Top Local Albums of 2012

Monday’s music critics pick the best tunes of the year

Monday Music writer chose Hank and Lily's Crank City as the best local album of 2012.

Monday Music writer chose Hank and Lily's Crank City as the best local album of 2012.

Music Writer Nick Lyons’ picks:

1.  Hank and Lily: Crank City

Victorian music veterans Hank and Lily’s newest release came as a surprise to even their most avid and loyal fan-base. An exercise in diversity, Crank City is a sprawling, multifaceted metropolis unto itself: a veritable concrete jungle made of dubstep, electro-pop, and the finest hip hop ever recorded in this town or any other.  Lily’s musical saw is still there, as is her sexy, breathy and mousy voice, but this time it’s found in the context of an immensely different musical landscape. Hank Pine astounds with his ability to morph, even in the space of a song; he raps with himself, and Lily of course, on “Caught In the Gears,” one of this album’s many highlights. Treat yourself: go pick it up at Ditch.  It comes with a free comic book, and a sticker, too.

2.  Slam Dunk:

Welcome to Miami

With Welcome to Miami, Slam Dunk has achieved the impossible: somehow, the band managed to top its own amazing debut full-length album, The Shivers.  Welcome to Miami is evidence of how quickly Slam Dunk has grown in an incredibly short amount of time.  The songs are longer, stronger, tighter, and thanks to producer Colin Stewart, brighter. If this album doesn’t make you wanna dance, you must be deceased.

3.  Eclipser: Transmissions from the Silver Pyramid

Eclipser’s first and, perhaps, final album (one of its members moved to an even smaller island) is a welcome addition to Victoria’s thriving musical climate.  These are songs designed for the end of a long night, week, or year: all who have grown weary, draw near to hear music so foreign and beautiful to a listening ear that even I, who writes about music every day, struggles to do justice to Eclipser’s ambient debut.

Arts Editor Mary Ellen Green’s picks:

1. Aidan Knight: Small Reveal

In my opinion, the biggest album to come off this fine Island this year. Its expansive, yet intensely intimate sound captured my imagination and my heart. The stand-out for me is “Margaret Downe,” a devastating, yet gorgeous song about love and loss. Vinyl now available at Ditch Records.

2. Steph MacPherson: Bells & Whistles

Raw, yet perfected, Bells & Whistles is an honest and infectious slice of country-folk-pop from this Kiwi-Canadian, Island raised singer-songwriter.

3. Jon and Roy: Let It Go

The Island folk-rock favourites’ fourth release is synonymous with summer. Funny, then, that it’s still in my CD player in January. Full of Spanish flare, ska horns and beautiful acoustic guitar.  M

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island Symphony conductor Pierre Simard is releasing his new synthwave album ‘Plandemic’ on March 5. (Photo courtesy Olivia Simard)
Vancouver Island Symphony conductor releasing side-project EP of electronic music

Pierre Simard, recording as Plan Omega, presents ‘Plandemic’

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
Vancouver Island children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
B.C. musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s close connection to director led to rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre stands in as the Quimper Regional Hospital on Feb. 23 for filming Maid, a 10-part Netflix series. (Greg Sutton/District of Saanich)
Netflix transforms Saanich recreation centre into hospital for filming

Facility was closed to public Feb. 23 for filming of Maid

This image released by SYFY shows Meredith Garretson, left, and Alan Tudyk in the new series "Resident Alien." (James Dittinger/SYFY via AP)
B.C.-shot ‘Resident Alien’ invader gets lift-off with viewers

New Syfy series catching on, proving TV doesn’t have to come from premium cable

WILDLIFE TREE: Tofino Poet Laureate Christine Lowther stands next to a giant cedar tree on District Lot 114, the site of Tofino’s controversial affordable housing project. The tree was pinned with an official Ministry of Forests yellow wildlife tree sign to educate fallers that the tree needs to be left standing for food, shelter and nesting. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Tofino author Christine Lowther calling for poetry about trees

“I’m thrilled to be of service to trees through poetry.”

West Coast-themed metal art by Nanaimo artists Hayley Willoughby (pictured), her father Jack and partner Blair LeFebvre is on display in the window of Lululemon at Woodgrove Centre from now until March 13 as part of the store’s monthly local artist program. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Metal artists present cross-generational show at Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre

Work by Hayley Willoughby, her partner and father on display in Lululemon window

Vancouver Island Symphony principal violinist and concertmaster Calvin Dyck is among the musicians performing in the upcoming Salmon and Trout concert. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Vancouver Island Symphony will make a splash with fish-themed quintets concert

Performance was to take place in November but was rescheduled due to COVID-19

Nico Rhodes, Lucas Smart, James McRae and Kosma Busheikin (from left) recorded their set for the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival’s online video series at the Harbour City Theatre in December. (Photo courtesy François Savard)
Music starts next week at online Nanaimo International Jazz Festival

Ten free, virtual performances to occur over three weeks in March

The original artwork created by local artist Emily Thiessen, is featured as the Commercial Alley’s eighth installation. (City of Victoria)
 The original artwork created by local artist Emily Thiessen, is featured as the Commercial Alley’s eighth installation. (City of Victoria)
Victoria calls for artists to fill Commercial Alley gallery

Competition open to artists in the Capital Regional District

Cowichan Valley author Teresa Schapansky’s books for young readers have become a phenomenon on Amazon. (Submitted)
Cowichan author tops Amazon charts

Award-winning author Teresa Schapansky learned of a need for low-level readers in the classroom

Nadia Rieger restocks some of the art supplies at the Crows Nest Artist Collective. Their move to stocking more art supplies over the course of the pandemic was a response to increased demand, which she thinks shows people have been turning to creating art to cope with mental health struggles due to lockdowns and restrictions on other activities. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Vancouver Islanders using art to conquer COVID blues

It seems people have been turning to their creative sides to stay mentally and emotionally healthy

Chris Bullock, Parksville artist, stands next to his ‘Mermother’ series, on display at the McMillan Arts Centre until Feb. 29. Bullock himself will be at the MAC from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. every Saturday until the end of the month. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Parksville artist Chris Bullock’s unique illustrations on display

‘I’m heavily influenced by old comic book styles from the 1950s’

Most Read