Favourite Best Albums (Part One)

Click here for introduction/explanation.

Rather than continuing to make series of annual lists which will become obsolete even before the ink has dried, I thought to try a little experiment and maintain an always-changing and -expanding snapshot of my favourite albums of this current decade of the 2010s. It’s very much a work in progress, natch — so feel free to check back from time to time. It’s gotten so big and unwieldy that I’ve had to break it into two parts — both parts are permalinked at the top of the page, just below the banner image. In addition to adding more albums as I’m exposed to them, I’ll try to get filled in all of the missing details, as well as fix up the various formatting glitches.

As a general rule of thumb, having listened to these lots and lots of times, I’m pretty confident in the placements of the top seventy-five (give or take) albums listed here. Further down the list, I may well have only listened to the recording in question two or three times, so the rankings are much more ad hoc. Nevertheless, one can be sure that I quite love (or at the very least, like a whole hell of a lot) all of the albums listed. Another good rule of thumb is that I would be more likely to spend time updating this list during periods of shite weather, and less likely to do so during periods of divine weather.

One may (if one so chooses) click on the little upside-down caret thingie for video embeds and for my remarks concerning the albums in question; use the comment form to tell me what I’m missing; or peruse some totally obsolete lists from the previous decade. “But, wait?” you’re wondering, “Why are you putting fucking YouTube embeds? Isn’t it all full of advertisements these days?” Yes, of course, it is. However! Get you some Ad-Blocking capability in your browser, and you’ll be able to screen these viddies without any of the goddam commercial interruptions. Ad-Block for all of your ad-free surfing needs, and Ad-Block YouTube to clean up the viewing experience there (including, if you like, putting the kibosh on annotations). Don’t do anything else ’til you get those installed — then come back and watch the embedded vids to your hearts’ contents.

For your listening pleasure, gonna try to get all of the albums uploaded to my site; if the release date is underlined, that means it’s been made available. Find ’em here — the username is “porkbelly”, and the current password is the name of the Mayor of Sombertown (all one word, all lowercase).

In the meanwhile, Kickass Torrents and/or The Pirate Bay should serve your purposes quite nicely. If you’re all hot for brand-new releases, the mp3 blogs should have you covered: It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll, Soft Archive, New Album Releases, Israbox, and IIDDL will all come in handy, for examples. If you’re gonna use them, though, for the love of gosh, get yourself a good download manager, so’s you can bypass all the fucking hoops through which you gotta jump before the hosting sites will give you your music. I very much recommend JDownloader — let me know if you have any issues getting it set up; I’m happy to help out. (And if you do want to try one of the paid file-sharing services, I personally think that uploaded.to gives quite good value.)

Click here for albums currently in Limbo.

These are the latest offerings from a few of my very, very, very favourite artists; but which have yet to explain themselves to me. I don’t want to rank them way to the bottom of the list — or leave them off entirely — because I think they’ll eventually end up somewhere near the top. So, I’ll leave them here in Limbo ’til I’ve sorted out their mojo…


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  • KinKIN
    Studio album by The Duke Spirit
    Released May 6, 2016
    Genre Rock
    Length 42:20
    Each time I listen to it, I do like it. But its songs never come bounding into my head unannounced; and nor do I wake up with an itching desire to give it a listen. Somewhat worrying, as their previous two releases captured my soul immediately. But, whatever will be will be…
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  • Everyone Thinks I Dodged A Bullet
    Studio album by Greg Laswell
    Released March 4, 2016
    Genre Pop
    Length 41:27
    Label Vanguard
    I fully expect it’ll grow on me over time — it took me six or eight months to fall in love with Landline — but, for the moment, just not really feeling it.
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  • Good Advice
    Studio album by Basia Bulat
    Released February 12, 2016
    Genre Pop
    Length
    Label Secret City Records
    After about three spins, I thought I had fallen for it — but I’ve only listened to it one time since then. Huhn.
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  • Pagans in Vegas.pngPagans in Vegas
    Studio album by Metric
    Released 18 September 2015
    Genre Indie rock, new wave
    Length 49:22
    Label Metric Music International
    I’m the least worried of all about this one: It always takes me from three to five years to understand each new Metric album. Don’t know why the delay, but once I fall, I fall hard.
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  • What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World.pngWhat a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
    Studio album by The Decemberists
    Released January 20, 2015
    Genre Indie rock, folk rock, indie folk
    Length 52:57
    Label Capitol
    I really love about half of the songs — “Singer Addresses His Audience”, “Water’s All Long Gone”, “Carolina Low”, “Better Not Wake The Baby”, “Anti-Summersong”, “Mistral”. Unfortunately, the rest of ’em leave me bored to tears. It’s not unlike, in point of fact, how I reacted to their earlier albums (up through Picaresque. But I’ve never fully come around on those records; so, we’ll see how this one stacks up in the end.

Last Updated: August 21, 2016.

January 1, 2010: Event occurred 2902 days ago days.
December 31, 2019: Event occurs in 750 days.
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  • Blackstar
    Released January 8, 2016
    Length 41:13
    Label ISO Columbia

    The Next Day

    Released March 8, 2013
    Length 53:17
    Label ISO Columbia
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    What can one say? It feels so odd to me that The Next Day squashed the cancer rumors, but then he got sick shortly after that. It seems to me either that the rumors were true, and he made both albums after having taken sick; or that it had gone into remission before he recorded The Next Day, only to return soon after. At any rate, though I wish Blackstar were about twenty minutes longer, it’s difficult to imagine a more poignant and elegaic swan song. RIP.

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  1. No Cities to Love cover.jpgNo Cities To Love
    Studio album by Sleater-Kinney
    Released January 20, 2015
    Genre Rock
    Length 32:17
    Label Sub Pop
    I listened to this record almost every day in 2015, and yet find myself — as the following paragraphs, originally despatched to my timeline, will attest — unable to put into words how much it means to me. Suffice to say, it means a lot.
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    (February 27, 2015) Having some difficulty in trying to articulate my feelings about the new Sleater-Kinney disc. But, having now listened to it somewheres between fifteen and twenty times, let me ramble at least a little bit.Not very many peeps (I dare say) have been a greater champion, than yours truly, of the Rock/Roll musics released in the second-half of the ’00s and the first half of these-here teens — in other words, since Sleater-Kinney went into hiatus.Yet as much as I do love said Rock/Roll musics, and the bands from whence they have sprung, Sleater-Kinney’s return makes me feel like all the other bands are really just playing games; and that Sleater-Kinney stand alone among their peers pouring every fibre of their selves into their art.It’s a very emotional experience listening to the album — not only because of its inherently powerful nature, but also because I loved this band so much, and was so upset when they called it a day. And though I always believed they would at least tour again, I really couldn’t in my wildest dreams have guessed that they’d be able to give us such a remarkable testament right back out the box. (I did like Corin’s first solo album very much, but was underwhelmed both by her second outing, and by the Wild Flag record.)I’ve got it provisionally ranked as my third-favourite album of their career (behind One Beat and Dig Me Out) as well as my third-favourite album of the decade (behind Light Chasers and Purgatory/Paradise).Given the passage of time, it could rise higher on both counts. Minute-for-minute, I think it probably is my fave album of the decade — but the longer running times of the other two might keep them just slightly ahead of No Cities.And I do think that it is probably better than Dig Me Out. But that one has so many iconic songs which, even after the four subsequent releases, continued to anchor the live set like none other. Also, it was my first exposure to the band, and, having purchased it sound-unheard based on the strength of many gushing reviews, its first thirty seconds or so ripped my world completely to pieces — I think the only other record for which that was the case was Never Mind The Bollocks. So, it’s got a special place in my personal pantheon.Interesting to note that Portland’s two most important bands returned from hiatus within a few weeks of each other, that both albums include songs addressed to their fans, and that the two songs rank among the respective albums’ best.I see that they’re playing three dates at the Showbox in early-May. Wanna know how many tears I will weep if I don’t get to see them in support of this record? So many that they’ll be able to bottle them up, ship them off to Cali, and put paid to the drought in a single stroke — that’s how fuckin’ many.The short version: This album is a true artistic statement, and a true masterpiece. It was very worth the wait.By the way: Holy crap! Janet. She was already in the conversation, but her performance on this rekkid cements, I think, her position as the all-time MVP of music. She was born to be Sleater-Kinney’s drummer more than any other person ever was born to do any other thing. (In my opinion.)Whatever else you might do this year, make sure to go see them live!
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    (July 12, 2015) The only band that matters.

