Best Indie Rock
Singer-songwriter, Kurt Vile, returns with his 6th solo album. His musing lyrics will elicit a chuckle and sometimes the head nod of the shared experience. While Walking On A Pretty Daze felt expansive, this time around a stronger intimacy is created.
- Genre – Indie Rock, Singer-songwriter
- From – Philadelphia, PA
- Fav Tracks – Pretty Pimpin, Life Like This, That’s Life Tho, Lost My Head There, Wild Imagination
- Recommended Tracks – Pretty Pimpin, Dust Bunnies, That’s Life Tho, Wheelhouse, Life Like This, Lost My Head There, Stand Inside, Kidding Around, Wild Imagination
- Singles – Pretty Pimpin, Life Like This
Best Alternative Dance
Petite Noir is the work of South African musician, Yannick Ilunga. He’s intertwined New Wave and traditional African rhythms into a sub-genre he calls “noir wave.”
- Genre – Alternative Dance, New Wave
- From – South Africa
- Fav Tracks – Chess, Just Breathe, MDR, Down
- Recommended Tracks – Intro Noirwave, Best, Freedom, Seventeen, Just Breathe, La Vie Est Belle, MDR, Down, Chess
- Singles – Chess
Best Blues Rock
Clark is not satisfied to be merely a traditionalist, and instead reveals to us the New Blues Rock of the 21st century.
- Genre – Blues Rock
- From – Austin, TX
- Fav Tracks – The Healing, Grinder, Church, Hold On, Star
- Recommended Tracks – The Healing, Grinder, Church, Hold On, Star, Our Love, Cold Blooded,Wings, BYOB, Can’t Sleep, Stay, Shake, Down To Ride
Best Post-Punk Revival
Guitarist/vocalist Tim Beeler Darcy (New Hampshire), keyboardist Matt May (New Jersey), drummer Tim Keen (Australia), and bassist Ben Stidworthy (Oregon) return with a sophomore album of nervy punk inflected rock.
- Genre – Post Punk Revival
- From – Montreal
- Fav Tracks – Sun’s Coming Down, Beautiful Blue Sky, Men for Miles
- Recommended Tracks – Men for Miles, Passionate Turn, The Combo, Sun’s Coming Down, Beautiful Blue Sky, Celebration, On the Line, Never Better
- Singles – Men for Miles, Beautiful Blue Sky
Empress of is the stage name for newcomer, Lorely Rodriguez.
- Genre – Electronic, Alternative Dance
- From – California
- Fav Tracks – How Do You Do It, Water Water, Standard, Kitty Kat
- Recommended Tracks – Everything Is You, Water Water, Standard, How Do You Do It, To Get By, Kitty Kat
- Singles – Water Water, Kitty Kat, How Do You Do It
Best Series of Only Teaser Singles
- Genre – Electronic
- From – Seattle
- Singles – Shadow, Just Like You, In Films, I Can Never Be Myself When You’re Around
Best Club Dance
Disclosure returns with the so crucial yet difficult sophomore album. They disappointed professional critics, but play counts on Spotify indicate that the public is still tuning in.
- Genre – Electronic, Club-Dance
- From – England
- Fav Tracks – Omen, Holding On, Magnets,
- Recommended Tracks – Holding On, Omen, Magnets, Hourglass, Jaded, Magnets, Nocturnal
- Singles – Holding On, Omen, Hourglass, Jaded, Magnets
Chvrches also return with a sophomore album with mixed reviews but solid commercial success. Every Open Eye has lost some of the edginess of their debut, but is strong enough that I will still look forward to their third album. It’s not a bad album, but considering that The Bones Of What You Believe was my #1 Electronic Album of 2013, Every Open Eye seems relatively disappointing.
- Genre – Electronic, Synth-Pop
- From – Scotland
- Fav Tracks – Leave A Trace, Never Ending Circles, Clearest Blue, Keep You On My Side
- Recommended Tracks – Leave A Trace, Never Ending Circles, Clearest Blue, Keep You On My Side
- Singles – Leave A Trace, Never Ending Circles, Clearest Blue
Best New Music from a Band from the 80’s
I usually prefer to remember my favorite artists from their hey day and generally dislike their attempts to make new music in the retirement years. However, this New Order album isn’t half bad. La Roux makes a guest appearance of 3 of the stronger tracks.
- Genre – Alternative Dance
- From – England
- Fav Tracks – Restless, Plastic, Tutti Frutti, People On The High Line
- Recommended Tracks – Restless, Singularity, Plastic, Tutti Frutti, People On The High Line, Nothing But A Fool, Superheated
- Single – Restless
Best New Music from a Band from the 90’s
Low is the seminal band for slow dirge-like and sparse indie rock. Now-a-days, not every song is a snails pace, but this album is still perfect for a lazy morning.
- Genre – Slowcore, Indie Rock
- From – Minnesota
- Fav Tracks – Lies, The Innocents, No Comprende
- Recommended Tracks – Gentle, No Comprende, Spanish Translation, Into you, What Part of Me, The Innocents, Lies
Experimental Singer-Songwriter, Julia Holter, returns with her fourth album. This time her album presents looser themes pulled together rather than a singular book, movie, or play.
- Genre – Experimental, Avant-Garde, Ambient
- From – California
- Fav Tracks – Feel You, Sea Calls Me Home, Betsy On The Roof
- Recommended Tracks – Feel You, Silhouette, Lucette Stranded on the Island, Sea Calls Me Home, Night Song, Betsy On the Roof, Vasquez, Have You In My Wilderness
Best Experimental Rock
- Genre – Experimental Rock
- From – Philadelphia
- Fav Tracks – Damn That Valley, Window Shades, Sororal Feelings
- Recommended Tracks – Sororal Feelings, Damn That Valley, Window Shades, New Age Thriller, Sed Knife, Woman’s Work