Kyle – Office Manager/Engineer/Basement Host
I like music, space, and other things.
11. Breton – Other People’s Problems
Great Album. Great Band. ‘Nuff said.
10. Minus The Bear – Infinity Overheard
Die hard fans of MTB might disagree with me, but I think Infinity Overhead proved that Snyder & Co. are determined to find a different sound with each record. Haters will hate on Omni, but relax, it was just one album. While Infinity Overhead may have kept some of the same attributes as Omni, it also mixed in some of their earlier, mathier stuff, showing true experimentation at it’s finest.
9. Oberhofer – II
Oberhofer discovered the perfect formula for indie rock and displayed it proudly on II. Sheer bliss bursts from the album and cheers up any situation. It’s impossible not to at least start tapping your feet, let alone bursting out into a full-on white-boy dance as soon as the first song starts.
8. Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
Oooooh. Holy chapped ass is this album raw. This is throwback music at its finest. Alabama Shakes does a great job of capturing that dirty-yet-positive sound and packing it full of soul. Boys & Girls is a perfect album to roll down your windows and blast in your car. Throw on some aviators, put on your best badass face, and start randomly nodding at people; they’ll nod back, and you’ll both know that everything’s going to be alright.
7. 13 & God – Own Your Ghost
Though it may not be comparable to their self-titled debut release, 13 & God’s sophomore effort doesn’t disappoint. As is to be expected from an indie-hop hop supergroup, every pluck, snap, and ring is perfectly coordinated to create an aesthetic effect not known of any other group. It might be a little weird hearing them at first, but if you put the time in, you’ll be rewarded. The beats have definitely stepped up, but remain as shrill and uneven as ever.
6. Dr. Dog – Be The Void
A perfect example of indie-tinged rock, Dr. Dog is seemingly able to create sunshine out of nothing. The catchiest album to date, Be The Void honed Dr. Dog’s sound to the raw essentials. Fairly basic instrumentation is bolstered by some of the best vocals that side of the Mississippi. Put it on your iPod, walk down the street, and count how many people you fall in love with.
5. Pinback – Information Retrieved
Pinback, in the infamy of their own, finally came back with their first album in five years with Information Retrieved. It’s a straight-up Pinback sound, though they seem to have retreated to the slower tempos of their older releases. They also stopped basing entire songs off of one piano melody, which is a nice surprise because they have some of the most inventive guitar riffs of late. Dueling vocals continue and remain awesome. Information Retrieved is their chillest album since Blue Screen Life, making it easy to space out to.
4. Menomena – Moms
When I found out that Brandon Knopf had left the band after Mines came out, I was pretty worried about how the band would continue. Of course, they’re a lot smarter than I am and weren’t even worried. Moms sounds just like any other Menomena album. Quirky, sporadic, yet fluid in a way that many bands strive for. Menomena have been able to create a new genre of music that I like to call prog-indie. Crazy instrumentation, often-strange vocals, and creative rhythm sections drive the album to perfection. You’ll find yourself amped up, rocking out, a tad confused, and sexually satisfied all at the same time.
3. The Heavy – The Glorious Dead
The Glorious Dead is all over the place. They span from balls-out rock to acoustic-indie paradise to soul-driven Motown stylings all in the span of three songs. Though the album can get a little weird at times, most of the songs will fill you with so much testosterone you’ll grow a second penis (women may experience a reduction in breast size and an increased sex-drive). The Glorious Dead is a very creative way to translate a certain type of music to the masses.
2. J.D. McPherson – Signs and Signifiers
Oklahoma native J.D. McPherson’s debut album Signs and Signifiers is chocked full of rhythm, blues, soul, and rock. His retro sound is reminiscent of early Beatles, Muddy Waters, Little Richard, etc. Perfection is literally achieved in every song; even the lyrics will take you back to a time before you were born, i.e a better time. I’m not quite sure what the Charleston is, but you can’t help but do it to this album.
1. Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
Amazing new band from the UK, Alt-J is the keyboard shortcut for the Greek letter Delta on Apple OSX keyboards (don’t worry, you can still listen to them on Windows.) Downtempo and pseudo-lo-fi, the wailing vocals and strange guitar riffs create a kind of indescribable sound. Inventive, creative, original, and new; something you don’t hear often nowadays.
Bad Books - II
My Morning Jacket - Circuital
Band of Skulls – Sweet Sour
Infantree – Hero’s Dose
Every Time I Die – Ex-Lives
Maps & Atlases – Beware and Be Grateful
Alpine – A is for Alpine
Shins – Port of Morrow
Matt & Kim - Lightning
Fun. – Some Nights
Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan