Welcome to the fourth annual Gremmy Awards, Storm Surge of Reverb’s official designations of the best instro records of the year.
The selection process: I round up a bunch of records I like and I categorize them into the following:
- Trad: Surf that’s trying to make it 1963 again.
- Rad: My own word for surf that’s focused on speed, power, and adrenaline, usually with some punk influence..
- Modern: Instrumentals that build on all the music that’s led us up to this point.
- Way-Out: Instrumental records that have surf in their DNA, but have mutated into something hard to describe
- Album Art: Forget about the music.
- Everything Else: Other things that I think deserve mentioning.
- Guest Gremmys: Opinions from other people that you should trust.
And of course every year I make a BIG LIST OF EVERY SURF & INSTRO RECORD.
This isn’t a perfect process. Sometimes I struggle to decide which record belongs in which category. I haven’t heard every record and I probably haven’t given any of them as much time as I should. Sometimes a record will come out in the middle of this process and they’ll either benefit from being fresh in my mind or suffer from not getting enough consideration. I’m a person, I have a lot of biases.
Each of the main categories has one Gremmy winner and however many honorable mentions as I feel like. I try to make sure that the honorable mentions are records I feel like I could comfortably recommend to anybody. There are records I like that don’t make the cut. There will inevitably be records that a year later I feel should have made the cut.
The Gremmy winners get a major label record contract .png file with their name on it.
I love seeing what records others feel strongly about and throwing a little bit of your trust off of my shoulders. So this year we have a readers poll. Feel free to abuse it!