Top 50 Albums of 2014

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As our fifth year in operation comes to an end, The Blue Indian staff and contributors would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all the readers, bands, and companies that have supported the publication. Sharing the experience of new music with you all is the sole reason this blog began and we hope to continue that for years to come.

Typically, writers put together individual “Top Album” lists but after discussing the effectiveness of the post, we felt that it was best to publish a comprehensive “Top 50 Albums of 2014” list comprised of input from various writers and staff. The following list is arranged only by alphabetical order, not by any ranking or rating.

Top 50 Albums of 2014 Playlist on Spotify

’68 – In Humor and Sadness

’68 is the impossibly heavy duo of former The Chariot frontman Josh Scogin and drummer Michael McClellan. The music, while along similar lines as his other hardcore acts, pulls influence from roots-rock and grunge sounds. It is stripped-down, raw, oppressive, and incredible. – Andy Carter

Top Tracks: “Track 1 R”, “Track 3 G”, “Track 6 t”.

100 Watt Horse – The 100 Watt Horse

Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, 100 Watt Horse is the work of George Pettis and friends. The debut EP is sweet and sorrowful, showcasing Pettis as an incredibly talented songwriter. Listeners are treated to songs that explore the constantly changing dynamics of how people relate to one another. Give it a listen and you’ll see why the band was featured as our “Band of the Month” for August 2014. – Sean Pritchard

Top Tracks: “Who Will Love Us When We’re Gone”, “Black Balloon”, “If I Were An Ocean”

A Sunny Day In Glasgow – Sea When Absent

Nearly a decade into their career, A Sunny Day In Glasgow has written their best album so far. There is a lot on Sea When Absent to take in, especially in terms of sheer instrumentation, yet the album never loses its ability to pound a great melody into your head. And pound it does. For all its pop tendencies and melodic vocal lines, Sea When Absent is a surprisingly heavy album. Guitars and fuzzed-out bass crunch beneath chintzy synths and a whole mess of delayed vocals. It’s a beautiful, maximal mess. – Grafton Tanner

Top Tracks: “Byebye, Big Ocean (The End)”, “In Love With Useless (The Timeless Geometry in the Tradition of Passing)”, “The Body, It Bends”

Allah-Las – Worship The Sun

Everything about Allah-­Las makes me think I’m at a 60’s beach party in Southern California listening to a British pop band. These guys are all LA though. Worship The Sun follows their lauded self-­titled LP from 2012 in a more-than-appropriate manner. Where they diverge from the more plucky nature of older hits like “Catamaran” or “Vis­A­Vis”, we get a sense they’ve somehow mellowed out even more, which seemed impossible, but perhaps their new deity has brought peace to an already peaceful place. “Worship The Sun” feels like good advice to take if it’s what they’ve been doing to prep for this sophomore album. – Everett Verner

Top Tracks: “Ferus Gallery”, “Artifact”, “Buffalo Nickel”

Alt-J – This Is All Yours

Since their ‘Best of 2012’ debut An Awesome Wave, there hasn’t been an Alt-J song (or cover) that hasn’t been captivating. A tough act to follow, This Is All Yours continues to keep listeners enthralled with endless weaves of abstract rock-electronica, feel-good snares and low tribal-like thuds. – Hart Roberts

Top Tracks: Favorite tracks: “Every Other Freckle”, “Left Hand Free”, “Hunger Of The Pine”

Aphex Twin – Syro

Very few artists can return after years of silence and pick up entirely where they left us, but then again, Richard D. James wrote the book on unconventional public presences…and contemporary electronic music in general. Syro is James’ M.O. writ large and in high-fidelity: an album’s worth of melodic dance music comprised of skittering beats and weightless beds of sound. After thirteen years, James has descended to show us where the hands rest on the clock. – Grafton Tanner

Top Tracks: “minipops 67 [120.2] [source field mix]”, “syro u473t8+e [141.98] [piezoluminescence mix]”, “aisatsana”

