[sic] Magazine

Sub-Ed’s Albums & EPs Of The Year 2022

It’s never been easier to find new music, but unless you’re physically part of a scene, it feels harder year-on-year to seek out quality new music. Not – we stress – because it doesn’t exist. It’s literally everywhere; the key, however, is finding it when major streams are geared to pushing only what they’re paid to, and many other sources are choked with well-intended chaff. The search is, of course, worth the effort and all readers of this list will no doubt be part of that process. Respectfully, you don’t stumble across us in the same way that it’s rare to stumble across your new favourite band.

Here, simply, then is a summary of what I consider to have been the best albums and EPs of the year – those that have stood out most from that which I’ve listened to. Some are new discoveries, some former favourites back proving they’ve still got it. The dark allure of post-punk is – as ever – never far away, so too the abrasive charms of shoegaze and noise. Some lighter, quieter moments too inevitably shone through the clouds, more experimental sounds rounding out the roster as the year wore on.

Particular credit this year goes to the Cardinal Fuzz stable for having a hand in five entries on this list, including the #1, gloomy tastemakers Dais not far behind on four in total. Other statistical analysis shows just 87% of the artists in this top 100 entirely or partially call the US, UK and Ireland, Canada, or Australia and New Zealand home. The world now just a global village, it’s especially pleasing to China represented for the first time, as well as continued contribution from Brazil. Turn over enough rocks and good music abounds everywhere.

It must be said though that, as per every year, I have only one pair of ears, a set number of hours in the day and a bank balance that is far from inexhaustible, so there are, perhaps, certain omissions from the list below. Who knows what may have been, but here is what definitely was (linked where reviewed – rough genre given in brackets):

1. Magic ShoppeMono Lake (Noise-Punk/Shoegaze) [Cardinal Fuzz/Little Cloud]

Forgive us for name-dropping, but if you dig the pedal putrefaction of A Place To Bury Strangers (see below), the wind-tunnel wooze of My Bloody Valentine, and the furious feedback and muddy melodies of the Jesus & Mary Chain, there’s a very decent chance you already love Boston band Magic Shoppe, their epic scale and mid-fi mayhem included. If, conversely, the catchy Mono Lake is your first run-in with the band, it surely won’t be your last.

2. Chat PileGod’s Country (Noise/Sludge-Punk) [The Flenser]

Very close to taking home the big prize, Chat Pile are a monstrously heavy concoction that combines the shadows of Big Black and The Jesus Lizard with the sludge of more recent bottom-dwellers like Pissed Jeans, all delivered with the screaming intensity of a band like Daughters. God’s Country is sanity-questioning, sonic destruction that somehow maintains a grip on nuclear American punk, its terrifying finale truly something to behold.

3. deathcrashReturn (Slowcore/Post-Rock) [Untitled Recs]

In the same social circle as Black Midi and Black Country, New Road (see below), but an entirely different proposition, deathcrash offer so minimal a palette of instrumentation and stripped-back production that Return is quite skeletal. Songs start from nothing more than whispers and percussive taps, growing into something Slint-shaped – emotional, powerful and raw. An under-the-radar masterwork, Return sounds like the voices in Mogwai’s head.

4. DITZThe Great Regression (Post-Punk/Noise-Rock) [Alcopop!]

Furious to the point of hardcore, but without being a hardcore band, Brighton noise-punks DITZ have sensationalist media, naïve students, pop culture, and big corporations in their cross-hairs amongst others. The Great Regression is far from an exercise in impenetrable angst however. What’s surprising is just how memorable DITZ make the experience. Its hooks gouge; its choruses sting. Debut albums don’t get much stronger.

5. KnifeplayAnimal Drowning (Shoegaze/Slowcore) [Topshelf]

The lines between dream-pop and shoegaze are becoming less distinct and the glacial pacing of Knifeplay’s Animal Drowning is doing much of the blurring. The Philadelphia band can do haunting; they can do loud, and they can do orchestral beauty too. Heck, they can even do Mercury Rev just as well as Jonathan Donahue. The cinematic variety that Knifeplay possess begs just one question; when can we expect the sequel?

