- Asobi Seksu >> Citrus
- Neko Case >> Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
- Band of Horses >> Everything All The Time
- Mogwai >> Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait
- Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins >> Rabbit Fur Coat
- Joanna Newsom >> Ys
- Camera Obscura >> Let's Get Out of This Country
- The Radio Dept >> Pet Grief
- The Decemberists >> The Crane Wife
- Cat Power >> The Greatest
- Sparklehorse >> Dreamt For Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain
- Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan >> Ballad of the Broken Seas
- Tom Waits >> Orphans
I have to say, after a so-so (to put it politely) debut a couple years ago, the Asobi Seksu album came out of nowhere and absolutely floored me. I mean, I was expecting nothing but greatness from Neko Case, but the way AS took me by surprise is the reason I placed it at number one.
Band of Horses took me by surprise, as well. I had read that they were a couple guys who used to be in Carissa's Wierd (sic), whom I really love. So I picked up the BoH album, not really knowing what to expect, and ended up with a wonderful album. I got to see them live, and they sounded fucking great.
I keep using the word, surprise, but it applies to the Jenny Lewis album as well. I'm not a huge Rilo Kiley fan, but I do enjoy their work. Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins caught me off guard with its...simplicity, I guess is the right word. The album is really charming and only gets better with repeated listens.
The Zidane album, to me, is a big improvement over Mr. Beast. I love the quiet beauty within. It's very subtle and understated. Don't get me wrong, I love the noise and fuzz as much as anyone else, but I love the opposite end of the spectrum as well.
**EDIT** I just realized I forgot to throw in Tom Waits' Orphans, even though I haven't listened to all of it. It's three discs long, but c'mon, it's Tom Waits. He's the man, okay?