Apt613 has a unique take on the “best” albums of 2017. We’ve looked to the charts published by CHUO 89.1FM to see which records made the highest weekly appearances. Most campus and community radio stations send play logs to !earshot, a website where you’ll find the national Top 50 reported weekly.
N.B. Not every album was released during this calendar year. In several instances, you’ll see a 2016 release which stayed in the charts. There are even one or two much older releases which appear to coincide with the artist’s 2017 concert dates.
|Title: Circus EP||Weeks: 9
|Artist: Malak||Peak: #12|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 22.3|
Ottawa Showbox said “[Malak] has one of the most powerful and beautiful voices in town.” The artist’s debut Circus EP came out in 2016 but re-entered the charts last spring around concert dates at Ottawa Grassroots Festival, The Record Centre, and The Black Sheep Inn.
|Title: Cheap Whine||Weeks: 7
|Artist: Cheap Whine||Peak: #8|
|Label: Drunken Sailor||Avg: 17|
UK DIY label Drunken Sailor released this powerpop gem by Ottawa’s Steve Adamyk (Steve Adamyk Band), drummer Jordy Bell (Crusades), and Eric French (Feral Trash). Both Cheap Whine and the Steve Adamyk Band have had notable success in Europe. This German music blog calls Cheap Whine “einer ziemlich perfekten band” or in simpler terms, “eines der besten Alben das Jahres 2017.” Kapisch?
|Title: Joy of Joys||Weeks: 7
|Artist: Slack Bridges||Peak: #4|
|Label: Record Centre Records||Avg: 16.8|
Joy of Joys overflows with the band’s deep love for vintage and neo soul music, jazz fusion and hip hop. As a late 2017 release, it should come as no surprise if Joy of Joys continues to chart in 2018. Of note, their debut EP1 tied for #19 in our 2016 countdown.
|Title: All The Hits||Weeks: 8
|Artist: Harea Band||Peak: #9|
|Label: Virtuoso Productions||Avg: 18.4|
Calling your second release All the Hits is cocky, but charting a year later kinda backs it up. Harea Band got spins for their 2016 EP in March, April, May and June this year, coinciding with JUNOfest and RBC Bluesfest gigs.
|Title: Birthmarks and Collarbones||Weeks: 9
|Artist: Amanda Lowe||Peak: #4|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 19.6|
Birthmarks & Collarbones was released in 2016, although it seems a copy didn’t make its way into the CHUO music library until winter 2017. The record charted on and off into the spring, enjoying a run of 5 consecutive weeks in February/March.
|Title: Something New||Weeks: 7
|Artist: Ana Miura||Peak: #12|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 16|
“She’s an incredible guitar player and has one of those voices that could sing the phonebook and make it sound like poetry,” wrote Kevin McGowan for The Revue. On Something New the fresh, simple arrangements of Ana Miura’s original folk songs are lifted by Ross Murray (drums), Anders Drerup (vocals, guitar, piano) and Stuart Watkins (bass) in the rhythm section.
|Title: Spiritually Minded Experience||Weeks: 6
|Artist: Spiritually Minded||Peak: #3|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 12.8|
The local scene is buzzing and flourishing and so is downtempo bass music made in Ottawa. Released in May 2016, Spiritually Minded Experience caught the ear of CHUO DJs who gave this electronica record a lot of love this fall, resulting in six consecutive weekly appearances.
|Title: Potential Space EP||Weeks: 8
|Artist: Galapagos||Peak: #1|
|Label: Pretty Cool Records||Avg: 17.2|
Released in May 2017, this indie debut EP found its way back into the charts around the same time Galapagos announced their next album release at Pressed on January 27. Tickets cost $10.
|Title: Pyromania EP||Weeks: 7
|Artist: Omerta||Peak: #4|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 15|
What’s with so many 2016 records appearing in the Top 50 this year? Punk band Omerta released Pyromania EP in late 2016, which entered the charts after DJs caught on in winter 2017.
|Title: Primitive Creatures EP||Weeks: 8
|Artist: Church of Trees||Peak: #2|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 16.5|
Multi-instrumentalist Bernard Frazer brings the beat and Felicity DeCarle (Sparklesaurus) lends her voice to this synth pop project launched with a single in 2016. Primitive Creatures is the duo’s debut EP, released in February 2017, and debuted at #2 in the CHUO Top 30.
A total of 88 local albums made it into the CHUO 89.1FM charts this year. Watch this space while the Top 50 countdown continues daily until NYE.