So here it is at last, in no particular order...
1. Savages - Silence Yourself
When I heard the first single, She Will, back in March, I immediately preordered the album. After spinning the album once, I knew it would be one of my favorite albums of the year. I saw them at ACL and the stage was just too big for Jenny Beth. She kicked and punches to fill up the empty space but also spent a lot of time walking to the back. I said to myself then I need to see them in a more intimate venue. One week later they played The Parish in Austin and it was everything I'd hoped it would be. A confrontationally sexual album. Don't be surprised to hear Jenny Beth describe BDSM and kinky sex in her intros. A very sex positive album and a just plain fantastic collection of songs.
2. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
Weird. Experimental. Beautiful. Haunting. Brilliant. Challenging.
3. Simple Circuit - S/T
I always include a local Austin band in my top albums of the year. Thanks to local radio station KVRX for introducing me to this garage punk band. Permanent Records in Chicago describes this self-released debut as
The Austin Texas onslaught continues with Simple Circuit's art damaged self-titled self-released debut!!!!! Fighting for notoriety in a city already overflowing with killer bands, Simple Circuit's brand of catchy fuzzed out, angular garage punk definitely puts them at the top of our lists of bands to watch out for. Fans of fellow Texans rock n rollers Video, Spray Paint, OBN IIIs and Gospel Truth as well as junkies for shop faves like Intelligence, Thee Oh Sees and Tyvek might've just found your new go-to record. Forget the second tier garage punker bands kicking around and grab this killer debut album now. "Simple Circuit" is SUPER RECOMMENDED!!!!!!!!
I concur. Highly recommended.
4. My Bloody Valentine - m.b.v.
Somehow I missed this release during the year and had a mini-breakdown in December when I finally learned about it. It was, what, more than 20 years since their last album release? I like shoegaze. So what? You want to fight about it.
5. Jagwar Ma - Howlin
6. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II
7. Neko Case - The Worse Things Get...
8. The Oh Sees - Floating Coffin
9. Mikal Cronin - MCII
10. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt