These are the albums that were released in 2016 that got the most play, listed in alphabetical order:
Casper Skulls – Lips & Skull Daughter – Not to Disappear DIIV – Is the is Are exmagician – Scan the Blue Flyying Colours – Mindfullness Living Hour – Living Hour Operators – Blue Wave Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool Sunflower Bean – Human Ceremony Syd Arthur – Apricity Wild Nothing – Life of Pause Woods – City Sun Eater in the River of Light
These were my most listened to albums that were released in 2015.
Listed in alphabetical order:
Autobahn – Dissemble (post-punk)
Beach House – Thank Your Lucky Stars (dream pop)
Beach Slang – The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us (indie rock)
Crocodiles – Boys (shoegaze)
Deerhunter – Fading Frontier (indie rock, shoegaze)
Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear (indie rock)
Flyying Colours – ROYGBIV (shoegaze)
Foals – What Went Down (indie rock)
Jack Ladder – Playmates (indie rock)
Ought – Sun Coming Down (post-punk)
Swervedriver – I Wasn’t Born To Lose You (shoegaze, alternative rock)
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love (indie rock)
Viet Cong – Viet Cong (indie rock, noise pop)
Wolf Alice – My Love is Cool (indie rock)
I think there were a lot of great tracks released in 2014, and albums with a few really good tracks, but not much stands out for me personally for being solid all the way through. It’s easier to pick a Best of 2014 for individual songs than for total albums.
I didn’t seem to find many albums in 2013 that I loved enough to warrant adding to a Top 10 list. I feel like I need to really like/love at least three songs, and like a few more songs in the least, to even be considered. Many years my favorite albums are ones that I love 70% of and might have a couple tracks I don’t like. For whatever reason 2013 wasn’t that year.
There are a bunch of albums that have a couple songs I like but the rest didn’t do it for me. (The 1975, Atlas Genius, Elephant Stone, Empire of the Sun, Junip, On An On, Rhye, Suuns, The Veils, Villagers)
Some albums that seem to be on everyone’s Top 10 are albums that I don’t care for at all. Kanye West’s “Yeezus”, which I hate, and Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories”, which is “ok” but I don’t get the mass hysteria over. (Constant festival rumors and wishes)
Having said all that, these are the albums I liked enough to make the list:
These are my music listening statistics for albums and songs released in 2012. Pulling from various sources and rating most played, highly rated, starred, loved, etc, depending on the source.
2012 music stats:
145 songs rated 4 or 5 stars from 107 different bands
most played song: Beach House – Myth
Albums with 3 or more highly rated songs (alphabetical order):
Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
Beach House – Bloom
Bear In Heaven – I Love You, It’s Cool
DIIV – Oshin
Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits
Lotus Plaza – Spooky Action at a Distance
Lower Dens – Nootropics
Poolside – Pacific Standard Time
Purity Ring – Shrines
Tame Impala – Lonerism
I think the first time I saw these guys was back in November 11, 2005. They opened for Brendon Benson at Slim’s and we went to specifically to see them. Since then I’ve probably seen them another 4 times, at the Rickshaw Stop, Popscene, at the Fillmore opening for Wolfmother and at Cafe Du Nord with Amusement Parks On Fire (which I love) and Nine Black Alps. Fortunately they are out of LA so they make frequent trips to San Francisco. We spoke to them a little bit at Cafe Du Nord and the singer is a trip.
“If the idea of basement tapes made by Billy Corgan and Doug Martsch appeals to you, say hello to your new favorite band. Silversun Pickups are fairly early adopters of the 1990s revival, but they’re not grunge dorks or anything, and they’re from L.A. so they dress nice. Their music updates the anthemic but gauzy heavy rock sound that Veruca Salt and the Smashing Pumpkins had down pat. Thankfully, they strip it down and add plenty of finely distorted guitar leads to the whole thing. It’s nice. With a spacey, laid-back sound due in no small part to knob-twiddlers Tony Hoffer and Dave Cooley, repeated listens are mandatory. Just don’t pass out on the couch. –Mike McGonigal”
These guys are coming to Slim’s in San Francisco at the end of the month (February) for Noisepop…. can’t wait!
