I was a harsh critic this year. If I didn't like an album after the first listen, I didn't give it another change and only a few albums stuck. Below is my very favorite album of the year and then seven others that I really loved (in no particular order). Let me know what you think & what your favorite album this year was!
On the Impossible Past by The Menzingers - I discovered and fell in love with this band thanks to this album. They sound like a combination of two of my favorite bands - The Wonder Years and The Gaslight Anthem. A punk version of Bruce Springsteen. With a super unique sounding lead singer. I've listened to this album countless times - the energy, the lyrics, it's perfect.
Fear Fun by Father John Misty - Did you know that the former drummer from the Fleet Foxes had a solo project? I did not, until a coworker told me about it. This project is much edgier and more rock-influenced than Fleet Foxes. This album is all over the place, but I'm a fan. It's a mix of country-blues, classic rock and eccentric folk.
Standout tracks: Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings, Nancy From Now On and Only Son of A Ladies Man
Blunderbuss byJack White - The Racounteurs are alright and I didn't like the Dead Weather, so I wasn't anticipating this album to come out. I was indifferent about, until I heard Sixteen Saltines. Then I listened to the entire album. And then I listened again. It's really good. If you had doubts about Jack White's talent (which I will not lie, I did), this will prove you wrong.
Standout tracks: Missing Pieces, Sixteen Saltines, Blunderbuss and Love Interruption
The North by Stars - I love this Canadian indie rock band with all my heart. Their newest release is good, especially when compared to their last attempt, The Five Ghosts, which was a little bit lackluster. This album is sweet and simple. The band's sound is maturing and evolving in the right direction.
Standout tracks: The North, Through the Mines & A Song is a Weapon
Handwritten by The Gaslight Anthem - I first fell in love with this band because of The '59 Sound and although I still love it, I do believe that Handwritten is their best album. It's heavier than ever and filled with pain and emotion, which is what makes for good music, am I right? They've stuck with their Americana themes but have gotten more personal. The band has never sounded better!
Here are my favorite tracks: 45, Handwritten, Howl, Biloxi Parish and Mae
A Wasteland Companion by M.Ward - I love M. Ward and this album. A great mix of upbeat songs with handclaps and dark folk melodies.
Standout tracks: Primitive Girl, The First Time I Ran Away, I Get Ideas, There's a Key & Crawl After You
The Carpenter by The Avett Brothers - This album is upbeat, folk rock that instantly lifts my mood. On several of the tracks I can't help but tap my foot to the beat. Many of the songs are stories that I can completely relate to, so this album was good upon first listen, but also something my ears craved to hear again.
Standout tracks: Live and Die, I Never Knew You & Pretty Girl From Michigan
The Idler Wheel... by Fiona Apple - I just started listening to Fiona Apple this year because of this album. Her music got me through some rough times last winter. Such a talented gal, and I was lucky enough to see her live. Despite taking a long break, her newest album is not a disappointment!
Standout tracks: Every Single Night, Valentine, Werewolf and Anything We Want
Honorable Mentions -
Change EP by Churchill
Go by Motion City Soundtrack
Break It Yourself by Andrew Bird
Valtari - Sigur Ros
What We Saw From the Cheap Seats - Regina Spektor
Tramp - Sharon Van Etten
Biggest Disappointments -
Push & Shove by No Doubt
Some Nights by fun.
Look forward to -
Wolf's Law by The Joy Formidable
Heartthrob by Tegan & Sara