45. David Ramirez – Apologies – Singer / Songwriter David Ramirez wrote the wonderfully introspective folk album that is at times extremely downtrodden and sad, it’s a personal, wear your heart-on-your-sleeves kind of record, that’s posed in a songwriter / storyteller fashion. With his rough voice, and country-tinged music, this may be the most telling and open album of the year, and that is a great thing.
Listen: David Ramirez – Paper Thin | Buy: Apologies
44. Reptar – Body Faucet – This may be the most dance-worthy album of the year, every song is laden with perfect beats that will get you the hell off your ass and move. African and Jungle influenced beats help lead the way to one really fun record that should be on your list of must owns. Just give “Orifice Origami” a listen and try not to move.
Listen: Reptar – Orifice Origami | Buy: Body Faucet
43. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Here As with their previous album “Up from Below” the 2 founding members of the band, Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos, trade off lead vocals as effortlessly as ever, making for the type of sing-along, feel good music that has come to define the band. On the stand out track “One Love to Another” Alex channels his inner Paul Simon, by way of Bob Marley, and you realize ES&TMZ have created a stellar follow-up with the album “Here” and if this is any indication of things to come for the band, then we as their faithful followers have many dancing years ahead. Listen: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – Man On Fire | Buy: Here
42. Plants and Animals – The End of That – Montreal’s Plants and Animals grabbed my attention years ago when they released Parc Avenue, and this followup is a really great effort. The band matured, the songwriting matured, and this record shows it. Songs like “Lightshow,” and “Song for Love,” are more dramatic and more bombastic, moody and textural. The music feels a little less constrained, and more alive; more similar to their live shows which are really good.
Listen: Plants & Animals – Lightshow | Buy: The End of That
41. Heartless Bastards – Arrow – A band like Heartless Bastards realizes the irony of releasing a record on Valentines day. Erika Wennerstrom has the absolute perfect voice for the Bastards’ songs, its emotive, gritty, & passionate as she brings out the sound of Joplin, and a bit of Joan Jett in her voice and style as she lights up this new album. The album’s arc and storyline sort of creates a feeling of loneliness in travel as I imagine a group of vagabond musicians find their way across the country, connecting with people, going their own way, and finding themselves in the process. It’s got a 70’s classic rock vibe with hard driving tunes, and introspective songs that will tear your heart out.
Listen: Heartless Bastards – Parted Ways | Buy: Arrow