The year 2016 may have become a running gag on social media for the ultimate bad year, but for the Ottawa music scene, it was a rich one full of new releases, fresh artists and plenty of amazing shows.
There was plenty to hear and see in 2016 and OttawaStart.com is taking a look at what Ottawa had to offer.
Here is a list of our picks for the year, in no particular order. There are some names you may recognize, as well as newer groups who aren’t as well known.
”EP 1” was released in May by the Soul/R&B group Slack Bridges. The group was quite prolific this year, also releasing two singles which can be heard on Bandcamp.
“Colours of the Sun” dropped in October. The band behind it, Tribe Royal, describes their genres as “Melodic Indie Folk Rock / Americana with a fresh twist.”
They’ve been featured on CBC Radio, Live 88.5 and online outlets like IndieCan Radio. A press release from the band said their music is on the charts in more than 25 countries.
H/T to band manager John O’Brien for sending this in!
“Graceland” by Steve Adamyk Band was released through Portland Ore. based label Dirtnap Records on July 29.
The album was very well received, heard many times on local radio. This isn’t the first time they were on our list – you may recall them from our summer picks. This album was #2 on Photogmusic’s list of best local albums for 2016.
“Saint Clare” is an eponymous and debut full-length album by rock and roll band Saint Clare. From their Bandcamp: “a mix of songs that are too poppy to be considered garage rock, but too fuzzy to be considered just pop.”
Their influences include pop, rock, indie, garage and psychedelic.
“The Guacamole Incident” was released in late September by the Taco Bandits, who describe themselves on Facebook as a “rag tag band of bandits on a tour for tacos and nobody can stop us.” Unstoppable for sure! Definitely some elements of Ska in this album!
“The PepTides EP” was released in September by pop band The PepTides, who count funk, electronic and disco as their main influences.
“Drought” by How Far To Mexico was released in early June.
How Far to Mexico describes their music as “psychidyllic escapist jingle jangle indie-pop,” probably the most unique form out there. This was also one of our summer picks.
Our favourite track was the first one, “Fools.”
“Area Resident” was released, with some anticipation, in October by CBC Ottawa traffic reporter Doug Hempstead. The album was well-received and was even praised by the mayor!
— Jim Watson (@JimWatsonOttawa) October 26, 2016
“Goodnight Boy” is the debut album of indie folk lofi group Goodnight Boy. Their description from Facebook: “Combining the crunch of distorted guitars and shimmering ukelele with powerful harmonies and thoroughly woven storytelling, they deliver an intense dose of something you’re not likely to find anywhere else.”
The members are Alex Black, who is also an anchor on 1310 News, and singer/songwriter Connor Mercury.
“Somewhere We Will Find Our Place” was released in February by Jim Bryson. It’s his fifth album and he performed it at three sold-out shows at Quitters Coffee in Stittsville. Here’s an interview our sister site did with him then…
The album is available on iTunes.
“Carpe Diem” is an EP by rapper Gutta King Chris, released in March.
According to his Facebook, his influences include Jay-Z, Drake and Lil Wayne.
Here’s one of the songs, the full album is on iTunes.
“Oceanic Suite” is a debut album released in April by the Atlantis Jazz Ensemble.
According to the band’s Facebook: “Like the mythical Lost Continent that gave it its name, the Atlantis Jazz Ensemble’s music lies somewhere between the shores of Africa, Europe, and the Americas, influenced by jazz currents stemming from both sides of the Atlantic.”
Have a suggestion for more additions? Let us know in the comments.