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Top local releases in 2018: #50–41

By Greggory Clark on December 27, 2018









Apt613 has a unique take on the “best” albums of 2018. We’ve looked 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: MoveWeeks: 1
Artist: The Bank Street BonbonsPeak: #13
Label: PeaceTower RecordsAvg: 13.00

Ottawa’s all-star brass band kicks off our 2018 countdown with Move! released on PeaceTower Records in late 2017. The 8-piece jazz supergroup (Mike Essoudry, Zakari Frantz, Ed Lister…) is playing House of TARG next on February 2nd.


Title: Home Is...Weeks: 2
Artist: BearingsPeak: #16
Label: Pure NoiseAvg: 20.50

This pop-punk band doesn’t play Ottawa more than once or twice a year—however they’re prolific performers, fill large venues, and have thousands of followers on bandsintown, an app that sends a notification when your favourite acts announce tour dates. They’re touring in the United States this winter.


Title: I Scream LoveWeeks: 1
Artist: Blve HillsPeak: #8
Label: IndependentAvg: 8.00

This one’s actually a holdover from 2017. I Scream Love clocked in at #10 in last year’s Top 50 countdown. Blve Hills was also named the year’s most prolific Ottawa artist with two releases in the Top 50.


Title: Songs From a Distant EarthWeeks: 1
Artist: Slow DawnPeak: #7
Label: IndependentAvg: 7.00

Slow Dawn is a slow burn. But actually. The psych punk band’s late-2017 release took until 2018 to hit the local radio charts. Though I doubt it took long for CHUO deejays to catch on… It’s more likely a copy of songs from a distant earth did not make it’s way into the station’s library before entering the charts at #7 in February.


Title: Winter Crush (Single)Weeks: 2
Artist: Akeem OhPeak: #9
Label: IndependentAvg: 19.00

Released early in 2017, Akeem Oh’s single isn’t even the oldest release among the Top 50 most-played local records at CHUO this year. There’s a 2013 gem that sits at #12 in this countdown. Still, it’s rather impressive that Akeem’s Winter Crush single would pop into the charts more than a year after its initial release.


Title: Fevered DreamsWeeks: 1
Artist: NovusolisPeak: #6
Label: IndependentAvg: 6.00

Fevered Dreams was last year’s #22 record. That’s back-to-back for Novusolis in the Top 50, charting for a combined total of 10 weeks at CHUO.


Title: Shed It (Single)Weeks: 2
Artist: Casa LagartoPeak: #16
Label: IndependentAvg: 18.50

Casa Lagarto’s “Shed It” got a lot of love in summer 2018, charting for two weeks in July. There’s a great feature about this record over on Ottawa Showbox and a lot of ears on this local group since Casa Lagarto were hand-picked to open Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats’ sold-out show at TD Place Arena in September.


Title: Back to Business (Single)Weeks: 4
Artist: Grace MarrPeak: #16
Label: London Gentleman RecordsAvg: 24.50

Born and raised in Ottawa, Grace Marr has a ridiculously powerful voice for somebody so young. On this tight and laidback funk songthe r&b singer-songwriter teams up with Ed Lister, an extraordinary trumpet player and arranger in the local jazz scene. Recommended if you like RH Factor, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Bilal, Lalah Hathaway…


Title: Cotton Candy Jet EngineWeeks: 2
Artist: Expanda FuzzPeak: #13
Label: IndependentAvg: 18.00

The psych-rock duo are not strangers to the Apt613 x CHUO 89.1FM year-end list. The Last Of The Who Heads came in at #28 last year. What’s more, Expanda Fuzz singles rank at #39 and #31 in this year’s countdown. Cotton Candy Jet Engine is the band’s first full-length LP.


Title: What's Left of the Rest of UsWeeks: 2
Artist: Welcome The GhostPeak: #10
Label: IndependentAvg: 16.50

Best described (by the band!) as alt-country music “to listen to while you sit in your bathtub and cry.” It’s really beautiful stuff, so do hit play if you’re not so sure you know what “alt-country” sounds like—you may find yourself pleasantly surprised.

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.