6. BrutusUnison Life (Post-Rock/Doom Metal) [Sargent House]

Coming second only to Have A Nice Life’s elemental Sea Of Worry in [sic]’s 2019 AOTY list, Brutus are back and again troubling the top end of our charts. Less showy, and less immediate in parts too, Unison Life is a third-date kinda lover, rather than some first-encounter fumble. It’s certainly no shrinking violet however, crushing post-rock and doom very much still the order of the day, drummer/singer Stefanie Mannaerts again on impressive form.

7. Just MustardHeart Under (Shoegaze/Dream-Pop) [Partisan]

If you’re gonna shake things up, the sophomore album is probably the best time to do it. A very decent, if somewhat linear shoegaze band on their debut, Just Mustard here get a full rager on for early 4AD. Swirly effects and unintelligible vocals mix into groaning, ghostly melodies and arty textures, while the darkness descends and reverb and feedback bring the noise. Heart Under is dream-pop on the verge of becoming a nightmare.

8. Thus LoveMemorial (Post-Punk/Jangle-Pop) [Captured Tracks]

Splitting the difference between the atmospheric post-punk of Echo & The Bunnymen and the more modern miserabilism of Merchandise (only with added jangle-pop guitar lines), Thus Love’s selling point is their consistency. Every track on Memorial could be a single, skittering from despair to hope, Echo Mars’s vocal responding in turn to every up and down. Thus Love have taken everything life has thrown at them and turned it into something steadily affirmative.

9. Rome Is Not A TownTender Arms Power Heels (Noise-Rock/No Wave) [Startracks]

There’s no hiding the Sonic Youth influence on Tender Arms Power Heels – Rome Is Not A Town’s singer Kasja Poidnak intones exactly like Kim Gordon, for example, but for every concession to Goo, there’s a nod to early PJ Harvey. For every obvious borrow, there’s a less obvious one from a band like Blood On The Wall or the riot grrrl movement. More than the sum of their parts, the thrill is when it all comes together and works so immaculately.

10. GHXSTAdmire (Desert Rock/Doom) [S/R]

Good things come to those who wait. Twelve years in, Admire is LA-based doom duo GHXST’s debut LP after a steady stream of killer EPs and singles. And it’s an album that continues their evolution towards dreamier melancholy. Brooding distorto-rock still dominates however, blackened blues and slo-mo fuzz setting up the cool AF Shelley X and her magnificent sneer time and again. People pay for this sort of dark delight, but don’t tell your mother.

11. Rat TallyIn My Car (Singer-Songwriter) [6131 Records]

Following in the footsteps of the likes of Snail Mail et al., Rat Tally’s Addy Harris is all about subtlety, not that all of In My Car is subtle. Swear words are, of course, most effective when used sparingly and Harris knows this. Same for biting electric guitar and that too is treated with restraint. Duets with the similarly styled Madeline Kenney and Jay Som may make the headlines, but Harris is a real talent in her own regard and undoubtedly one to watch.

12. Gilla BandMost Normal (Noise-Rock) [Rough Trade]

Girl Band is now Gilla Band, a more faithful orthographic representation when read aloud in their native brogue. The evolution is not just on paper though, for Most Normal doubles down on industrial rhythms and mutant beats as a method of managing mental health, the album’s pedal abuse, electronic surges and static hence deadly serious, Dara Kiely’s vocal high jinks simultaneously proving laughter remains the best medicine though.

13. MJ LendermanBoat Songs (Singer-Songwriter/Alt-Country) [Dear Life]

That’s Lenderman, not Slenderman – that’s something very different. Anyway, his homespun-sounding Boat Songs hits like a precious Saddle Creek release of old, Lenderman luxuriating in literate indie and slacker country, his varied repertoire recalling Sparklehorse, Neutral Milk Hotel, Songs: Ohia and numerous others. It’s his unique, cracked and weather-beaten turn of phrase though that does the real emotional damage.

14. MoinPaste (Experimental/Post-Rock) [AD 93]

Finding beauty at the awkward crossroads of post-rock, distortion and free-form experimentalism, Paste is an unusual proposition, but one that it’s worth investing your time in. The product of Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead (who have previous as Raime), watch as their time-lapse, post-industrial soundscapes blossom like recent-era Low, spoken-word samples pitch-shifted in and out of focus. Inventive and intelligent, Paste stands alone.

