What were your favorites of the year? There seemed to be a few bands I "missed" - I tried listening to The Wonder Years after hearing raves, but it never took to my mildly suppressed pop punk soul. I've also been meaning to listen to The 1975, but have yet to get to it!
Without further ado...
Janelle Monae / The Electric Lady
She's throwback and she's futuristic and she blends all sorts of styles and I listen to this album with glee because she's surprising at nearly every turn. I cannot get enough, and when her songs start when I have my collection playing on 'random' I sit up straighter, and I usually start dancing in my office chair. "Primetime" is one of the best tracks of the entire year.
Favorite Tracks: Primetime, We Were Rock & Roll, Dance Apocalyptic
Haim / Days Are Gone
Another band that blends styles, and I am entranced. It's like the most popular '70s, '80s, and '90s sounds mixed together with a powerhouse trio of sisters into MAGIC. Magic, I say.
Favorite Tracks: The Wire, My Song 5, Falling
Lorde / Pure Heroine
Damn, girl. I listen to this and I remember being a teenager. It so accurately captures the relatively uneventful suburban life, the imagination, the observations of teenage life. I'm somewhat in love with Lorde.
Favorite Tracks: White Teeth Teens, Buzzcut Season, 400 Lux
Tegan & Sara / Heartthrob
Admittedly, I was wary of the duo after they captured my heart completely with The Con, and left me a little cold with Sainthood. But I do love this album; I came to love this album (except for one song) and that single "Closer" is a killer.
Favorite Tracks: I Couldn't Be Your Friend, Drove Me Wild, Shock To Your System
Kanye West / Yeezus
I cannot deny how much I listened to this album when it was released. And I cannot deny how much I love it. No matter how much I'd like to, I cannot deny Yeezus.
Favorite Tracks: Black Skinhead, I Am a God Feat. God, New Slaves
The Julie Ruin / Run Fast
My inner riot grrl of my high school years was fully satisfied with a rad Kathleen Hanna-fronted album. Once I even found myself singing into my brush in the mirror in my room by myself to this album. It was hard not to hark back. Cookie cookie ya cookie YA YA!
Favorite Tracks: Girls Like Us, Cookie Road, Just My Kind
A Great Big Pile of Leaves / You're Always on My Mind
Their sophomore album does not disappoint, and their live show was great to start with and in a surprising twist JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER. Have you NOT seen them live yet? You should check their tour dates pronto, trust.
Favorite Tracks: Pet Mouse, Snack Attack
Paramore / Paramore
I think this album had the power to be perfect - but I appreciate the ambition on full display with the 17 tracks. The album sways from one edge to another to another to another without much cohesion sound-wise, but goddamn if I don't love it. There are about four or five songs I would cut, but this album also contains my absolute favorite song of the year, "Still Into You." I will admit that that song makes me wish No Doubt's last album was better - the subject matter and jump-up-and-down-ness (real word?) of that song is so up Gwen's alley.
Favorite Tracks: Still Into You, (One of Those) Crazy Girls [sidenote: this song is basically "Bathwater," I love it], Last Hope
Savages / Silence Yourself
RAWR! My 'raging' album of the year, played always on full blast. (Except when I'm driving in San Francisco with Jesse and he vetos it).
Favorite Tracks: I Am Here, Husbands
CHVRCHES / The Bones of What You Believe
Dance, dance, and joy.
Favorite Tracks: We Sink, Recover
M.I.A. / Matangi
The National / Trouble Will Find Me
Jimmy Eat World / Damage
Justin Timberlake / The 20/20 Experience Part 1
Also, I have yet to listen to the new Beyonce. Sorry, but she's not available on Rdio. The internet tells me it's rad, though.
PS Here's some of my past top albums: 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2012