Sea of Bees, Brotha Smith, Be Brave Bold Robot and more set to release new albums in 2015

Your (short) guide to new 2015 albums from Sacramento artists

<p><b>“Which way to the best year ever?”</b></p>

“Which way to the best year ever?”

photo courtesy of bar fly effect

It’s just barely 2015, and already the year promises loads of exciting releases from local artists.

Perhaps the most highly-anticipated record will come from Sea of Bees. Julie Baenziger’s third full-length album Build a Boat to the Sun drops in May or June, a full three years after Orangefarben. The record will continue Sea of Bees’ slow tread away from folk, but still feature Baenziger singing and playing most of the instruments. Amber Padgett is on the record again, as well as Kacey Johansing (Yesway), Geoffrey CK (Sunmonks) and Jason Quever (Papercuts). Oh, and that beloved 1907 pump organ returns, too.

CK’s Sunmonks is also finishing up its debut full-length, due out the second half of 2015. No name yet, but there are apparently some epic eight-piece horn arrangements.

On Friday, January 23, at the Fox & Goose, Be Brave Bold Robot will celebrate its release of Press E to Continue, a name chosen by the person who donated $300 to the folkish band’s Kickstarter campaign. It’s an eclectic album, with six full band recordings, a few covers, some electronica and—get ready—frontman Dean Haakenson rapping.

Perfect segue into local emcees.

Andru Defeye, the pioneer of Sacramento’s guerrilla rap movement of 2014, drops Villain, billed as an autobiography of sorts, in February or March. He was one of the few local artists selected to play the inaugural TBD Fest, along with DLRN. Speaking of which, the synth-fueled hip-hop duo slates its long-awaited Neon Noire (Deluxe) for a mid-February release, with guest appearances by Stevie Nader, Nami Ramo and SOOSH*E!.

Rapper Brutha Smith will release Effigy on Tuesday, January 6, at the Blue Lamp. He says the concept album will be his most personal yet, digging into a traumatic past that he’d always kept private before. Dylan Phillip will also drop his next record, Authentic Originality, sometime this month.

Spring will be an important season for local metal fans. Look for death and grind band Plague Widow’s first full-length Within the Void of Human Life; blackened doom metal band Bog Oak’s debut, tentatively called Wilderness Survival; and video game-inspired, mathcore Journal’s third album.

Bog Oak is relatively new, but its first EP A Treatise On Resurrection And The Afterlife received rave reviews on the metal blog circuit. Journal’s currently unnamed record, meanwhile, will be its first since Unlorja in 2010. Expect another concept album, but this time following a single character’s quest for meaning and purpose.

The Bar Fly Effect’s (pictured) debut record is expected sometime mid-2015—the punk band’s first release since its much-loved 2013 EP and ode to drunken debauchery What Happened Last Night. In April, expect roots-influenced, bluesy rock duo Said the Shotgun’s debut Snake Oil as well as feel-good band Element of Soul’s next mix of reggae, blues and rock, Inspired Frequencies. Element of Soul plans for release parties in both Placerville and Sacramento.

On the more experimental end of things, Gentleman Surfer promises a third record after a year of near-inactivity. No other details on that. But in the summer, Martin Birke’s electronic project Genre Peak will release tentatively-titled fourth record Cell by Cell. It’ll feature an ever-evolving, impressive cast of creatives, including Steve Jansen (Japan), Matt Malley (Counting Crows), Charlie Woodward (Strinx), Lesley Braden (Fast Arrow) and jazz guitarist Henry Robinett.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, mostly because that’d be impossible to compile. There’s way more new music to come, so perk up those ears and consider making “support Sacramento’s music scene” your New Year’s resolution.