    Well, one hundred fifty or so spins later, and I’m no closer than I was back in February to being able to articulate my feelings, beyond anything completely superficial, in re the new Sleater-Kinney disc. I did think of an analogy, however: Supposing Michael Jordan had taken ten years off from basketball, rather than two, before coming back to claim that second tranche of NBA titles? (Yes, this album seems to me every bit as titanic an accomplishment as the Bulls’ seventy-win season.)

    How did they do it? I have not a clue. But I would say that the musicianship displayed on this record is very worth noting:

    • Carrie, already a guitar hero of Townshendian proportions, appears to have calibrated her pedals just so, giving her the most gorgeous guitar tone my ears ever have heard — crunchy and gritty, with just the right amount of distortion. In reality, it’s not so different, perhaps, from the tone she employed on The Woods; but it feels like a qualitative leap. Whatever it is she has tweaked, the result is…sonic perfection. Or close enough as makes no difference.

    • Corin still has the most powerful lungs in rock. But now, her voice has taken on a new timbre of world-weary vulnerability so emotionally charged that her songs have me on the edge of tears all the way through the album — until they finally come spilling out in rivers during the record’s penultimate track, her searing letter of apology/explanation to the band’s fans, who had been jolted and crushed by its sudden disappearance from their lives in 2006. (Jeez, just writing about this song has got me reaching for a handkerchief…)

    • Having previously declared her the all-time MVP of music, don’t know how much more enthusiastically I can wax over Janet’s performance — except to say that, when monitored through headphones, so encompassing is her drumming here that if feels as though it’s taken over control of one’s very heartbeat, as well as the rhythms of their breathing.

    And this is not even to speak of Carrie’s vocals and Corin’s playing! Alas…to try to explain the weight of the album, or the visceral experience of listening to it — much as I would like to do, it’s simply beyond my capacity.

    But I’ll put it this way. The last time I tried-and-failed to write about the record, shortly after its release, I opined that that first handful of listens placed it as my third-favourite album of the decade — finding it just a little too brief for me to think that it could rise higher than that. But with the subsequent revelation of the two vinyl-only tracks (I’ve sequenced “The Fog And Filthy Air” to follow “Price Tag”, and “Heavy (When I Need It)” to follow “Gimme Love”) and my almost-daily immersion, over the last five months, into the wiles of this (what ought to be canonical) new tracklist, I think…I think that this has become my favourite album of all-time.

    Along about the age of fifteen or so, I pegged Abbey Road and The Wall as my two favourite long-players; and while I’ve fallen madly in love with hundreds of records in the span, have not heard anything in the intervening thirty years’ time which has given me cause to even consider making a change at the top. Until now. At the very least, it stands with Edward Yang’s Yi Yi as my two most ardently treasured artistic achievements of the young millennium. I, uh, strongly urge any peeps who’ve not already done so to consider letting this record into their lives — but DO make sure to track down a copy with the two bonus cuts, hey.

    p.s. Don’t forget to get your dimpled ass out to see them live!
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  2. Light ChasersLight Chasers Album Cover.jpg
    Studio album by Cloud Cult
    Released September 14, 2010
    Genre
    Length 56:01
    Label The Rebel Group
    My first exposure to these song’s was via a KEXP in-studio — I’d already touched down in Hawaii, and, Internetless on the farm, it was more than a little difficult to stay in the loop. But I downloaded the set in town one day, and the first listen shot through me like a bolt of lightning. I was so awestruck, I was afraid to listen to the actual record for a while, thinking it could never live up to that set’s promise. Now, having listened to these songs scores upon scores of times, I’m able to report it’s still a spine-tingling experience through and through.
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  3. Purgatory/Paradise
    Studio album by Throwing Muses
    Released October 29, 2013
    Genre Alternative rock
    Length 67:29
    Label It Books
    An album to prise open, crawl inside, and live there forever.
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  4. Ba PowerBa Power
    Studio album by Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba
    Released May 12, 2015
    Genre Afrobeat
    Length 43:01
    Label Glitterbeat
    Call off the search — whatever it is the Good People thought they were looking for, this band has found it, in spades. Kouyate is (it’s almost certain) nothing less that the second coming of Mr. James Marshall Hendrix. Meantime, his wife, Amy Sacko, is…well, officially, Basia Bulat is my favourite female vocalist; but, I would like to place into the record: Holy shit Amy Sacko. Together they form the beating heart not only of the band, which also includes family and friends. Of the three records listed here, I’d say that I Speak Fula is the most consistently outstanding throughout, while Ba Power contains five or six solos so un-possibly incredible you’ll think you woke up in an alternate universe.
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    Jama Ko
    Studio album by Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba
    Released April 2, 2013
    Genre Afrobeat
    Length 57:55
    Label Out Here
    If this isn’t the coolest/best/most righteously fucking awesome thing you see all year, you’re living pretty damned large (I dare say).
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    I Speak FulaI Speak Fula
    Studio album by Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba
    Released February 2, 2010
    Genre Afrobeat
    Length 56:17
    Label Next Ambiance
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    https://a1-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/21/efeb8a18a30a4258821d787087234034/full.jpg
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  5. The Seeker
    Studio album by Cloud Cult
    Released February 12, 2016
    Genre Indie Rock Experimental Rock
    Length 50:54
    Label Earthology
    “Everything is magic ’til you think it’s not.” The conceptual arc traced by the Cloud Cult discography reached a stirring and resounding climax, I thunk, with 2010’s Light Chasers. And while its followup, Love, felt like a fulfilling epilogue, it does seem, now, that Minowa may have begun repeating himself. The lyrics here seem at times more like platitudes than the deep introspection borne of unthinkable personal tragedy which has heretofore made his songwriting so inestimably valuable. That said, there are some absolutely beautiful compositions here. Moreover, the band is musically as potent as ever, and appears not to have (pardon the pun) lost a beat with the arrival of the new drummer — he doesn’t hit quite as hard as Arlen did, but is clearly extremely talented. This may, indeed, be the band’s most musically accomplished work to-date. Meanwhile, if lyrics such as these…
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    We were made to walk through fire in our dance shoes
    We were made to sail upon the meteors
    We were made to love the heck out of our bones
    God gave us words, they were “I love you”, “please”, and “thank you”
    God gave us thirst, and it’s a hunger for the universe

    …read — on paper — a bit more misty-eyed than necessary; when they’re set to this band’s indelible sonic grandiosity, they’re kind of undeniably perfect. And when he sings to his deceased two-year-old son, it’s still as heart-crushing as it’s always been.
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    I laid my mind down in the creek
    And watched it float to nowhere
    Now I’m thinking of you everywhere
    I gave my bones back to the trees
    So when you hear the breeze, you…
    You know I’ll never leave you
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    And though your hand I’ll never get to hold
    Just give me one more chance to say
    “I love my baby so…”
    Come home

     

