Just kidding! You all know that I’m not a T-Swift fan, and that hell would have to freeze over before her album made it anywhere near my top-5 of the year list! Or at least I hope you know that… I like pop music well enough, but that goes too far! Okay, getting off topic here, so back on point with the top-5 albums that I had on repeat this year!
Dopamine - Third Eye Blind
Yes, that’s right we’re kicking off the list with a band that is a helluva throwback, but it’s hard to be a 90s kid and not fondly remember TEB’s smash “Semi-charmed Life.” I got this album on a random kick, and was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t immediately hate it. And then I listened to it again. And again. And again. And then I listened to it on a proper stereo and was like “oh yes, this is even more wonderful.” Besides the fact that TEB kept just enough of their old sound to give me a serious case of nostalgia, their updated sound is even more addictive and their lyrics are still totally on point. It doesn’t get any more poignant than lyrics like “let that feeling born in shadow/make you strong/and those demons/you’ve got to carry/let them carry you on and on” (“All These Things”) and “I took my blade and I cut him deep/And the blood bloomed red on his crispy white shirt/for your party guests to see” (“Blade”).
Uptown Special - Mark Ronson
It was pretty inevitable that Uptown Special made it on to this list, since “Uptown Funk” was such a smash hit last year - with even the multitude of spin-offs making waves in their various fandoms. Most of the other tracks on the album aren’t as funky-fresh, but I really enjoyed the overall groove (which is really weird, considering that funk isn’t really my genre). Top tracks included “In Case of Fire” and “I Can’t Lose” for their unique (but definitely reminiscent) beats, but I’m more fond of this album as a backer for a chill soirée.
Young Chasers - Circa Waves
It was a long time coming between the first single and the full album dropping, but it was totally worth the wait. For most North Americans who aren’t up on the indie scene in the UK, Circa Waves is probably not a band that they’re familiar with, but I am really glad that I stumbled upon them during my stint of obsession with BBC Radio 1 last year. Their sound is surprisingly Californian for a band coming from rain-soaked England, but I’m hoping that their catchy jams will be equally as popular around the globe as their Liverpuddlian predecessors, the Beatles. If I had to pick one album that defined summer this year, this would definitely be it - especially with tracks like “T-Shirt Weather” and “Best Years.”
Wilder Mind - Mumford & Sons
Never did I ever think that I would be a fan of Mumford & Sons. The hipster aesthetic is something that I actively disagree with, but it’s ne’er impossible not to like a lot of the tracks from this album. The whole sound is just so authentic and reminds me so much of the West Coast lifestyle (which I dearly miss) - campfires & star-filled skies, beers & BFFs, endless Autumns & forest-lined ocean coves - that I’m going to officially move these guys out of the hipster category and firmly back into indie-rock reality. Top tracks are “The Wolf” (we’re all wolves at heart), “Ditmas” (catchy guitar riffs and brutally concise lyrics), and “Snake Eyes” (for the dangerous girls).
Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied - The Fratellis
This album was a late-comer to the list, but damn I’m glad I decided not to pre-judge the Fratellis based on that fact that I normally only like their singles. This whole album is wonderfully whimsical from the creepy carnival-esque piano-heavy jam “Me and the Devil” to the charmingly disarming acoustic remake of “Imposters (Little By Little).” They reference so many influences that I can’t see anyone disliking this album, and they do it in such a subtle way that even people who adamantly hate certain genres of music *cough*country will go along with it.
Bonus single of the year! “Dreams” - Beck
I’ll apologize in advance for starting this song running around in your head, but for reals Beck is the shit, and everyone deserves to experience the trippy/riff-heavy/can’t-stop-dancing-to-it track that is “Dreams.” Actually, I’m not sorry at all - jam on dreamers!
Music videos from Youtube
Music videos from Youtube