1. War on Drugs – “Under the Pressure” / “Red Eyes”
Best opening 14 minutes on an album since Band of Horses’ Cease to Begin back in 2007.
2. James Vincent McMorrow – “Look Out”
Haunting and beautiful evidence of what the talented Irish songwriter can do if he borrows a touch from Bon Iver.
3. London Grammar – “Maybe”
A brilliant addition to their US release. Emotive and passionate and just as excellent as always.
4. Mimicking Birds – “Acting Your Age”
Just close your eyes and let this one wash over you. Nate Lacy is the most talented person in indie that no one knows about.
5. The Antlers – “Palace”
It starts gentle and ends with the kind of force The Antlers are capable of when firing on all cylinders.
6. Beck – “Blue Moon”
So this is the transformation of Beck, who might be better right now than he’s ever been.
7. Young the Giant – “Mind Over Matter”
Sameer Gadhia might be one of the most interesting vocals in music right now, and he lets it stretch on this optimistic and defiant jam.
8. Great Good Fine Ok – “Not Going Home”
They’ve yet to release and album and both their singles have landed on my lists. Hoping for more like this one.
9. Broods – “Bridges”
The New Zealand brother-sister duo lean on the sister’s breathy vocals and the brother’s body-swaying musical creations.
10. The Hold Steady – “Wait a While”
A return to the rock roots and the stories. It’s good to hear Craig Finn on top again.
11. Foster the People – “Pseudologia Fantastica”
Foster the People have decided to be the band we all wanted MGMT to be, and with great psychedelic-pop results.
12. Lost in the Trees – “Past Life”
The band always seem to operate in the dark, and this one is no different. But it’s them at their most expansive and, consequently, at their best.
13. Bad Suns – “Transpose (Nicita Remix)”
Their label says this in an “insta=grat” track and I tend to agree. Thing is I’m still singing it months later.
14. Nickel Creek – “Love of Mine”
Welcome back, old friends. There’s that familiar feeling again. My ears missed you.
15. Hozier – “Work Song”
Big things are coming for Hozier. “Work Song” is a heavy, gospel-influenced track. With this and “Take Me to Church” on just EPs alone, Hozier is about ready to be a household name.
1. War on Drugs – “Lost in the Dream
2. James Vincent McMorrow – “Post Tropical”
3. Beck – “Morning Phase”
4. The Antlers – Familiars”
5. Mimicking Birds – “EONS”