    For those unfamiliar with the band’s work, this episode of the On Being podcast, released in April of 2016, would serve as a good primer — the band perform four songs, intermixed with an extended interview conducted by the ‘cast’s hostess.Seems a bit odd to roll the album out nine months before the scheduled arrival of the feature film for which it serves as the soundtrack — but, really, anywhere Cloud Cult choose to go, I shall certainly like to go there with them.Be careful with album-closer “Through The Ages”, though: It packs such a huge wallop, you’re likely to find yourself completely overwhelmed with emotion.
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  6. https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-opiaZRCwBFk/V7xr5xyjRuI/AAAAAAAAHq0/h4Q7DO-HYzwSHkjIstHHFcqJgm2_06DngCLcB/w1200-h630-p-nu/edharcourtfurnaces.jpgFurnaces
    Studio album by Ed Harcourt
    Released August 19, 2016
    Genre Pop
    Length 52:50
    Label Polydor
    Following up his magnificent EP — my favourite release of 2014 — with this firecracker of an album, methink it’s safe to say that Ed Harcourt has reached a massive career peak.
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    Time of Dust
    Studio EP by Ed Harcourt
    Released 6 January 2014
    Genre Rock
    Length 28:14
    Label CCCLX Music
    If “Parliament Of Rooks” doesn’t scare you absolutely stone shitless…well, you’re made of more resolute stuff than yours truly.
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  7. Brill Bruisers Cover.jpgBrill Bruisers
    Studio album by The New Pornographers
    Released August 26, 2014
    Genre Indie rock, power pop
    Length
    Label Last Gang (Canada) Matador (U.S.)
    How awesome are this decade’s musics? Well, The New Pornos were responsible for my Nos. 1-, 5-, and 14-favourite albums of the ’00s; while this — either the first- or second-best release of their career — languishes at No. 5 for the half-decade. That’s how awesome this decade’s musics have been. Alas, I fear that Kurt’s departure spells the end of the golden age of New Pornography — fear it on my soul, I do. Fitting perhaps, that the very last track on the very last album of the Kurt Dahl era is the best thing they’ve ever done… (Being that they never made a video to it, I’ll just link to the song rather than putting an embed.)
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  8. Cloud Cult - Love Album Cover.jpegLove
    Studio album by Cloud Cult
    Released March 5, 2013
    Genre Indie pop
    Length
    Label Earthology Records

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  9. Bruiser
    Studio album by The Duke Spirit
    Released September 15, 2011
    Genre Indie Rock
    Length
    Label Fiction Records
    If you need your rock/roll music so loud that the listening causes you wonder whether you’ll ever be able to see straight again, this is the rekkid for you. This is the band I’ve never seen live which I’m most anxious to see live. They always seem to tour the States when I’m not around, dammit all.
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  10. Indian Ocean
    Studio album by Frazey Ford
    Released October 14, 2014
    Genre Folk-Rock
    Length
    Label Nettwerk
    Mark my fuckin’ words: This album will stand the test of time.
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  11. Sermon On The Rocks
    Studio album by Josh Ritter
    Released October 16, 2015
    Genre Folk-Rock
    Length 44:45
    Label Pytheas Recordings
    I mean, of course I prefer interesting or funny or clever or thoughtful lyrics to idiotic lyrics. But the awful truth is that, if I like the music and the singer’s voice, I can live with lousy lyrics. No sooner, though, had I decided that Josh was the only songwriter whose lyrics really matter to me that he went and released a stoopid breakup album which had me thinking his career was forever on the downslide-path. But, no! He’s back in the saddle, and with a stunning vengeance. “You’d better hark”, indeed. My very sincerest apologies for having doubted you, Josh! (But please put your ticket prices back down to the $25 range. I had to give your tour stop supporting this record a miss owing to the $50 asking price — and I’m still losing sleep over it.)
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  12. Adramelech Book of Angels Volume 22.jpgAdramelech: Book of Angels Volume 22
    Studio album by Jon Madof’s Zion80
    Released July 22, 2014
    Genre Funk
    Length 56:22
    Label Tzadik
    Are you ready to throw the fuck DOWN? Then, you’ve come to the right place — just be sure to put your costume on before attempting to hear these records. Scalding fucking hot, man.
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    Zion80.jpgZion80

    Studio album by Jon Madof’s Zion80
    Released April 23, 2013
    Genre Funk
    Length 61:35
    Label Tzadik
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  13. Landline
    Studio album by Greg Laswell
    Released April 24, 2012
    Genre Pop
    Length
    Label Vanguard
    Absolute Pop perfection. The duets, in particular, are straight fucking miracles.
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  14. Cournetbarnett.jpgSometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
    Studio album by Courtney Barnett
    Released March 15, 2015
    Genre Indie rock
    Length 43:29
    Label Milk! Records
    “Next Dylans” are a dime a dozen, I guess. But methinks the world has finally found, in Courtney Barnett, its one true next Dylan. In case you’ve not yet heard this song/seen its video, hang on to your hat.
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  15. The Decemberists - The King Is Dead.jpgThe King Is Dead
    Studio album by The Decemberists
    Released January 14, 2011
    Genre Indie folk, indie rock, folk rock, Americana
    Length 40:26
    Label Capitol and Rough Trade
    Oh, Colin, why, why, why did you stop the band at the very peak of its powers to go and write that stupid, idiotic, completely irresponsible (glorification of violence in children’s books? Really?) book trilogy?
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    For the longest time, I thought the first two lines of “Calamity Song” were: “Had a dream / You and me and the war of the
    enzymes“, rather than “…war of the end-times”. I still think the former would’ve been better.
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    The Decemberists - Long Live the King.jpgLong Live the King
    Studio EP by The Decemberists
    Released November 1, 2011
    Genre Indie folk, folk rock
    Length 25:15
    Label Capitol
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  16. Live With The Colorado Symphony
    Live album by Devotchka
    Released December 18, 2012
    Genre Gypsy Rock
    Length
    Label Cicero Recordings
    Maybe live albums are cheating, or should be listed separately? Dunno, but you’ll love drowning in this recording’s ocean.
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  17. Blieveimgoindown.jpgb’lieve I’m goin’ down…
    Studio album by Kurt Vile
    Released September 25, 2015
    Genre Indie rock, folk rock
    Length 60:54
    Label Matador
    The lead track is so great, he could’ve just released that one song — followed by forty minutes of silence — and it still would’ve been one of the best records of the year.
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  18. Double Days I
    Studio album by Big Blood
    Released February 16, 2015
    Genre Avant Folk
    Length 45:34
    Label Free Music Archive
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    Double Days II
    Studio album by Big Blood
    Released February 16, 2015
    Genre Avant Folk
    Length 46:26
    Label Free Music Archive
    Discovered this band via Ran Prieur, whose blog I’ve been following for ten years or so. I don’t like them as much as he does, but, I’m here to tell you, this band is some kind of fucking something: They’re undeniably touched by true greatness. A husband-and-wife team (with very occasional contributions from their school-aged son), they’re another of these acts (see also Holly Golightly, Ty Segall) who release multiple totally badass albums every year. Most of their voluminous output is available for free download; I’ve uploaded all of their albums from this decade — including a few that are not available there. Whatever you do, do not fail to check them out! (Yeah, I know, they’re a bit on the weird side. Don’t worry about that; just turn the volume up a bit louder, and let the sound wash over you.)
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    Unlikely Mothers