15. LaunderHappening (Dream-Pop/Shoegaze) [Ghostly]

In lieu of a new DIIV album this year, we’ll happily take Launder’s woozy debut, which features telling contribution from the band’s Zachary Cole and Colin Caulfield. Launder main man John Cudlip is no pushover though, and the rippling reverb, gorgeous harmonies and shimmering guitars on display here are attributable entirely to him. With big singles and even bigger walls of sound, Happening makes a late claim for classic status within the genre.

16. HorsegirlVersions Of Modern Performance (Indie/Alt-Rock) [Matador]

Tipped for greatness here at [sic] since the young band’s formative demos, Horsegirl are alt-rocking Sonic Youth fans with an ear for shoegaze. That’s only half the story though, as these arty slackers come at their vintage influences with a fresh perspective thanks to their youth. They haven’t grown up with their contemporaries, nor are they trying to imitate them. Versions is just simple fandom through osmosis and it sounds pure.

17. CrowsBeliever Beware (Neo Post-Punk) [Bad Vibrations]

Amidst a sea of neo post-punk upstarts, Crows are – for the most part – a couple of steps ahead of the pack. Their sophomore effort, Believer Beware, isn’t perfect (very little is), but the London-based four-piece attack their darkly distorted, politically charged anthems with such conviction that it frankly doesn’t matter. Sure, a whiff of Antics-era Interpol hangs in the air, only more abrasive, but Crows appear to be a band you can believe in.

18. EnumclawSave The Baby (Slacker/Garage-Punk) [Luminelle]

With ambitions to be the best and biggest band on the planet, Enumclaw aren’t short on chutzpah and neither are they on tunes. If only they weren’t so laid back, their songs purposefully lazy garage-punk smears on the canvas, then they just could be bound for even greater things too. Professional slackers in sound if not in goals, Save The Baby is beauty on a budget, songs reaching for the moon and falling heroically short.

19. Welcome StrawberryWelcome Strawberry (Shoegaze/Jangle-Pop) [Too Good To Be True]

Dodgy band name aside, Welcome Strawberry are almost too good to be true, ironic given the name of the label from whence the CD version of the album came. The Oakland band manage to distil washed-out shoegaze and immaculate jangle-pop into a dreamy, mid-fi experience that hits all the best nostalgic notes in order. They’re a honey trap for those of a certain persuasion and make drowning in their embrace seem heavenly.

20. FloristFlorist (Alt-Folk) [Double Double Whammy]

When all the world is losing its head, sometimes you need the soothing retreat of acoustic guitars and rootsy story-telling. The hushed tones of Emily Sprague are pared down to the essentials only, making this self-titled Florist release hyper-intimate, its plugged-in moments that bit more pronounced. Prepare for tears as Sprague hears her late mother in field-recorded birdsong; prepare to lose your heart entirely as the album unfolds.

21. Blind EyeDecomposed (Hardcore Punk) [Wrong Speed]

Comprised of hoary, old hardcore rockers from cult bands the length and breadth of the midlands, including drummer Stephen Charlesworth of much-loved outfit Heresy, Blind Eye make a gloriously vintage pub-rock racket, singer Anmarie Spaziano lending proceedings some class and a menacing gothic overtone. Pulling off the impossible and seemingly pleasing everyone all of the time, Decomposed rises like a triumphant zombie apocalypse.

22. Girls In SynthesisThe Rest Is Distraction (Post-Punk) [Own It]

There’s always been a visceral appeal to Girls In Synthesis and their nasty, flailing post-punk and The Rest Is Distraction is their strongest work to date. Dialling back just one level of noise reveals details previously buried under the scree: fractured melody, glimmers of design, nuanced threat. An inward-looking album, the band find balance in their buzzsaw guitars and gothic paranoia, a higher-plain masochism slowly turning to bliss.

23. Holy ScumStrange Desires (Industrial/Noise-Rock) [Rocket Recordings]

Salford rabble-rousers Gnod tabled their own decent album in 2022 (see below), but Chris Haslam has gone one better with Holy Scum, his new collab with Action Beat’s Peter Taylor, heavily produced by Dälek’s Mike Mare. Strange Desires is suffocatingly oppressive, pure noise given nihilistic go-faster stripes in the style of Swans or Godflesh. Some optimistically call the result shoegaze, but only in the sense that you dare not look up.

