One year. Thirty albums. Two sentences. An mp3.
These are my ten favorites of the year. I broke down and ranked them. Let me know what you think. (Comments are like little Christmas presents, you guys.)
10. J.Roddy Walston and the Business: J.Roddy Walston and the Business
A raucous, bluesy rock album from a bunch of scruffy Baltimore residents. This somehow snuck into my top ten while I wasn’t looking.
9. Kasey Anderson: Nowhere Nights
8. Mumford and Sons: Sigh No More
Yeah, I know; these guys are like super mainstream, but I had no idea who they were or how much radio play they got when I fell in love with this album. Go ahead and judge/strip me of my indie credibility – I’m over it.
7. The Black Keys: Brothers
Just so damn good. Unfortunately, also over-exposed.
6. Typhoon: Hunger and Thirst
The best new Portland band I never told you about this year. Annoyingly young, surprisingly large and terribly promising.
5. Two Cow Garage: Sweet Saint Me
These guys have graduated from garage cow-punk (see what I did there?) to a more anthemic bar-band sound. Echoes of The Hold Steady with much rougher edges.
4. Sharon VanEtten: Epic EP
This big little EP just keeps growing on me. Pay attention to this one.
3. The Sadies: Darker Circles
So dark, so lovely, so damn good. Go see them live; they wear very cool suits.
2. Roadside Graves: You Won’t Be Happy With Me EP
I can’t say enough good things about this band. If you only take my advice one time this year, it should be to check out Jersey’s Roadside Graves.
1. The Gaslight Anthem: American Slang
It’s unlikely that anything will ever top 2008′s The ’59 Sound, but this album is great in its own right. I also feel like these guys are narrating my journey into old age with the right balance of joy and nostalgia.