Top 30 ATL Records of 2014

Del Venicci - Haunted Hall

25. Del Venicci – Haunted Hall
Self-released

With “Contagion,” the new single from the band’s upcoming debut EP, Haunted Hall, the group makes good on their promise by unveiling an eerie post-punk collage with ghostly goth undertones. It’s a song with black tie style, for lack of a better phrase—sophisticated yet undeniably gloomy and coldly efficient in the way it skirts a defining hook in favor of spectral guitars and portentous drums. – [ Review of “Contagion” single ]

Our city’s producing a lot of great music and, believe me, it’s hard sometimes to keep track of it all. Still, more attention should be paid to Del Venicci, and the shimmering, ghostly “Shadow Braid” is another reason why. – [ Video review for “Shadow Braid” ]

To a degree, much of it feels pretentious and overwrought—more stylish than substantive, in other words—but to me it’s the result of a band wrestling awkwardly with big ideas rather than one compensating for a lack of something meaningful to say. The song doesn’t unfurl as organically or as artfully as “Contagion,” and yet, there are moments (that spiraling bit of transitional magic leading into the chorus, for instance) when Del Venicci show themselves capable of reaching majestic heights. – [ Video review for “Teenage Swingers” ]

More Info:
Bandcamp: www.delvenicci.bandcamp.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/delvenicci
Tumblr: www.delvenicci.tumblr.com

Dropout - Turn Away From the Light

24. Dropout – Turn Away From the Light
Self-Released

Dropout’s self-titled debut EP was one of the most brutal releases of 2012, a purely visceral assault on the senses that made most local records that year sound timid by comparison. In June, the band unveiled Turn Away From the Light, a full-length follow-up that seems to up the ante in every way: the riffs are heavier and more ferocious, the energy more frenetic, and—most importantly—the songs are more dynamic and developed. Unlike the EP’s unrelenting blitzkrieg assault, the new LP finds the group more willing to play with pacing and experiment with various punk and metal-inspired stylings. But while the crusty d-beat attack may be less prominent, this is still a record that goes for the throat, and when it gets you in its vise-like grip, there’s no shaking loose.

More Info:
Bandcamp: www.dropoutatl.bandcamp.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dropoutoflife
SoundCloud: www.soundcloud.com/dropoutdemos

The N.E.C. - Origins

23. The N.E.C. – Origins
Self-Released

More Info:
Web: www.naturalextensionconcept.com
Bandcamp: www.thenec.bandcamp.com

10th Letter - Corpus Animus

22. 10th Letter – Corpus Animus
Self-released

One of Atlanta’s finest experimental producers, Jeremi Johnson—a.k.a. 10th Letter—has a knack for the emotionally and spiritually uplifting. No matter how complex or adventurous the composition, there is a playfulness and an atmosphere of levity in his work that coats everything in a blue-sky veneer. “Dragon Float” is the second single to be revealed from the upcoming Corpus Animus, and it’s a riveting collage of forward-thinking hip-hop and cinematic sound design that gathers strength and momentum with each passing bar. – [ Review of “Dragon Float” single ]

More Info:
Bandcamp: www.10thletter.bandcamp.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/10thLetterMusic
SoundCloud: www.soundcloud.com/10th-letter
Twitter: www.twitter.com/10thxLetter

Slowriter - King of the Void

21. Slowriter – King of the Void
Autumn + Colour Records

Whereas Taylor’s last experimental pop effort, Trailblazer, had him exploring themes of loss and loneliness, the new record finds him overcoming those feelings of grief and isolation and turning them into something exuberant and triumphant. Lead single “Gold Mannequin,” which we’re excited to premiere for you today, virtually crackles with playful mirth as Taylor successfully turns bubbling synths, cut-up samples and scattershot beats into a rich and textured soundtrack that’s equal parts arty indie pop and uplifting head-nodder. But dig a little deeper into the cracks and crevices and you’ll find some of the old darkness lurking beneath. – [ Premiere of “Gold Mannequin” single ]

More Info:
Bandcamp: www.slowriter.bandcamp.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/slowriter
Twitter: www.twitter.com/slowriterband