    Studio album by Big Blood
    Released June 23, 2014
    Genre Avant Folk
    Length 86:35
    Label Blackest Rainbow Records
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    Fight For Your Dinner, Vol. 1
    Studio album by Big Blood
    Released March 30, 2014
    Genre Avant Folk
    Length 51:58
    Label Free Music Archive
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    Radio Valkyrie 1905 1917Radio Valkyrie, 1905-1917
    Studio album by Big Blood
    Released August 6, 2013
    Genre Avant Folk
    Length 72:46
    Label Feeding Tube
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    Split LPBig Blood/Micah Blue Smaldone Split LP
    Studio album by Big Blood
    Released May 18, 2012
    Genre Avant Folk
    Length 29:10
    Label Immune Records
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    Old-Time Primitives
    Studio album by Big Blood
    Released April 5, 2012
    Genre Avant Folk
    Length 49:55
    Label Free Music Archive
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    Big Blood And The Wicked Hex
    Studio album by Big Blood
    Released September 7, 2011
    Genre Avant Folk
    Length 45:04
    Label Free Music Archive
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    Dark Country Magic
    Studio album by Big Blood
    Released December 5, 2010
    Genre Avant Folk
    Length 51:18
    Label Free Music Archive
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    Operators And Things
    Studio EP by Big Blood
    Released December 5, 2010
    Genre Avant Folk
    Length 20:42
    Label Free Music Archive
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    Dead Songs
    Studio album by Big Blood
    Released July 4, 2010
    Genre Avant Folk
    Length 43:36
    Label Time-Lag Records
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    Night Terrors On The Isle Of Louis Hardin
    Studio album by Big Blood
    Released June, 2010
    Genre Avant Folk
    Length 44:46
    Label Cabin-Floor Esoterica
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  19. http://cdn2.pitchfork.com/news/39112/84019ab1.jpgTidelands
    Studio album by The Moondoggies
    Released October 12, 2010
    Genre Rock
    Length 42:14
    Label Hardly Art
    That summer after it was released, I was listening to it so much, I really, truly thought it would end up in my top five for the decade. I don’t, now, love it any less; it’s just…the competition is much more fierce than I ever expected.
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  20. Buenaventura
    Studio album by La Santa Cecilia
    Released February 26, 2016
    Genre Salsa
    Length
    Label Universal Music Latino
    I think I love Someday New the most; but it’s totally impossible to go wrong with any of the three.
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    Someday New
    Studio album by La Santa Cecilia
    Released March 3, 2014
    Genre Salsa
    Length
    Label Universal Music Latino
    Need I say more?
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    Treinta Dias
    Studio album by La Santa Cecilia
    Released April 30, 2013
    Genre Salsa
    Length
    Label Universal Music Latino
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  21. Family of the Year
    Studio album by Family of the Year
    Released August 7, 2015
    Genre Pop
    Length 35:44
    Label Nettwerk
    How can such a young band possibly be this good? (Also: How can a band this good not be the biggest band in the goddam world? Or: How is it that I only know about this band from having heard one of its songs in a Richard Linklater movie?) Listening to these two records, it almost feels as though the band is the culmination, the very apotheosis, of the rock/roll project. Shall it lead us to the promised land?
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    LomaVista.jpgLoma Vista
    Studio album by Family of the Year
    Released July 10, 2012
    Genre Indie rock, indie folk, indie pop
    Length 38:06
    Label Nettwerk
    Though I think ought-15’s self-titled offering the finer of the two, the two songs I can never get out of my head are both from its predecessor.
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  22. Pe’ahi
    Studio album The Raveonettes
    Released July 22, 2014
    Genre Shoegaze, noise pop
    Length 36:14
    Label The Beat Dies
    My vote for the most hi-larious couplet of the decade goes to:
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    You said…you’d come a-runnin’ when I need you
    I said… “Go fuck yourself, I don’t believe you.”
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    Oh, and this album rocks so fucking hard. To be listened at maximum possible volume!
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  23. Western Medicine by Badman Records (2013-06-04)Western Medicine
    Studio album by The Builders And The Butchers
    Released June 4, 2013
    Genre Rock
    Length 59:32
    Label Badman Records
    Portland, Oregon is blessed — or so it seems to me — with far and away the greatest accumulation of wicked awesome musical combos since goddam ever in the history of the U.S.A.. And this, this most unsung of said combinations, may just be the best one not called “Sleater-Fuckin’-Kinney”. At least, that’s my opinion. “The blood on my hands/It’s painted blood”: Yeah, that describes Western “medicine” pretty well.
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    Dead Reckoning
    Dead Reckoning
    Studio album by The Builders And The Butchers
    Released February 22, 2011
    Genre Rock
    Length 49:17
    Badman Records
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  24. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - The Brutalist Bricks cover.jpgThe Brutalist Bricks
    Studio album by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
    Released March 9, 2010
    Genre Art Punk, Punk Rock, Indie Rock
    Length 41:50
    Label Matador
    A live band almost without peer, their studio output has never, to mine ears, lived up to the band’s onstage promise. Here, they finally hit the bullseye — and then promptly disappeared. Please return to the World’s stage, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists; we still needs you!
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  25. Marnie - Crystal World.jpgCrystal World
    Studio album by Helen Marnie
    Released 11 June 2013
    Genre Electronic, synthpop, new wave, dream pop
    Length 47:08
    Label Self-released
    What one expected to be a little tide-me-over between Ladytron albums is, instead, quite possibly a better record than any offering from the band proper. Here’s hoping they out with some new material sooner than later, but, damn, this is some wicked greatness right here.
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  26. MonoHolyGround.jpgHoly Ground: NYC Live with the Wordless Music Orchestra
    Live album by Mono
    Released April 27, 2010
    Genre Post-Rock
    Length 83:09
    Label Temporary Residence Limited
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    http://www.whelanslive.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Mono-european-tour-2014-p.jpgThe Last Dawn/Rays Of Darkness Tour 2014 – 2015
    Live album by Mono
    Released April 14, 2015
    Recorded Live in Paris, 2014
    Genre Rock
    Length 86:28
    Label Pelagic Records
    While these two documents may be the next best thing to seeing the band live, when it comes to Mono, there is simply no substitute. Nevertheless, the contents herein will leave you reaching helplessly for meaning — and for more.
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  27. Bouger Le Monde!
    Studio album by Staff Benda Bilili
    Released September 4, 2012
    Genre Afro-Pop
    Length
    Label Crammed
    If you thought anything could possibly sound more righteous than the band’s teen-aged virtuoso rocking out his homemade guitar (comprised of a tree branch and a coffee can)…think again.
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    Mbongwana-star-from-kinshasa-450sq 0.jpgFrom Kinshasa
    Studio album by Mbongwana Star
    Released May 19, 2015
    Genre Afro-Pop
    Length 47:30
    Label World Circuit
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  28. Heron OblivionHeron Oblivion
    Studio album by Heron Oblivion
    Released March 4, 2016
    Genre Rock
    Label Sub-Pop
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  29. Unplug
    Live album by Cloud Cult
    Released April 15, 2014
    Genre Pop
    Length
    Label Earthology Records
    Documenting their first all-acoustic tour. I wrote about the band‘s first-ever acoustic shows — at Seattle’s Camp Long in August of 2013 — and KEXP filmed the second of the two.
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  30. Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon (Official Album Cover).pngHoneymoon
    Studio album by Lana Del Rey
    Released September 18, 2015
    Genre Baroque pop dream pop trip hop
    Length 65:06
    Label Interscope
    The first time I listened to it, I loved it so much I feared I might perish before it finished playing out. Subsequent spins have tempered my enthusiasm somewhat; but it’s still just such a tour de force. And…Ultraviolence may even be better. This human person is a major artistic force.
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    A black and white photo of a fair-skinned, dark-haired woman wearing a sheer white V-neck T-Shirt and a white strapless bra, standing beside a car. Her hand is resting on the opened left car door and the word "Ultraviolence", stylized in all capital letters, is placed on the lower part of the picture.Ultraviolence
    Studio album by Lana Del Rey
    Released June 13, 2014
    Genre Desert rock dream pop psychedelic rock
    Length 51:24
    Label Polydor Interscope
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    A light-skinned auburn-haired woman is dressed in a sheer white blouse and a red bra, and is staring forward before a blue-skied background. The words "Lana Del Rey" are placed above her while the words "Born to Die" are placed beneath her, stylized in all capital letters.Born to Die
    Studio album by Lana Del Rey
    Released January 27, 2012
    Genre Baroque pop
    Length 49:28
    Label Interscope Polydor
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  31. Ligerian BluesLigerian Blues
    Studio album by The Deltas
    Released March 11, 2016
    Genre Folk
    Length 48:05
    Label Buda Musique
    So fucking beautiful.
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    Everything Sacred
    Studio album by Yorkston Thorne Khan
    Released January 15, 2016
    Genre World
    Length 51:06
    Domino
    Do yourself a HUGE massive favour, and track these two albums down. They’re a-gonna steal your breath clean away. Interesting confluence: Two fantastically great early-2016 releases featuring vocal/guitar/violin; one in the Indian tradition, one in the African.
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  32. Soundsfromnowheresville.jpgSounds from Nowheresville
    Studio album by The Ting Tings
    Released February 24, 2012
    Genre Indie rock, indie pop, dance-punk, synthpop
    Length 33:59
    Label Columbia
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  33. MCIII
    Studio album by Mikal Cronin
    Released May 5, 2015
    Genre Rock
    Length
    Label Merge
    Q: Well, just how many thrills can be packed inside one single album? A: When it’s this one, a lot.
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    MCII.jpgMCII
    Studio album by Mikal Cronin
    Released May 7, 2013
    Genre Garage punk, Indie rock, Noise pop
    Length 37:12
    Label Merge

