WYEP's Top 5 2016 Local Releases

Over the past year, WYEP has been proud to showcase a diverse array of Pittsburgh musicians on-air through our weekly local music spotlight, The Local 913. Each week, we were able to introduce our listeners to so many talented musicians in the area. We are able to present one of our favorite local bands live every month at The Local 913 Live, our monthly local music happy hour. At the end of the year, it's always difficult to select only 5 albums to highlight as our city's best, but here is our attempt! Please support all these hometown musicians through purchasing their music or attending one of their local concerts. 

*** WYEP’s Top 5 Local Acts for 2016 ***

1. Meeting of Important People Troika (Meeting of Important People)

MOIP Troika
Meeting of Important People's third album is another terrific collection of ear-grabbing rock tunes, but this time displaying a wider range of influences. Perhaps coincidentally (or not), songwriting this time was more of a group process among all three band mates—a key reason for the album title. Inventively co-produced by Donora's Jake Hanner and MOIP's Josh Verbanets, the album encompasses elements of country-folk, '90s alternative, Kinks-esque rock and a touch of baroque psychedelia. It also includes the fine 2015 single, "All Rode Off Together," a virtual summit meeting of guest artists from the Pittsburgh local music scene. But when all's said and done, the common denominator here is simply good, quality song craft. (MS)

2. Morgan Erina Lady (Morgan Erina)
Morgan Erin Lady
Morgan Erina’s first solo release since the dissolution of her duo, Broken Fences, showcases her beautiful, ethereal voice, songwriting, and versatility. Although it’s easy to label Erina’s music as moody and sad, Lady stirs emotions and proves enthralling from start to finish. Her voice is gripping and quietly intense, and leaves you practically begging for her next line. Treelady Studios’ Dave Hidek has added superb production touches, layers and dynamics that clearly challenged Erina’s boundaries and inspired her to push further. (CH)  

3. Pet Clinic No Face (Pet Clinic)
Pet CLinic
No Face is a tour-de-force of dark, crunchy riff rock. Rather than working in a commercial studio, the band recorded their full-length debut in their Troy Hill home. The decision allowed the band to take their time and focus on every possible detail in the recording process, including building a few pieces of their recording arsenal from scratch. David Bubenheim’s voice ranges from a quiet whisper to a blood-curdling howl over swirling guitars, atmospheric keyboards and a hard-driving rhythm section. (JS)

4. The Red Western Arrows/Sirens (The Red Western)

The Red Western has evolved since 2007 inception, as evidenced by the sounds streaming through their simultaneously released EPs. The twin EP releases signified the band’s continued journey from alt-country to indie pop and rock sound, along with a shift from a quintet to a quartet.  Arrows is the release that continues the country leanings, while Sirens cements the band’s transition to a more guitar-forward, jangly pop sound. Lauren Delorenze's vocals highlight the varied sounds on the EPs and fit the assorted arrangements especially well. (KS)

 Emerson Jay Louie (Emerson Jay)

Emerson Jay, project of producer Jared Gulden, is a breath of fresh air to the electronic scene in Pittsburgh. After attending audio engineering school in Chicago, Gulden returned home with a SoundCloud full of songs. Gulden produced tracks by replicating what his live band (Brendan Bates, Dan Evans and Pat Donovan) had worked out in concerts. Louie is colorfully sunny and cool in a way that is not overly digital. It’s truly fresh, electronic music with a soul. (CH)