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: Move||Weeks: 1|
|Artist: The Bank Street Bonbons||Peak: #13|
|Label: PeaceTower Records||Avg: 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: Bearings||Peak: #16|
|Label: Pure Noise||Avg: 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 Love||Weeks: 1|
|Artist: Blve Hills||Peak: #8|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 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 Earth||Weeks: 1|
|Artist: Slow Dawn||Peak: #7|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 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 Oh||Peak: #9|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 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 Dreams||Weeks: 1|
|Artist: Novusolis||Peak: #6|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 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 Lagarto||Peak: #16|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 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 Marr||Peak: #16|
|Label: London Gentleman Records||Avg: 24.50|
Born and raised in Ottawa, Grace Marr has a ridiculously powerful voice for somebody so young. On this tight and laidback funk song, the 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 Engine||Weeks: 2|
|Artist: Expanda Fuzz||Peak: #13|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 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 Us||Weeks: 2|
|Artist: Welcome The Ghost||Peak: #10|
|Label: Independent||Avg: 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.