Here’s a list of the albums some of us enjoyed over the course of the year. Hopefully you discover some new music as a result. Happy listening.

Michael Feuerstack:

Devon Sproule & Mike O’Neill – Colours
Sometimes you put two things you love together and it sucks, like chocolate catsup. Other times it rules – this record is better than Pizzaghetti.

Marine Dreams – Corner of the Eye
I never knew eyes had corners, and that is just the tip of the ice-berg of what I learned from Marine Dreams.

Jenny Hval – Innocence is Kinky
This record is the most aptly named since Aerosmith’s “Pump”. It is also 100 times better.

Hilotrons – AT Least There’s Commotion
Dark and dance-y. Not like “Dancing in the Dark”, more like sweat under flickering fluorescence.

Bill Callahan – Dream River
It keeps on giving exponentially.

Nick Wilkinson of Gypsophilia:

Beck – Song Reader
Totally brilliant idea that Adam (Fine) and I thought of years ago but we were not famous enough to pull off. Oh well I guess that jerk Beck is not all that famous anyway so good on him but he is probably more wealthy than us so I’m conflicted.

David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant
These two people have a decent appreciation for good music so they knew enough to hire some unknown person who makes no money but is really good at music to arrange their album so it sounds great. 5 stars to that guy.

Youth Lagoon – Wandrous Bughouse
When drunk enough that I can get pabst (get it? just kidding I would never drink pabst) the terrible band name and album name it turns out the album is really good, though it feels like maybe this is the result of blind luck rather than planning, just like These New Puritans’ album Field of Reeds.

Gianna Lauren:

Michael Feuerstack – Tambourine Death Bed
Julia Holter – Loud City Song
The Abramson Singers – Late Rise
Bill Callahan – Dream River

Graeme Walker of The Olympic Symphonium:

Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
I’ve always been a fan of hers. Love her melodies. Lyrically this album is great and her gruff punk rock ish attitude gives me pleasure.

Nils Frahm – Spaces
I once asked him “Do you play music too?” This album is patient and haunting and melodically he kills me.

Luke Temple – Good Mood Fool
Here We Go Magic is awesome.. so is this.

Michael Feuerstack – Tambourine Death Bed
Songwriters may get lucky and have a lyric/melody/emotion all sync at some point on an album or song. Mike seems to do this with every line of every song. This album proves that.

James Blake – Overgrown
Blown away by how this guy puts music together. Production is killer and overall it just really strikes a chord with me.

Nick Cobham of The Olympic Symphonium:

Luke Temple – Good Mood Fool
A master of melody. So much catchiness should be illegal. Addicted to this album.

Toro Y Moi – Anything In Return
If it’s party time, you should put this album on.

Dawn of Midi – Dysnomia
Pulsing, poly-rhythmic jazz grooves. Stop what you’re doing and listen to this right now.

Cass McCombs – Big Wheel and Others
Like most double albums there’s a few duds, but…oh wait…nope. No duds here.

Philip Glass – Visitors (soundtrack)
I’m so hooked on the mood of this music right now. Somber and intense. The first track contains my favourite piece of music I’ve ever heard.

And from our sister label Backward Music:

David Moore of Bing & Ruth:

Shane Carruth – Upstream Color
Bubble soundbaths with notes of psychedelic worm intrusion work best early in the morning before the eyes are fully functional.

Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues – American Jug Band Songs Old and New
Just when you thought new original jug band music was dead Jalopy Records throws this incredible thing at your face.

Port St. Willow – Soft Light Rush
I swear I’ve seen this record stretch a sunset into almost 3 hours.

Wildmen – Wildmen
A couple of crazy Romans that make crazy music for crazy people. I tripped acid in Switzerland with them last summer and saw deep into their souls. Now with this Compact Disc you can too.

Ty Segall – Sleeper

Joshua Van Tassel:

Laura Marling – Once I Was And Eagle
Some of the most interesting folk songs I’ve ever heard, great production and when she swears it makes me blush.

Jon Hopkins – Immunity
Dance music for people who don’t like dance music. Deep, and a crazy headphone experience.

Jaga Jazzist – Live with Britten Sinfonia
Muscular, beautiful orchestral prog jazz rock classical. When listening I feel convinced I could do a back flip or some other equally impressive inspired feat of daring.

James Blake – Overgrown
He grew up and wrote some very good songs, kept the incredible production aesthetic, and looks a whole lot like Benedict Cumberbatch to me.

Kenya Special – Selected East African Recordings From the 1970s & 80s
There’s a crazy wealth of international 60’s/70’s music being released by various labels, and this is amongst the best out of any year. Everything Soundway Records puts out should be checked out.