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Sounds of ’17: My Top Five Local Releases 

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Bad Magic – "Harsh Surrender"

The songwriting of Julie Karr has long been known for its honest narratives, telling reveals and resonating soul. Bad Magic takes everything up a notch by transforming Karr's tales into '90s alternative rock anthems that refuse to take the easy route. The trio's persistence led to its release of one of the strongest records of 2017.

Antiphons – "Groan"

For their first of two releases unveiled this year, Antiphons delighted listeners with impressionistic, indie rock whimsy. Imagine the vocally skilled Fleet Foxes blending with the clever pop minds of Guided by Voices and you get a sneaking suspicion as to why Antiphons continue to be local favorites.

The Weak Days – "Tight"

The sentiment behind the title of the Weak Days' release is an unwavering testament towards positive thinking in a difficult world. With their pop-punk sonic aesthetic intact, the band provides an upbeat voice for those who need it more than ever these days.

Opin – self-titled

Uncertainty, troubled thoughts, fear and mortality may not be what you'd expect as the subject matter for one of the best electronic rock records of 2017. The search for meaning and purpose in the darkest of places is what gives Opin's self-titled debut an ephemeral bliss that make this one of the most exciting new groups in Richmond.

Blush Face – "What Do You Want?"

Everything about this album is a dream: clever wit, strong songwriting and endearing quirks. Blush Face quickly became more than just an extended outlet for Allie Smith's songwriting. These are peculiar, exhilarating and self-proclaimed "'lactic lullaby pop rocks."

Watch For These Richmond Artists Releasing New Music in 2018: Spooky Cool, Young Scum, Piranha Rama, Unmaker and Magnus Lush.

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