Okay, time for my top five...
5. Alabama Shakes - Boys and Girls
Boys and Girls is a tasteful throwback to 1960s blues rock. Sure, I could tell you how it's filled rugged guitar hooks and proficient musicianship (which it is), but what really blows this album away is Brittany Howard's soulful vocals. She's been called "the next Janis Joplin" by several reviewers, and after listening to Boys and Girls, it's very hard to argue with that statement.
4. Divine Fits - A Thing Called Divine Fits
Oh supergroups...is there anything they can't do? Britt Daniel of Spoon and Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade teamed up to create this surprise of an album. Gritty garage rock peppered with hints of new wave? Um, yeah...enough said.
3. The Lumineers - The Lumineers
The Lumineers' self-titled debut combines everything I love about folk rock - down-to-earth lyrics, sing-along choruses, and just overall country charm. However, the album rarely takes itself too seriously, and as a result, it's very easy to listen to on a regular basis. I'm looking forward to see what else this band has in store.
2. Tame Impala - Lonerism
If John Lennon and Paul McCartney had a child with Strawberry Alarm Clock, and that child was adopted by Animal Collective, the result would be Tame Impala. While Boys and Girls brought back the bluesy side of the 1960s, Lonerism takes us back to the magical land of psychedelia. Textured with synthesized undertones and melodic vocal hooks, this record is about as mind-bending as it gets; and I wouldn't want it any other way.
1. Beach House - Bloom
When I first heard Bloom in March, I knew it would be very difficult to top. Beach House has been the only band in recent history to consistently amaze me with each release. I'm not even going to talk about the music itself. Instead, just listen to the album - it's incredible. Dream pop? Alternative rock? Psychedelia? It doesn't matter. To me, it's just good music.
- Wild Nothing - Nocturne
- Fun - Some Nights
- Animal Collective - Centipede Hz
- Passion Pit - Gossamer
- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Here
- Hot Chip - In Our Heads
- First Aid Kit - The Lions Roar
- The Beach Boys - That's Why God Made the Radio
- Bob Dylan - Tempest