Apt613 has a unique take on the “best” albums of 2018. We look to the charts published by CHUO 89.1FM to see which records made the most/highest weekly appearances. Campus and community radio stations send play logs to !earshot, a website where you’ll find the national Top 50 reported weekly.
Not every album was released during the 2018 calendar year. In several instances, you’ll see a 2017 release which stayed in the charts. There are one or two much older releases.
All of the Top 50 records are streaming for free—enjoy listening! A great deal are available online and at local record shops. Paying for a download or dropping $ on vinyl and concert tickets is still the number one way to support local music today. ✌️
|Title: The Last of the Who Heads (Single)||Weeks: 2|
|Artist: Expanda Fuzz||Peak: #3|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 6.00|
Here Expanda Fuzz make their third (and final) appearance in our Top 50 countdown. This year’s release Cotton Candy Jet Engine was #42 and a single from that record made it to #39. Going back a bit, 2017’s “The Last Of The Who Heads” single was also #28 in last year’s countdown and resurfaced in the charts in February; coinciding with the fuzz rock band’s appearance at Megaphono 2018.
|Title: Joy of Joys||Weeks: 2|
|Artist: Slack Bridges||Peak: #1|
|Label: Record Centre Records||Avg: 5.50|
Joy of Joys is another 2017 release still getting play on CHUO 89.1FM airwaves. Slack Bridges’ debut full-length came in at #38 in last year’s countdown. This winter, the soul record took top spot in CHUO’s charts, peaking at #1 in January.
|Title: EP3||Weeks: 3|
|Artist: Townes||Peak: #5|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 14.00|
As the title suggests, EP3 is not Townes’s debut record. However, it appears to be the Ottawa synthpop songwriter’s first record in the charts and first mention on Apt613. If you’re open to discovering Townes’s music, EP3 is a great place to start.
|Title: Tapas||Weeks: 3|
|Artist: Tapas||Peak: #8|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 12.33|
Tapas burst onto the scene late in 2017 and kept charting through winter 2018. The hip hop supergroup (G. Grand, Hyf, Jeepz) is relatively new, but has tons of experience behind them. I got into Tapas after reading about their debut release on Ottawa Showbox.
|Title: Caminho de Vento||Weeks: 4|
|Artist: Rommel Ribeiro||Peak: #2|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 17.00|
I hesitated before including Rommel Ribeiro in this list of local releases. After all, Ottawa expats such as Michael Feuerstack (via Montreal) and Bonjay (via Toronto) were in the CHUO charts, but won’t appear in this list.
The Brazilian singer-songwriter and guitarist Ribeiro lived in Ottawa for a significant time (he studied music at Carleton University). Although Ribeiro graduated in 2017 and has based himself in Montreal, it’s the fact that Caminho De Vento—some of which was recorded in Ottawa—involves so many local musicians (notably Malak Ghanem, Tariq Amery, Andrew Ferdeber, JP Lapensee, Steve Patterson…) which finally swayed me to give Ribeiro his pass for this year.
|Title: Mother Nature and Her Bipolar Tendencies||Weeks: 4|
|Artist: Elementals||Peak: #2|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 16.75|
Alt-rock band Elementals were #29 in the 2016 list with a prior release, I’m Not Here, I’m Not Real. This new record dropped in early 2018, reaching as high as #2 (so close!) during its four-week run in the charts.
|Title: Curl EP||Weeks: 5|
|Artist: Curl||Peak: #8|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 19.60|
At #24, Curl’s debut EP charted for four weeks. Their 2018 followup Deathland charted for another four weeks and (spoiler alert) will appear at #13 in this countdown. A contender for this year’s most prolific Ottawa band?
|Title: The Silence Came After||Weeks: 6|
|Artist: Claude Munson||Peak: #6|
|Label: Record Centre Records||Avg: 20.33|
Claude Munson’s highly-anticipated album The Silence Came After is his second and most fully-realized record to date. His impressionist folk sound is equally intriguing and rewarding for first-time and repeat listeners.
Put this on to hear Munson and his band of Ottawa’s best working musicians perform a terrific collection of songs. The Silence Came After was arranged and recorded with Philippe Charbonneau (Scattered Clouds, Jim Bryson, Hilotrons), Pierre-Luc Clément (FET.NAT, J’envoie, D-Track), Pascal Delaquis (Trails, Mehdi Cayenne, Merganzer) and Théan Slabbert (Bosveld, Old Cabin, Kalle Mattson).
|Title: Frais Chaud||Weeks: 5|
|Artist: LOZN||Peak: #6|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 15.60|
Gatineau hip hop producer LOZN released this beat record in summer 2018. It’s a collection of tight and chill instrumentals. Recommended listening if you enjoy the late J Dilla’s Ruff Draft EP. LOZN’s own Frais Chaud entered the CHUO chart at #6 and stayed in the Top 10 for three of five total weeks.
|Title: Beneath The Pines||Weeks: 4|
|Artist: The Creeps||Peak: #9|
|Label: It's Alive Records||Avg: 11.50|
The Creeps’ sixth full-length album takes longtime listeners to new territory, compared to the band’s previous material. It’s not that there are fewer hooks, however, the songwriting allows noticeably more space and time between the hooks and melodies, which provides more room for their music to breathe. After close to twenty years together, the pop punk band show no signs of slowing down!
A total of 69 local albums made it into the CHUO 89.1FM charts this year. Watch this space while the Top 50 countdown continues daily until NYE.