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  34. Slowtown Now!
    Studio album by Holly Golightly
    Released August 21, 2015
    Genre Country
    Length 36:28
    Label Damaged Goods
    She’s giving Big Blood and Ty Segall a very, very serious run for their proverbial money in the category of Most Prolific Artist Who’s Also Congenitally Incapable Of Releasing An Other-Than-Stellar Recording. I believe this decade has seen the release of six Brokeoff records to go along with this-here solo album. And the records just keep getting better and better. All uploaded to my site; see the links below this most kickassed of music videos…
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    Coulda Should Woulda
    Studio album by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
    Released October 16, 2015
    Genre Country
    Length 37:15
    Label Transdreamer Records
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    All Her Fault

    Studio album by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
    Released March 3, 2014
    Genre Country
    Length 34:40
    Label Transdreamer Records.
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    Sunday Run Me OverSunday Run Me Over
    Studio album by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
    Released October 29, 2012
    Genre Country
    Length 36:10
    Label Transdreamer Records
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    Long DistanceLong Distance
    Studio album by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
    Released March 13, 2012
    Genre Country
    Length 33:33
    Label Transdreamer Records
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    No Help ComingNo Help Coming
    Studio album by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
    Released April 26, 2011
    Genre Country
    Length 34:20
    Label Transdreamer Records
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    Medicine County [Vinyl]Medicine County
    Studio album by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
    Released March 30, 2010
    Genre Country
    Length 37:17
    Label Transdreamer Records
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  35. Frank Turner - England Keep My Bones Cover.jpgEngland Keep My Bones
    Studio album by Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls
    Released June 6, 2011
    Genre Folk rock, folk punk
    Length 44:14
    Label Xtra Mile Recordings, Epitaph
    A rousing, rollicking, roiling paean to the redemptive power of music and the urgency of purpose, this record holds inside more anthemic riffs and rah-rah sing-along choruses than perhaps all the decade’s other albums put together. “I still believe in the need for guitars and drums and desperate poetry” — what else do you need to know? Well, there is also this: It’s a great album to juggle to.
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  36. So Runs The World Away (Josh Ritter) cover.jpgSo Runs the World Away
    Studio album by Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band
    Released May 4, 2010
    Genre Folk rock
    Length 53:39
    Label Pytheas Recordings
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    Live At The Iveagh GardensLive At The Iveagh Gardens
    Live album by Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band
    Released December 13, 2011
    Recorded July 20, 2010
    Genre Folk Rock
    Length 100:05
    Label Pytheas Recordings
    This tour featured The Royal City Band at its absolute loudest. I haven’t seen them since, as they’re now charging $40-plus per admittance. That’s too much, even for such a great live band as they.
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  37. Ere GobezEre Gobez
    Studio album by Debo Band
    Released May 20, 2016
    Genre Funk
    Length 57:39
    Label FPE Records
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  38. Adiós SanchoAdios Sancho
    Studio album by Los Coronas
    Released January 29, 2013
    Genre Surf
    Length 42:56
    Label Sony
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    Dos Bandas y un Destino : El Concierto Dos Bandas Y Un Destino
    Live album by Los Coronas and Arizona Baby
    Released January 1, 2011
    Recorded November 18, 2010
    Genre Rock
    Length 49:16
    Label Subterfuge Records
    This record puts so many whippings on so many llamas’ asses. Exhibit A:
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    El Baile Final De Los Locos Y Los CuerdosEl Baile Final De Los Locos Y Los Cuerdos
    Studio album by Los Coronas
    Released April 5, 2010
    Genre Surf
    Length 49:16
    Label Tritone Records
    There’s some confusion with the release date. It looks like maybe it was originally released in Spain in ’09, but didn’t make its way Stateside until 2010. Will include it here anyhow, ’cause, fuck, this is one helluva great band. (And, also, I like this record better than I do Adios Sancho…)
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  39. Hopelessness (Front Cover).pngHopelessness
    Studio album by Anohni
    Released May 6, 2016
    Genre Electronic pop experimental dance synthpop
    Length 41:39
    Label Secretly Canadian
    If every piece were this insistent as these two albums, art could change the world. Even with all of the (well-deserved) attention detailing Harvey’s journalistic techniques, her album is already yesterday’s news (excuse the pun).
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    The Hope Six Demolition Project (Front Cover).pngThe Hope Six Demolition Project
    Studio album by Polly Jean Harvey
    Released April 15, 2016
    Genre Rock
    Length 41:51
    Label Island
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  40. Kula shaker k2.jpgK2.0
    Kula shaker k2.jpg
    Studio album by Kula Shaker
    Released February 12, 2016
    Recorded 2015
    Genre Rock, psychedelic rock, raga rock
    Length 42:55
    Label StrangeF.O.L.K.
    Are you ready to throw the fuck down?? Gotta love the shots of the kids pounding away on the drums here.
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  41. http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81V3S0y9rWL._SL1500_.jpgMosquito
    Studio album by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    Released April 12, 2013
    Genre Art rock art punk
    Length 47:31
    Label Dress Up Interscope
    Karen O is the coolest rock star on the planet. But, lordy, that’s one of the most hideous sleeves of all time. If you think I’m going to include that image here…er, I’m not.
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  42. SchmilcoSchmilco
    Studio album by Wilco
    Released September 9, 2016
    Genre Rock
    Length
    Label Anti-
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  43. Obadiah album.jpgObadiah
    Studio album by Frazey Ford
    Released July 20, 2010
    Genre Folk
    Length 58:33
    Label Nettwerk
    I could imagine that some people would prefer this record to its successor. I’m not one of them, but, I do think that her voice probably sounds just a teeny little bit better here. And if this doesn’t knock you for twenty-five loops (or more), you ain’t human…
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  44. Live at Pukkelpop
    Live album by Parov Stelar
    Released March 18, 2016
    Genre Dance
    Length 71:55
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  45. The Orwells - Disgraceland album cover.jpgDisgraceland
    Studio album by The Orwells
    Released June 3, 2014
    Genre Garage punk, garage rock, indie rock
    Length 35:14
    Label Atlantic
    Maybe this is the question of the moment: Which up-and-coming band is the heir apparent to The New Pornographers’ rock roll crown — The Orwells or Family Of The Year? If I had to lay wager, I’d say the latter — but it’s a pretty frickin’ close call!
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    The Orwells - Remember When album cover.jpgRemember When
    Studio album by The Orwells
    Released August 7, 2012
    Genre Rock
    Length 39:04
    Label Autumn Tone.
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  46. Until the HunterUntil The Hunter
    Studio album by Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions
    Released November 4, 2016
    Genre Rock
    Length 58:57
    Label Tendril Tales
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  47. Insaniya (Humanity)Insaniya
    Studio album by Yemen Blues
    Released 2015
    Genre Arabesque
    Length 39:24
    Label Dokuz Sekiz Muzik
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    Yemen BluesYemen Blues
    Studio album by Yemen Blues
    Released 2011
    Genre Arabesque
    Length
    Label Lev Group Media
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  48. The New Pornographers - Together.jpgTogether
    Studio album by The New Pornographers
    Released May 4, 2010
    Genre Indie Rock, Power Pop
    Length 44:27
    Label Last Gang (Canada) Matador (U.S.)
    Gave this another listen recently, thinking it probably ought to be ranked higher. I still love it, of course; but, it does seem to me to pale in comparison both to its predecessors and its successor.
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  49. Balladofboogiechrist.jpgThe Ballad of Boogie Christ
    Studio album by Joseph Arthur
    Released June 11, 2013
    Genre Folk rock
    Length
    Label Real World, Lonely Astronaut Records
    This, at least, is one of the better covers you ever gonna see. I can’t really recommend the so-called Second Act (Disc 2) — but Disc 1 stands on its own, and is tremendous. Also, my favourite music video of the decade — maybe ever — is as follows:
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  50. Scott The Hoople In The Dungeon Of Horror
    Studio album by The Minus 5
    Released April 19, 2014
    Genre Garage
    Length 211:37
    Label Yep Roc
    Though I think there may be one or two that I’ve not heard, I feel comfortable opining that this release surpasses In Rock — and by a fairly comfortable margin — as their best album to-date. One of those bands whose studio offerings always seem so milquetoast compared with the live act. But herein, they whip the llama’s ass as though their lives depended upon it.
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  51. Ladytron - Gravity The Seducer cover.jpgGravity the Seducer
    Studio album by Ladytron
    Released September 12, 2011
    Genre Electronic
    Length 47:47
    Label Nettwerk
    “White Elephant” may just be the greatest ABBA song ever to have existed.
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  52. The Veils - Time Stays, We Go.jpgTime Stays, We Go
    Studio album by The Veils
    Released April 26, 2013
    Genre Indie rock Alternative rock
    Length 40:05
    Label Pitch Beast Records
    Dunno why it takes them so god damned long between records. But, I suppose when the results are like this, it’s kind of ridiculous to be all after complaining…
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  53. Santana IV (Front Cover).pngSantana IV
    Studio album by Santana
    Released April 15, 2016
    Genre Latin rock
    Length 75:35
    Label Santana IV Records
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  54. Tall Tall Shadow cover artTall Tall Shadow
    Studio album by Basia Bulat
    Released September 30, 2013
    Genre Folk Americana
    Length 34:15
    Label Secret City Records
    My favourite female vocalist. Am kind of shocked that this album could have slid so far down this list. But of course, that’s true of so many of this decade’s releases…
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  55. JudasPriestRedeemerSouls.pngRedeemer of Souls
    Studio album by Judas Priest
    Released July 8, 2014
    Genre Heavy metal
    Length 61:58
    Label Epic, Columbia
    Metal. Motherfucking. Gods. After forty years, my favourite band for a good part of the ’80s calls it a day — but what a way to go out!
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    Battle CryBattle Cry
    Live album by Judas Priest
    Released March 25, 2016
    Recorded August 1, 2015
    Genre Heavy Metal
    Length 75:34
    Label Epic
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  56. Folk Songs of the American LonghairFolk Songs Of The American Longhair
    Studio album by Brother Dege
    Released March 9, 2010
    Genre Blues
    Length 45:00
    Label GolarWash Labs And Records
    I’m here to tell you, this record will knock you on your fucking ass. Though not quite as deep, dude’s voice is at times so eerily reminiscent of William Elliott Whitmore’s, you’d swear they were cousins.
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  57. A Moon Shaped Pool.jpgA Moon-Shaped Pool
    Studio album by Radiohead
    Released May 8, 2016
    Genre Art rock electronic
    Length 52:31
    Label XL
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  58. Gipsy Manifesto
    Studio album by The Boban and Marko Makovic Orkestar
    Released October 29, 2013
    Genre Balkan Brass
    Length
    Label Piranha
    While there’s still plenty of razzle-dazzle, this record finds the pair taking a bit more of a down-tempo, even sombre, line — to very great effect. They’ll never top their all-time masterpiece, 2002’s Live In Belgrade — but this ranks with anything else the famed father/son team have put together.