Bahamas – Bahamas Is Afie

Afie is Bahamas. But Afie is Ontarian, not Bahamian. Crafting music under the pseudonym Bahamas since 2009, Afie Jurvanen’s Bahamas is Afie is the perfect calm & collective compilation of sun- drenched sounds. Pairs well with a cold cocktail and summer sunshine. – Hart Roberts

Top Tracks: “Stronger Than That”, “All The Time”, “Waves”

Bass Drum Of Death – Rip This

A duo out of Oxford, MS, largely the project of John Barrett, these guys rip face in an unapologetic tone that warrants them keeping their incredible name. It’s not death metal, it’s just rock n’ roll the way they talk about in the movies. It has the feeling of garage rock with heavy blues influences. It’s rough around the edges and packs a punch, but it’s most just raucous rock music meant to be played loud in smokey bars. – Everett Verner

Top Tracks: “Electric”, “Sin is in 10”, “For Blood”

Caroline Rose – I Will Not Be Afraid

I was first introduced to Caroline Rose‘s music when she played a somewhat last minute show at a small room in Macon called the Rookery. The dozen or so people that came for the show left visibly stunned and overjoyed, and I recall the owner purchasing CDs for his staff. I Will Not Be Afraid is a long look at one’s self and surroundings from a singer and songwriter who I hope remains wide-eyed and wondrous of the world. One of our “Band of the Month” features from 2013. – Sean Pritchard

Top Tracks: “I Will Not Be Afraid”, “Blood on Your Bootheels”, “America Religious”

Cloud Nothings – Here And Nowhere Else

The biting aggression introduced on Cloud Nothings‘ stellar Attack On Memory has been perfected, and their entire career, from twee pop purists to hard indie rockers, culminates in the closing track on Here And Nowhere Else: “I’m Not Part of Me.” It’s a beautifully pained reflection on being young and confused, and like the rest of the album, it’s the nearest thing to an anthem of contemporaneity that we’re likely to get. Here And Nowhere Else is raw, pure, desperate, and uplifting – the sound of being small in an ever-expanding world. – Grafton Tanner

Top Tracks: “Now Here In”, “Psychic Trauma”, “I’m Not Part Of Me”

Dalmatian – Obscura Discoteca

The road to Obscura Discoteca has been an interesting one for Dalmatian, a Macon, GA-based indie outfit, complete with the long list of setbacks that any act working to gain traction might experience. The result of those frustrations and elations is a thoroughly enjoyable work of songs that pull influence from Talking Heads, Paul McCartney, and Brian Wilson. Check out their “Band of the Month” feature and their debut EP, Dances with Dalmatian. – Sean Pritchard

Top Tracks: “Fugu”, “If I Was Your Lover”, “Cherry St.”

Death Grips – niggas on the moon

Perhaps the only musical group to pull off the impossible feat of achieving near-mainstream status while remaining entirely outside it has called it quits. Or have they. Death Grips has continued to remind us they no longer play by any rules, and the first half of their posthumous double-album (to be titled The Powers That B) is perfectly deconstructed glitch-hop that is the sound of schizophrenic accelerationism. If this is the end, niggas on the moon is the start of a brilliantly insane coda. – Grafton Tanner

Top Tracks:  “Up My Sleeves”, “Have A Sad Cum”, “Voila”

Francisco The Man – Loose Ends

These LA-based shoegazers come in with a phenomenal debut in Loose Ends. Grimey guitar scuzz alongside lead singer Scotty Cantino’s nasally and waxing vocals create an evocative sound that will grab you from the get go. Each song flows well into the next and the album seems like it’s over as soon as it begins. Loose Ends has a good pulse throughout with solid range in styles contributing to a more complex sense of when and how heavy to be while maintaining luscious drive that makes all great shoegaze music feel like it lasts forever and is always too short. – Everett Verner

Top Tracks: “It’s Not Your Fault”, “In My Dreams”, “Progress”

