In July, we covered Our Favorite Local albums of 2022 So Far and now, 5 months later, we’re continuing on the list with all of the amazing local releases that came out in the latter half of the year. Boston’s music scene is bursting with creativity and passion, and we are excited to take you through what makes these EPs and albums so great.
FUTURE TEENS — SELF HELP
No need to read a self help book when you can listen to Self Help by Future Teens!
Future Teens explore a more mature brand of their rock sound on their third album Self Help. Amy and Daniel share vocals, most notably on “Good Reason,” and I can’t imagine two voices that fit better together; Daniel’s more gentle approach complements Amy’s grittier voice. There’s an open arms feel to Self Help – embracing candidness, volume, and identity both sonically and lyrically. We chose to play “BYOB” on air, a song that embodies the best of this record with its tight harmonies, instrumentation, and honest poetics. It’s been a pleasure watching this band grow, and Self Help proves they’ve put in the work to become even better every time.
Favorite Tracks: “Stress Dream,” “Good Reason,” and “Same Difference”
- Tatum Jenkins, Music Coordinator
BORN WITHOUT BONES — DANCER
Your bones will melt from the powerful sound of Born Without Bones’s album, Dancer!
Dancer, by the Milford-based band Born Without Bones, explores the twists and turns of romantic relationships but never loses its full-hearted belief in love. The punk rock band’s approach to romance is defined by force and clamor, with straightforward choruses and unembellished lyrics. Whether exalting or lamenting love, the band seems to advocate for feeling it all—no room for the cryptic or cynical. It’s a refreshing, almost adolescent perspective on romance that befits the thunderous sound, which seems drawn from the emo traditions of the early aughts and which takes on a nostalgic tint in 2022. When the band does use metaphor in songs like “Fistful of Bees” or “XO Skeleton”, the lyrics remain plain and earnest. The band’s not just about high-energy though; the album shifts into more subdued territory at times, such as in “Lurkin” and “Sudden Relief.” It’s these subtle changes that make Dancer interesting: even in the quieter moments, Born Without Bones rhapsodizes about romance.
Favorite tracks: “Lurkin,’” “Sudden relief,” and “Show on the Road”
- Abby Lee, Staff Writer
DINO GALA — DIAGONAL
Why you’ll want Diagonal to soundtrack your next (Dino) gala:
Diagonal, the new gem of an EP from Dino Gala, came just in time to be included in our end of year roundup. The collection of five songs was put out on December 9th by the Berklee based group. “51 Sea Slugs,” the lead single, shines for its dark-toned fuzz guitar and its bursting intensity both sonically and lyrically. It's “Owlz,” though, that I think encapsulates what the band does best. The track has a more raw, stripped-back sound. The style of the vocals, acoustic guitar and cello are still not soft, however. Dino Gala play with a beautiful harshness that finds its way into listeners’ hearts. Throughout the EP, the instrumental backing carries as much of a voice as lead singers Alex Massey and Martin Kessler. Bangs on the drums and long stretches of guitar express complex feelings, emotional shifts and builds, and ultimately, when they fade away, a certain level of resolve. Dino Gala have already come a long way from their first releases in 2021 and Diagonal only further cements them as a group to watch.
Favorite tracks: “Owlz,” “51 Sea Slugs,” and “Overtime” (which features another favorite formerly local artist, Raavi!)
- Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator
BILLY DODGE MOODY — CONDITION
Why Billy Dodge Moody's latest release conditions listeners to have his music on repeat: Moody's profound lyricism in his latest album, Condition, is deeply rooted in the concept of the human condition. It explores various topics, including the complexities of identity, depression, relationships, and loss. His tracks are full of upbeat tunes that balance the sometimes somber nature of the lyrics and enhance the listener's experience in wondrous ways. Moody's compelling personal storytelling influences listeners to reflect on their own life experiences and relationships with others. His lyrics' sincere and relatable nature is touching, and worth every listen! There is no denying that the entire album is nothing short of delightful.
Favorite tracks: “Mother,” “Highway To The Blue Sky,” “Old Me,” and “Better.”