24. GladieDon’t Know What You’re In Until You’re Out (Indie/Punk) [Plum Records]

We’re a sucker for a husky, punk-inflected female vocal over here at [sic] towers – even more so when twinned with knockout hooks. Straight out the Cayetana/Bully playbook, the new Gladie record is fist-in-in-air euphoric, heart-on-sleeve indie-rock bursting at the seams with guitar melodies and calling-card intent. No disrespect to Plum Records, but we’re expecting even bigger things to come in the near future.

25. Special InterestEndure (Post-Punk/Punk-Funk) [Rough Trade]

Don’t underestimate New Orleans band Special Interest; they’re on the cusp on something very, ahem, special. The Passion Of … laid down the gauntlet; Endure accepts the challenge. Avoid the misleading funk-pop single, strip back the layers and stand impressed in the face of crunching no-wave, punk-funk abrasion. Grooves come and go, pealing sax setting the combustible lot ablaze, album closer “LA Blues” one of the tracks of the year.

26. ColaDeep In View (Indie/Art-Rock) [Fire Talk]

Ought are dead; long live … Cola (reputedly the short form of “Cost of Living Adjustment”). It’s a salutation that doesn’t trip off the tongue, but the arty Deep In View revels in own-brand banality and won’t mind one bit. The comparisons with Tim Darcy and Ben Stidworthy’s more famous band are many, Darcy’s dry observations and delivery in particular, yet there’s enough progress here to both pique and retain the interest.

27. Slow DawnInto The Machine Haus (Kosmische/Post-Punk) [Cardinal Fuzz/Centripetal Force]

You’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve heard it all before on a first encounter with Into The Machine Haus (its kosmische credentials obvious from name alone, its post-punk promiscuity revealing itself only on record). What Slow Dawn do differently is to play all your favourites all at the same time. Percussive precision glues these maximal, fuzz-filled missives together, Into The Machine Haus’s take-away tinnitus as reverential as it is punishing.

28. A Place To Bury StrangersSee Through You (Noise-Rock/Shoegaze) [DedStrange]

APTBS is primarily Oliver Ackermann these days and, along with Skywave and Ceremony recruits, the new-look band have jumped ship from Dead Oceans to form their own label for this latest album. Service is otherwise as expected on the volatile See Through You however, a reassuringly familiar cocktail of noise, with a few new ideas brought to the table via the line-up modification, the touchstones of MBV and J&MC never too far away.

29. BjörkFossora (Singer-Songwriter/Experimental) [One Little Independent]

The best Björk album since Biophilia, the fungus-focussed Fossora (her tenth studio album) is high on quality control, its organic woodwind and string arrangements clashing dizzyingly with blunt-force gabber parts that spurt forth violently like one of Iceland’s famous geysers. A eulogy to her late mother, Fossora continues to push boundaries both within Björk herself and music in general. A fitting testament to stand the test of time.

30. They Are Gutting A Body Of WaterS (Shoegaze/Experimental) [Smoking Room]

Never less than interesting, They Are Gutting A Body Of Water are on the edge of great potential. The Philadelphia band make experimental, bedroom-bound shoegaze that remains accessible and there’s no more a creative ensemble out there at the moment. Will the intimacy translate when inevitably they hit the studio? That remains to be seen, but trust us when we introduce you to your favourite band’s new favourite band.

31. Witch FeverCongregation (Rock/Hardcore Punk) [Music For Nations]

A hot tip here at [sic] for a couple of years, Witch Fever’s debut long-player is finally here and it’s a bit of a scorcher. Underproduced and better for it, this sludgy slice of hard rock and punk covers singer Amy Walpole’s traumatic childhood and the glaring light it shines back into its audience’s eyes make it an uncomfortable listen at times, but the energy, dignity and fire that the band bring to the subject cannot be ignored.

32. Been StellarBeen Stellar EP (Post-Punk) [So Young]

Songs about Manhattan are only authentic if written by artists from NYC. Fact. These same songs would be laughable if the product of some skinny clotheshorses out of, say, Wigan. Credibility in the bag, Been Stellar burn with youthful exuberance and the opening one-two on this debut EP are some of the most perfect guitar pop of the year. Huge choruses. Bigger riffs, and effortless cool. Just don’t mention The Strokes. Whoops.

