I enjoy the band that Wilco has become. Tweedy seems to have finally settled down and settled in with his current bandmates for what could be a long haul. Two albums in a row without a change in lineup is a good sign!
Now We Can See by The Thermals
This band is great at creating weird and wonderful concept albums like this one which seems to be told entirely from the perspective of the dead. For such a negative theme, it's an incredibly hopeful record.
Revolution by Miranda Lambert
I fell in love with this spitfire of a girl after hearing her last album, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. This time around she is no less sassy, but she is showing more growth and maturity as a songwriter. Makin' Plans is a simple and beautiful love song.
Middle Cyclone by Neko Case
If I had placed these albums in a numerical order, this one would have taken the number one spot. This is definitely my most listened to album of the year and Neko's best yet. Her lyrics are startling and unique. Who else could write a song from the literal perspective of a tornado and make it work as one of the most purely passionate love songs ever? I adore Neko.
Where The Wild Things Are - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Karen O and The Kids
Anyone who read my review of this film knows that I was a bit disappointed by it. But that disappointment has nothing to do with the sublime music that Karen O and her "kids" created. This music gives me the joyous feeling that ultimately the film failed to deliver.
Music For Men by The Gossip
Beth Ditto rocks my socks. This album is more polished and produced (by Rick Rubin of all people) than their previous works which I was worried might be a bad thing. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that The Gossip were able to retain their rawness despite the polish. What's more? This is a pure dance record! You can't listen to this album without itching to get your groove on.
Only Way to Be Alone by Good Old War
I think this album actually came out in 2008, but I just discovered it a few months ago, so I'm going to cheat a little and include it in my list. This album is lovely, infectious, harmony filled, indie pop gloriousness. The vocals soar and the mainly acoustic guitar riffs are strummingly divine. I dare you to listen to this band and not feel happy.
The Ruminant Band by Fruit Bats
I've been enjoying Fruit Bats' romantic brand of retro pop for years and this album is a welcome addition to their oevre.
Fever Ray by Fever Ray
Of all the albums on my list this one is the biggest departure from my usual tastes. It's weird, synth and drum filled, out of this world, ethereal rock n' roll. The layers of sound are astonishing, all the more for the clarity of the vocals. It's a kind of dark and scary world that I enjoy visiting through the music, but I wouldn't want to live there.
Coraline - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Bruno Calais
Whimsical, delightful, charming music that perfectly suits the film.
Rearrange Beds by An Horse
There is something about this album that reminds me of the 90s rock of my high school years. I can't put my finger on it exactly or even name a band that they totally remind me of, but they induce an odd nostalgia for me. And I'm a sucker for nostalgia.