- Isabella Kohn, Staff Writer
SAMANTHA FIERKE — MIRAGE
Mirage from Berklee College of Music student Samantha Fierke is simply divine, there’s no illusion here!
Mirage is Samantha Fierke’s first full length album, but it is a stunning and spectacular addition to the jazz world. Listening to Mirage absolutely mesmerizes the listener and takes them to another place because of all of the beautiful layered vocals in some of the songs, crisp instrumentals and melodies, and just an overall swinging sound. As someone who's grown up listening to jazz, this album has a special place in my heart. But if you’re not someone who listens to jazz, this is the perfect place to start as this album caters to so many different sounds of the genre itself. Samantha’s vocals are so perfect, clear, and warm—they are so incredibly talented, which is just one of the many reasons why this album is so cohesive and wonderful.
Favorite Tracks: “I Remember Butterflies,” “Color Me,” “When People Speak”
- Erin Norton, Membership Assistant
TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND — I AM THE MOON
We’re over the moon for Tedeschi Trucks’ I Am The Moon!
This year, Boston-born Susan Tedeschi dropped four albums with her band, Tedeschi Trucks Band. That’s right— four entire albums in one year. Each album is composed of four parts: I Am The Moon I: Crescent, I Am The Moon II: Ascension, I Am The Moon III: The Fall, and I Am The Moon IV: Farewell. Each part follows the story of Layla and Majnun, a love poem by 12th century Persain poet Nizami Ganjavi. Each piece takes on different perspectives, from the lovers to outsiders looking on in their relationship.
Tedeschi Trucks Band has created eclectic albums with spunky guitar riffs and wild piano solos. The band’s song “Gravity” displays range with a mix of free-spirited jazz and riveting rock & roll. Tedeschi herself has a raspy voice like Stevie Nicks, performing warm love ballads like “Hold that Line” and belting rock tunes like “Yes We Will.” But the band doesn’t stop at rock and jazz. Altogether, the band produces soothing folk harmonies, “Hear My Dear” being just one of their many folk melodies. Tedeschi Trucks does all of this and embraces a hippie culture while doing so. Their ’70s vibe creates a groovy atmosphere that is both acoustic and ekphrastic.
Though they may not be local anymore, Susan's a hometown icon, and made not one but four of the best albums of the year!
Favorite Tracks: “Hold that Line,” “Emmaline,” and “Gravity”
- Lauren Surbey, Staff Writer
THE CHELSEA CURVE — ALL THE THINGS
You’ll be feeling all the things as you listen to The Chelsea Curve!
Giving similar vibes as the Police and No Doubt, The Chelsea Curve’s debut album sent waves through the Boston rock scene.
After releasing 8 previous singles, the band wanted to make a “true album”, adding five more to complete their collection. All the Things is full of wise words and even making fun of itself, giving a comforting nature without sounding too preachy.
In the song “Inconceivable”, lead singer Linda, “Inconceivable! Look at her, she thinks she’s so damn brilliant!” This is countered by the final song “All in Time” repeating that everything is going to be just fine. This juxtaposition creates an approachable nature, like an older sister helping you through life.
Favorite tracks: “Inconceivable” and “All in Time”
- Elle Dickson, Staff Writer
PIXIES — DOGGEREL
Doggerel is sprinkled with enchanting Pixie dust
Between fierce acoustic guitar strums, and punchy percussion, Pixies album, Doggerel, is a new alternative album with a gritty folk edge. Native to Boston, Pixies released their fourth reunion album in September, which showed how much they’ve matured since eighties cult classics Surfer Rosa and Doolittle. Despite their competition with younger bands in the music scene today, Pixies continue to maintain a lively and crisp sound that is charmingly distinguishable. The 36-year old band has tightened up, and put on their big boy shoes with Doggerel. While maintaining their signature turbulent voice that screeches with glory, Pixies ventured into this album with a bold genre-mixing concept, and refined the production so the collection of tracks sound smooth, and not too harsh when the band falls back on punkier moments in the album. Doggerel outcries with intensity, and mutually simmers down to reflect on the uproar that Pixies conjures for the listener.
