In our new feature, we’re taking a look at albums that stuck with us/stood out from the past month. Whether they were released during the month or came across our ears for the first time, these are albums that have earned our seal of approval. We’re a small, humble operation, but we would have felt remorse had we not written a little something about each of these releases.

Booji Boys – Weekend Rocker LP

Formed in late 2016, Booji Boys already have an LP that stands toe-to-toe with most peers in their sound bracket. What bracket is that exactly? Well… in an interview with Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll, “I don’t know just rocknroll, buddie.” That sums it up better than anyone really could, but if you have to pry, think The Men meet Japandroids with a Goner Records aesthetic. It’s an absolute ripper, and if these dudes from Halifax don’t have you shaking off these winter blues, just hibernate, and we’ll see you in the spring with this ready to go again.

Essential Tracks: “Piscine Perfect,” “Sister,” “Locked Up in the City”

CupcakKe – Ephorize

What’s accomplished on Ephorize is pretty remarkable. 2017 was a breakout year of sorts for CupCakKe if you hadn’t been following her already. If Queen Elizabitch was a door opening to announce her presence, then Ephorize is setting that building on fire to make sure you don’t look away. Immensely personal and delivered at warp speed with little effort many times throughout, CupCakKe’s lyricism and writing rockets her to the top of the game. Seriously – it doesn’t get much better or equaled to in the modern world of hip hop, or in the past several years for that matter, than this. Factor in the production (handled mostly by Def Starz), and you’ve got a serious top slot contender for the year with eleven more months left.

Essential Tracks: “Crayons,” “Total,” “Meet and Greet”

First Aid Kit – Ruins

Ruins is a book as much as it an album. Not to say it’s dense or heavy or overthought or anything. In fact, the opposite of all of those ring true. You see, it’s more like a novel in the way each track builds on the previous, the way the narrative is progressive movement towards a next chapter. It’s also one of those rare albums where each track is better than the last, ending on a note where you’re yearning for more. Side 2 is a colossal finish on an already gloriously lush arrangement. It’s an album that holds you through a difficult, cold night and smiles at you when the sun finally rises in a way that says, “It’ll be alright.”

Essential Tracks: “It’s a Shame,” “Distant Star,” “Nothing Has to be True”

Raised by the Internet – Motherboard

To get the full picture on Raised by the Internet, you should first check out our talk with Jelani Aryeh. To summarize, it’s a collective that comes from all over to make music that means something. When we saw all over, we mean the collaborations stretch all the way from Southern California to the UK and in between. It crosses deep soul, electronic, darkwave, goth pop, and even a little indie rock sentiment. Motherboard is a group of friends more or less saying they want to try things out, see how it goes, and partake in the sounds they’re drawn to and inspired by.

Essential Tracks: “Moon Song,” “Corduroy V2,” “Jacarandas V2”

Tiny Little Houses – Idiot Proverbs

You might think that after six write-ups we’d run out of things to say about Tiny Little Houses. But no. Idiot Proverbs shies away from nothing. It’s heavy, like spectacularly so. There are moments of self-deprecation, frustration with the boomer generation, despair at seeing peers and the world slowly waste away, and deep, deep reflection about all of this. It really is a brilliant album the teeters on the edge before stepping back to push itself against current. Tiny Little Houses could just as easily turn around and float away with the wave, but they know there’s something bigger worth striving towards.

Essential Tracks: “Entitled Generation,” “Everyone Is,” “Idiot Proverbs”