2. Delta Spirit – Into The Wide

Every time a new album from Delta Spirit graces my ears, it hits hard and it hits often. 2014’s release of Into the Wide was no exception to this, blazing through the speakers of my car, computer, headphones, and anything else that I can play music on, including vinyl (Thanks Rondeau!) so often it probably was pissing off anyone else nearby thinking, “Play something else for once!” The simple response in my mind would’ve been plainly, “No.” My brain told me to belt out every word I knew anytime I listened to the songs, including at two live performances, so I did.

Frontman Matt Vasquez and the gang moved to Brooklyn, New York this year to record Into the Wide (much to the dismay of their home Californian fan-base). He addressed during their live shows that they missed the beauty of the west coast now living in the concrete jungle, even stating the National Parks as the influence for the heavier title track “Into the Wide”. Although they miss home, the change of scenery (or lack there of) most certainly didn’t have any negative effects on their music, putting out one of the best albums of 2014.

From start to finish this album is heavy hitting, emotional, and face melting all at the same time, especially when performed in a live setting where the band was vibrant as ever. To pick top tracks is tough because it depends on what you want to hear. The most energy comes during “From Now On,” “Language of the Dead,” and the strangely uplifting “Patriarch,” but Into the Wide can turn and hit you in the feels with album closers “War Machine” and finally “The Wreck” which pays tribute to Vasquez’s wife. The best part is while all of these are awesome, NONE OF THEM ARE EVEN MY FAVORITE FROM THIS ALBUM BECAUSE THE WHOLE THING IS THAT GOOD. Sorry for raising my voice. But really, thank you Delta Spirit for helping music get through what seemed like a down year in the industry. Into the Wide is masterful. – Koltes