Best of NYS Music 2015: Staff Picks for Albums by New York Artists

The NYS Music team has voted and these are what we chose as the best albums released in 2015 by New York artists. Turkuaz’s Digitonium, Lettuce’s Crush and Consider the Source’s World War Trio Parts II & III each received multiple votes from the staff.

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Turkuaz’s Digitonium is “the future of retro pop funk.” Turkuaz has been quite busy lately, having recently completed an extensive fall tour that spanned the continental U.S. Featuring great tracks like “Nightswimming,” “Percy Thrills the Moon Dog” and “Doktor Jazz,” the album is “the ideal listen for any pre-party or when you are just ready to share in the groove.”

From our review:

The 23 track album is a mature testament to the bands growing sound that continues to push the boundaries of funk with heavy ’80s influences. The album is full of instrumental segues of experimental melodies that set the stage for evolutionary funk tunes with classic, raw Turkuaz energy. Digitonium is built upon layers of exploratory themes, characters and repetitive lyrics that get the listener to pause, rewind and think outside the album.

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The latest release from Lettuce, Crush, is the first album in three years from the seasoned funk band. Jeremiah Shea calls it their “most aggressive, ambitious, and funkiest album to date.” With highlights, such as “Phyllis,” “Trilogy” and “Pockets of Change,” this is a must-hear album.

From Shea’s album review:

If you’ve never had the opportunity to dive into some Lettuce head first, now might be a better time than ever. Crush is the convergence of road tested and polished material, musical exploration, deep pockets of groove, and a band that is simply on top of their game. With a discography full of hits, this album somehow stands above them all.

Consider the Source World War Trio

Sticking to the funk theme of the other albums is Consider the Source and their latest effort, World War Trio Parts II & III, the follow-up double album to last year’s World War Trio Part I. In reviewing the album, Shea says “If pop music is reading at an elementary level, World War Trio Part II + III, is at least a 400 level college course.” The Middle Eastern sci-fi psychedelic funk fusion trio has been quite active in recent years. This album was no small undertaking. Of its 20 tracks, “This Dubious Honor,” “Up to, But Not to Exceed… Whoa,” “I’ll fight for the Imp” and “You are Disappearing.”

Of the album, Shea says:

Never before though has the band done it this masterfully and with such vision. This isn’t just food for thought, but a feast, with such lush sonic depth that can’t simply be explored in one pass. This is music that commands focus in a time when fans are more flippant than ever. You could say the band is fighting a natural progression, but I applaud the effort and what they force a willing listener to listen to. The continuity between songs is beautifully orchestrated and only possible with an overall delivery being kept in perspective from the onset.

Among the many albums released by New York bands this year, others receiving additional accolades included Johnny Cummings’ Radiate, Misery Kills’ My Ugly Insides, ShwizZ’s My Good Side/My Bad Side, Sean Rowe’s Her Songs EP and Stellar Young’s Vessels. It’s been a good year for New York artists. These were just a sampling of all the great music released in 2015. Here’s to an even better 2016!

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