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  59. Orchids And Violence
    Studio album by Michael Daves
    Released February 26, 2016
    Genre Bluegrass/Rock
    Length
    Label Nonesuch
    And this is the real, fucking, deal. The same tracklist, recorded two times through: Once as a Bluegrass spectacle, and again as a feedback-drenched Rock rave-up. Who told this guy that such an audacious undertaking was possible? It’s gotta be the water, mang — there’s something in the freakin’ water, supercharging this decade’s musicians to such great heights.
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  60. A Long Way To The Beginning
    Studio album by Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
    Released May 27, 2014
    Genre Afrobeat
    Length 45:24
    Label Knitting Factory
    African music is the best. But also, African living conditions are the worst — thanks, largely, to colonial/imperial meddling (to use an extremely euphemistic term). The Kuti brothers — following in their father’s footsteps — are documenting the horrors, even while bumping out the most danceable of grooves. Here is the most important music video of this, or any, decade. Bottom line: The costs of our lifestyle are being borne by others; and if we don’t know that, it’s only because we don’t want to know that.
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    No Place for My Dream
    Studio album by Femi Kuti
    Released June 25, 2013
    Genre Afrobeat, Caribbean
    Length 50:29
    Label Knitting Factory
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  61. Robert Plant Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar cover.jpgLullaby and the Ceaseless Roar
    Studio album by Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters
    Released September 8, 2014
    Genre Folk rock, worldbeat, psychedelic rock
    Length 49:30
    Label Nonesuch/Warner Bros.
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    More Roar
    Live EP by Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters
    Released April 18, 2015
    Genre Folk Rock
    Length
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  62. ArcadeFireReflektor.jpgReflektor
    Studio album by Arcade Fire
    Released October 28, 2013
    Genre Art rock dance-rock
    Length 75:12
    Label Merge
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  63. Life In The DarkLife In The Dark
    Studio album by The Felice Brothers
    Released June 24, 2016
    Genre Folk-Rock
    Length 39:54
    Label Yep Roc
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  64. The Paris SessionThe Paris Session
    Studio album by The Touré-Raichel Collective
    Released September 30, 2014
    Genre Jazz
    Length
    Label Cumbancha
    You can’t believe how great these are. They won’t, probably, make you want to get up and jitterbug across the room. But they will make you stop whatever it is you’re doing and just listen.
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    The Tel Aviv Session

    Studio album by The Touré-Raichel Collective
    Released 2012
    Genre Jazz
    Length
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  65. The Lone Ranger Of Love
    Studio album by Jack Oblivian & The Sheiks
    Released 2016
    Genre Garage
    Length
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  66. BelaAbbyCover.jpgBela Fleck & Abigail Washburn
    Studio album by Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn
    Released October 7, 2014
    Genre Folk bluegrass Americana
    Length 45.55
    Label Rounder Records
    So. Much. Fucking. Talent.
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    Banjo Banjo
    Studio EP by Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn
    Released February 5, 2016
    Genre Bluegrass
    Length
    Label Rounder Records
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    BanB
  67. God Willin’ And The Creek Don’t Rise
    Studio album by Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs
    Released August 17, 2010
    Genre Folk, folk rock
    Length 44:32
    Label RCA/Stone Dwarf/RED (US)
    Just maybe his best record. It’s neck-and-neck with Gossip In The Grain (in my opinion).
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  68. The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas
    Compilation album by Courtney Barnett
    Released October 15, 2013
    Genre Garage
    Length
    Label Milk! Records
    Severely down-graded it for being a two-EP compilation — although it actually hangs together quite well, I think. While the critics are all hyperventilating over the new album’s lyrics (and rightly so), the grooves on this disc are perhaps even more wicked than on the LP.
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  69. Transcendental Youth.jpegTranscendental Youth
    Studio album by the Mountain Goats
    Released October 2, 2012
    Genre Indie rock
    Length 39:10
    Label Merge Records
    Mercy for the Diaz Brothers!
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  70. The Sun Dogs
    Studio album by Rose Windows
    Released June 24, 2013
    Genre Rock
    Label Sub Pop
    Still don’t know the story of what happened to this band. Released their second album, and then immediately announced they’d called it quits. While I don’t care much for the followup, the debut is one helluva fine headphone-listenin’ experience.
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  71. Let’s Get It Started
    Studio Album by Healer Selecta
    Released March 8, 2010
    Genre Dance
    Length
    Label Freestyle Records
    Well, if this record don’t get you up and dancing, I’m afraid you are — quite officially — dead.
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  72. The-Cautionary-Tales-of-Mark-Oliver-Everett.jpgThe Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett
    Studio album by Eels
    Released April 21, 2014
    Genre Indie rock
    Length
    Label E Works
    Another artist whose best work appeared to be behind him, but who has returned suddenly to peak form.
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  73. Bob Dylan - Fallen Angels.jpgFallen Angels
    Studio album by Bob Dylan
    Released May 20, 2016
    Genre Traditional pop
    Length 37:50
    Label Columbia
    Ironically enough, I much prefer Dylan’s croon (one of history’s most reviled) to Sinatra’s (one of history’s most beloved). Ah, well — differnt strokes, ain’t it?
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    Have you read David Kinney’s
    The Dylanologists? Super-fascinating bio as told through the eyes, and exploits, if his most rabid fans. (And if you think your favourite band has crazy fans, Bawb’s are on a whole other playing field…) Most interesting Product Detailsrevelation (at least to me, who has never been more than a casual fan) is that a pretty shocking volume of his lyrics have been repurposed from other sources — cinema, literature, music, and cetera. I don’t give a rat’s ass that he done it — hell, I’ve always considered him an overrated songwriter, anyway. But it does seem to me unfair that the un-licensed sampling of music is verboten, while the un-licensed “sampling” of lyrics is not. (No, I’m not suggesting that I think every album’s lyrics should be submitted to a Plagiarism Commission, or some such; quite the opposite: That it’s high past time to make audio sampling completely free game.)

