Crate Digging is Uproxx Music’s monthly exploration of the depths of DIY music distribution platform Bandcamp, in an effort to unearth some hidden gem albums that just might find their spot among your favorites.
If you thought fall was the season of change, just wait for winter, when the ground gets covered in a sheet of white (making the bold assumption that you’re in a snowy area). In some places, winter starts in November, but before that, let’s start making some change of our own by stepping outside of our musical bubbles. It’s time to try on some different music and see how it feels, courtesy of Bandcamp. The music that the platform brought forth in October mirrors some of the primary winter feelings, from the coziness of curling up on the couch as the snow gently falls, to the energy you might be holding inside as the weather holds you inside your living room. Keep reading to find out what I’m talking about and to explore the finest albums Bandcamp had to offer this month.
5. Glass Wings — Everything And Nothing
This UK singer-songwriter thrives in the upper register on his debut album. He’s often in falsetto or something near it on “Dragonfly,” a gentle folky song that occupies a very calming space for four minutes. He works a more soulful influence into the mix as well, on tracks like “On My Mind.” He even tries some stomping blues-rock on “Hold On.” All in all, Everything And Nothing has its moments, and it’s an easy record to listen to.
4. He Mocks The Universe — The Ballroom
What immediately sticks out here are Jacob Costiloe’s expressive vocals. The leader of this Charlotte group has an interesting tone, and he uses it to carry equally compelling music along with him. The seven-track effort features a host of different moods, like epic indie pop on “Her Majesty,” anthemic folk-rock on “Cascade,” and the patient and calming “The Poison.”
3. Daniel Lease — Here
Pop-punk = not dead. At least not to Arizona’s Daniel Lease, who slings out a high-quality version of it on his new record. He doesn’t stick strictly to the pop-punk script, though. Here, there are sprawling post-rock-influenced numbers, at times something like The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, especially on album-opener “Cast It Off.” He also closes the album with a pair of sprawling six-plus-minute tracks, “Major Minor” and “Giant,” which both accomplish very different things and serve as a testament to Lease’s songwriting versatility.
2. Heron Hunt — Patio
David Doran is a graphic designer by day, but by night (or by whenever he’s not designing things graphically, I suppose), he makes gentle folk music as Heron Hunt. The UK artist has just released his debut full-length album, and it’s a cozy blanket. You can get under it and stay in its warmth for a long time without wanting to move or do anything else. Doran’s comforting voice and acoustic guitar tones are consistently relaxing and melting into each other, and it’s easy to join in with that melting and feel as one with the music as a listener.
1. Salomé Leclerc — Les choses extérieures
The Québécois musician has some clout in the French-speaking community (if her page on the French version of Wikipedia is any indication), but her latest record, the title of which translates to “Outside Things,” shows that she deserves multi-lingual acclaim. She taps into a variety of moods on the album, like foreboding alternative rock on album opener “Entre icic et chez toi,” something like a folkier Lana Del Rey on “Ton équilibre,” Blonde Redhead-like indie rock on “Nos révolutions,” and other musical styles and ideas that cohere under one musical umbrella. “Hidden gem” status aside, Leclerc has made an album that holds its own against many of 2018’s most interesting records.