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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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Fellow Wolf Releases New Music Video + Plays BOTH - 1/13

The San Francisco based "ambient fuzz-rock band", Fellow Wolf has released a crisp new music video for their single, The Bluebird.

"We rented the camera which shot the highest quality slow motion that we could afford. The location is a local San Francisco dive bar. We filled it with friends from close until sunrise. Everyone stayed, but mostly because we didn’t let them leave." - Christopher Drellow of Fellow Wolf

We like this song and the music video is very interesting to watch! Make sure you continue to support local artists and attend their upcoming show at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco on January 13 with Sea Knight and Ghost Tiger.

Fellow Wolf - The Bluebird (Official Music Video) from Fellow Wolf on Vimeo.

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Luke Sweeney Releases Loveless Christmas + Plays Amnesia - 12/22

The San Francisco frontman and singer/songwriter, Luke Sweeney has released a new Christmas song to celebrate his holiday residency at Amnesia. We're excited to share his charming new song and to give you details on the final date of the residency. Don't miss it!

"For December 22nd we have holiday-decorated solos & duets by Bart Davenport, Sarah Bethe Nelson, Anna Hillburg, DONCAT, Michael Shaw, and Jitsun Vincent plus some special guests w/ DJ Golden Grams. I write a holiday original once a year, and I plan on playing a few of them for the occasion. It will be an inspired time sharing the stage with friends and creating some warm winter magic.” - Luke Sweeney

Tuesday 12/22 solos & duets with Bart Davenport, Sarah Bethe Nelson, Anna Hillburg, DONCAT, Michael Shaw & Jitsun Vincent, and Luke Sweeney. Presented by BFF.fm- Best Frequencies Forever

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A Place to Bury Strangers Play Two Nights in SF

Bay Area music lovers will have the opportunity to see Brooklyn's A Place to Bury Strangers play the Milk Bar in San Francisco for two nights only on January 2nd and 3rd! If you've been to The Milk Bar in San Francisco's legendary neighborhood of Haight, you already know this venue is incredibly intimate. This is what makes these two shows so awesome. You won't have to be crammed in a huge venue, unable to see or get the full effect of the band's sound.

Take this opportunity to get an up close and personal live performance from A Place to Bury Strangers with special guests:

Night #1: Saturday Jan 2 (SOLD OUT)
A Place to Bury Strangers
SISU (LA, CA)
Astral (SF)

with DJ Clay Andrews (of The Spiral Electric)
Doors 8PM / 21+

Night #2: Sunday Jan 3

A Place to Bury Strangers
Highlands (Long Beach)
White Manna (Humboldt)

Doors 8PM / 21+

Tickets are $20 / $35 w/ limited edition poster
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-place-to-bury-stranger-w-white-manna-highlands-tickets-19899894119

Curated by Evan Hagen (Thief Presents) 
http://www.thiefpresents.com/

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Joseph Deakins & Indianna Hale's Bday Bash with FpodBpod Indianna Hale Michael Musika and more at Amnesia - 12/19

A very cool birthday show is coming up at Amnesia in San Francisco on December 19th!

Bay Area Folk and beyond! Celebrate the birthdays of one of the finest musical voices on the west coast, Miss Indianna Hale and Joseph Deakins, host of The Audio Grab Bag radio show and supporter of independent musicians, storytellers, and word performers across the known universe particularly in the SF Bay Area. PLUS this show is a tape release of a live performance Indianna did at Amnesia earlier this year via Camp Bud Tapes. Brought to you by Jessie Woletz's Seaweed Sway Presents, it will be one of those nights we talk about for years to come.

The show will include performances by the San Francisco based folk artist, Michael Musika, birthday girl, Indianna Hale, the soulful rock band, Sparrows Gate, the psych pop band, FpodBpod and the dreamy folk alt band, The Range Of Light Wilderness.

Joseph will be doing a special set highlighting all these artists on the Dec 19th birthday edition of his show The Audio Grab Bag which is broadcast out of Fort Bragg, CA on the Mendocino coast on KNYO 107.7FM and streaming via http://www.KNYO.org beginning at 11am until 2pm. This a huge night of music and a special occasion, one not to be missed.

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