1. Sharon Van Etten – Tramp
That voice, those songs, the intensity — Sharon Van Etten, this isn’t a review so much as a marriage proposal. Where did you come from? Why are you so good at everything? Can I have your number?
2. Deep Sea Diver – History Speaks
That voice, those songs, the intensity — Jessica Dobson, this isn’t a review so much as a marriage proposal. Where did you come from? Why are you so good at everything? Can I have your number?
Oh, I said that already about SVE? WHAT ARE YOU, THE INDIE ROCK CRUSH DREAM KILLER?
3. Father John Misty – Fear Fun
J. Tillman writes like a honty-tonk Beatle, sings like a Fleet Fox (because he was a Fleet Fox), and has a sense of humor that is somewhere in the middle of Nilsson and Zappa. No way I’m not loving that.
4. The Orwells – Remember When
Listen to the album, and then realize that these lo-fi punk-rocking fuckers are all still in high school. Something’s in the water in Chicagoland.
5. The Lumineers – S/T
Hey, Mumford & Sons — suck it.
6. Damien Jurado – Maraqopa
7. Grizzly Bear – Shields
8. Soundgarden – King Animal
9. Sera Cahoone – Deer Creek Canyon
10. Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
11. Gardens & Villa – S/T
12. Jack White – Blunderbuss
13. Bowerbirds – The Clearing
14. Deep Time – S/T
15. Heartless Bastards – Arrow
16. Band of Skulls – Sweet Sour
17. Gary Clark Jr. – Blak and Blu
18. The Maldives – Muscle for the Wing
19. Tame Impala – Lonerism
20. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill
Honorable mentions: The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter; Baroness – Yellow & Green; Beach House – Bloom; Christian Mistress –Possession; Delta Spirit – S/T; Dr. Dog – Be the Void; Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel…; King Tuff – S/T; The Mynabirds – General; Pinback –Information Retrieved; Sea Wolf – Old World Romance; Two Gallants – The Bloom and the Blight