Best of 2018: Mike Taggert - Bravery, Reprtition and Noise>
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Stereo Mike (Michael Taggart) from Fredericton NB
I host Bravery, Repetition & Noise which airs on CHSR 97.9FM in Fredericton Thursdays at 8PM and on Local FM 107.3 in Saint John on Tuesdays at 7PM.
Bravery, Repetition & Noise plays exclusively Atlantic Canadian music and focuses on garage rock, noise pop, shoegaze, freak-folk, really anything with a strong 1960s influence. I also play in the band The Lee Harvey Oswalds https://thelhos.bandcamp.com
My Top 13 records of the year
Nap Eyes – I’m Bad Now – (You’ve Changed Records)
These songs are super thoughtful, also fun. You could probably convince someone that this album was released in 1971.
Provincial Camps – Fuzz Pop – (Self Released)
I don’t know much about this band other than the fact that they write dope, catchy, emo/pop-punk songs.
Retirement Party – Somewhat Literate – (Counter Intuitive Records)
A sense of humor is one of the easiest ways for a band to hook me and Retirement Party have a great sense of humor. There’s a heavy dose of nostalgia to the 90s pop-punk bands but front-woman Avery Springer brings so much originality.
Michael Rault – It’s A New Day Tonight – (Wick Records)
Give this one a chance. Michael Rault’s debut Ma Me O is one of my all-time favourite records. This one has a slightly more modern sound but it’s still rooted in some of the best pop-rock songwriting I’ve ever heard.
Submissives – Pining For A Boy – (Egg Paper Factory)
So well executed, it’s truly inspiring. I strongly suggest getting a physical copy for all the swag they include and try to catch them live for the full experience.
Adam K & His Hired Friends – I’m Not Sad, I’m Dancing – (Self-Released)
If you can find three catchier, funnier songs, listen to them. Until then, check out these ones.
Various Artists – The Capital Project – (Self Released)
A double LP filled with some of Fredericton’s best musical talent? Sign me up.
Weakened Friends – Common Blah – (Don Giovanni Records)
Sonia Sturino has one of the most original voices in rock today. She also writes the most rocking, personal songs that also manage to be super catchy.
Don’t Stop or We’ll Die – Dazzle Me – (Self Released)
“It’s just another Friday night. I’m eatin’ tacos with my wife. We’re talking cheddar, peppers, sour cream. She’s a real Chattanooga taco machine and she loves her husband.”
Sunflower Bean – Twenty Two In Blue – (Mom+Pop)
Some mellow, some sonic, all pop genius.
Phantastic Ferniture – Phantastic Ferniture (Polyvinyl)
This album is pure Garage/Power-Pop heaven.
St. Vincent – Masseducation – (Loma Vista)
I loved 2017’s Masseduction and even though I listened to that album about 100 times, these stripped down arrangements gave me reason to get addicted to these songs all over again. The songwriting on display here is stunning.
DenMother – Past Life – (Patient Records)
DenMother provided a great bookend for 2018 with an incredible EP Now It All Comes in January and Past Life in December. I discovered DenMother and started playing their music on Bravery, Repetition & Noise in January of 2016. They have grown significantly as an artist even in that brief time. My biggest problem with some ambient electronic music can sound like “dabbling” but DenMother ensures all of the sounds are very deliberately placed and the electronic instrumentation is used to perfection as an extension of the subject matter.
Best local release
Kral Majales – Demos – (Self-Released)
Kral Majales are a Fredericton supergroup made of extremely talented members of a bunch of other killer bands such as Pastel Skeleton, Celestial Sunrise & Tortue. They play dream pop with the reverb-knob dialed back a bit to allow their technical playing to take the forefront. The 4 tracks included in this release are so catchy and well composed that I can’t wait for future releases.
Most under-rated record of the year
Colony Recording Club
Intervals - 2013-2018
Colony Recording Club – Interval - (Self Released)
CRC are a criminally underrated band. Much of this has a late 80s/early 90s Britpop sound. There are moments that feature the shoegaze wall of sound then the next track might swing more towards electro-pop.
Most anticipated release of 2019
Big Turnips Vol. 1
I’m not sure if Big Turnips is a record label, a preservation society, a collective or some mix of all of those things but as fellow champions of Atlantic Canadian music, I am eagerly awaiting their future releases.