9. Protomartyr - The Agent Intellect

by Sasha Barr

Protomartyr is just one of those bands, perfect mix of all the sorts of things you love but still something totally unique. One of the best live shows I’ve seen in a long time, to boot. 

9. Arca - Mutant

by Maxwell Holyoke-Hirsch

Sparse and straightforward percussive elements build upon one another with a keen sensitivity. Light synth work rounds the track out.


9. Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp

by Richard Perez

Aimless autumn. Anxious ambition.

9. Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color

by Anna Hurley

Sound & Color is all funk and pop, with bursts of energy so bold and vivid, I can't help but bop my head to each beat. Some of the tracks are kind of all over the place, but Don't Want to Fight is Alabama Shakes at their best with strong, unencumbered funk.

9. Jamie XX - In Colour

by Eric R. Mortensen

Unassumingly meditative. A prime example of the music sometimes knowing what you need, even when you don't.


9. Son Lux - Bones

by Tara McCullough

Understood and connected with this experimental jazz pop record more after seeing it performed live.

9. Night Beds - Ivywild

by Nate Utesch

Singer-songwriter/alt-country is so rarely in my year-end list. Unless of course the singer-songwriter takes a huge risk, shifts gears, writes an electronic/r&b record in collaboration with his brother and nearly 20 other producers/musicians and hits the whole damn thing outta the park. Coincidentally, I was lucky enough to design the retail packaging for this thing.

9. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

by Jez Burrows

Alternately weary and jangly insomniac jams with the best delivery around.  

9. Blur - The Magic Whip

by Jen DeRosa

Good for: Sunny seaside walks or afternoon daydreaming


9. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

by Damien Correll

A complete, not overly fussy rock record with straight-forward sounds and some of the best lyrics this year.