look, everyone already knows that How to Pimp a Butterfly is (by universal acclaim, if nothing else) the best album of the year. so we don’t really need to cover that, and we can move on. here are 10 albums that i thought were amazing this year:
Dopamine by BØRNS
what a perfectly named album. Dopamine (the album and the substance) strokes your pleasure centers from the first note, and doesn’t let up until you’re a quivering ball of joy. it’s silky, smooth, excellently paced, and just fucking happy. enjoy at your own risk.
Magnifique by Ratatat
we’ve waited yeeeaars for new Ratatat (longer if, like many, you felt that LP4 was a bit of a let down). Magnifique is an incredibly tight, excellently pared down, and less experimental offering from the duo. Cream on Chrome being the song that most gets your blood flowing, but over the entire album, you’re not going to break a sweat.
DS2 by Future
what a year for Future. he’s gone from being “that guy that your favorite rapper listens to” to the dude dropping mix tapes with Drake. his lyrical style is refreshing, his voice is raw, and his production is ridiculous. go back and check out his entire body of work.
Currents by Tame Impala
a singular album on a number of levels. i don’t know whether you loved Tame Impala before now, but it doesn’t really matter. this album is as unlike the previous offerings as possible. before Tame Impala might have been used to kick off an evening, with Currents, i think we’re better off winding down, but still maintaining.
V by Wavves
Wavves had a good year. for me, it was a toss up whether this album made the cut, or his collaboration with Cloud Nothings took the spot. in the end, the purity of vision, and singular aesthetic (with heavy influence from aforementioned collab) made it an album that i couldn’t keep out of my regular rotation. if you need a lil’ pop-punk pick me up, this is your jam.
My Love is Cool by Wolf Alice
this album runs all over the place. i think, loosely, it proves that grunge isn’t dead, but with heavy influence from the dream/pop universe. there’s never a moment on this album when i can accurately predict what’s coming next, other than it will be really, really good. try and move past the music though, the lyrics are a masterclass.
Surf by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment
anyone know where this album came from? anyone? no? you in the back… shutup, you had no idea either. in a lot of ways, this album feels like experimental jazz; they’re playing the spaces, not just the notes.
Get to Heaven by Everything Everything
Everything Everything would seem to be doing, well, everything right. second excellent album in two years, but this one is more complex. combining their patented manic pop with some pretty distressing lyrics. you’ll want to dance, but you might need a hug afterwards.
Wonderlust by Kid Wave
Kid Wave has an interesting thing going on, they’ve got the great cords, and aggressive drums you’d expect out of 90’s Grunge (with maybe a tad more polish), but the vocals are straight out of the Indie scene. the overall is impression is a little dark, but it’s so silky, you might instead say sultry.
Home Before the Dark by Kid Astray
hey, remember how the last Phoenix album wasn’t really any good? this one is. Kid Astray manages to capture the same insufferable, make-your-foot-tap beats, and combine them in ways that remind you of that other band, but still takes you to new places.
Sleater Kinney, Beirut, Bjork.