10. Glasser – Ring
As mentioned in this post (Glasser), Cameron Mesirow’s blend of progressive rock and folk is a captivating mix of sinister and sweet. Tribal drums, swirling synthesizers, and Glasser’s ethereally haunting voice create a dreamland that may make you re-think your return to reality.
9. Beach House – Teen Dream
Coarse vocals, droning keyboards and lazy drums are the heart of the lo-fi indie pop album Teen Dream from Beach House. In a year flooded by airy California beach rock, this duo creates a solid album with a more complex identity that incorporates bright indie pop characteristics into a shoe gaze sound with lyrics containing emotional depth.
8. Local Natives – Gorilla Manor
So many amazing bands have come out of Los Angeles this year, but newbies Local Natives (AI: Local Natives) set themselves apart by releasing this great indie rock album with pop sensibility. Beautifully layered 3 part harmonies over complex arrangements and catchy melodies ushered in a successful year of touring and plenty of fans to await the album’s sequel.
7. LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening
Infusing electronic dance music with rock is a skill that James Murphy aka LCD Soundsystem might as well have invented due to his adeptness at the art. This is Happening is a brilliant example of frank honesty, the complexities of love, emotional distance and the pains of being self-aware retaining sincerity in the midst of a dancefloor powered by the synthesizer.
6. Tame Impala – Innerspeaker
Another great new band to come around this year was Australia’s psychedelic rockers Tame Impala (AI: Tame Impala). Keeping things simple with a stripped down sound including distorted guitars and Lennon-esque vocals, they released an album that was a refreshing departure from the expansive tricks of the synthesizer.