Bandcamping: The 5 Best Underground Albums Of October 2017

It’s October, which means that in some parts of the country, people are dangerously close to having to welcome snow back into their lives. To those people, we dedicate the final round of underground Bandcamp albums before the ground turns white.

This week’s Bandcamping picks are sort of a gradient: the first pair of albums live more in the heavy guitar music universe, before we get into instrumental hip-hop, which then transitions into more traditional but still exciting indie rock. Check out this month’s picks below.

5. Yellow Kings by Yellow Kings

Genre: hard rock, post-metal
If you like: Boris

This is the kind of music whose surface can be hard to see past initially, but if you make it beyond the noisy exterior, you’re in for a brutal and worthwhile experience. Propulsive rhythms hold up the wall-of-sound guitars, and if you squint your ears (if that makes sense), you can almost make out some Nirvana and Black Sabbath vibes among the noise.

4. Ball by Ball

Genre: rock, hard rock, psych rock
If you like: Wolfmother

The Swedish group describes themselves as playing “hard rock from Hell,” which would make sense if Hell was a place of punishment for damned souls. It’s hard to feel like you’ve done anything wrong listening to this heavy, psychedelic music, because it sure is a treat.

3. Seventh Drop Progression by Life Form

Genre: electronic, instrumental hip-hop
If you like: Bonobo

This is made for late at night, no two ways about it. Life Form’s instrumental hip-hop-inspired beats thrive on bass and starlight vibes, both of which are best captured on the head-bobbing opening track “Bear.”

2. As If We Are Sinking by Year of the Wolf

Genre: indie rock
If you like: Mumford & Sons, Ray LaMontagne

Opening track “Work” says it all: Year Of The Wolf is capable of creating a sense of urgency that lures you all the way through, keeping you delightfully on your seat’s edge as you’re carried through rock- and folk-inspired soundscapes. ‘As If We’re Sinking’ is a fun and dynamic debut album that’s not to be missed.

1. Refrain by Lofty Stills

Genre: indie rock, dream pop, alt country
If you like: Local Natives, Sufjan Stevens

The reverb-drenched sounds of atmospheric keyboards work so well with pedal steel guitar that it’s weird somebody didn’t think of it until now, or at least nobody’s done it like Lofty Stills, the musical project of Seattle’s Luke Culbertson. His airy falsetto floats over instrumentation that draws as much from dream pop as it does country, a combination that you might not think works until you see it beautifully in action here.

Honorable Mention

The Mystic Peephole by Mojo Wizard
Genre: rock, stoner rock, classic metal
If you like: Black Sabbath

That’s all for October, but until next time, let us know in the comments which of these albums were your favorites, what we missed, and what we should look forward to. If you missed out on September,  check it out here (and the complete Bandcamping archives are  here).

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