Feature: Pittsburgh Record of the Year (2019)

Drumroll. Drumroll, please.

I submit for your consideration, dear reader, my selections for Pittsburgh record of the year – two brilliant debut offerings on opposite ends of the volume spectrum. Both are available on Bandcamp, nudge, nudge.

LOUD: TRVSS – Absence. Visceral noise-rock that blisters the skin. The band’s 10-song debut lashed at the senses in all the right ways, with dirgy bass, pounding percussion and frontman Daniel Gene’s barbed-wire aluminum-guitar antics. There are other Pittsburgh bands that have mastered the complexities and angularities of noise-rock and post-hardcore – I’m looking at you, Microwaves – but nobody did it better in 2019 than TRVSS.

QUIET: Revival Choir – Finn. Singer/songwriter Sean Atkins quietly released this understated gem of Americana without so much as a release party or a press release, making discovery of the record (however it came to you) all the more special. Atkins has a whispy, even smoky kind of croon that accentuates the romantic longing on much of his band’s debut, and a gentle shuffle of acoustic guitar whose hooks and melody will knock off your feet. Indispensable. – Justin Vellucci, to be published in Pittsburgh Current, Dec. 20, 2019

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About the author

Justin Vellucci is a staff writer for PopMatters, Spectrum Culture, and MusicTAP, a contributor to Pittsburgh Current, and a former staffer for Popdose, Punk Planet and Delusions of Adequacy. His music writing has appeared in national magazines such as American Songwriter, alt-pubs like The Brooklyn Rail, Pittsburgh CityPaper and San Diego CityBeat, blogs Swordfish, Punksburgh and Linoleum, and the Gannett magazine Jetty. He lives in Pittsburgh.

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