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The 10 Best Bay Area Albums of 2015

Well, another year has gone by. Local music critic, Lindsay Stickney has made my job so much easier by using her discerning and well honed ear to choose her favorite Bay Area albums of 2015. A lot of these bands are friends and I am certainly fans of all of these artists so I was personally pleased with Lindsay's choices (which I had NO say in whatsoever).

I hope you will enjoy her picks as well. Congrats to every single band who put out music in the Bay Area this year. The Deli SF loves you all and we completely acknowledge that this was an amazing year for well produced albums and truly talented artists.

I love you all.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. May 2016 be more musically fruitful and inspiring!

The Deli SF Editor,
Jordannah Elizabeth

1. The Stone Foxes, Twelve Spells

Bursting, bluesy-rock vibes that make you feel less like you’re listening to a record and more like you’re singing along to gospel in a church of rock n’ roll, Twelve Spells delivers an experience. With tracks like “Cold Like a Killer”, we’re reminded of how good it feels to effortlessly sway our hips to a single-note piano and how refreshing a vibrating guitar riff can be for the soul.

2. Monophonics, Sound of Sinning

Kings of dark, slinky soul, The Monophonics’ Sound of Sinning is heavily influenced by the psychedelic rock vibes of San Francisco, providing a funky 60’s-70’s sound that takes you through a colorful ride of epic horns and funky, noir beats. Packed with gut-wrenching vocals, hazy harmonies and hammond organs, it’s easy to get lost in this record and drift away to tracks like “Falling Apart”.

3. Lee Gallagher, Lee Gallagher and The Hallelujah

Lee Gallagher’s typical folky, country roots are uprooted and replaced by a much more soulful sound layered with emotional instrumentation and howling vocals. In Lee Gallagher and The Hallelujah, we’re carried back to a delightful 70’s trippy wave of movement that prove that a simplistic sound is sometimes the most powerful.

4. Lila Rose, We. Animals.

Bass. Power. Killer vocals. Power. We. Animals. is like your sweetest nightmare induced with passion, heartbreak, manic, and complexity. With whimsical beats, haunting vocals, and tribal drums, Lila Rose delivers an intense, sexually-charged album that lays its foundation on raw aggression. Tracks like “Tracking” will abruptly awaken the pissed off, sensual warrior in you.

5. Growwler, Even Tenor

Easing in with delicate acoustics and finishing with an aggressive bluesy piano sequence, the opening song “Long Hair, Short Wits” is a true ode to the San Francisco rock n’ roll scene and is a testament to the effectiveness of brilliant, simplistic instrumentation. Even Tenor is like a nostalgic storytelling that makes us miss the moments that we never lived for.

6. Ice Cream, Ice Cream

Sweet, sweet, classic garage rock. Ice Cream’s self-titled album forces us to remember the reasons we fell in love with rock in the first place. Dirty, honest guitar riffs, quick, aggressive drum patterns, weaved into gritty barely-there vocals, Ice Cream is the perfect combination of garage sound and punk attitude that will pour gasoline on that flickering fire inside.

7. Al Lover, Cave Ritual

The great Al Lover does it again. Cave Ritual is in fact exactly how it sounds: eerie, tribal, smoky, and sensual to the extreme. Textured beats layered with staccato samples give the album an imaginative sound that catapults us into a contemporary, psychedelic rock trance. Every track will take you to the sun, the moon, and then back again. Twice.

8. The Union Trade, A Place of Long Years

The Union Trade are masters of melancholy and it couldn’t be more gorgeously displayed than in their album A Place of Long Years. The subtle, aching cello atop the fluid, chilling piano make songs like “Svalbard” an escape from reality into the ethereal landscapes of your most tragic, stunning daydreams.

9. Guy Fox, Night Owl

Guy Fox are a musical enigma: elements of funk, old-school jazz, indie, pop, and rock can all be traced at different peaks in their most recent album Night Owl. Whether it be the use of timely instrumentation or charming lyricism, Guy Fox delivers an indecisive yet addicting sound. Tracks like “The City Line” create a steamy, devious tone portraying San Francisco as a playground designed for the mischievous.

10.Toro y Moi, What For?

Light, energetic beats coupled with smooth, romantic vocals make What For? the soundtrack to your hazy, yellow summer nights. Toro y Moi is known for his synthy-pop sounds, but the release of his fourth album slayed all former musical confinement. Tracks like “Lilly” walk the perfect, delicate line of modern synth and 60’s psychedelic rock, transporting you to a blurry wonderland that you’ll want to lay in for a while.





Headphone Intercourse

Headphone Intercourse is the instrumental rock of Jason Oppman. Earlier this year he released his debut full-length, Structure, and now has released a beautifully animated video for his song "The Crush".





Connecticut fuzz-pop band Furnsss' wistful "New Moves"

This past August, Connecticut fuzz-pop quartet Furnsss shared 'New Moves,' its bruised yet romantic latest effort. Comprised of such guitar-grained songs as "Jansport" and "Slow Dark Water" (streaming below), the brisk release radiates with longing for love and inner peace while admirably accepting current duress and frustration. Angst does seem to be a preoccupation of Furnsss (who previously released their full-length, ‘Silent Gold,’ last year) but, with their welcoming aura, a sense of ease prevails. While the band doesn't currently have forthcoming shows listed, keep posted on their Facebook page. -  Zach Weg





The Dearly Bereft Host Holiday Matinee With Blissfully Dark Record

  The Dearly Bereft have put together a great piece of laid-back, beautiful art. Funeral Music, while dark and haunting, and sometimes completely terrifying, is a unique collection of music. Made up of pieces of several long standing bands from the Peel Region, the band really came together with a hard hitting record. From Laura Palmer, taking musical cues and title from the murder-mystery show Twin Peaks, to the ambient-folk of Some Devil, the Afghan Whigs-meets-country of Radio In The Funeral Parlour, and the rock-out finale of So It Goes, this record was short, sweet, and not a moment of filler to be found. I really loved these 7 songs, and can’t wait to see what’s still to come. December 27th, come out for a holiday matinee show at The Central, starts at 1pm sharp.

Cody W

 





Safe Places' "Wild Ride" is a Pure Blast of Romantic Sound

Here's a group we don't know much about, except that they dropped this solid track of pretty shoegaze in our inbox. "It's a crime to call you mine," sing Safe Places in this cute track with a thrilling, screaming wall of sound backing its punkish vocals. There's something youthful and a bit thrilling in a wistful, looking at kids doing the young in love thing kind-of way about this track, and you get the sense that these kids are a bit wrapped up in their own adventures, but for once it's simply endearing. The song's a nice little encapsulation of a feeling and a mood that blasts the same hard, solid and pretty sound from the first seconds to the last, which fits a good art punkish pretty song just fine, and we'd damn well like to hear more about this band.

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