FREEMAN – FREEMAN

The former frontman for Ween, Aaron Freeman’s recent sobriety stint has allowed him to sideline his on-and-off stage antics and produce an album reflecting a personal journey to renew, reestablish and relearn. But Gene isn’t completely dead. Ween fans will still appreciate Freeman’s samples of unusual lyrics, jams and tones that we all grew to love. – Hart Roberts

Top Tracks: “(For A While) I Couldn’t Play My Guitar Like a Man”, “Gimme One More”, “All The Way To China”

Generationals – Alix

Infectious rhythms and smooth synthesizers deliver this perfect summertime soundtrack. Alix is a relaxed listen from start to finish delivering the perfect punch of indie/lounge/electronica. Is it June yet? – Hart Roberts

Top Tracks: “Gold Silver Diamond”, “It Took a Minute”, “Reading Signs”

g h o s t i n g – Telenights

Now that vaporwave has died, it has returned from the dead, and Telenights is the sound of haunted commercials and sleepy late-night drives in the vein of MIDNIGHT TELEVISION and 18 Carat Affair. It is a sampler rich with radio and television adverts, weather updates, and incidental music meant to highlight the ubiquity of mass media in late capitalism. Or maybe it’s just another nostalgia trip back to our youth reared on Halloween specials and Coca-Cola commercials. Either way, it’s classic vaporwave meant to unnerve and soothe the listener. – Grafton Tanner

Top Tracks: “Tonight”, “Halloween Special”, “Tune In Tomorrow

Hollow & Akimbo – Hollow & Akimbo

Jonathan Visger and Brian Konicek, both formerly of Mason Proper return to bring electro­pop to its knees with this self­titled debut album. Visger’s solo work as Absofacto is quite possibly my favorite music of the last three years, but he largely drops singles (Check out Absofacto’s “History Books”), so I’m thrilled he put an album together for me to list here. The eclectic creativity they experiment with is usually coupled with catchy drum beats and hazy guitar rips on loops along with layered harmonies that it’s difficult to imagine what it’d be played like live. So, here goes nothing:

Dear Hollow & Akimbo, Please go on tour and play in the South because I would love to see you. Thanks, – Everett Verner

Top Tracks: “Singularity”, “Molecule”, “Door to Another World”

How to Count One to Ten – Method of Slow Motion

I discovered this Japanese band browsing Youtube with their video to their song “Parade”. Their brand of math-rock is light and approachable, but deceptively complex. The use of a Rhodes piano is reminiscent of The Album Leaf, while the complex time-signatures will remind you of American Football. Method of Slow Motion is the Tokyo-based five piece’s second album. – Andy Carter

Top Tracks: “Parade”, “An Association Game 1”, “Swimming Pool”.

Jenny Lewis – The Voyager

For her third studio album, Jenny Lewis hunkered down with Ryan Adams to create a album that is both reminiscent of all the things that made fans fall in love with her but also unlike anything she’s released to date. Lewis has never had a problem opening up to audiences through her music but The Voyager might be her most personal album yet, sharing stories of love, loss, desperation, and recovery. – Sean Pritchard

Top Tracks: “Just One of The Guys”, “Slippery Slopes”, “Aloha & the Three Johns”

Justin Townes Earl – Single Mothers

Mixed emotions of being wedged in emotions you can’t shake, Justin Townes Earl’s fifth album, Single Mothers, continues to keep you hooked on the stories and pieces of a troubled past and a promising (sober) future. Nashville twang meets the Memphis blues. – Hart Roberts

Top Tracks: “Time Shows Fools”, “Single Mothers”, “Today and a Lonely Night”

little hurricane – Gold Fever

The sophomore album Gold Fever packs a lot of heat for just a two-member blues-rock band. Their sound has evolved since Homewrecker – bigger sounds backed by tighter cohesion are pleasing the masses swarming to see them live. – Hart Roberts

