It's been a months long road in the process of nominating and voting on who all of you feel are the city's best musicians for the year. After thinking back on all the shows played and albums released from 2016, we've finally got a solid list of Portland's finest. Take a gander at who you all fell for (and just how much you fell for them), while also showing some love to yourselves and the lovely jurors that participated.
Thanks to our jurors: Linneas Boland-Godbey (Next Northwest), Aaron Sharpsteen (Photographer), Tony Prato (Bunk Bar), Duffy Rongiiland (Gnar Tapes), Rob Cullivan (Portland Tribune), Leigh Belacic (PDX Pop Now), Jeni Wren Stottrup (Gritty Birds Podcast), Annie Ostrowski (Riot Act Media), Blake Hickman (Good Cheer Records), Clifford Prince King (Photographer), Mo Troper (Impose Magazine/Portland Mercury), Chad Davis (Musician), Jordan Stamm (Drunk Dial Records), Hunter Skowron (Dazzleships Records), Todd Walberg (Photographer), Yousef Hatlani (Faces on the Radio), Corbin Corbinn (Crush House/Photographer), and Andrew Olson (dr0ne PR).
Let's get down to the nitty gritty of what you all have been waiting for...
Lithics exude mystery. From their experimental punk drone to their intentional lack of an internet presence, they're the band you may not have known existed until you saw them accidentally. They've been coasting in Portland's formerly under-appreciated but always DIY post/art punk scene for almost three years now with just two releases under their belt. Their three track, self-titled tape from 2015 gave us a taste, but it was their 2016 release Borrowed Floors that helped propel them into being Portland's best band of the year.
2. Cat Hoch
This isn't the first success Cat Hoch and her band have experienced with the Deli. She came out on top entirely in 2015, when she was voted the Best Emerging Artist of that year and was the readers' choice for best in shoegaze and psych rock for this year. From opening up for Ride to commanding even bigger stages, Cat Hoch and her talented group of musicians aren't stopping anytime soon.
Ambiently soft yet broodingly heavy, Abronia have expanded their lineup to match their beautifully atmospheric and expansive sound. Our overall pick for best in electronic and experimental and perfect for moments of mental reflection (but easy to enjoy in damn near every other scenario), Abronia's dominanation of the experimental side of the poll makes total sense, and we can't wait to hear new releases from them.
4. Ice Queens (Alt Rock/Metal, 7pts)
5. Fur Coats (Hip Hop/R&B, 6pts)
6. The Toads (Indie Rock/Post-Punk, 6pts)
7. Mr. Wrong (Punk/Garage, 6pts)
8. Shrine of the Serpent (Alt Rock/Metal, 5.5pts)
9. A Volcano (Alt Rock/Metal, 5pts)
10. dolphin midwives (Electronic/Experimental, 5pts)
11. Gold Casio (Electronic/Experimental, 5pts)
12. Chanti Darling (Hip Hop/R&B, 5pts)
13. Lola Buzzkill (Hip Hop/R&B, 5pts)
14. Laura Palmer's Death Parade (Psych/Shoegaze, 5pts)
15. Wave Action (Punk/Garage, 5pts)
16. Donte Thomas (Hip Hop/R&B, 4pts)
17. Little Star (Indie Pop, 4pts)
18. Candace (Psych/Shoegaze, 4pts)
19. Zozma (Psych/Shoegaze, 4pts)
20. On drugs (Punk/Garage, 4pts)
21. James Curry IV (Electronic/Experimental, 3.5pts)
22. Mini Blinds (Indie Pop, 3.5pts)