Best Local Band

Built to Spill

In uncertain times like these, it's good to have some things you can rely on. Almost without fail, you can trust this indie-rock warhorse will win or place in this category. Doug Martsch and company have certainly earned this top spot: Whether they're picking locals as tour openers or playing long sets at local bars and festivals for multiple nights in a row, they've shown Boise love for 25 years and counting.

2nd Place: Hillfolk Noir—We once likened Hillfolk Noir to Doc Watson or Skip James on a bad acid trip. Don't think we were suggesting this engagingly oddball trio is grim or maudlin. Hillfolk's punky mash-up of assorted old-timey genres is too lively for such labels. For proof, check out its latest album, Junkerpunch (self-released, 2017), which features darkly funny originals like "Dead Maud" and "Pirate Song" as well as a warm, loose take on the country-blues chestnut "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum."

3rd Place: Lounge on Fire—In January, Lounge on Fire played a release show for its debut album, Lips of Calypso (self-released, 2017), at Neurolux. According to the bar's staff, it might have been the first all-local bill (not counting Built to Spill) to sell out that venue. It's not hard to understand why these funky young upstarts are so popular: Their smooth grooves and irrepressible high spirits make them a guaranteed good time.

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