed_wanderers_realize


Paperhaus - PaperhausPaperhaus - Paperhaus
“This self-titled album from Paperhaus is dark, moody and drives listeners to those places deep down that defy classification; there is a liquid molten core that generally threatens to spill over the edges of the arrangements and melodies at any moment. That’s exciting, unpredictable and ultimately very satisfying as a music fan.”

Read the full review: http://www.indie-music.com/ee/index.php/blog/comments/review_paperhaus_paperhaus


Moving Panoramas - OneMoving Panoramas - One
“Moving Panoramas create big, atmospheric music that paints the walls and fills up the corners of a room until you’re completely surrounded by dream gaze. Led by singer/guitarist Leslie Sisson, this band comprised of bassist Rozie Castoe and drummer Karen Skloss shift and pop with such synchronicity it’s easy to get wrapped up in their lush wall of sound. Their debut record One is an incredibly advanced start to what promises to be a powerful trio of female musical power.”

Read the full review: http://www.indie-music.com/ee/index.php/blog/comments/review_moving_panoramas_one


Ali Holder - From My Veins Will FallAli Holder - From My Veins Will Fall
From My Veins Will Fall is a true artistic showpiece for its maker. Ali Holder has delivered an unflinchingly authentic set of songs that bear the mark of a storyteller. Her lyrics are undiluted and only outmatched by her flawless and raw vocal performance.”

Read the full review: http://www.indie-music.com/ee/index.php/blog/comments/review_ali_holder_from_my_veins_will_fall

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One Comment

  1. Thank you so much!  I am super honored to be a part of this list!!


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