Beach House – Bloom
With music that is heavenly and magical and lyrics that are heartbreaking and beautiful, Beach House have once again created a pop masterpiece. Each song has something poetic and profound to say about love and relationships. Beach House remind us how precious relationships are in the song Wishes, “One in your life, it happens once and rarely twice”. Victoria Legrand’s vocals are as lovely as ever on Bloom. She honestly has some of the best female vocals I have ever heard. I can’t recommend this band’s music highly enough. Bloom is my favorite record of the year so far.
Listen to Bloom here.
The Tallest Man On Earth – There’s No Leaving Now
The stories that Kristian Matsson’s sings about are vivid and full of humanity. His acoustic music is raw and timeless. One of the most haunting songs I’ve heard this year is “Little Brother” which is about a brother facing both his younger brother’s trials and his own trials. There is such honest feeling in this song. You can hear real pain in Matsson’s voice as he’s singing this song. When you hear something like that you can be sure you are listening to something special; something honest, true, and powerful.
Listen to the single “1904” here.
The Shins – Port Of Morrow
It’s been refreshing to hear such a positive pop album from The Shins this year. This album encourages us to cherish our friendships, be grateful, and to carry each other through the darkness in our lives. Can’t ask for much more from an album than that. This record is a gift.
Listen to Port Of Morrow here.
The Walkmen – Heaven
The Walkmen sound wise and reflective on their new record. This may be due to the fact that they have had 12 years of experience together. The Walkmen explore the ups and downs of life and love on this record with unrestrained honesty. This album is like a camp fire, always warm and always inviting.
Listen to Heaven here.
Jack White – Blunderbuss
Jack White continues being a master of rock and roll with his new solo record. It’s a strange, fun album in which Jack offers many interesting perspectives on love, relationships, and women. It’s one hell of a rock record.
Listen to Blunderbuss here.
Perfume Genius – Put Your Back N 2 It
This is a record with short songs that are each extremely powerful and beautiful. Mike Hadreas’ piano music and vocals express human brokeness and longing to great effect.
Listen to Put Your Back N 2 It here.
Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light
Jason Pierce is a rocker who sounds like the Beatles and sings songs that express feelings of depression and doubt but are also hopeful. Pierce wrestles with God, love, and drug addiction in his lyrics. Sweet Heart Sweet Light is a comforting hand to hold in this messy life.
Listen to Sweet Heart Sweet Light here.
Frankie Rose – Interstellar
Frankie Rose’s angelic vocals and her dreamy, outer space pop music makes this a memorable record.
Listen to Interstellar here.
Japandroids – Celebration Rock
If you wanted an album this year that you can seriously rock out to and that will leave you grinning ear to ear, well here you go! Japandroids capture the energy of youth within this record and give you reason to celebrate life.
Listen to Celebration Rock here.
Chairlift – Something
It’s Caroline Polachek’s rich, emotive vocals which make this young band something to watch out for. Chairlift’s synthpop music compliments her voice well. I can only imagine that this band has a bright future.
Listen to Something here.
BADBADNOTGOOD – BBNG2
This young group of guys are making some fresh, ferocious jazz music. With a rebel spirit BBNG are a rising, special band.
Download BBNG2 for free here.
Sleigh Bells – Reign Of Terror
Derek Miller’s loud guitar music and Alexis Krauss’ sweet and fiery vocals are a great mix that make Sleigh Bell’s music unique and vibrant. Reign Of Terror further shows Sleigh Bells to be an exciting group that have their own convincing swagger.
Listen to Reign Of Terror here.
Sigur Ros – Valtari
There’s something holy about Sigur Ros’ music. With Valtari they have crafted another glorious post rock album that leaves you space to think, dream, and imagine.
Listen to Valtari here.
Kathleen Edwards – Voyageur
Kathleen Edwards is a singer-songwriter with country and folk influences. She has a beautiful voice and her music is easygoing even as she explores some darker themes in her songs.
Listen to Voyageur here.
Royal Headache – Self Titled
This Australian garage rock band make fun, positive, and soulful rock music. So throw your cares away and dance a little why don’t you?
Listen to Royal Headache here.
John Talabot – Fin
A very solid dance album that is full of jungle rhythms and pulsating life.
Listen to Fin here.