From well established artists to new acts, let’s find out what are the best albums so far! (In no order whatsoever)
1. Alt-J – Relaxer
If you don’t know Alt-J, you really need to. These art rockers from Leeds are kind of obscure but yet really accessible and this is their 3rd studio album. And you’ve got to admit, In Cold Blood with that verse written in binary code, is just incredibly brilliant.
2. Arcade Fire – Everything Now
I just love how amazing this 5th album from Arcade Fire is. I’ve been a fan since “No Cars Go”, but they just get better and better. And by better, I mean they dare to be different every single time they release an album. I also love how they added some comments about society, politics and social media, backed up with pan pipes, disco beats and just overall joyfulness. Addictive stuff.
3. Beck – Colors
You cannot deny that Beck is just one of those artists you need to know if you’re a musician as many great artists have taken inspiration from him. This album was in collaboration with producer Greg Kurstin, the guy who helped Adele kick-start her career, and showcases a vibrant record packed with some really amazing song. I’m obsessed.
4. Björk – Utopia
If you like delicate, confusing, challenging and yet rewarding music, you really need to try this album. This LP has been said to be about ‘heaven’, and if you take a listen to it, you’ll feel a little bit of heaven radiating from each song.
5. Circa Waves – Different Creatures
This young Liverpool indie band is taking the music industry by storm. You can tell from this album that the good reviews on their last debut album really gave them the confidence they need to make Different Creatures a success and that each song shows the maturity gained from their growth.
6. Everything Everything – A Fever Dream
A Fever Dream differs from Everything Everything’s usual sound as it proves that chaos and control can really work well… in their case. With each album, the band is just growing more unique, reminding me of bands like the Aphex Twin and other American electronic heavy bands of the early-mid 90s – with the album striking great reflection of the times.
7. Foo Fighters – Concrete and Gold
After a 2-year hiatus, the Foo Fighters are back! And with storm. Different from their past albums, their music gets more melodic, choral, with a more ‘produced’ sound, if that makes any sense. Amazing comeback from these great rock inspirations.
8. Gorillaz – Humanz
I remember being really excited when they released their first few songs from the album as after all, they were a part of ALL our childhood. Humanz has some really incredible sounds and remarkable guests such as Vince Staples, DRAM, Grace Jones and more. What’s my personal favourite? Andromeda. Hands-down.
9. Kasabian – For Crying Out Loud
Listen to this album if you want to hear Serge and Tom turn back the time for some epic glam rock-influenced indie head-bangers. Throw in a tip to a rave and a medley of great lyrical influence. You can always rely on these guys to create some addictive stuff.
10. The Killers – Wonderful Wonderful
Although they’ve been busy on their tours, Mark Stoermer and Dace Keuning definitely showed that they really took their time on their 5th album. And I mean c’mon. How can anything go wrong with Brandon Flowers leading tracks like they’re soundtracks to fictitious 80s teen movies, leaving you amazed with the band’s talent.
11. London Grammar – Truth Is A Beautiful Thing
How can anyone not fall in love with such haunting and mesmerising vocals of Hannah Reid? This is another gorgeous, and delicate record from this talented Nottingham trio. I’m in love.
12. Laura Marling – Semper Femina
“Semper Femina” is Latin for “woman is ever a fickle and changeable thing”, describing an album with rich and intelligent music that explores female relationships. Nothing less than what you can expect from one of Britain’s most brilliant songwriters.
13. Queens Of The Stone Age – Villains
This year was definitely a big year for the band with Noel going experimental and Josh Homme teaming up with Mark Ronson. Though the marriage of the two sounds insane, the album is simply bliss with savage riffing, and a smooth, sharp makeover, showcasing a melodic tunes buried in each track.
14. Royal Blood – How Did We Get So Dark?
With so many bands coming out this year, this was the one band that truly stood out for me personally. I couldn’t stop listening to it and feeling like an absolute bad-ass. This duo, of Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher, is more strident, balls-out, confrontational but still flashing finely-tuned rock tracks. Probably the most essential band of this year for me. My favourite song? I Only Lie When I Love You.
15. Stereophonics – Scream Above The Sounds
With Kelly Jones being such a veteran Welsh bluesman these days, the new tracks are full of regrets, longing and (especially on the Stuart Cable tribute) full of bittersweet memories. Also, expect some epic anthemic choruses.
16. The War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding
Although this may be Adam Granduciel’s first album for a major label, the tracks on this records are simply shimmering and beautiful.
17. Wolf Alice – Visions of A Life
This North London quartet has expanded their grungy guitar sounds into more well-rounded tunes for their second album, taking in a unique approach of robotic synth-pop, dream-pop and quirky rhythms. Add Ellie Roswell’s amazing vocals and you got yourself the reason why they’ve made this list.
18. The xx – I See You
Having been a fan of theirs since their “xx” album, this 3rd album by this South London sound lab sees the band keep their distinctive sound but yet allows for an expansion into the fascinating use of samples, levelling up on their emotional depth.
What do you think? There are many amazing albums that have been released this year and of course I can’t put them all in this article. But do tell me what you think!
P.S: All the album listed here are the opinions of the writer alone and does not necessarily reflect as the collective opinion for everyone else at Sevenpie.