“Some might say the title of French Kicks’ third album, Two Thousand, is an unintentional reference to all the other New York bands that sound exactly like them. And, yes, while the group did at one point have a predisposition for scrappy punk guitars, off-kilter disco rhythms and strained vocals, this release actually sees it distinguishing itself from its neighbors with a more restrained sound and ambitious vision. There is a distinct ’80s influence in songs like “Also Ran,” “Cloche,” and “No Mean Time,” all shimmering guitars and motorized beats. On “Knee High,” the band even manages to successfully evoke the sound of early U2 jamming with New Order–a claim few others in their area code can make. –Aidin Vaziri”
released April 11, 2006
free mp3 of ‘The First Vietnamese War
Every now and again a band capable of not just capturing the spirit of a bygone era but portraying it with uncanny authenticity and accuracy arrives, and in an era where music lovers seem increasingly ravenous for psychedelic-inflected rock, Austin’s the Black Angels are precisely that act. Following on the heels of their recent Turn On, Tune In, Drone Out EP, the quintet transports listeners to a land of napalm-bright LSD flashbacks with an elegantly unholy sound that proves both eerie and ethereal. "Young Men Dead" and "The Sniper at the Gates of Heaven" walk the line between celebratory dance and grief-filled dirge. These tracks unnerve the conscious mind with unsettling drones and vocals that seem to have emerged from some parallel universe where the struggle, strife, promise, and even the seedy underbelly of the Love Generation lives on in each primal drum beat and louder-than-loud bent note from a guitar that could not have been built anywhere on Earth, but has been drenched with the sweat and blood of a generation on the verge of either victory or collapse. If there is an act in American popular music with a future brighter and vaster than the cosmos, the Black Angels are it. –Jedd Beaudoin
Band of Horses
Everything All The Time
released March 21, 2006
free mp3 of ‘The Funeral’ free mp3 of ‘Wicked Gil’
This Seattle-based band was formed from the ashes of the incredibly talented Carissa’s Wierd [sic], whose mopey and self-deprecating songs were like some magical and baroque combination of the Magnetic Fields, Cat Power, and Leonard Cohen. Longtime friends of Iron and Wine, few fans in their native Pacific Northwest could understand why Carissa’s weren’t huge. But they weren’t, and after three albums and few folks really caring, they naturally broke up. Band of Horses, led by ultra-charming CW bassist Ben Bridwell, is a remarkably different, though just as radically excellent, brand of indie-pop sulk. These songs are anthems to ambivalence, and Bridwell’s lovely high-pitched trill will please any fan of Built to Spill, the Shins, and Modest Mouse. It takes a few listens to sink in, but Everything is transcendent, shimmering, layered, and smartass emo-pop fully ready for stadium saturation. –James Conde
released May 30, 2006
free mp3 of ‘Thursday’
It’s hard to not like a good-looking, female-fronted, Brooklyn-based band whose name translates loosely as "playful sex." The obvious vocal comparisons are to shoegazers and goths of twelve to thirty years ago—Siouxsie, Spirea X, Lush, Kate Bush, and the Cocteauu Twins. Singing in Japanese and English, vocalist Yuki’s heavily reverbed voice is sensual and strong at the same time. But there’s more of a manic, vaguely garage band energy evident on Citrus, the group’s sophomore release (a vast improvement over their scattered debut). It’s clear now that they’re far closer to Blondie than My Bloody Valentine or Loop. The band has a woozy sound, but it’s also tightly controlled and highly melodic, propelled by Interpol-ish bass lines. It’s not "original" music, but it is very pleasant stuff, the ideal soundtrack to a hot affair in some futuristic hotel tucked away downtown, or out near the airport. –Mike McGonigal
I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness
Fear Is On Our Side
released March 7, 2006
free mp3 of ‘Last Ride Together’
The full-length debut of this Texas band follows their 2003 self-titled five-song EP; a much poppier affair produced by Spoon’s Britt Daniel, with a dose of thunder and lightning, pain and pleasure. Produced this time by Paul Barker (Ministry, Revolting Cocks), the record is more sadness than joy with lonely lyrics and hauntingly echoed guitar persuaded by chorused basslines. The sound is coaxing and familiar, then howling and anguished. Reminiscent of latter-era Talk Talk; with the introspection also comes passion. "Fear Is On Our Side" isn’t trivial or banal, trendy or futile. It’s a testament to our times, our revolutions, and our meaning. It’s timeless, maniacal, and resounding. Darkness and truth.
How can bands like Coldplay release something as boring as X&Y (after two pretty good albums) while the Doves have released 3 brilliant albums without nearly the same fanfare? If 3/4ths of the Coldplay bandwagoneers listened to the Doves, then they’d surely be playing to large venues with soccer moms too. Maybe Jimi Goodwin needs to date an American actress.
Broken Social Scene
Broken Social Scene
released October 4, 2005
The Back Room
released July 28, 2005
Not the most original but who cares? These kids write some catchy tunes! Recommended if you like Interpol or Echo and the Bunnymen.
released April 12, 2005
An absolute fantastic album that manages to be quite calming yet quite energetic at the same time. Matt Berninger’s calming baritone combined with Bryan Devendorf’s fluid and creative drumming makes for an interesting combination. Fellow Ohioans, Aaron and Bryce Dessner, along with bassist Scott Devendorf, crafted some wonderful tracks. Favorites are “Secret Meeting”, “Looking for Astronauts”, “Daughter’s of the Soho Riots”, “All the Wine”, “Geese of Beverly Road” and “Mr. November”.
released July 26, 2005
Probably the most unknown band on my list. I saw these guys open for someone at Slim’s… oh yeah, Brendan Benson. I first heard this on KEXP.org. I’m looking forward to seeing these guys along with Amusement Parks On Fire open for Nine Black Alps at Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco next month. Can’t beat the price. $10.
Descended Like Vultures
released October 25, 2005
In the Remote Woods [EP]
released June 21, 2005
I saw them open for Rogue Wave at the Great American Music Hall. Something about the sound seemed different live, not bad, just different. I like the album much better. The singer does have some fancy footwork though. Perhaps the guitars are louder, or the singer’s voice is deeper… who knows?
released August 23, 2005
released September 27, 2005
A late addition. I’m adding this mostly based on expectations after a couple listens.