Top Tracks: “Summer Air”, “Boiling Water”, “Sheep In Wolves Clothes”

Lucius – Wildewoman

LuciusWildewoman has been my go-to pop album for 2014. While many of the tracks are undoubtedly ‘60s retro, none if it ever feels overly contrived or twee. The melodies are entirely infectious and the harmonies between Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig keep you interested and wanting for more. – Andy Carter

Top Tracks: “Wildewoman, “Turn it Around”, “Tempest”

Mitch Murder – Interceptor

Mitch Murder is the new-wave synth project of Stockholm’s Johan Bengtsson. The music is an obvious throw-back to the music and aesthetics of the 80’s and early 90’s, with obvious ties to the soundtracks of 8-bit and 16-bit era video games. Interceptor does not deviate, and provides 12 tracks of neon synthwave goodness. – Andy Carter

Top Tracks: “Interceptor”, “Thanks for Playing”, “Nocturne”

Modern Baseball – You’re Gonna Miss It All

Witty yet poignant lyrics complimented by eclectic instrumentation made You’re Gonna Miss It All a standout album on my long list of favorites from 2014. Following on the widespread success of their debut full-length, Sports (2012), Modern Baseball created a record that will make you a true believer of the “emo revival”, regardless of how you feel about the term. – Sean Pritchard

Top Tracks: “Rock Bottom”, “The Old Gospel Choir”, “Charlie Black”

Moose Blood – I’ll Keep You in Mind, From Time to Time

Moose Blood’s debut album I’ll Keep You in Mind, From Time to Time is an honest, straight-forward addition to the current 90’s emo revival. Largely devoid of the math-rock leanings of many other of their contemporaries, Moose Blood has crafted an album that is more reminiscent of Mineral or Jimmy Eat World, relying more on driving rhythms, a wide dynamic range, and heartfelt lyrics. – Andy Carter

Top Tracks: “Bukowski”, “I Hope You’re Missing Me”, “Kelly Kapowski”

Mr. Little Jeans – Pocketknife

Norse dance­pop singer Mr. Little Jeans derives her name from a tiny character in my favorite Wes Anderson film, Rushmore. I would stop there because it’s honestly enough for me to be in love with her and whatever she does, but the music stands on it’s own. I give her a knock for leaving on her Arcade Fire cover of “The Suburbs,” but it’s wonderful still and the rest is good clean pop music that takes a few steps beyond the more stripped down female pop lyricists giving her a warmth that I find lacking in many of the genre’s forerunners. – Everett Verner

Top Tracks: “Rescue Song”, “Haunted”, “Mercy”

Multiplexor – Some New Air

Multiplexor is largely the work of Newnan, GA native Kyle Coleman, though he has relocated to Nashville and is performing with PJ Elias and Nathan Stone as a trio. Some New Air is their second full-length, and while it certainly could be called an emo-revival album, the band has successfully injected a healthy dose of pop-punk and math-rock esque guitar riffs. Combined with the heart-felt lyrics and spot-on harmonies, Some New Air is definitely worth a listen if you are into good, honest rock. – Andy Carter

Top Tracks: “Enough”, “Waste”, “Hurry

Nothing – Guilty Of Everything

A lot of talk about Nothing‘s debut album centered around its shoegaze influences (MBV, Slowdive, et al). Sure, the band wore their influences on their sleeves, but what sets Nothing apart from every guitar band with fuzz and reverb pedals is their incredible songwriting. The guitars swell, the drums pummel, but deconstruct every track on Guilty Of Everything and you get expertly crafted songs with lofty surges and unexpected detours. Perhaps no other band this year gave us an album packed front-to-back with instant classics. – Grafton Tanner

Top Tracks: “Dig”, “Bent Nail”, “Beat Around The Bush”

