Gremmy Awards

Gremmy Awards 2018: Best Album Art

Best Album Art 2018

Surf has always had strong visual iconography attached to nudge how we interpret these instrumentals. We've built and expanded upon that just as we've transformed the music over the years. Here are some of the records where the art really stood out to me this year.

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OK Here's every damn surf/instro release in 2018 that I know of

2018 Surf List

These lists are never definitive, I always miss a few but there's a lot! More than last year!

If something is bolded it means it was reviewed on this site. I'm only including releases that are over 50% instrumental. Big thanks to Kevin Kamphaus and Nestor Burma for helping me fill in some gaps.

EPs

My definition of EP is between 2 and 7 songs. Some 7-song records might be classified as an LP if there are longer tracks. I did not track singles (as in one track releases) because it starts getting out of control.

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Introducing the 2018 Gremmy Awards

Gremmy Awards 2018

The Gremmy Awards are Storm Surge of Reverb's yearly awards recognizing some of the most oustanding surf and instro albums of the year. Keep in mind that Storm Surge of Reverb is really just one person, and so for the most part these are just the tastes of one idiot. That idiot has listened to an awful lot of this music, but certainly not all of it. I try to balance it out a little bit by contacting a few people that I know are big surf superfans and whose opinions I respect and having them write Guest Gremmys. Also, these awards are really supposed to be the cream of the crop.

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Gremmy Awards 2017: Guest Gremmys

Guest Gremmys 2017

There aren't too many people doing awards for surf music which makes me very self-conscious about my choices. The Gremmys are just my opinions and some albums that didn't make an impact for me meant a lot to others, not to mention ones that I loved but just didn't make it to the top tier. So here are some other voices from people that I know are listening to a lot of surf and whose opinions I respect, and hopefully they'll cover some of the ground that I didn't.


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Gremmy Awards 2017: Best Modern Surf Record

This category is for albums that are unmistakably surf, but would not be mistaken for vintage. This was a tough category this year and it was tough choosing a winner. A lot of these were also really pushing the envelope, and it was hard to decide what belongs here and what belongs in the Way-Out Instro category.

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Gremmy Awards 2017: Best "Rad" Instro Record

Rad Instro 2017

This is my own terminology for surf music that's more punk-influenced, with a focus on speed and force before anything else. I like it because it rhymes with Trad. It's not necessarily about who's the loudest and the fastest as much as it's about who's the best at being loud and fast.

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Gremmy Awards 2017: Best Album Art

Best Album Art Gremmy 2017

I’ve heard a lot of great surf records behind terrible album art, but some good art can not only draw you in but shape your listening experience. And in a style of music that is so attached to kitschy paraphernalia, it’s interesting to see how bands can either harness or subvert those associations to stand out and even shape instro culture.

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