Favorite Tracks: “Vault of Heaven” “Dregs of the Wine” and “Haunted House”
- Ash Jones, Staff Writer
DWAYNE HAGGINS — CALL ME BOSTON
Call Me Boston? Nah. Call me BOS(ton) down on the dancefloor…
Singer/songwriter Dwayne Haggins’ comes out swinging with a healthy dose of local pride and twangy rock in his album “Call Me Boston”. This jaunty record feels just as at home playing in any lively bar in Beantown as it does on a stage in Nashville. While the two settings provide a clear difference in music preference and culture, their meshing creates something magical. Haggins’ powerful vocals and the inclusion of a lively brass section in songs such as “Dear Francine” and the titular “Call Me Boston” make for a toe-tapping good time. This in addition to the Boston pride seeping out of songs like “Line My Casket in Cannoli” make Dwayne Haggins’ album an endlessly fun time.
Favorite Tracks: “Line My Casket in Cannoli, “Vivian”, and “Not Much a Slave”
- Mason Standish, Staff Writer
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER — DASH
A dash of indie-pop, rock, and folk on Air Traffic Controller’s DASH:
Boston band Air Traffic Controller has released their fifth LP DASH in the sweet spot between a few different genres. This album is especially unique because it’s the product of ATC’s remote collaboration after many delays and hardships during the pandemic. As a result, it's an album that allows each band member to bring something unique to the project, rather than adhering to their typical album formula. Nonetheless, this album has all the features that set ATC apart: lyrical storylines, nostalgia, and beautiful hooks.
Favorite tracks: “Anybody Got A Light?,” “This Hell,” and “EZbreezy”
- Breanna Nesbeth, Staff Writer
AARON AND THE LORD — WORLD ON EDGE
Aaron and the Lord’s latest release has us on the edge of our seat waiting for more!
Aaron and the Lord has an 80s feel that takes you back to that vibrant decade on a new wave full of full tull and electronic dance music.
Their newest EP, World on Edge, sounds like a mix of the Talking Heads and Cocteau twins. It features 5 psychedelic funk songs with some tracks leaning towards being more dreamy.
This Boston based band has a spooky vibe and are definitely hard core goths, so much so that if you visit their Instagram page you’ll be wondering whether or not you’re on the right page. The band includes two main leaders Aaron Perrino- who was a part of the band The Sheila Divine and Steve Lord, a record producer and member of the band Dirty Bangs.
Both experienced musicians created the band during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown and have the notable producer Paul Kolderie whose previous experience producing for the infamous bands Radiohead and the Pixies. This collaboration is audibly clear when you listen to the bands new EP that has similarities to his previous work in their melodic tunes. If you’re a fan of the 80s, Aaron and the Lord will not disappoint you.
Favorite Tracks: “World on Edge,” and “The Collapse”
Local Tour Dates: You can catch Aaron and the Lord at Brighton Music Hall on February 3, 2024
- Kathia Dawson, Staff Writer
TROPHY WIFE – VOYEUR
Don’t be fooled. McKenzie lazzetta’s music is clear; she isn’t a trophy wife.
Voyeur’s tracks are poetic and almost difficult to comprehend. Trophy Wife sings softly, mostly. Then her voice echoes and at times screeches, sending chills up your spine. Her execution of the music embodies what she’s feeling: Frustration over a difficult relationship. “Ask Me Anything” begins with, “Will you come in and ask how I am,” and ends with, “And I know that you’d rather deal with yourself than talk to me”. You can see how the relationship is going. In “Linoleum,” her lover still ignores her. She realizes they are two people going in separate directions but blames herself in “Baby’s Breath”. In “Enough,” she remembers the moments in the relationship that have scarred her. She’s a “Leech” attached to her lover in the final track but the explosive screaming in the end signifies she’s had it. She isn’t your average trophy wife. Instead, she’s tired.
Favorite Tracks: “Ask Me Anything,” “Enough,” and “Leech”
- Mina Rose Morales, Staff Writer
Thanks for listening to WERS all year! Don't forget to check out our mid-year list of Our Favorite Local albums of 2022 ... So Far.