Dream Pop vocalist Ben Rowe tells us about his favorite releases of the year thus far. Taking the Purchase, NY music scene by storm, see the new releases that have stuck with the Albany, NY-based vocalist.
:"My name is Ben – I am the singer in Spooky Hat, a band from Purchase, NY who released our debut single with Santapogue Media. I don’t think I’m much of a musician OR a journalist, but here are some of my favorite albums from 2016 so far. I don’t have much to say, other than that they are really dang good."
Click the titles of the albums to take a listen! We try to keep everything Bandcamp-based, but some links may take you to YouTube, Spotify, etc.
Frankie Cosmos – Next Thing
This record is awesome. At first, I thought it didn’t stand up to Zentropy at all, but it’s come to grow on me a lot. Almost every song is great.
Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
I am a huge fan of Will Toledo, who has been self-releasing albums on Bandcamp since he was a teenager. This album is his second on Matador, his first of entirely new material. It’s not my personal favorite but it is really excellent, and deserves the great reception it’s getting. I think it’s crazy he can put out album after album of amazing content like this, with no sign of peaking.
Pinegrove – Cardinal
I love this album but it comes and goes too quick. The songs are amazing, though, Pinegrove is a different kind of alt-country band.
Parquet Courts – Human Performance
I had the pleasure of seeing this band twice this last year. Truly one of my favorite current artists and this album is pretty good. Also not my personal favorite for the band, but I could see this album going down as a classic.
Washer – Here Comes Washer
I think Exploding in Sound has got to be one of the best labels right now, and this is one of the best albums I’ve heard from one of their bands in the past year. It sounds a lot like Pile, but a little more aggressive. This is a fierce duo.
Told Slant – Going By
This band does not disappoint. Songs new and old, and all of them are good. I loved this band’s sound on Still Water, and they return with a very similar sound. Not necessarily better songwriting but definitely better production. Any fans of the band will be pleased.
David Bowie – Blackstar
This leaves me speechless. I don’t know if it’s David Bowie’s greatest album ever but it’s definitely my favorite and I believe his most moving. If you haven’t listened to this yet what are you doing.
Kendrick Lamar – untitled unmastered
Not a big Kendrick Lamar fan but I like this album of demos more than I like most full-length hip-hop efforts as of recent. This is seriously good, completely on par with To Pimp a Butterfly.
Full of Hell and The Body – One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache
Full of Hell is a pretty tight grindcore/powerviolence group and The Body is a sludge metal duo that experiment a ton with industrial and ambient elements. I think both of these bands have put out some pretty good albums in the past, but this collaboration might be the most consistently interesting record from either’s discography. Very listenable and well produced experimental metal.
Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost
I wasn’t expecting a whole lot out of this album but it’s very good. The band has matured a lot and some of these songs are among their best for sure. However, the first half of the record is noticeably stronger than the second.
Spooky Hat recently release an EP called "Right Now". Tapes will be available soon (not through us, but we can't spoil the fun just yet!)