Discovering the Best Releases by Local Bands nominated in the 2018 Best of the Bay poll

Creative Loafing’s annual Best of the Bay is here for the 2018 season. I won’t tell you what to vote for and all that jazz (I’m not a nominee, nor is this blog. Not like that would have happened anyway). What I would like to provide here is a little tool of hyperlinks for specifically one voting list.

The Best of the Bay Arts and Entertainment section has quite a few music related categories and voting opportunities. There’s general band listings, rock, hip-hop, country, bluegrass, blues, etc. The category that’s leading to this post is “Best Release By A Local Band”.

Now, call me inexperienced, small-time, or just a normal citizen who wouldn’t, but I don’t know any or the listed artists in that section. Never heard of them. Also what doesn’t seem to be consistent in the category is if these releases are full albums, singles, or single-songs off albums. What also isn’t clear is the music itself. Unless you know the artists, you’re likely not going to know the songs (with a few exceptions if the artist is bigger than I know and they get national exposure).

There are 17 listings in alphabetical order of the artists on the list. What this blog post is trying to accomplish is to actually let you know about the nomination – a link to the artist, a link to the song/album, listing the genre and actually telling you if it’s a song or an album. Information is a nice thing to be given, especially when it’s music.

Not all the nominees are timely. While a wider array of time beyond the last calendar year makes sense (it takes time for music to get out there), some of these songs / albums date back as far as 2016.

Just consider this an opportunity to learn before you vote. And remember, you can only vote on a Best of the Bay section once. After that, you’re locked out from the section you’ve voted in.

Anyway, here are the songs/albums of the nominees of the Best New Releases by a Tampa Bay band/musical artist.

Author note: One listed item, “Inform the Masses” is not included as no performing artist was linked to it. It’s also a commonly used musical phrase that did not aid finding the performer.

Artist Name

Song / Album Title

Other Info

The Absence A Gift For The Obsessed Album
Genre: Death Metal
Released: 3.23.2018
The Applebutter Express Suitcase
[author note: link to article]
Genre: Folk Pop/Rock
Released: 11.25.2016
Chuck Owen & the Jazz Surge Whispers on the Wind Album
Genre: Jazz
Released: 9.8.2017
DBMK Headlights for Eyes Album
Genre: Alternative/Indie
Released: 6.15.2018
Derrick Williams Who Say I’m A Christian Song
Released: 2018
Displace Undertow Album

Genre: Pop
Released: 6.25.2016

Grand Lotus Australia Song

Genre: Alternative/Indie
Released: 3.11.2017

Growler Starshine Song

Genre: Rock
Released: 2.23.2018

Jab Movement To You I Pray Song
Genre: Reggae
Released: 6.4.2018
Jordan Denise Williams I’m Gonna Fly Song
Genre: Pop
Released: 7.2018
Jordan Denise Williams I Close My Eyes Song
Genre: Pop
Released: 7.2018
King Complex Phase // Album
Genre: Alternative / IndieRealeased: 09.01.2017
Limbs Father’s Son Album
Genre: Metal
Released: 4.27.2018
Shevonne Philidor Sell Out Song
Genre: Pop
Release: 09.30.2016
The Time Framed Chemo Dementia Album
Genre: Experimental Rock
Released: 10.23.2017
Vacancy Empty Head Album
Genre: MetalReleased: 08.25.2017


For the sake of saying so: There are more songs or albums released by artists in the Tampa Bay area that were released within the last calendar year that were not nominated. That’s not because their music sucked, it’s because their listeners or the artists themselves aren’t necessarily Creative Loafing readers, let alone Best of the Bay participants in nominations or voting.

You’re only going to have until early September to vote, so don’t hesitate too long to do so. If you really don’t know a category or have little knowledge of those within it, it’s probably best to skip it. There’s so much to vote on in Arts & Entertainment, Food & Drink, Goods and Services  and People, Places & Politics.

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