10. Crisanta Baker – Lo Moon
For me, Crisanta Baker is the behind-the-scenes person that makes Lo Moon sound as good as they do. She handles bass, keys, and samples, and all three are a major part of their sound. Her bass is velvety smooth and classy in the most gorgeous ways, never detracting and always boosting the other performances on the record.
9. Zach Rinck – 49 Burning Condors
49 Burning Condors have a Southern Gothic witch rock vibe, and Zach is a big part of how sweaty, voluptuous, and powerful it is. He really stands out for how complex and yet accessible his bass lines can be.
8. Robin Armstrong
– Cosmograf/The Bardic Depths
I’m almost embarrassed to list Robin here. He is, perhaps, not that well-known as a bass player, but his work on both Cosmograf and The Bardic Depths proved to me that he is an excellent player. His bass lines, especially for The Bardic Depths, are noodly and fun, taking skill and a veteran hand. I really enjoyed his work on both records.
7. Lucas Tollis – Selenic
Explosive and powerful bass lines are the name of the game with Lucas’ performance on the debut Selenic album. The rhythm section in general is awesome, and he directs the charge.
6. Andreas Dahl-Blumendahl
– Feather Mountain
Definitely influenced by Tool, Andreas’ work is complex and intelligent. There is muscle in his bass lines that provides the groundwork for everything else.
5. Łukasz Marszałek – Retrospective
Łukasz offers some truly engaging bass lines on the new Retrospective album. Being a Polish band, they tend to put bass front and center many times, and he takes advantage of this. I feel like there is a groovy consistency that links the entire album, and it comes from Łukasz.
4. Joni Palmroth – Oddland
Oddland has always possessed a gravity, but with their latest, I feel like Joni’s bass has become even more complex and meaty. It creates a necessary roar from which to launch the onslaught that is their highly progressive style.
3. Andreas Blomqvist
– Seventh Wonder
What can be said about Andreas’ playing? He is well-known for his highly technical, yet intimate bass lines. He always seems to offer a freshness and even happiness in his work, and it bleeds all over the recent Seventh Wonder offering.
2. Pete Trewavas – Marillion
I liked the new Marillion album, though maybe not as much as other listeners. Still, what grabbed my attention the most was the rhythm section. Pete’s veteran ear is certainly at work in his mesmerizing performance as he bounces and flows with precision and expertise.
1. Marc Anguill – Esthesis
When I started making this list, all I knew was that Marc would be at the top. His bass lines on the new Esthesis record are incredibly satisfying and warm. He isn’t necessarily a fiery player, but instead offers an ever-present, groovy, voluptuous element to the music. It feels bluesy and comforting in how his playing weaves around the other instruments.