I’ll keep this short and sweet. Here are ten albums I dug this year, in alphabetical order by the musician, and why I like them. I’m giving myself a tweet (140 characters) to explain why I like each release.
Molly Rankin sings beautifully over fuzzy guitars, ambient keys and 80s drum beats. Her lyrics are catchy/angsty/witty all rolled into one.
Kauai – Childish Gambino
Technically an EP, but his best in years. Reminiscent of Jackson 5 pop, with typical twisty wordplay and poignant prose. “Sober” is a must.
Salad Days – Mac DeMarco
Lo-fi hazy B-sides. At least that’s what this modern album sounds like. Rarities that classic rock purists seek. Self-recorded, of course.
Stay Gold – First Aid Kit
These sisters touch my soul on every song. Their harmonies are lusciously layered over a brushing/tickling of Americana. (They’re Swedish.)
LP1 – FKA twigs
Digital sex soundscapes. That’s exactly how this album needs to be described. So I’m just going to leave it at that.
The Voyager – Jenny Lewis
For those who didn’t like her solo stuff: this is her best effort since her days with Rilo Kiley. Dark lyrics, bright melodies.
Sling Shot to Heaven – Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s
This is new, new Margot. Stripped down and basically Richard Edwards with very little else. Which is good. His lyrics are his best feature.
Run the Jewels 2 – Run the Jewels
Raw and hard. Not dancey hip hop that dominates the radio. Actual rap with beats that feel dangerous. Terrific production throughout.
St. Vincent – St. Vincent
This is a better pop art album than what Lady Gaga tried to put out. Not to link their styles, but this album deserves the title of art pop.
Centinela – yellowbirddd
Open up a diary and let your most inner emotions spill out. This album does that and takes you on a journey that makes you feel the feels.