Top Albums of 2017

Lists are arbitrary and burdensome, but why not join the fun everyone else is having? We gathered our lists, separate lists for all of us, then combined them into one that had 50 albums. What you get here are the four writers/contributors of ATH, giving you their meaningless opinions on what we thought was the jam in 2017. It’s alphabetical, and we put the initials next to it so you could track down your enemy!


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Nostalgic Track from Kittyhawk

KITTYHAWK-Promo-copyTypically, if someone names drop a 90s emo band as a reference point, I’ll probably listen to it, but will move on in my listening.  But, something today encouraged me to spend some time with Kittyhawk‘s new tune…I’ll admit it was a nod to Rainer Maria (who hold a special place in my heart).  The guitars on this song definitely have that emo-ish nod, though that sound’s pretty commonplace nowadays.  Still, there’s nothing wrong with looking back as long as your sound’s going forward, and I feel as if the group still has a lot to offer modern listeners.  We’ll get a more in depth look when the group release their debut, Hello Again, later this year.

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Free Polyvinyl 15 Year Sampler

Polyvinyl Records has been home to some of my favorite bands over the years and probably deserves a lot of credit for me discovering real indie music in high school.  What with bands like Aloha, Rainer Maria, American Football, etc. the label was one of the hottest and biggest in the emo/post-emo world.  It’s hard to believe the label is already 15 years old in 2011 and they continue to put out great albums year after year.  To celebrate their 15 years in existence, Polyvinyl has put together an incredible sampler featuring a whopping 30 songs from their finest acts over the years.  Old school songs like “Killing a Camera” from Braid are enough to make this a must download for me.  Hell, I’ll even entice you with a free download of that old school jam below.  Check out this sampler now and enjoy.


Download: Braid – Killing A Camera [MP3]

FTC: Rainer Maria

After a week away from the feature, our from the closet this week goes to old school indie popsters Rainer Maria.  This band, hailing from college town Madison, WI, were a part of a small group of indie bands that jumped on the small Polyvinyl Records label as they got their start in the mid 90s.  That group included several top notch bands in the underground late 90s era like American Football, Braid, Paris TX, or even Aloha to name a few.  As a teenager growing ever so tired of the Nirvana knockoffs and the rise of boy bands in the late 90s, those Polyvinyl bands were my first real taste of quality indie-music.  When looking back at all my old mix CDs from that era full of Pedro the Lion, Appleseed Cast, and other similar bands, I always seem to find a Rainer Maria jam on every one of ’em.  It’s sad now that the band has been broken up for close to 4 years , but alas we still have the tunes of old.  Below you’ll find “Artificial Light” from my favorite Rainer Maira LP, A Better Version of Me, dropped back in 2001.  I recently picked up a vinyl copy of that record and it really took me back.  I’d argue that this was when the band really honed in their sound and started to make some big noise in the indie scene.


Download: Rainer Maria – Artificial Light [MP3]