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    A black and white photograph of Dylan, tinted blue cut into vertical barsShadows in the Night
    Studio album by Bob Dylan
    Released February 3, 2015
    Genre Traditional pop
    Length 35:17
    Label Columbia
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  74. Metric-synthetica.jpgSynthetica
    Studio album by Metric
    Released 12 June 2012
    Genre Indie rock, new wave
    Length 43:11
    Label Metric Music International
    Boy, it took many, many listens — over several years’ time for me to fully appreciate this album’s charms — not unlike its predecessor, come to think of it. Hopefully, I’ll have the same luck with the newest release, which I hastily shelved after a solitary listen — where it has been left to simmer for who-knows-how-long. No denyin’, though, that when this band decides to put the hammer down, there aren’t many that can touch it.
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  75. Pop ObskuraPop Obskura
    Studio album by The Low Frequency In Stereo
    Released November 5, 2013
    Genre Rock
    Length
    Label Long Branch Records
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  76. A Greater Silence
    Studio album by The Surfaders
    Released October 10, 2015
    Genre Surf
    Length 42:02
    Label Turbasco Records
    Didja ever read a more awesomer first line of a review that the following: “The Surfaders are probably the most unlikely — but therefore also one of the most exciting — surf outfits of the Netherlands.” I’ll wager, you have not! Awesomer still, they’re even better than that lead-in would have you imagining.
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  77. Adore LifeAdore Life
    Studio album by Savages
    Released January 22, 2016
    Genre Rock
    Length 39:25
    Label Matador
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    Savages - Silence Yourself.jpgSilence Yourself
    Studio album by Savages
    Released 6 May 2013
    Genre Post-punk, noise rock, indie rock
    Length 38:39
    Label Matador, Pop Noire
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  78. Lonely Is A Lifetime
    Studio album by The Wild Feathers
    Released March 11, 2016
    Genre Rock
    Length 48:41
    Label Warner Bros.
    For some reason, I want to dislike this band. Problem is, they’re so freaking good.
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    The Wild FeathersThe Wild Feathers
    Studio album by The Wild Feathers
    Released August 13, 2013
    Genre Rock
    Length 59:36
    Label Warner Bros.
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  79. Superstring TheorySuperstring Theory
    Studio album by Andy Statman
    Released October 22, 2013
    Genre Bluegrass
    Length 51:25
    Label Shefa Records
    Fingers of fire! Of the two, I prefer Old Brooklyn — but they’ve both got outstanding playing in spades. Not to mention, where else you gonna find such an accomplished klezmer/surf mashup?
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    Old Brooklyn

    Studio album by Andy Statman
    Released October 25, 2011
    Genre Jazz
    Length 96:30
    Label Shefa Records
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  80. Theatre Is Evil.pngTheatre Is Evil
    Studio album by Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra
    Released September 7, 2012
    Genre Glam rock
    Length 71:16
    Label 8 Ft. Records
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    Evelyn Evelyn (album).jpgEvelyn Evelyn

    Studio album by Evelyn Evelyn
    Released March 30, 2010
    Length 54:12
    Genre Alternative rock, Dark cabaret, Experimental
    Label Eleven Records & 8ft. records
    A Rock Opera involving circus performers, conjoined elephants, a series of “tragic September events”, and a nebulous “Chicken Man” — oh, and an acoustic cover of “Love Will Tear Us Apart”? I, for one, am there!
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  81. The Moth & The Flame - Young And Unafraid (2016)Young & Unafraid
    Studio album by The Moth & The Flame
    Released February 26, 2016
    Genre Rock
    Length 46:41
    Label Robot Farming
    Everybody loves a good Origin Story, ain’t it? Don’t know from whose pen, but, here’s theirs:

    Brandon Robbins, often referred to as The Flame, and Mark Garbett, commensurately dubbed The Moth, first met on a train ride through the Alaskan outback. It’s said that Mark was humming some indistinct tune while Brandon, seated rowed the opposite of his tall passenger-companion, feverishly scribed words into a moleskin. A few measures into his tune, respectively a few stanzas into his quatrain, Mark’s and Brandon’s efforts reached a pinnacle of symbiosis. Mark’s vocal modulations and Brandon’s muttered assonances suddenly fell into a perfect rhythm. Slowly they turned to look at one another, their eyes wide. There was struck the ongoing friendship between these two. Musically, it never stopped. Together they agreed to leave their wonderland of lumber-jacking to pursue a musical career.
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    Leaving their bucolic ice-land, they trekked to Provo, Utah with only their feet to carry them. The result of their 11 month journey to Utah Valley was a renewed sense of wonder and enough know-how to get them a weekly slot at the local open mic.
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    It didn’t take long for word of their matching hair and musical prowess to spread and soon The Moth & The Flame had officially formed.

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  82. Glacier
    Studio album by Teen Daze
    Released October 1, 2013
    Genre Ambient
    Length
    Label Lefse Records
    That some kid sitting in his room in Vancouver, aided by nothing but a few electronic gadgets, can produce such a gorgeous and compelling soundscape is just completely mind-blowing to me. VERY thumbs up.
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  83. Murphy’s Heart
    Studio Album by Thea Gilmore
    Released 2010
    Genre Folk-Rock
    Length
    Label Fulfill
    Her three releases straddling the turn of the decade — a live album, a solstice record, and this studio release — shot her right into my top-five favourite artists. Unfortunately, her work hasn’t since lived up to that troika’s potential. Still, if you’d told me, shortly after its release, that five years hence the album would fail to crack this list’s top forty, I’d have slapped you right there in your goddam face. There’s some fucking great music being made, what I’m sayin’.
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  84. Beat the Devil's Tattoo.jpgBeat the Devil’s Tattoo
    Studio album by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
    Released March 5, 2010
    Genre Alternative rock garage rock post-punk
    Length 65:08
    Label Abstract Dragon
    They were so consistently great; and then, after this record…snoozeville.
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  85. Ty Segall's Emotional Mugger.jpgEmotional Mugger
    Studio album by Ty Segall
    Released January 22, 2016
    Genre Garage rock
    Length 38:08
    Label Drag City
    I love Ty, but he may need to slow down a bit — he’s so prolific that it’s almost all a blur. Uh, per Wikipedia, his (major) releases for this decade would be the following…though by the time anybody reads this, there’ll probably be five or ten more. I’ve uploaded those ones that are underlined…