Ozma – Boomtown

I first saw Ozma with Weezer in 2001 on the Yahoo! Outloud Tour, and their unique brand of nerd-rock has become a favorite of mine. Although their sound has been inextricably tied to Weezer’s over the years, Boomtown is a solid return for the band, and a collection of songs that captures a rare sound that their inspiration has failed to consistently deliver over the years. Fans of the band will be pleased to hear the crunchy guitars, impossibly catchy synth leads, and trademark vocal harmonies all make a return. – Andy Carter

Top Tracks: “Around the World in 80 Seconds”, “Nervous”, “One Wish”

Perfume Genius – Too Bright

On Too Bright, Mike Hadreas presents his most ambitious offering yet, but it is Portishead’s Adrian Utley who also deserves due credit. Working together, the two transform Perfume Genius into a full-fledged, swaggering achievement that hops from genre to genre. Whether he’s juxtaposing John Carpenter’s midnight-movie-synthesizers over a classic blues riff or singing solo with his piano, Hadreas has proved himself yet again as one of our chief composers. – Grafton Tanner

Top Tracks: “Queen”, “Grid”, “Longpig”

Roadkill Ghost Choir – In Tongues

From the first notes on opener “Slow Knife” this album sets a sense of groove and pace. These guys are out of a small town north of Orlando and used to play as studio musicians, which explains why they’re so extremely tight and mature in their composition, considering they’re all on the younger side of their 20s. Coupled with singer Andrew Shepard’s (one of three Shepard brothers in the band) thoughtful lyrics and well controlled voice, this album is a winner. These guys have everything it takes (even the occasional French Horn) and are putting in the time, so don’t be the least be surprised to see them hit it big soon. – Everett Verner

Top Tracks: “Slow Knife”, “Down & Out”, “No Enemy”

Robert Plant – Lullaby and… the Ceaseless Roar

Employing some of the best session musicians around, Robert Plant continues to blend traditional standards with modern music, creating a truly global sound that is both rustic and progressive. What is striking about Lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar is its full-band feel; Plant and his newest band, the Sensational Space Shifters, collaborated fully during writing sessions. And that group vibe means that every player is showcased including Plant himself, who delivers his first batch of original songs in quite some time on the record. It’s an album spanning a wide area of musical influences that illustrates Plant’s willingness to wander near and far. – Grafton Tanner

Top Tracks: “Little Maggie”, “Rainbow”, “Embrace Another Fall”

Run The Jewels – Run the Jewels 2

The second installment of what is quickly being recognized as the best rap group in the country begins with quite a bang. Killer Mike screams out, “I’m gonna bang this bitch the fuck out” then proceeds to do so in his poetic lyrical mastery alongside partner in jewel running, El­-P who produces the beats as well as contributes equally on the mic. The album is a victory lap continued from El­-P’s lauded Cure 4 Cancer album, Killer Mike’s R.A.P. album (also produced by El­-P), and the explosively genius that was Run the Jewels. In a year that was lacking severely as far as good hip­hop, the best thing to come from this second running is the reassurance that Run the Jewels 3 will begin production in January 2015. – Everett Verner

Top Tracks: “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)”, “Jeopardy”, “Lie, Cheat, Steal”

Saintseneca – Dark Arc

Fourteen tracks of haunting, melodic folk tunes from one of the most buzz-worthy bands in the Midwest, Dark Arc is the product of Saintseneca teaming up with producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes) in mid-2013 and ultimately won the band praise from countless national publications, leading to numerous sold-out shows around the country. This is charming, heart-wrenching folk music at its best. – Sean Pritchard

Top Tracks: “Happy Alone”, “Only the Young Die Good”, “Uppercutter”

Shakey Graves – … And The War Came

The recordings of Alejandro Rose-Garcia, better known as Shakey Graves, spread through the internet like wildfire over the last two years. Demos, early EPs, and live sessions with Audiotree and KEXP became fan favorites, but left everyone wondering where they could find studio recordings of the songs. … And The War Came is a blues-driven folk masterpiece, complete with lonesome leads and solid backbeats. – Sean Pritchard

