#10 Natalia LaFourcade — Hasta la Raíz
LaFourcade’s sixth studio album Hasta la Raiz (‘Down to the Root’) ratifies the Mexican singer-songwriter’s place in the high court of the alternative music scene of Latin America. In this record, LaFourcade blends her unique indie rock sounds with traditional Latin American rhythms. There are both love and break-up songs.
Best tracks: “Hasta la Raíz”, “Mi Lugar Favorito”, “Ya No Te Puedo Querer”
#9 Ryan Adams — 1989
Perhaps, Ryan Adam’s rendition to the Taylor Swift’s blockbuster hit 1989 might not be as good as the original. But the great thing is how Adams managed to bring out the sadness that hidden behind all the cheerful pop sounds of the original. For example, Adams turned the empowering anthem “Shake it Off” into a sad cry from a troubled artist that resembles Nirvana’s “Pennyroyal Tea”.
Best tracks: “Welcome to New York”, “All You Had to Do Was Stay”, “Wildest Dreams”
#8 Sufjan Stevens — Carrie & Lowell
All of Sufjan Stevens’ albums have been acclaimed. I personally like the beautiful imagery present in his lyrics. Most of the songs in Carrie & Lowell center around the death of Stevens’ mother, Carrie and his step-father, Lowell. The melody is charming and the lyrics are deeply emotional.
Best tracks: “Should Have Known Better”, “Fourth of July”, “The Only Thing”
#7 The Arcs — Yours, Dreamily,
#6 Kurt Vile — B’lieve I’m Goin’ Down…
The War on Drugs’ founding member, Kurt Vile, strikes back after mesmerizing us with his 2013 LP, Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze . Vile continues with his hypnotic guitars, soulful voice, and his cross-country storytelling.
Best tracks: “Pretty Pimpin”, “Bad Omens”, “Wild Imagination”
#5 Kendrick Lamar — To Pimp A Butterfly
You’ve probably already read about how great To Pimp A Butterfly is. Even if you’re not a hip-hop music fan, this album is a must-listen. The thing I particularly love about this record, is its cinematographic feeling. Lamar addresses Black Lives Matter, the extravaganza of the hip-hop music scene while revisiting his own demons, and childhood memories.
Best tracks: “Welsey’s Theory”, “King Kunta”, “Alright”
#4 Muse — Drones
In Drones, British progressive rock band Muse continues with the Orwellian themes of their predecessor The 2nd Law. This time, the story takes place in a dystopian world controlled by machines, exploring themes present in our modern society such as mind control. The album is determined to be a classic of rock. ‘The drones are watching you’.
Best tracks: “Mercy”, “Reapers”, “Revolt”
#3 Tame Impala — Currents
#2 Courtney Barnett — Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
#1 Car Seat Headrest — Teens of Style
Honourable mentions (Top 20)
Alabama Shakes — Sound & Color
Björk — Vulnicura
CHRVCH≡S — Every Open Eye
City and Colour — If I Should Go Before You
Death Cab for Cutie — Kintsugi
Lana del Rey — Honeymoon
Florence + The Machine — How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Grimes — Art Angels
Panda Bear — Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper
Wilco — Star Wars