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The Union Trade

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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.

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The Union Trade Prepare to Release New Album

The San Francisco based Tricycle Records band, The Union Trade is gearing up to release a new album entitled, A Place for Long Years. They current single Murmurations is an ambiant/trance indie love ballad that is ethereal and a bit mesmerizing. The full album is due for release on February 3rd. Their live album release show will occur the following day, February 4th at Rickshaw Stop on February 4th with Sunrunners.

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The Union Trade Release New Album After Three Year Hiatus

San Francisco based post rock band, The Union Trade is releasing a new album entitled, A Place of Long Years. After a three year hiatus, this new album is a follow up to the bands, 2011 EP, Why We Need Night. Make sure to take a listen to the beautiful, eerie new single, Murmurations from A Place of Long Years below.

On this album which will be released on February 3, 2015 you can hear guest contributions from Tricycle Records label mates Nate Blaz of Geographer on Cello and vocals from Ann Yu of Silver Swans.

We're excited that The Union Trade is back and putting out amazing, haunting music.

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Download: Friends of Tricycle Records Compilation Vol. 2 + New Video from Le Vice

The Bay's Tricycle Records is giving away some great Bay Area bred music on its latest "Friends of Tricycle Records Compilation Vol. 2," available for free download here. Provide an email address and get 18 tracks from many of the Deli's favorites bands including Big Tree, Le Vice, Loquat, The Hot Toddies, and more. Find the entire track list below.

While you're feeling the local love, watch Le Vice get thugged out in its new video for the band's take on Drake's "Underground Kings," off the recently released album Neverland.

--Whitney Phaneuf

Friends of Tricycle Records Compilation Vol. 2:

Big Tree, “Storm King”
Mister Loveless, “Wild Summer”
8th Grader, “Heavy Without You”
Le Vice, “Find You”
The Hot Toddies, “Boogie Nights”
Loquat, “Simple Song” (Shins cover)
Birdmonster, “Living”
Sioux City Kid & The Revolutionary Ramblers “Darlin’ Darlin'"
Rich Girls, “Sink Like Stones”
Fake Your Own Death, “Reindeer Games”
Paranoids, “Astronaut”
I Am Animal, “Just You Wait”
Here Come The Saviours, “Tomorrows Version Of Me”
Magic Fight, “I’m Not (Going Back)”
Teenage Sweater, “Oceans and Seas”
The Union Trade, “Everyday Including Holidays (Remix)”
Lilofee, “Girls on My Brain”
Vows, “OurBrethren’s”

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