Flagpole Music Awards: Best Album

(Graphic/Ziona Kocher)

Yes, believe it or not, I have  actually gotten to listen to all this year’s nominees for Best Local Album. It’s a rarity that I get to hear all the nominees but the picks for this batch are pretty much unavoidable at this point. Variety is the spice of life and award shows so pick your favorite nominee and vote for them before Friday!

MODERN SILENCE – CASPER & THE COOKIES
You can read all about my opinion of Modern Silence here. But a few more words about the album couldn’t hurt, right? So here are a few words. Poppy. Insects. Chocolate. Catchy.

AT THE CUT – VIC CHESNUTT
Even before recent events took Vic away from us, At The Cut was a heart-breaking album. It serves as a partner for Skitter on Take Off but this is one haunting epic about death, life, and all the little moments in between.

SIGNAL MORNING – CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Hailed as a triumphant and much needed return, Signal Morning is not your average album. The arrangements range from spare to overloaded, courtesy of an incredible cavalcade of musicians. One for the record books.

CHRISTMAS – THE DREAM SCENE
“Really? A Christmas album?” Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and he comes bearing some great tunes in the grand Athens tradition. Seriously though, Athens groups have a thing for Christmas carols. These are pretty awesome to play in the middle of the summer and are well worthy of Best Album consideration.

THE BIG TO DO – DRIVE BY TRUCKERS
ATO Debut. Favorable reviews. Not surprising news. It’s The Big To Do. And man, is it ever something to talk about. These guys make it seem easy to write a hard-hitting, exciting, near-classic dirty rock album. Cinematic yet completely realistic. DBT does it with style.

A PARALLAX 1 – JAMES HUSBAND
What happens when you get an E-6er/Of Montrealer solo album? Sonic bliss collage. The man is a damn good multi-instrumentalist and struts his stuff here on the debut. To quote: “You’ve been listening to James for years, you just didn’t know it.”

RUTH – NANA GRIZOL
I think I may have a crush on Theo. Or at least the version of him I hear on Ruth. The album is like a whisper, quiet and intimate. Theo has a gift for lyrics and has created some of my favorite phrases of the past year. Best heard in bed after a long day. Nana Grizol will bring you sweet dreams.

GRAY WAVES – TWIN TIGERS
The go-to rock album for many in Athens, Gray Waves is one of the most talked about (at least in my circles) releases of the year. The Tigers take full flight, embracing what the past few years have taught them and showing off for the world to hear.

SAND & LINES – VENICE IS SINKING
Recorded live and mostly untouched in the pre-fire Georgia Theatre, Sand and Lines stands as a testament to the power of live, raw music and the power of suggestion. Here, ViS does what they do best, drawing you in with heavy hitting bliss.

IN THE DARK – THE WHIGS
Another of the much anticipated Athens releases of the year, In the Dark had Whigs fans practically drooling over. Hook after hook and tons of thunder. The Whigs make it clear here that they want the big time and they can bring the big sound that it requires.

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