I used to post this as a note on my Facebook, but this is a more appropriate venue methinks. If you have an Rdio account (which you should) I’ve embedded each album under it’s listing so you can listen to it. Easy, right? Enjoy.
PS- if you don’t have an Rdio account, you can sign up for one for free using your Facebook account or just as a normal sign-up. There’s a limited amount you can listen to on the free plan, but I think you’ll find it worth it to upgrade to the $5/mo listening plan.
1. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
Easily my favorite of the year, if not the last two years. I thought their last effort For Emma, Forever Ago was pretty solid, but Bon Iver really takes them to a different place. It’s always a treat when you can listen to an album front to back and never get sick of it.
2. Dawes – Nothing Is Wrong
A solid rock record. Great harmonies, great guitar riffs. Though I miss the sound of their last record, they bring a little cleaner tone to this one, and the songwriting has matured as well.
3. Maritime – Human Hearts
Maritime’s vocalist, Davey Von Bohlen, has long been one of my favorite songwriters. From 90′s era Cap’n Jazz to The Promise Ring and now Maritime, the guy can definitely write a good song. I’ve been listening to his bands since 10th grade, and on his latest effort, Human Hearts, both the songwriting and sound are equally good. Their previous release, Heresy and the Hotel Choir, I thought could have used a litte more production and refinement. Human Hearts fixes the hole I thought they left there. Great engineering, great songs.
4. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
I wasn’t sure where to put this one on my list. It has my favorite song of the year (Helplessness Blues), but isn’t a front-to-back record like the previous three. I don’t dis-like any of the songs, but some of the tracks on this record just don’t feel like they belong. The tracks that really DO stand out to me are Helplessness Blues, Sim Sala Bim, Montezuma, and Lorelai.
5. Fionn Regan – 100 Acres of Sycamore
Though his first record hooked me, this Irish lad’s last record just about lost me. A major style change doesn’t really work going from acoustic folk to full-band rock, and I quickly gave up on it. 100 Acres was pretty unexpected to me, but once I heard the first few songs, I knew he was back on the right track. This record more than makes up for the last.