White Denim – D
Fucked Up –David Comes to Life
Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math
Smith Westerns – Dye it Blonde
Okkervil River – I Am Very Far
10.) My Morning Jacket – Circuital:
Choice track: "Holdin' on to Black Metal"
9.) Raphael Saadiq – Stone Rollin’:
I’ve been told that this entry should be replaced with Charles Bradley, but I disagree. Raphael Saadiq, the record producer turned R&B genius, has put out a stellar album that is chock full of Motown-like tunes for you to groove to. Sure, he might not have the years of pain and suffering that someone like Bradley has endured, but Saadiq has a good amount of soul in his voice. He proves he is a true student of music with the influence of Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder and Chuck Berry showing proudly on his sleeve.
Choice Track: "Stone Rollin'"
8.) Tom Vek – Leisure Seizure:
It’s been less than a year since I had first heard about Tom Vek and I’m already a huge fan. The first time I heard “A Chore” I was enamored by his ability to make these garage-rock styled beats mixed with his own brand of catchy electro-rock music. Vek has a very intriguing voice that stays in tune even when it sounds like it doesn't stand a chance of doing so. But when he hits those higher notes in his limited range, it all just seems to work.
Choice track: "A Chore"
7.) Foo Fighters – Wasting Light:
Sure, I might catch some flak for putting this record on my list, but I was initially blown away after hearing the first track that was released from this album, “White Limo.” It gave hints that the latest Foo Fighters album was going to be the heaviest since The Colour and the Shape, and that it would be more creative than One by One or In Your Honor. The album explodes with sound and barely lets up with songs like “Burning Bridges” and “Arlandria.” It’s an album that packs a punch but with songs that will be stuck in your head for days.
Choice track: "Burning Bridges"
6.) Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues:
There is no indication whatsoever that Robin Pecknold struggled to complete this follow up to 2008’s self-titled album. It harkens back to 60’s and 70’s styled psychedelic-folk music and is rich with beautifully arranged instrumentation that can leave you in a trance. The addition of former Blood Brother and multi-instrumentalist Morgan Henderson was a great pickup on the album as he is able to lend his vast array of musical knowledge to an already talented group.
Choice track: "Bedouin Dress"
5.) Foster the People – Torches:
While my colleagues on this site may find them boring, seeing this band live breathes new life into many of the songs on this album. It’s unadulterated pop music that fits the mold of the summer season it was released in. What gives the album even more credibility are the confessions of a former junkie that seep through the mixture of infectious-beats and dizzying synthesizer hooks. If anything, this album shows a band that has a lot of potential and the energy to back it up. Plus, Mark Foster has such a unique voice that it’s hard not to listen to.
Choice track: "Call It What You Want"
4.) Tyler, the Creator – Goblin
Choice track: "Tron Cat"
3.) The Antlers – Burst Apart:
Choice track: "Parentheses"
2.) Bon Iver – Bon Iver, Bon Iver:
Choice track: "Holocene"
1.) Man Man – Life Fantastic:
Choice track: "Spooky Jookie"