Over the next week or so, we'll be posting some of our Top 5 albums of the year list from our executive board and from our DJs. Today's list comes from Benjamin Fly, one of our two Co-Music Directors. We look forward to publishing more soon! - Ed.
1) Andrew Bird - Are You Serious (Loma Vista)
Coming in at number one this year is Andrew Bird's 'Are You Serious'. By far and away, this will absolutely be one of the cleanest and best produced albums you've heard in a long time. Of course, this album is full of his signature violin picking and velvet voice, but each song is so well written and memorable that you can't help but play them over and over in your head. Also, as a bonus track on 'Are You Serious', Andrew Bird has released "Pulaski", a song that alone proves this man's genius. This album is beautiful.
2) The Growlers - City Club (Cult Records)
"The Growlers may be the most interesting band in the world, certainly one of the coolest." - Julian Casablancas. With their first album on the Cult Records label, The Growlers have fine tuned their unfiltered, grimy sound into something very special. With the help of Strokes leader, Julian Casablancas, this album highlights the uniqueness of this group's sound, as well as Brooks Nielsen's raw voice. This album lived up to all the hype it promised, and then some.
3) Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool (XL)
With their first album in five years, Radiohead's 'A Moon Shaped Pool' is an album that just plain sounds good. It's the kind of album that sounds be listened to at only the highest quality, with no distractions from beginning to end. It is clear that Thom Yorke and co. spent a remarkable amount of time and effort tuning this album until arriving at this masterpiece. This album will take you wherever it wants to.
4) Paradis - Recto Verso (Maison Barclay)
Hailing from Paris, France, Paradis has finally released their first studio album, and it is great. In a way that Disclosure became so popular by differentiating their electronically driven sound, 'Recto Verso' is new, dancey, and so French. Each track is extremely complementary of the last, and as a whole, this record is very clean.
5) Savages - Adore Life (Matador)
Releasing just their second record on Matador records, Savages returns just where they left of with 'Silence Yourself'. Led by Jehnny Beth and co., perhaps the most impressive thing about this pro-feminism record is this overwhelming sense of passion in each track. "Adore" will be one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs you will hear this year.
Honorable Mentions (Because it is unfair to disregard so many other great albums we've listened to this year...):
Soft Hair - Soft Hair
Bon Iver - 22, A Million
Vesuvio Solo - Don't Leave Me In The Dark
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Nonagon Infinity
Porches - Pool
Frank Ocean - Blonde
Parquet Courts - Human Performance
The Last Shadow Puppets - Everything You've Come to Expect
Syd Arthur - Apricity
Drugdealer - The End of Comedy
Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression
Norah Jones - Day Breaks
Kings of Leon - Walls
Drake - Views
Luke Temple - A Hand Through The Cellar Door
Animal Collective - Painting With
Mild High Club - Skiptracing
Weyes Blood - Front Row Seat to Earth
Angel Olsen - My Woman
Thee Oh Sees - A Weird Exits