33. Why Bonnie90 In November (Indie-Rock/Americana) [Keeled Scales]

There’s nothing fancy about Why Bonnie, nor original in fact. 90 In November is just a job very well done, a character study in retro American indie-rock that paints wide-open, Southern spaces in a romantic fashion. The wind in your hair, every day adventures elevated to art-form. Rain settles the dust and Why Bonnie breathe in the refreshed air, living in the moment, as unafraid of imperfection as they are of tomorrow.

34. Fontaines D.C.Skinty Fia (New Post-Punk) [Partisan]

Former [sic] AOTY runners-up in 2020, Fontaines D.C. have wrestled with their identity a bit since then. Unsure how to tackle the guilt of being proud Irish yet relocating to London, and still wanting to promote Irish culture in absentia, Skinty Fia splutters as a consequence, but its ideas and sheer will drag it over the line. A couple of very decent, soon-to-be-classic singles do the Dublin five-piece no harm at all either.

35. Black Country, New RoadAnts From Up There (Art/Math-Rock) [Ninja Tune]

Ninja Tune may not be the most natural of homes for Black Country, New Road, but credit where it’s due the label appears to have let the challenging band do as they please on their sophomore, but they probably weren’t over the moon about frontman Isaac Wood departing on the eve of its release all the same. Ants is obtuse, occasionally – literally – absurd and yet it still sounds a bit like Arcade Fire and isn’t half bad. Madness.

36. HEALTHDISCO4 :: PART II (Industrial/Cyber-Noise) [Loma Vista]

This latest instalment of HEALTH’s “disco” (read, electronically influenced) series picks up where 2020’s disparate and incendiary PART I left off. A mish-mash hook-up of genre-bending luminaries, we thus encounter HEALTH’s esoteric noise-gaze rubbing shoulders with the likes of NIN, Lamb of God and H09909, as well as underground hip-hop stars. Each hold their own in the court of HEALTH, a melting pot like no other.

37. WinterWhat Kind Of Blue Are You? (Shoegaze/Dream-Pop) [Bar/None]

If you’re going to make a dream-pop record, it needs to sound dreamy, duh! Samira Winter didn’t just get the memo though; she wrote a thesis on it with What Kind Of Blue Are You? Quite gorgeous, and with pop hooks aplenty too, it’s a swoonsome, easy-going listen ripe for plundering when Netflix need something cool and affordable for their next Gen Z smash. Will Samira get her 2023 blow-up? It’s entirely possible.

38. The Soft MoonExister (Darkwave/Industrial) [Sacred Bones]

There won’t be many saying Exister is the best Soft Moon album, because – honestly – it isn’t, yet it’s intriguing to note that it still scores highly because Luis Vasquez has set the bar so high over recent years that even a good a Soft Moon record is still pretty great. Dangerous darkwave bangers duly lead the charge, Vasquez now some cyborg shaman whose vison scrolls in cold strobe light and whose heart beats rhythmically in binary.

39. The Reds, Pinks & PurplesSummer At Land’s End (Indie-Pop) [Tough Love]

Mining a rich seam of pristine indie-pop, veteran scenester Glenn Donaldson knows what clicks and knocks out gems with ease, crystalline jangles and toe-tapping melodies belying a darker centre. The latest in a hot run of releases, Summer At Land’s End is hopelessly, loveably foppish and forlorn – the musical equivalent of some mini-budget, art-house rom-com low on the lols, but absolute dynamite on the emotions. *hug emoji*.

40. Big ThiefDragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You (Indie/Alt-Folk) [4AD]

God knows what that album title is all about, but reigning indie royalty Big Thief have earned the right to do whatever that want and happily, amongst other things, that hasn’t yet translated to stadium-sized grandeur. The outdoorsy DNWMIBIY is a simple grower instead, albeit a double album, its scrappy melodies downright breezy, burrowing their way under the skin almost surreptitiously given enough exposure.

41. oldboybloody (Hardcore/Noise-Rock) [Agitated]

In thrall to Touch And Go, AmRep and pre-grunge Sub Pop, and recorded in quick, Steve Albini-approved timeframes, bloody is the real deal, seemingly a lost piece of US noise. Rarely out of control, these are precision assaults often capable of more destruction, but held back in order to be true to slacker hardcore. Tight and nasty, raw and fun, it’s clear the lads are having a ball, it taking an oldboy to show the young’uns how it’s done.

