In some cases, the best albums of the year. In all cases, the ones I listened to most.

I strove for balance in this list: local and national, male and female, soft and loud. I also tried to highlight a few releases that didn’t get the press that bigger albums received. For instance, you know how good the Lorde and St. Vincent albums are, but did you dig deeper into Torres and Tei Shi? Now you can. So dig in.

12. Converge The Dusk In Us

11. Torres Three Futures

10. Mogwai Every Country’s Sun

9. Elbow Little Fictions

8. Pile A Hairshirt Of Purpose

7. Tigers Jaw spin

6. Alt-J Relaxer

5. The War On Drugs A Deeper Understanding

4. Quicksand Interiors

3. Tei Shi Crawl Space

2. Fleet Foxes Crack-Up

1. Cloud Nothings Life Without Sound