#3 The Hiatus - Keeper Of The Flame
From the ashes of Ellegarden came The Hiatus, where Takeshi Hosomi continues to rock on with pals from other Japanese rock bands. Their fourth album Keeper Of The Flame continues with the melodic, experimental sound the band has been honing for the past five years. The album took me on a dreamlike journey of synths and guitars, one I intend to take many times again.
#2 Run River North - (self-titled)
One of the freshest new sounds on the indie folk-rock scene in recent years comes from a group of Korean-American kids from So Cal. Y’know, same old story. In their debut album, the band formerly known as Monsters Calling Home plays songs about faith, relationships, and the immigrant experience, all in their enjoyable, laidback style.
#1 Anberlin - Lowborn
The end is here. Anberlin’s final album sends off the band in epic fashion. From the first track “We Are Destroyer” to the final, last ever Anberlin song “Harbinger”, the band expands on its trademark sound to craft the perfect send-off. Sometimes haunting, sometimes moving, always Anberlin. Also I’m still bummed that I didn’t get to see them in SF last October. Here’s hoping there will be a reunion tour someday.