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Calico Vision played The 40 Watt Club for its album-release party on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. This show began the band’s first East Coast tour, and the four members of the psychedelic pop band are headed to Nashville next. (Photo/Erin Schilling, 404.291.9654)

With the sound of Calico Vision’s psychedelic guitar to R.E.M.’s classic bass guitar riff, there were many memorable albums to check out this year. 

As the decade comes to a close, it’s time to recognize the music from Athens locals that was  throughout the year. These artists have dedicated time and effort for these albums, performed them around the city and shared them with their fans. From high school bands like Cheese Dream and Fishbug, to the legendary R.E.M., 2019 provided a diverse selection of music from Athens’ own. To reflect over the year filled with local artists and possibly introduce you to new sounds, we have put together a few of the albums to check out from Athens musicians released this past year. 

AFTM — ‘Around for the Moment’

Starting as a Southern rock band performing at University of Georgia fraternity parties, AFTM developed into a band with a diverse range of sounds. Its indie-blues tone along with the classic rock style of vocals create a fusioned sound which is well represented in its album “Around for the Moment.” 

R.E.M — ‘Monster’ (25th Anniversary Edition)

R.E.M. has shaped a lot of the music scene in Athens and provides inspiration to local artists, so the re-release of its album “Monster” was a prominent moment for the band this year. This classic rock album features some of its most popular songs to date and many more some may not recognize at first listen. Previous R.E.M. fans can listen to this album for nostalgia purposes, and new fans can get a taste of its classic sounds just by listening to this album. 

Calico Vision — ‘Calico Vision’

The “dream-pop” band came out with an album this year which featured some of its most popular songs. Songs such as “Dog Daze” accentuate the electric guitar riffs with a chill and eccentric vibe to accompany it. Along with that, the rock-style vocals provide a fusion of tones that make this band who it is. 

Colt Ford — ‘We The People, Vol. 1’

Best known for his “country rap” style and his performances with artists such as Montgomery Gentry and Dolly Parton, Colt Ford originated in Athens and continues to perform today. His album “We The People” which features multiple other artists, such as country artists Walker Montgomery and Jimmie Allen. If you’re a fan of country and hip-hop and would like to hear an unconventional mix of both, Ford’s songs are meant for you. 

Kxng Blanco —‘Skee Yee!’

With the release of his sophomore album, Athens rapper Kxng Blanco created an album which represented an independently new style. The 10-track album of various hip-hop and rap tunes features other artists, such as Squalle and MackMallyMannn. His song “Soul Food” summarizes the sound of the album with its classic hip-hop sound and pulsing bass.

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