D’Angelo - Black Messiah
Have to give this to D’Angelo because I’ve been waiting for this album for over a decade. And, it just so happens to be a great album. Pino Palladino on the bass makes it even better. Worth the wait. I think Really Love might be my favorite track.
Sun Kil Moon - Benji
My pal Dave pointed me in the direction of this album and I almost dismissed it twice because I just couldn’t quite grasp it. (Note to self: always play an album three times!) The only album all year that consistently made me sadhappy. Kind of incredible, actually. Ben’s My Friend.
FKA Twigs - LP1
I actually don’t like every song on this album. But man, the ones that are good are really good. It sounds like nothing else and that’s why it’s so compelling. Two Weeks is one of my favorite songs of the year.
Mac DeMarco - Salad Days
I caught up with this one late in the year and I’m still figuring it out. I can't tell if it’s ironic yacht rock or sincere chillout jazz—but it’s pretty fantastic all around. Salad Days on KEXP.
St. Vincent - St. Vincent
I own all of her previous stuff, but I never quite liked them enough as albums. This one finally hits the mark as a whole. Digital Witness is a really great song.
Ray LaMontagne - Supernova
This is the soundtrack of a roadtrip we took up the coast of Sonoma last summer where we stopped and ate oysters and drank champagne at every single small town along the way. Literally. Here he is on Letterman.
Beck - Morning Phase
Sea Change is my favorite Beck album and this picks up where that left off. I guess I prefer earnest Beck to ironic Beck.
Rat King - So It Goes
Hip Hop from Harlem. It’s their first studio album and two tracks feature another one of my favorites, King Krule. Rapid fire percussive vocals, unrelenting, slightly abrasive. Sounds good loud.
Chet Faker - Built on Glass
I like this guy a lot. Kind of reminds me of a soulful James Blake. R&B meets chopped & sampled. Looking forward to more from Chet.
Thomas Dybdahl - What's Left Is Forever
Dybdahl is one of my of my favorite artists and I still can’t figure out why the Norwegian isn’t more popular stateside. Jazz/R&B/Folk with a hint of Curtis Mayfield on the first (and best) track: This Love Is Here To Stay.
Klapp Klapp from Little Dragon was one of my favorite songs of the year, as was Cibo Matto’s Déjà Vu. Aphex Twin’s Syro had a couple of stellar tracks as well. Kendrick Lamar teaming up with Flying Lotus for Never Catch Me might be the song I played the most. And, First Aid Kit nearly made my top ten as did Kool A.D.’s Word O.K. and Food from Kelis. (Oh! I almost forgot: Yolandi always moves me. Ugly Boy.)