42. Show Me The BodyTrouble The Water (Hardcore Punk) [Loma Vista]

[sic] favourites Show Me The Body have always been a hardcore band, albeit a thrillingly progressive and experimental one, but with Trouble The Water they’ve come full circle and evolved into a relatively more straightforward offering within the genre, dragging their knuckles and shredding like the best of them, but still with enough surprises to stand them out. Sometimes we all just need a heavy dose of primal scream therapy.

43. Grave GoodsTuesday. Nothing Exists. (No Wave/Post-Punk) [Tulle]

Part Girls Names, part September Girls, part PINS, Grave Goods are an art-school, no-wave collab with credentials. The vinyl came with handwritten notes on ripped-out pages of Sartre’s Nausea and Tuesday. Nothing Exists can’t help but go down the existentialist route, offering answers to questions sometimes yet to be posed. There’s brawn to back up the brains too, the album a clattering blast of minimal post-punk.

44. CasselsA Gut Feeling (Math-Rock/Post-Punk) [God Unknown]

London-based Cassels are a bit of an odd one: technically intricate, wry and dry, and yet very fond of bludgeoning their point home … and A Gut Feeling works marvellously as a result. With the tongue-in-cheek knowing of an on-form Idles and the wound fury of a band like Shellac, they know how to court attention, the scarified tripe that adorns the front cover of their dynamic third LP the icing on this gross urinal cake.

45. SpiritualizedEverything Was Beautiful (Neo-Psych) [Bella Union]

Any year there’s a new Spiritualized record is a good year. Everything Was Beautiful sees Jason Pierce return to a full band set-up, swelling the rafters with trademark neo-psych tinged with powerful gospel, his iconic drawl and mumble held in a pretty suspension like dust caught in the sunlight. Pierce’s latter-day optimism is infectious; he’s been on a trip for 40 years and the Spaceman remains happy to have you on board.

46. Beach HouseOnce Twice Melody (Dream-Pop) [Sub Pop]

Listening to Once Twice Melody is like climbing into bed after a long, cold day. It’s familiar, cosy even and Victoria Legrand’s cooing, doe-eyed vocal remains all too welcoming. Yes, overall, the album isn’t a patch on the dream-pop stalwarts’ golden years, but it still has its highlights and it’s easy to get enveloped in their warmths and never want to leave – a glistening statement for frosty, off-season Beach House nights.

47. Black DoldrumsDead Awake (Post-Punk/Psych-Rock) [Fuzz Club]

At the same fertile intersection marked Jesus & Mary Chain and Joy Division, and which spawned the likes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Black Doldrums are all gloom all of the time. Reverb unsurprisingly dominates the hard-rocking, leathery landscape, revved up pulses rendering the chillingly gothic more sprawlingly psychedelic. It may be darkest just before day, but Black Doldrums have just written its doomed dawn chorus.

48. CloakroomDissolution Wave (Shoegaze/Alt-Rock) [Relapse Records]

Dissolution Wave is a contradiction: Cloakroom have never felt smaller, nor quite as big. Suffocating riffs bring the walls in close, a stiflingly short run-time increasing the humidity. This is a concept album though about the destruction of all existing art and, somewhat presumptuously, quality music is the new currency and also powers the Earth (stay with us), Dissolution Wave thus helping the planet’s survival and ensuring a tight running order here.

49. Kids On A Crime SpreeFall In Love Not In Line (Indie/Noise-Pop) [Slumberland]

Back after a decade away, Kids On A Crime Spree’s return could make some of you feel your age. The Oakland band have always had such a way with their charming jangles, nostalgic indie fuzz and fun-time surf riffs however, that Fall In Love Not In Line courses through the veins like memories of an old flame, reanimating thoughts of long-forgotten nights out: sticky dancefloors, cheap drinks and too many cigarettes, check.

50. Pan DaijingTissues (Doom Techno/Experimental Opera) [Pan]

This arresting and utterly unique soundtrack to a fascinating exhibition performance that premiered at the Tate Modern in 2019 was composed, written, produced and directed by Chinese artist Pan Daijing. Now released commercially with a libretto part-written in old Chinese, it’s cavernous, experimental opera that assaults the senses and sounds unlike anything else you’ve listened to this year. Or probably ever for that matter.

