So finally, we’re staring down the barrel of finally putting this god awful year to rest, but with the joyful respite of yearly top 10 lists. As the resident music critic (I guess) on the blog, I reviewed way more new music this year than anyone else, and I don’t know if anyone else will chime in with these posts revisiting 2017 in music. But for me, there was still a lot of great music this year that I never got around to reviewing, though some of it I probably mentioned on a podcast, and therefore never got to go in-depth with. Not that these bite-size catch-up posts are really meant to do that. But I guess we’re just trying to give some credit where credit’s due.
My first entry is kind of a no-brainer (or maybe a no-pointer), since I talked about this album multiple times on Rokk Talk, but for whatever reason never got around to writing about it. Maybe that’s because I never really formed a stone-solid opinion on this album, as my relationship with it kept evolving throughout the year. Upon first hearing Charly Bliss’s debut album Guppy, I could certainly see something charming in it, though I had a hard time completely giving myself over to music caked in the kind of bubblegummy perkiness personified by lead singer Eva Hendricks’ high and nasally vocals.
But once I gave in, this album became something really special. Guppy came out in April, and as the spring turned to summer, this became a perfect album to blast in my car or through a pair of earbuds, as the warmer months started to take their toll. Especially in a summer whose headlines were marked by racial discord and FBI shake-ups, Guppy felt like a perfect escape from the madness that was the modern American summer. And was a giddy amalgamation of the sweet and sticky feeling of being an American teenager in a more innocent time – singing about things like working at Dairy Queen or accidentally peeing on trampolines.
And then even during these colder past few months, Guppy has still been an album I’ve returned to again and again. Maybe not because it entirely feels appropriate for these winter months, but because much like in the summer of 2017, Guppy still feels like a great escape into a seemingly perfect world, born in the marriage of unrelenting fun and unrelentingly heavy guitars. And god dammit, those are two things the bastards can never take from us. Not in this lifetime.
Favorite Tracks: “Percolator”, “Black Hole”, “DQ”