It’s seriously tough stuff, whittling down an entire year’s worth of albums into an elite list of records that left my jaw on the floor. But three cheers to decisiveness — I’ve done it.
The final draft with rationale as follows, from 11 to 20:
- Little Oblivions — Julien Baker
Here we have music to weep to. The Tennessee singer and guitarist is nothing but note-perfect.
- SLEEPS SOCIETY — While She Sleeps
Thought-provoking, mind-stirring metal that calls a spade a spade, with faultless electronics.
- The Myth of The Happily Ever After — Biffy Clyro
Scottish rock done right — that’s Biffy for you. Every song’s like an impressive passage of biblical text.
- W.L. — The Snuts
Pure, wholesome indie that topped the charts and cemented Glasgow’s place as a music mecca.
- Vince Staples — Vince Staples
Staples’ namesake album is just a flavour of why he’s modern rap royalty. It’s full of lower-key hits.
- Modern Tricks for Living — Low Hummer
Welcome to the party, Low Hummer. The garage-rock-meets-indie misfits have delivered utter joy.
- The Off-Season — J. Cole
Envelope-pushing hip-hop is J. Cole’s MO, whether you could argue the verses are arrogant or not.
- Life In Your Glass World — Citizen
The guitars take centre stage in this hypnotic, powerfully melodic collection from the Ohio trio.
- Blue Weekend — Wolf Alice
The architects behind ‘Bros’ have a habit of churning out rock in differently-styled packages.
- Sound Ancestors — Madlib x Four Tet
While Madlib also raps, his DJ skills are combined with that of Four Tet’s. Lose yourself in the vibes.
Stay tuned for the second half: the coveted 1-10 spots…