1. Bon Iver: “For Emma, Forever Ago” -- This fellow Sconnie has got talent. He may sing notes higher than I can and live in a cabin like a hermit up nort’, but “For Emma, Forever Ago” ranks as one of the top 5 albums of the last 5 years.
2. Girl Talk: “Feed the Animals” -- Turn it on and you have an instant house party. BLAMO!
3. Fleet Foxes: “Fleet Foxes” -- Lots of rich folk reverb going on. It takes a while to absorb all the layers, but it’s worth the listen.
4. Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s: “Not Animal/Animal!” -- So technically this is two albums, but to me they count as one. With seven members and a band room’s assortment of instruments really add a rich depth the sung stories.
5. The Felice Brothers: “The Felice Brothers “ -- This pick may be the result of too many Saturdays listening to Bruce Winter on the radio. It’s gritty whiskey stained country (the only kind of country I’ll listen to).
6. MGMT: “Oracular Spectacular” -- I guarantee if you’ve shopped at Urban Outfitters this year you have heard this album. It’s bright and energetic. I’m sure the Riverwest kids eat it up.
7. She & Him: “Volume One” -- Who doesn’t love M. Ward? However, I was skeptical of this Zooey Deschanel movie star girl. In the end (and I after I listened to “Why do you let me stay here” like seven times), I am sold. It’s a good album. But she’s no Jenny Lewis.
8. Mates of State: “Re-arrange Us” -- I loved the song “The Goods” from several years ago and thought that the cute couple of Kori and Jason were really evolving their shout-singing and mini organ playing into something really likeable by the greater indie crowd. It’s gotten only better. Their fun, quirky and mischievous sound that I liked in high school has grown into a cheery domestic sound with all the same quirks.
9. Blind Pilot: “3 Rounds a Sound” -- Sunday mornings and this kind of music go hand in hand. Very smooth and mellow with melancholy and sweetness; similar to the Shins in a way.
10. Ting Tings: “We Started Nothing” -- “Shut up and let me go” is a gem: A purple crystal glittery gem that matches tight acid wash jeans and a Blondie haircut.