Sorry for the delay between ##6-10 and this post. Things have been a tad hectic.
Anyway, if you’ve been reading the blog this year (and watching the “What I’m Listening To” feature in the sidebar), you probably won’t be too surprised by my top five. That said, if you haven’t had a chance to listen to buy any of these albums yet, I can’t recommend strongly enough that you do so now.
5. Wussy, Left For Dead
Another unbelievable album from the most underrated band in the country. If there’s any fairness in the world, these guys are gonna be a hit at SXSW in March and make a lot of fans on their East Coast tour. If there’s only a modicum of fairness in the world, then at minimum I’ll have a chance to see them do a show this tour that’s longer than 20 minutes.
4. Earlimart, Mentor Tormentor
I’ve liked Earlimart’s earlier albums, but prior to Mentor Tormentor I would never really have labeled myself a “fan” of the band. That has changed, drastically. I mentioned the other day that I’ve been reading a lot of Haruki Murakami this year. This album has been the perfect soundtrack to his books — beautiful, dreamlike, yet with an undercurrent of dislocation and alienation. I haven’t stopped listening to it for the last 6 months.
3. Nothington, All In
I’d never heard of Nothington before Eric at Can You See The Sunset From The Southside? posted about them a few months ago. There have been few days since then that I haven’t listened to at least one song from this album. Easily the most visceral, powerful, sing-along, pure rock and roll album that I’ve heard this year. I can’t wait to finally have a chance to see them play live.
2. The Antlers, In the Attic of the Universe
I listen to a lot of music, and make an effort to continually find new music and new bands. Yet I can’t remember the last time I discovered a band that left me so speechless, so amazed and so in awe as The Antlers’ In the Attic of the Universe. The fact that this album was made by a 21-year old makes it even more astounding. While only #2 on my list, this may in my opinion be the most important release of the year, as it marks the arrival of what could be a truly great American band. My neverending thanks to Chris for turning me onto this album.
1. The National, Boxer
What can I say about this album that hasn’t already been said by everyone else in the world? This album was the definitive “grower” for me — I didn’t love it the first few times I listened to it. But with each listen I noticed something different about the album; on each listen a different song, or a different melody, or a different passage would sink its hooks into me. Before I knew it Boxer had become not only my favorite National album, but my favorite album of the year. And their live performances this year were phenomenal. Truly a band at the absolute peak of its powers.
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