Top Tracks: “Dearly Departed”, “Only Son”, “Big Time Nashville Star”

Sisyphus – Sisyphus

With the powers of Son Lox, Sufjan Stevens, and Serengeti we are left with the ambitious and unique hip-
hop vehicle of Sisyphus. These three worked before on a project called s/s/s, of which resulted in a 4 track EP, Beak & Claw, that has now birthed Sisyphus. From the brilliant composition of the album as a whole to the absolutely mind­bending break­beats of the gem of the album “Rhythm of Devotion”, this isn’t one to sleep on. Clever lyrics combined with unique genre-bending beats are why I’ve had it on repeat since it dropped this spring. – Everett Verner

Top Tracks: “Rhythm of Devotion”, “Calm It Down”, “Lion’s Share”

Snarky Puppy – We Like It Here

Around a campfire, at a particularly cold music festival in 2011 a very inebriated young man slurred the name Snarky Puppy and asked if I was going to the set. After pulling a schedule and realizing this was the actual name of an actual band, I decided to see what it was about. Calling what they do as a jazz ensemble brilliant is to put it lightly. This collective of nearly twenty young and talented individuals recently won a Grammy, which is shocking only because of how wretched most accolades on that level are dispersed, but this one is well deserved. We Like It Here is enough to make even the most loudspoken jazz hater take pause. – Everett Verner

Top Tracks: “Shofukan”, “What About Me”, “Jambone”

Spoon – They Want My Soul

Spoon’s eighth album is just a friendly reminder that these Austin rockers are still hanging around ontop. A wide spectrum of moods stretching from dissolved transitions to head banging sing-alongs. Someone get popsicles, do something bout this heat. – Hart Roberts

Top Tracks: “Rent I Pay”, “Inside Out”, “Do You”

St. Paul & The Broken Bones – Half The City

Paul Janeway’s vocals are a freak of nature. Lyrical flows of immense energy and soul-searching sounds. And horns, gotta love horns. Sure to continue to do big things in 2015 and beyond. – Hart Roberts

Top Tracks: “Call Me”, “I’m Torn Up”, “Like a Mighty River”

Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music

Where you been hiding country music? Somewhere in Sturgill Simpson’s guts. Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings all wrapped up in a Marlboro Red. Bring country back Sturgill, bring it back. – Hart Roberts

Top Tracks: “Turtles All the Way Down”, “Living the Dream”, “Long White Line”

Sun Kil Moon – Benji

Benji is yet another deeply poetic and personal release from Sun Kil Moon (Mark Kozelek), and perhaps the one that has propelled him into the spotlight the most. Kozelek is as exposed as ever, sharing stories that are both uplifting and heartbreaking. Sure, the “feud” with The War on Drugs may have won him a few fans, but Benji is the real testament to his life and work. – Sean Pritchard

Top Tracks: “Carissa”, “I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s Love”, “Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes”

Swans – To Be Kind

To top 2012’s The Seer, Michael Gira and company have delivered another mammoth work of art. It’s worth remembering these two albums were written and then recorded in a studio by actual human beings, which might sound ridiculous. But considering the scope and sheer ambition of them both, it’s not so crazy after all. To Be Kind, like the grand writings of Cormac McCarthy or the works of Goya, is visceral and near-Biblical, as if it had been left for thousands of years to quake silently in some hidden tomb. This all sounds very loquacious, but To Be Kind towers above 2014 as an album well on its way to becoming historical. – Grafton Tanner

Top Tracks: “Screen Shot”, “Bring The Sun/Toussaint L’Ouverture”, “Oxygen”

Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso

Glitchy beats propel lush, layed vocals in the debut from Sylvan Esso, the work of Amelia Meath (Mountain Man) and Nick Sanborn (Megafaun). You’ll have a hard time making it through this album without coming up with a few new dance moves of your own. – Sean Pritchard

Top Tracks: “Play It Right”, “Hey Mami”, “Coffee”

