This is the category highlighting bands that are most mostly influenced directly by bands from the 1960s and would delight in hearing themselves compared in such a way. There are years where there aren't as many bands in this category as I'd hope, and I get a little more forgiving about what "traditional" sounds like. This year there were so many great trad surf records that I went in the opposite direction, dumping great records into other categories at the slightest hint of modernity and cutting records I like because the bar was simply too high. Certainly not the worst problem to have, but often tough in its own way. Ideally the Honorable Mentions are good enough that somebody else will think they should be the winner. I expect to see a lot of that this year, as there are some true heavyweights below.
I think album art is important. It can not only grab your eye and coax you into listening to a record, but it can inform the listening experience. Surf has developed a strong library of iconography over the years, not to mention a stable of excellent go-to artists. I always enjoy taking a moment to look into who these artists are and recognize them for giving a little more life to this music.
I was in Chicago for this one celebrating early Christmas with my wife's family which kinda limited my bandwidth. Plus it was almost a week from Christmas and I didn't want to a full christmas show. So this was a pretty sloppy one by my own admission.
Listen to WTUL
SSOR is not broadcasting right now, but there's always something interesting on at WTUL