the Washboard Abs

The Melodic Tree’s Top 3 Albums of the Year

3. Ben Varian – Quiet Fill

Ben Varian seems to have perfected the craft of pop music. with somewhat absurd lyrics and upbeat melodies and instrumentations makes it the ultimate pop album. Bringing the mundane into lyrics and making it actually enjoyable is a very difficult feat but somehow he made it. The name of the album is also aptly titled as it filled the time Ben was not doing something else, like going on tour with Dent May or recording a 24-hour live album.

2. Florist – If Blue Could Be Happiness

Florist is one of those bands that will tug at every one of the heart strings in your body whether you want it or not. The simplicity of this album is what intitally draws the listener in and the fragility in the lyrics keeps them in. In order to make sense with a parent’s death, Emily Sprague finds logic and comfort in everyday affairs while somehow still showing empathy through the lyrics about coping with loss.

1. Coma Cinema – Loss Memory

One of my favorite projects of the last few years recently put out its final release under the name. Filled with songs digging deep into his childhood and the pain that came with it. “At home there’s blood on my bed/and no running water/there is a room i don’t go in/i see myself through the door/me and my mom used to hide there/crying our prayers through a window.”

The Melodic Tree’s Weekly Playlist

1. Window – Coma Cinema

2. Veil – The Washboard Abs

3. Cassette Jam One – Ada Babar

4. Capacity – Big Thief

5. Bread – Ben Varian

6. Time On Her Side – Future Islands

7. Heart Basel – The Drums

8. Glowing Brightly – Florist

9. Losing All Sense – Grizzly Bear

10. Road Head – Japanese Breakfast

11. Never Been Wrong – Waxahatchee

12. Baybee – Jay Som

13. 123 – Girlpool

14. Star Roving – Slowdive

15. Hard to Say Goodbye – Washed Out

16. Appointments – Julien Baker

17. The Embers – Vagabon

18. Apocalypse – Cigarettes After Sex

19. Real Death – Mount Eerie

20. Kept Women – Fleet Foxes

Favorite Bandcamp Releases of 2017

Ada Babar – (2018 Leaked)

Even though it isn’t technically out until next February, 2018, Ada Babar blessed us with putting it up on their Bandcamp this year. Their music is filled with seemingly inconceivable midi controls and even airhorns (as heard on “fav chair”). Ada put out a rather spontaneous album in a seemingly repetitive genre.

Body Meat & The Washboard Abs – Redux 

This split was the second of three releases from Body Meat and one of two from The Washboard Abs. Body Meat’s side of the split are a few of the best songs is filled with experimental songs that feels amorphic and as if everything in pop makes sense all at once. The Washboard Ab’s side features full band songs from previous songs and unreleased songs that seem to make the Washboard Abs as full sounding as they have ever been.

Pleasure Systems – Antumbra Pull

Although I’ve listened to this album for critique several (several) times before the release and know Clarke Sondermann well, hearing the progress and emotions that went into the release in anticipation is why it made this list. Dedicated to their partner and is filled love and thank you notes to him, makes it one of the most sincere albums to be put out this year.

Ben Varian – The L.A. Concession

One of my favorite artists is also seemingly one of the hardest working ones as well. Having put out seven (7) releases (this EP, a live album, a 72-track “food journal” with Jake Tobin, a “Christmas gift” with his partner, a 24-hour recording session, a full-length album, and another album?), as well as go on tour with Dent May over the summer, this EP is both surprisingly nd unsurprisingly one of the best pop releases of the year. Ben never seems to dissappoint with absurd lyrics mixed with almost always upbeat melodies.

Lily and Horn Horse – Next to Me

The third release this year from Lily Konigsberg and second with this project with Matt Norman, it is filled with everything they claim to be inspired by, which is the “Baby One More Time” era of Britney Spears and Bill Callahan at his coziest. This collaborative album feels as though they have been making music together for years even though this is only their second release together.

– Isabella

The Washboard Abs, Chaos Chaos, Sales at Neumos in photos

Ada Babar, B|_ank, Lashes, the Washboard Abs at Le Voyeur in photos

Ora Cogan, Tispur, the Washboard Abs, Pools at Obsidian in photos

Mega Bog, Pools, The Washboard Abs at Magic Lanes in photos