My album of the year is Big Wreck’s Ghosts
Odds are good that if I was posting about music in the latter half of 2015, I was most likely posting about Big Wreck. Since I discovered them in July, I have probably been listening to them almost every day, and more often than not, listening to this particular album. (It was released in 2014 in Canada, but not until 2015 in the US, so I’m considering it a 2015 album.)
It was this album’s “I Digress” that first hooked me on the band, and I love “Diamonds” so much that, honestly, it literally brings me to tears sometimes. Seriously, I’ll play the song for my son and some combination of the two will get me pretty choked up.
There’s nothing particularly hip about this album or Big Wreck; they make a kind of music that I love — songcraft-y guitar rock that is neither metal nor prog — but that, IMO, is largely a dead genre. And that’s okay; music changes, and we don’t always change with it. As a 45-year-old male, popular music isn’t targeted at my demographic anyway. I’m happy to ignore it, especially if I can stumble upon artists like this every once in a while.
What I find really strange is that it took me thins long to find out about this band. Frontman Ian Thornley is possibly one of the best guitarists currently alive and recording. Earlier in 2015 I was doing a lot of Googling for “best guitarists of the 21st century”, trying to find some new artists that I might like. And not to sound grumpy, but for my tastes the current landscape is pretty barren. How I missed Thornley, I have no idea.
So, if you’re interested in old dude guitar rock and want to have people laugh at you when you drop this band’s name, get no reaction, and then say, “Well, they’re really big in Canada”, then take a listen.