The best of the rest (no particular order):

The JanitorsNoisolation Sessions Vol. 2 (Psych/Space-Rock) [Cardinal Fuzz/Little Cloud]
Boy HarsherThe Runner (Synth/Darkwave) [Nude Club]
System ExclusiveSystem Exclusive (Synth-Pop/Punk) [Castle Face]
Molly NilssonExtreme (Singer-Songwriter/Synth-Pop) [Night School]
SprintsA Modern Job EP (Indie-Rock/Neo Post-Punk) [Nice Swan]
WidowspeakThe Jacket (Dream-Pop) [Captured Tracks]
BODEGABroken Equipment (Punk-Rock) [What’s Your Rupture?]
King HannahI’m Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me (Dream-Pop/Trip-Hop) [City Slang]
BlushingPossessions (Shoegaze) [Kanine]
carolinecaroline (Post-Rock) [Rough Trade]
Warm GravesEase (Coldwave/Kosmische) [Fuzz Club]
The Body & OAAEnemy Of Love (Doom Metal/Experimental) [Thrill Jockey]
Jenny HvalClassic Objects (Singer-Songwriter/Alt-Pop) [4AD]
BambaraLove On My Mind EP (Neo Post-Punk) [Wharf Cat]
VR SexRough Dimension (Goth-Rock/Industrial) [Dais]
KEVINAftermath (Experimental/Psych/Prog-Rock) [Riot Season]
Ambassador HazyThe Traveler (60s Psych/Psych-Pop) [Cardinal Fuzz/Hazy House]
GnodHexen Valley (Industrial/Noise-Rock) [Rocket Recordings]
Young PrismsDrifter (Shoegaze) [Fire Talk]
TempersNew Meaning (Synth-Pop/Darkwave) [Dais]
Kurt Vile(Watch My Moves) (Singer-Songwriter/Americana) [Verve]
Dion LunadonBeyond Everything (Garage-Punk) [In The Red]
Mitra MitraHands Remain (Darkwave) [Polytechnic Youth]
Kevin MorbyThis Is A Photograph (Singer-Songwriter) [Dead Oceans]
Porridge RadioWaterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky (Indie-Rock) [Secretly Canadian]
Sharon Van EttenWe’ve Been Going About This All Wrong (Singer-Songwriter) [Jagjaguwar]
SPICEViv (Punk-Rock) [Dais]
Zola JesusArkhon (Darkwave/Singer-Songwriter) [Sacred Bones]
Soccer MommySometimes, Forever (Singer-Songwriter) [Loma Vista]
MeltsMaelstrom (Kosmische/Psych-Rock) [Mother Sky]
Daniel RossenYou Belong There (Experimental Indie/Folk) [Warp]
DesertaEvery Moment, Everything You Need (Post-Rock/Shoegaze) [Felte]
DeliluhFault Lines (Post-Rock/Experimental) [Tin Angel]
Oog BogoPlastic (Garage-Punk) [God?]
Death BellsBetween Here & Everywhere (Post-Punk/New Wave) [Dais]
HighSchoolForever At Last EP (Post-Punk/New Wave) [Dalliance]
BlacklabIn A Bizarre Dream (Doom-Metal) [New Heavy Sounds]
Dry CleaningStumpwork (Indie/Post-Punk) [4AD]
Sniffany & The NitsThe Unscratchable Itch (Garage-Punk) [PRAH]
GLAASQualm (Post-Punk) [Static Shock]
Gloria De Oliveira & Dean HurleyOceans Of Time (Ambient/Dream-Pop) [Sacred Bones]
No AgePeople Helping People (Garage-Punk/Experimental) [Drag City]
PreoccupationsArrangements (Post-Punk) [Jagjaguwar]
Julia, JuliaDerealization (Dream-Pop/Ambient) [Suicide Squeeze]
ScroungeSugar, Daddy (Indie/Punk/Noise) [Fierce Panda]
ZongAstral Lore (Psych-Rock/Doom) [Cardinal Fuzz/Little Cloud]
PVABlush (New Wave/Synth-Pop) [Ninja Tune]
GoatOh Death (Psych-Rock/Worldbeat) [Rocket Recordings]
Scout GillettNo Roof No Floor (Singer-Songwriter) [Captured Tracks]
White LungPremonition (Punk-Rock) [Domino]