Heartbreaking, delicate, beautiful yet strangely uplifting Perfume Genius’ second album showed that his incredible debut wasn’t just a fluke, but the product of a rare genius.
Listen to: ‘Sister Song’
2. Grimes – Visions
Sublime electronica combined with vocals that dodge between haunting and strangely baby-ish. Enveloping and enduring.
Listen to: ‘Oblivion’
3. Cloud Nothings - Attack On Memory
Subtly rousing emo-indie, dreamy in places and simple but effective indie rock in others.
Listen to: ‘No Future/No Past
4. Stumbleine – Spiderwebbed
Atmospheric combinations of weird electronic noises and Cocteau Twins-esque vocals. It carries you away on gradually layered waves, surreal and addictive.
Listen to: ‘The Beat My Heart Skips’
5. Sigur Ros – Valtari
Pretty much everything that you could hope for from a new Sigur Ros album.
Listen to: ‘Ekki Mukk’
6. Tall Ships - Everything Touching
Including a fantastic (if at first surprising) revamping of EP track ‘Ode To Ancestors’ this album cements Tall Ships in their place as one of the most exciting bands around.
Listen To: ‘Books’
7. The Bronze Medal - The Bronze Medal
A release I’m unlikely to ever grow tired of listening to, it blends together into one mass of sublime yet powerful vocals and melodious guitars.
Listen To: ‘Womb'
8. Joyce Manor - Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired
Combining raw angry energy and furious guitars with melodies that wouldn’t seem out of place in the charts Joyce Manor were always going to be a hit. This album does feel pretty short, but there’s certainly something to be said for their directness.
Listen To: ‘These Kind Of Ice Skates’
9. The-Dream/Terius Nash – 1977
Originally released as a free download last year, this album is hopefully finally going to get the notice it deserves. Nash’s lyrics are as clever as ever, laying his feelings bare in a way that’s almost difficult to hear.
Listen To: ‘Form Of Flattery'
10. Taylor Swift - Red
Swift has moved away from the more mediocre pop fare she favoured, growing into a powerful pop phenomena. This album is frankly just bangin’ (except that track with Ed Sheeran. We pretend that hasn't happened).
Listen To: ‘The Lucky One’
11. How To Dress Well - Total Loss
12. Drake - Take Care
13. First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar
14. Frightened Rabbit - State Hospital*
15. The Heartbreaks - Funtimes
16. Ace Bushy Striptease - Outside It's Cold Just Like Your Body And
17. Lucy Rose - Like I Used To
18. Sfumato – These Things Between
19. Peace - EP Delicious*
20. The Twilight Sad - No One Can Ever Know
*A couple of these are admittedly EPs
Honourable mentions to:
- Keel Her
- Kitty Pryde