Lauren Year’s in Local Music

Lauren Garant plays in Boston’s Elephants

My mixtape is a look back on the past year of shows, listening, and musical discoveries. One of my favorite parts of playing in bands is regularly hearing new music, especially coming from so many talented local artists. It’s really fun to go back into the archives and reflect on an awesome year of music discovery. Most of the bands featured here are local to New England, so if you like what you hear, go check out their shows!

1. “Classic McNulty” by The New Warden

Elephants released a cassette last January at a Charlie’s Kitchen show with The New Warden. They shredded and it was awesome.

 

2. “Usesless” by Uh Huh

(FFO lo-fi, synth shredding, uncontrollable urges to dance)

 

3. “Fall Soap” by Gnärds

(FFO fun guitar acrobatics, The Minutemen)

 

4. “#1 in the State” by Eureka California

I heard Eureka, California, a ripping guitar-and-drums duo from Georgia, for the first time at a house show in Western MA a couple of years ago. We were psyched to play with them when they came through this year on tour.

 

5.  “Choker” by Honeyblood

Honeyblood is another awesome guitar-and-drums duo that we enjoyed sharing a bill with  in 2015.

 

6. “Whatever’s on Your Mind” by The Sun Lions

(FFO pea-soup-thick guitars, the 90’s)

 

7. “Are You Real” by Mini Dresses

(FFO jangle, dreaminess)

 

8. “575” by Julius Earthling

(FFO math, epic pedal boards)

 

9. “Cloud Metal” by The True Jacqueline

A trio from Western MA. I really dig their latest record! Sorta shoegazey, sorta poppy, most excellent.

 

10. “Fan the Flames” by Sheer Mag

 

11. “Need You” by Royal Headache

One of the most high-energy, fun shows I saw last year was Royal Headache and Sheer Mag at Great Scott. Having those two bands on the same bill made for a great show; they complimented each other really well, and nobody wanted to sit down the whole night.

 

12. “House on Fire” by Post Modern Authors

FFO: expansive prairie landscapes, Neil Young, The Decemberists

 

13. “A Long Glow” by Quiet Giant

A heavy, dreamy rock band from southwestern Connecticut. I met them on tour in 2014, and they just put out their first full-length last summer. It rules.

 

14. “She Cracked” by The Modern Lovers

This year Ryan (also of Elephants and Beginners) and I collaborated with our pal Sam Coren on a Modern Lovers cover set for Halloween. It definitely made me appreciate their music on a much deeper level (and also gave me a reason to fist-pump to Roadrunner at least once a day).

 

15. “Robert Wilmott” by Ghosts of Sailors at Sea

We were joined by Ghosts of Sailors at Sea, who covered Fugazi…

 

16. “Make the Fonz Bleed” by Harris Hawke

…and Harris Hawk, who covered Torche.

 

17. “Vapour Trail” by Ride

I decided to go see Ride at the Paradise last-minute in October of last year, and it was a great show. They’re one of my favorite classic shoegaze bands.

 

18. “Owl” by She Keeps Bees

She Keeps Bees are a bluesy, soulful, pensive rock band from New York that we did a show with at ONCE Somerville, a very fun new-ish venue (complete with a great food menu).

 

19. “Wash Your Boat!” by Jesse R. Berlin

I’ve been familiar with the musical stylings of Jesse R. Berlin (based in New York) for a couple of years now. (I’m still listening to that Jane Eyrerecord!) His newest record is wild disco music, and he puts on a one-of-a-kind show. I won’t give too many details because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but you can catch him on his upcoming tour in April. (Check out his Bandcamp for dates!)