    Ty Segall
    Melted (2010)
    Goodbye Bread (2011)
    Twins (2012)
    Sleeper (2013)
    Manipulator (2014)
    Emotional Mugger (2016)

    Ty Segall Band
    Slaughterhouse (2012)

    Ty Segall & White Fence
    Hair (2012)

    Fuzz
    Fuzz (2013)
    II – (2015)

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  86. Baby Caught The Bus
    Studio album by Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes
    Released November 12, 2011
    Genre Funk, Soul
    Length
    Label Vanguard
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  87. Old Adam
    Studio album by Fay Hield
    Released February 12, 2016
    Genre Folk
    Length
    Label Soundpost Records
    Here to tell you, this woman’s career is really going places.
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    The Full English
    Studio album by The Full English
    Released October 22, 2013
    Genre Folk
    Length
    Label Topic Records
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    Orfeo
    Studio album by Fay Hield & The Hurricane Party
    Released May 27, 2012
    Genre Folk
    Length
    Label Topic Records
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  88. https://f1.bcbits.com/img/a3807640058_10.jpgWoebegone
    Studio album Danbert Nobacon & The Bad Things
    Released October 19, 2010
    Genre
    Length
    Label Verbal Burlesque
    Did you know he now lives in a tiny town in eastern Washington? It’s true! What kind of a weird world do we inhabit?
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  89. Highviolet.jpgHigh Violet
    Studio album by The National
    Released May 10, 2010
    Genre Indie rock, post-punk revival
    Length 47:40
    Language English
    Label 4AD
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  90. Circle Round The SignsCircle ’round The Signs
    Studio album by Al Scorch
    Released May 13, 2016
    Genre Folk Punk
    Length 30:56
    Label Bloodshot Records
    If you like Casey Neill, Frank Turner, Sid And Fancy, definitely give this guy a look-see. He’s one of the most spectacular banjoists god made — and the fiddle player ain’t no slouch, either. Whoever does this guy’s album covers for him is one helluva awesome human person.
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    Tired Ghostly TownTired Ghostly Town
    Studio EP by Al Scorch & Country Ensemble
    Released February 12, 2013
    Genre Folk Punk
    Length 27:47
    Label Orange Twin
    This band should have a war with Trampled By Turtles to see which plays at the fastest tempo.
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  91. Midnight BoogieMidnight Boogie
    Studio album by Les Haferflocken Swingers
    Released February 28, 2012
    Genre Swing
    Length
    Label Wolverine Records
    I swear that if this were about twenty minutes longer, it’d be somewhere in my top forty. So much fun.
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  92. Fjm-iloveyouhoneybear.jpgI Love You, Honeybear
    Studio album by Father John Misty
    Released February 10, 2015
    Genre Indie folk, indie rock, soft rock
    Length 44:54
    Sub Pop
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  93. SolsticeSolstice
    Studio album by Scala & Kolacny Brothers
    Released June 17, 2016
    Genre Chorale
    Length 75:54
    Label Rhino
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    Circle

    Studio album by Scala & Kolacny Brothers
    Released 2010
    Genre Electronic, Rock, Pop
    Length
    Label Wall Of Sound
    It occurs to me that there aren’t really many great Nirvana covers. But “Lithium”, presented here, mos def qualifies as one.
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  94. Blood From A Stone
    Studio album by Daddy Long Legs
    Released 2014
    Genre Blues Rock
    Length
    Label Norton Records
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  95. Wicked Will
    Studio album by The Ettes
    Released August 2011
    Genre Rock
    Length
    Label Sympathy For The Record Industry
    I do feel that their masterpiece is still in front of them.
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  96. Marble Son
    Studio album by Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter
    Released 2011
    Genre Rock
    Length
    Label Station Grey
    Apart from Richard Thompson, it’s difficult to think of a better living guitarist than Phil Wandscher. When he cuts loose, run for cover. This album’s highs are extremely high — but it’s a tad inconsistent. Two videos of the same song? Yes! First, a KEXP in-studio; and second, my own footage…
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  97. Life In The DarkLife In The Dark
    Studio album by The Felice Brothers
    Released June 24, 2016
    Genre Folk-Rock
    Length
    Label Yep Roc
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  98. Spirit's FurnaceSpirit’s Furnace
    Studio album by The Bones Of J.R. Jones
    Released April 15, 2016
    Genre Blues
    Length 30:26
    Label Tone Tree Music
    Fans of William Elliott Whitmore take note. This is certainly an artist to keep an eye on. Though his voice isn’t as iconic as Whitmore’s, his playing packs a little more oomph. Of these two, I prefer the debut, if only because of its longer running time — the new album, here, is so short it almost feels like it’s finished before it’s even begun.
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    Dark Was the YearlingDark Was The Yearling
    Studio album by The Bones Of J.R. Jones
    Released May 20. 2014
    Genre Blues
    Length 41:32
    Label The Bones Of J.R. Jones
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  99. BanningsvilleBanningsville
    Studio album by Flamme Kapaya
    Released May 14, 2013
    Genre Folk
    Length 73:57
    Label Buda Musique
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  100. Raven-in-the-grave-cover.jpgRaven in the Grave
    Studio album by The Raveonettes
    Released April 4, 2011
    Recorded 2010
    Genre Indie rock, shoegaze, noise pop
    Length 35:42
    Label Vice Records
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  101. A Tear in the Eye Is a Wound in the Heart
    Studio album by Black Prairie
    Released September 18, 2012
    Genre Bluegrass
    Length 1:08:49
    Label Sugar Hill Records
    Better than any Decemberists LP save Crane Wife and Long Live The King. Granted, both of those are quite a lot better than this. But still…
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  102. The Cars - Move Like This album cover.jpgMove Like This
    Studio album by The Cars
    Released May 10, 2011
    Genre New wave, art rock, garage rock, power pop, post-punk revival
    Length 37:46
    Label Hear Music/Concord Music Group
    Laugh if you must, but I almost wonder whether I might be the living human person who most loved this album. I might even call it my second-favourite Cars release!
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  103. IVIV
    Studio album by Black Mountain
    Released April 1, 2016
    Genre Rock
    Length 56:15
    Label Jagjaguwar
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  104. Adrenalin Baby
    Live album by Johnny Marr
    Released November 13, 2015
    Recorded 2014
    Genre Rock
    Length
    Label Warner Bros.
    Sheesh! What in tarnation provoked this wonderful flurry of activity??
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    Johnny Marr Playland.jpgPlayland
    Studio album by Johnny Marr
    Released 6 October 2014
    Genre Indie rock
    Length 41:59
    Label Warner Bros.
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    Morrissey World Peace Album Art.jpgWorld Peace Is None of Your Business
    Studio album by Morrissey
    Released 15 July 2014
    Genre Alternative rock, pop rock
    Length 54:34
    Label Harvest/Capitol
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    Johnny Marr - The Messenger.jpgThe Messenger
    Studio album by Johnny Marr
    Released 25 February 2013
    Genre Indie rock
    Length 48:22
    Label Warner Bros.
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  105. HomeHome
    Studio album by Anoushka Shankar
    Released July 10, 2015
    Genre Raga
    Length 55:14
    Label Deutsche Grammophon
    The only problem is that it ends just when it’s beginning to get seriously insanely good.

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  106. A Wandering SunA Wandering Sun
    Studio album by Irvin Pea
    Released July 28, 2016
    Genre Dance
    Length 58:27
    Label Irvin Pea Records
    I don’t know what the fuck this is, or where the fuck this came from. All I know is…I fuckin’ love it!
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  107. We DisappearWe Disappear
    Studio album by The Thermals
    Released March 25, 2016
    Genre Punk Rock
    Length 29:06
    Label Saddle Creek
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  108. .No Witch.jpgNo Witch
    Studio album by The Cave Singers
    Released February 22, 2011
    Genre Indie rock Indie folk
    Label Jagjaguwar
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