Since it is halfway through the year, we felt it was time to put together some sort of list recapping some of our favorite projects so far. We decided to do a list we’ve never done before…. our favorite debut albums and EP’s. The list consists of projects that were released as of January 1st of this year, and are either the artists first EP or first full record. We estimate that we’ve come across 70-80 records so far this year, that met that criteria, and we were able to narrow it down to 34 to discuss and vote on. After 2 weeks of intense discussion, we were able to narrow it down to the final 15!
It is important to note that most debuts are from artists that are in the very beginning stages of their career and therefore, their exposure is not very great. I’m sure there were hundreds of albums and EPs that would fit the list’s criteria that we probably have no idea about; that’s why we rely on you guys! If we missed one you think would’ve made the list, please send it our direction!
Here are our favorite Debut Albums and EP’s so far this year:
15. Chubby Knuckle Choir – Reveille (Debut Album)
We’ve been big fans of the Chubby Knuckle Choir since the first time we heard them! They are so diverse and fun, it’s impossible to not to fall in love with their sound. They bring such a talented group of musicians together and their debut album is unlike any other project we’ve ever heard! “Soul on Fire” is our favorite song on the record, and an incredibly powerful track. If you ever have the chance to see these guys in concert, make sure you do it. Their shows are incredible!
Favorite Tracks: Soul on Fire (Reveille), Black Motel, Trouble
Bonus Footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIdK8sqVkHc (Black Motel)
14. Jordan York – Runaway (Debut EP)
Jordan York is one of our favorite voices on the list. He released “Runaway” just a few weeks ago, and we love its variety. It’s a collection of artistic songs that show York’s range and talent. There’s something for everyone on the record! The title track “Runaway” is our favorite track from the EP. It’s well written, well-sung, and well produced! Do yourself a favor and go catch one this guy’s acoustic shows, we promise you won’t regret it!
Favorite Tracks: Runaway, Hey Lover, Moondance
Bonus Footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfPa_TrUsPY (Hey Lover)
13. Silo Road – Last Call Love (Debut Album)
I wasn’t familiar with term “Ameripolitan” until coming across Silo Road. The recently released, “Last Call Love”, is the group’s first full-length record and a deeply entertaining journey of swing, blues, and country. It’s so refreshing to hear a band with such a great traditional sound, but vibrant modern sound! These guys have made a big impact on us in such a short amount of time, and we’re excited to see what the future holds for them! Our favorite song is “Load In”, which gives you the insatiable urge to dance!
Favorite Tracks: Load In, Together Blues, Southside Liquor
Bonus Footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0Kief-2fgs&list=PLLoWcq2FZqP1jaHsBPYa7w5m_dfIhmCFM&index=13 (Together Blues)
12. Jefferson Clay – Jefferson Clay EP (Debut EP)
By far the most funky on the list, Jefferson Clay’s self-titled EP is bracing, creative, and fun. A mixture of multiple musical influences, it is apparent that this kid is the real deal! He has a very smooth style, adept writing, and effortless vocals. This kid is literally at the beginning stages of his career, and we can’t wait to see where it goes! Our favorite track is “The Tide”. It’s by far the most subtle track, but we think it’s the most powerful as well.
Favorite Tracks: The Tide, San Fransisco, Baby Why’d You Love Me
Bonus Footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81fHUCjxTq0 (San Francisco – Live)
11. Benton Leachman – Bury the Hatchet (Debut Album)
Benton Leachman’s “Bury the Hatchet” is a great display of poignant songwriting. Every song is purposeful and often filled with honest introspection. Leachman does a great job conveying complicated emotions and has a style that is a unique blend of Americana, country, and Red-Dirt. Our favorite song is “Pride” and we have our fingers crossed it’ll hit radio waves soon!
Favorite Tracks: Pride, Run, I’d Rather Burn
Bonus Footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA3RafhmWm8 (Run)
Music addict, a sucker for heartbreak songs, and avid Houston sports fan! I’am also the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Music Pickers.