Let me know what you love most this year -- down in the comments!
Liars - "WIXIW"
Have you ever been stuck in a cubicle staring at a glowing screen for eight hours a day, five days a week,11.5 months a year? Are you more than used to the dull pain that presses against the back of your eyeballs and radiates to the back of your head? Well, if you could further turn yourself into a series of zero one zeroes, and Wreck-it-Ralph from inside the system, you would sound like WIXIW.
Jump Starts - "What Hides Inside"
Whoah whoah whoah whoaaooh -- you live in the midwest and have't listened to this yet? Stop listening to Z107.
First Aid Kit - "The write my essay for me Lion's Roar"
One of the greatest musical advantages of living in St. Louis is getting to see bands like First Aid Kit fully extend their wings for the first time in intimate venues like the Firebird. If you missed out, it was probably your last chance.
Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds - "I'd Rather Die Than Live Forever"
It's cliché now to call an album genre-less, but that's where this one falls. With bouncy circus tracks, acoustic suicide letters and beer-belly despair punk, this album defies classification. Unless you used the term millennial. Knowing a little about a lot of things instead of a lot about a few things.
Santigold - "Master of My Make-Believe"
Although make believe is something you have to do when you see her live (she lip-syncs), this album and her backup dancers make it worth it. In fact, if I were booking her show I would advertise: "The nastiest backup dancers since or before Rhythm Nation and Santigold."
Forgetters - "Forgetters"
If you're one of those people that doesn't care about lyrical content then you probably didn't like Jawbreaker or Jets to Brazil. There's a few stumbles through the thorns of life on here but: "If all we have to give is our consent and will to live / we'll get the country we deserve / we'll get the weekends to ourselves."
Jail Weddings - "Four Future Standards"
Maestro Gabriel's voice wanders all over the tracks like a carouser with poise. Is that wine or blood on his shirt? Probably both. "Red Light Rhythm" might be the track of the year.
Jack White - "Blunderbuss"
All you need to know is that Jack White raps on a track...without Insane Clown Posse.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - "Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!"
There's another apocalypse coming if you haven't heard. GodSpeed got the band back together to make a soundtrack for it. They're on a mission away from god.
Leonard Cohen - "Old Ideas"
When I saw him a few years ago I thought he might be on a death's door tour. I was once again proved wrong as he bounded through a two-hour set. This album sounds like a tape recording of a collapsed Mr. Cohen on the Reaper's doorstep. But he's always sounded like that hasn't he?