The War on Drugs – Lost In The Dream

In the running for album of the year, it’s infinitely listenable with little hints of Dylan, Wilco, Vile, Petty and many more. One of those albums you listen to and instantly buy tickets to the nearest show. – Hart Roberts

Top Tracks: “Red Eyes”, “Under Pressure”, “Suffering”

This Will Destroy You – Another Language

This Will Destroy You has been one of my favorite bands since their release of Young Mountain in 2005. While both that EP and their self-titled full-length in 2008 have been in constant rotation, I found 2011’s Tunnel Blanket to be too much of a departure from their earlier sound. While Another Language is not a return to the more melodic style of the earlier releases, it has convinced me that the newer “doomgaze” sound is worth exploring. For what it’s worth, it’s also a good deal less dark than Tunnel Blanket, which makes it more approachable. – Andy Carter

Top Tracks: “Dustism”, “Invitation”, “Serpent Mound”

Tycho – Awake

In all honesty, I’ve probably spend more time listening to Tycho’s Awake than any other album on my list. The album is my go-to for when I need concentration at work, yet is interesting enough that it still gets plenty of attention as music for pleasure. Awake is a perfect mixture of electronica, post-rock, and ambient. Scott Hansen utilizes a full scope of sound, employing analog synths, digital synth, live instrumentation, and interesting beats. – Andy Carter

Top Tracks: “Awake”, “Montana”, “See”.

Todd Terje – It’s Album Time

“Inspector Norse” is one of the greatest dance tracks of the past decade, and it is the perfect closer to Todd Terje‘s It’s Album Time. But before that drop in “Inspector Norse” comes crashing in (you know the part), there are motorik basslines, nods to jazz-fusion, and a weightless cover of Robert Palmer’s “Johnny and Mary” sung by Bryan Ferry that slows the original down to a pensive, yearning crawl. It’s a diverse album of many surprises that positions Terje as a supremely talented composer and producer. – Grafton Tanner

Top Tracks: “Johnny And Mary (feat. Bryan Ferry)”, “Alfonso Muskedunder”, “Inspector Norse”

Warpaint – Warpaint

Four years in the making, Warpaint‘s second full-length album is a tremendous display of musicianship from one of the best band’s I’ve seen live this year. With producer Flood at the helm, Warpaint has made a record that is more than worthy of some overtime on your turntable or computer. Dark, dreamy melodies are led by expansive guitars and slick percussion grooves. – Sean Pritchard

Top Tracks: “Disco//Very”, “Love Is to Die”, “CC”

Wild Moccasins – 88 92

88 92 is a harkening back to glam pop and it’s magnificent. When I caught myself singing the song “Eye Makeup” on a near daily basis I realised I was hooked. This confused more than one person as I don’t generally wear eye makeup on days that aren’t called Halloween, but I’m currently singing aloud at my desk either way. This whole album is very catchy and it’s in no small part due to the magnetic vocals of Zahira Gutierrez that are as dreamy as the hazy instrumentals. There’s a confidence to the sound that holds throughout as it paces between each track with all the low points like the song “Eighty­-Eight Ninety-Two” being drawn out through the instrumental “Pray for Rain” and paying off into explosive riffs and louder exaltations in “Emergency Broadcast.” This is an infectious album and according to Spotify, I listened to it more than any other this year. I doubt the algorithm is lying. – Everett Verner

Top Tracks: “Soft Focus”, “Eye Makeup”, “Emergency Broadcast”

You Blew It – Keep Doing What You’re Doing

Florida quintet You Blew It’s second full-length, Keep Doing What You’re Doing, is the album that solidified the authenticity of the emo-revival for me. This album, while a clear nod to its predecessors, feels heavy and honest. This record suggests that the true emo sound is still relevant, for both those that remembered it the first time, and the new generation that has embraced it. – Andy Carter

Top Tracks: “Match and Tinder”, “Regional Dialect”, “A Different Kind of Kindling”

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