2. Grinderman, 2 - It's hard to say what Nick Cave will do next; he always has a surprise in store. While I did like the first Grinderman album, I find that I don't really listen to it that much. Not so with this one - I've been listening to it tons since it came out! In all honesty, it sounds like a Bad Seeds record - which makes me wonder if the Bad Seeds are done for good and this is the next phase for Mr. Cave. Regardless, he's getting better and better with age.
3. Beach House, Teen Dream - I resisted the awesomeness of this album at first. It's true, I didn't want to like it - don't ask me why. I'm clearly insane. This is a case of Tyler playing it so much that I relented in my stubborn-ness to be greatly rewarded with an awesome album that is perfect for the evening commute. When I've been on my feet all day and just want to sit down, but every seat on the train is full of weirdos, tourists with 80 suitcases, and several screaming children who are somehow all named Ashley, I just crank up this album and the urge to punch people subsides.
4. Thee Oh Sees, Warm Slime - Really wasn't sure how they could top Help. This record is definitely good in a different way from that one, but I think seeing them play earlier this year at Lincoln Hall sealed the deal. Holy crap, they played so fast I thought they'd spontaneously combust at the end of their set.
5. Woods, At Echo Lake- Another situation where I honestly didn't think the band could top their previous release, this record was more than just a pleasant surprise. A nice, warm blanket to keep you warm through the winter. This was another band that we got to see live that made me really appreciate their records even more.
6. Joanna Newsom, Have One on Me- I really fell off the Joanna Newsom bandwagon there for a while. Nothing ever seemed as good as The Milk-Eyed Mender - but this record is pretty amazing. Parts of it sound an awful lot like early Kate Bush, but in a good way (thankfully, not in the "Tori Amos attempting a pale imitation of Kate Bush" pretentious sort of way) - mostly in terms of production and polish. It has the same intimacy of her first release, but you can tell there's been a musical progression that makes sense, and the results don't feel calculated and forced. Really pretty music!
7. Dum Dum Girls, I Will Be- I looove the Dum Dum Girls! Someday, I hope we actually get to see them play a show - so far we've been thwarted several times, but outlook is highly likely for this February. My only complaint? Must like the Vivian Girls' first release, this record is way too short! Want more!
Halcyon Digest- I am the casual Deerhunter fan - I'd say of the two of us, Tyler is the bigger fan. I don't listen to their records much - usually only when Tyler plays them - but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy their music. I really like this record, though, and find myself getting the songs stuck in my head fairly often.
9. Disappears, Lux - Two things made me really appreciate this album and this band: 1) Seeing them play over the summer @ Millenium Park. 2) Learning that they record everything live - an ethos I can really get behind. Really loving on this Chicago band, and excited to hear what they put out next.
10. Ultimate Fakebook, Daydream Radio is Smiling Static -This release came along exactly when I needed it to. It's been so long, I almost forgot how amazing UFB