The great thing about living in Louisiana is that the local music scene always seems to be full of life. Sure, there are ups and downs, but for the most part, the Capital City and Lafayette had another great year of music.
Here are some of my favorite releases from those cities from 2015.
IN BATON ROUGE
Barely 20 years old, the guys in Loudness War are old souls, ripping fuzz-laden tunes about slackers, bums and love like rock veterans. This year saw two releases. Yeah, they’re prolifically awesome.
From releasing an EP to headlining the Varsity, this young rapper has come a long way in no time. These two EPs prove how good he is.
Abrasive. Like chugging lawnmowers hooked up to amplifiers. Brutal. You can barely hear what these guys are screaming. Essential. Thou, when by itself or teaming up with The Body, is an absolute force.
Camp Life fits more hooks in two minutes than the last two blink-182 records. That’s not the sound the band is going for — no, this is something better, more honest and raw.
Probably the most underrated surf rock band in Baton Rouge, Rondo Hatton continues to make instrumental greatness.
Clay Parker and Jodi James are some of the hardest-working singer-songwriters in town. On a new EP, they weave stories of heartbreak into sparse, acoustic tunes. It’s a match made in folk music heaven.
Catchy pop-rock is the name of the game for this trio. “Eliza” is filled with those early 2000s-style garage rock riffs and songs about stumbling into adulthood.
Three songs is far too little from this up-and-coming Americana group. It’ll do for now, but keep your eyes on these guys. They’ve already been tapped to open shows at the Varsity, and they could be heard at festivals in no time.
A collection of recordings from a now-defunct hardcore band, Baby Boy was loud, frantic and made up of some of the scene’s lifers. Ultra-tight and full of ankle-snapping breaks, this latest release is a glimpse at why the band was so revered.
If Ryan Harris isn’t playing a show, he’s probably writing or recording a song. The singer-songwriter continues to expand his range, incorporating a little jazz and pop to his Americana/country. It’s the best thing he’s done yet.
The Wilder Janes’ eponymous debut
Smooth jazz/pop chamber/folk? Yeah, this all-female quartet has a little bit of everything in its short, but sweet debut.
Dubbed as a thinking man’s drinking band, The Rakers are so good because you can tell how much fun they are having while they rock. This live disc is like hanging out with the rag-tag crew, and it’s guaranteed to entertain.
When I listen to this ’80s-indebted video game-style music, I get a huge grin on my face. I suddenly want to play F-Zero and drink Mountain Dew. For hours. Glitch Black continues to make ridiculously fun music.
I didn’t know a Cajun band could become this mysterious 1970s rock force. Feufollet’s latest album is some mix of Cajun and Fleetwood Mac, and it’s easily one of the best things I’ve heard this year.
Slacker rock 101. These guys sound like they should be running a record store in the late ’90s. Like they ride skateboards everywhere and don’t give a hoot about anything ‘cept writing some cool tunes. Keep goin’.
Gnarly dude rock rarely sounds this epic and fun.
Three skinny dudes jamming out like it’s the 1970s. Rad Wagon makes groovy fuzzed-out psychedelic tunes.
On its third album, The Revelers continue to mix up Cajun, zydeco and other Louisiana sounds. They get better with each release. The rest of the world seems to be noticing, as this was nominated for a Grammy.