[sic] Magazine

Sub-Ed’s Albums & EPs Of The Year 2015

Here, simply, is 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. As usual, there’s been plenty of good-to-downright-great releases, each and every one of the below worth recommending in their own way. Hang on, though. What year is it again? Post-punk and noise-rock dominate the top ten and, you know what, I couldn’t be happier about it.

Particular credit goes this year to the Cardinal Fuzz label, who had a hand in no less than six entries, and to Sacred Bones, who can count five releases in this top 100. This is an even more impressive feat in Sacred Bones’s case as they managed five last year too, seven the year before that and four the year before that too! A real [sic] fixture! Plaudits also go to the ever-present 4AD, from whom four artists also feature, and special mention goes to the Constellation and Partisan imprints for each managing three entries apiece too.

Other statistical analysis interestingly shows that, while I consider myself an open-minded globetrotter when it comes to music, 80% of the artists in this top 100 still call either the US, UK, Canada or Australia home, though this is down from 90% last year. Seek and you shall find. Turn over enough rocks and great music abounds almost everywhere.

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


1. Chelsea WolfeAbyss (Doom/Goth/Folk) [Sargent House]

Though her new LP is named Abyss, Chelsea Wolfe is on an upwards trajectory. In 2011 she struck Gothic gold with “Pale on Pale”. The rest of Apokalypsis was more difficult to penetrate, however, and it was followed up with a collection of disappointing attic-core acoustics. Her 2013 LP, Pain Is Beauty, happily righted all that. Packed with melancholy, Wolfe’s blend of hushed folk and ominous melody had never been more consistent nor striking and it earned her #4 placing on [sic]’s coveted AOTY feature.

Abyss is even better. Running with Pain Is Beauty’s template, it growls too with the extreme low-end of doom-metal, musically embracing the crushing pressures of her nomenclature whilst Wolfe’s frosty vocals floats around the album like a lost soul. She’s thrillingly sought out Earth’s lowest point as a launchpad. Just remember that continuing on this path she still has all the strata and spheres of this world to go, and then on into the heavens.


2. envyAtheist’s Cornea (Post-Rock/Metal) [Rock Action]

Coming at post-rock with a background in thrash, envy have always been different. Atheist’s Cornea is the Tokyo band’s first LP in over five years and their sixth overall since 1992. It’s been time very well spent, however, as it’s an album that breathes genuine excitement back into the shadowiest, loudest and – curiously – most beautiful corners of this most evocative of movements. As a result, it’s easily one of the most thrilling post-rock records in the last half-decade. Sometimes it really is wise to respect your elders.


3. CeremonyThe L-Shaped Man (Post-Punk) [Matador]

The L-Shaped Man is Ceremony’s fifth and best LP. With a background in hardcore their switch to post-punk in 2012 was surprising and underwhelming. Zoo was an album that smacked of trying on new clothes, but it shouldn’t have for this is a band named after a Joy Division track after all. Ceremony have since been on a diet though and it’s made them hungry. Is this the best LP of its type since Interpol’s Antics? Probably. Ceremony appear to have finally become the band(s) they always wanted to be.


4. PileYou’re Better Than This (Indie-Punk/Post-Hardcore) [Fierce Panda]

Pile sound like a lost Sub Pop band. Obviously, there’s the name and then the loud-quiet-loud and shifting rhythms that make them hard to pin down. You’re Better Than This is an unstable blend of personalities, thinking nothing of lashing out with one hand whilst comforting with the other, something that matches frontman Rick Maguire’s inner chameleon. It’s all so far from rock by numbers it’s laughable. No. Interesting, dangerous and glorious, this is rock by special characters, if you will.


5. Girl BandHolding Hands With Jamie (Post-Punk/Noise-Rock/Post-Hardcore) [ Rough Trade]

Based on an incendiary string of EPs and singles, [sic] included Dublin’s Girl Band in our tips for 2015 feature. Repaying the faith, their explosive Holding Hands With Jamie is a riotous racket shrouded by the knowledge it was written in a state of mental turmoil. Accordingly, its jarring combination of industrial punk and post-hardcore throb themselves into a punishing techno frenzy in places. And, though it feels insensitive, the way Dara Kiely’s manic vocal finds a common thread between them is pure excitement.


6. GHXSTNowhere (Grunge/Blues/Noise-Rock) [CLUB.THE.MAMMOTH.]

Weapons-grade fuzz and melody have long been the best of friends, but gloomy NYC trio GHXST are determined to break them up, applying a tin-opener to the cosy relationship in order to let their outcast “doom-grunge” into the jagged fold. Following a steady stream of grossly under-discovered material their return with the combustible Nowhere EP is again crushing noise-rock par excellence. GHXST are the new black.


7. ProtomartyrThe Agent Intellect (Post-Punk/Punk-Rock) [Hardly Art]

It’s jaw-dropping just how good Protomartyr have become. The Agent Intellect is a more subtle punk-rock affair than perhaps could be expected, more refined too. These changes, however, are driven by improved songwriting and Joe Casey’s spellbinding transformation into a heavyweight frontman of real interest, passion and originality. Relish each spin as his unique observations reveal themselves. This is an LP in which to indulge.


8. A Place To Bury StrangersTransfixiation (Noise-Rock/Post-Punk) [Dead Oceans]

Over three good-to-great albums A Place To Bury Strangers have become shoegazy noise-rock’s fuzzy constant. Transfixiation is ear-catching, then, because even by the Brooklyn trio’s own standards it’s an abrasive listen. It’s under-produced when it’d have been all too easy to labour over a mixing desk. Consequently it really captures the intensity of an APTBS live show and if that doesn’t get you excited this isn’t the record for you.


9. GrimesArt Angels (Pop) [4AD]

It’s well known that Claire Boucher scrapped an entire album last year based on fan feedback. We may never know if that was a wise idea, but as it birthed the spectacular Art Angels from the wreckage it doesn’t matter. Super catchy, super cute and dressed in global electro-pop’s most bleeding-edge motifs, its giddy highs are 2015’s best pop songs – the breathless and dizzying LP another welcome addition to her impressive repertoire.


10. Sonic JesusNeither Virtue Nor Anger (Post-Punk/Psyche-Rock) [Fuzz Club]

The first two tracks on Neither Virtue Nor Anger are so good that if Sonic Jesus had maintained the pace it could well have been album of the year. It’s a lengthy album and that’s probably its only flaw. With the opportunity to table so much music they swing freely from steely industrial post-punk to unconnected and heavy psychedelic rock. Sorely recommended to anyone who found comfort in Verma’s Sunrunner last year.

11. BIG|BRAVEAu De La (Experimental Rock) [Southern Lord]

With no new Swans LP this year, punishing experimental rock has a new champion. The richly rewarding Au De La is the Montreal outfit’s second LP and it’s an unsettling and striking blend of doom, post-rock, noise and drone that treats its listeners like adults, challenging them without lecturing, standoffish but not unfriendly. It’s an album that feels important, monolithic and almost overwhelming large. Baulk at its sheer scale.

12. DisappearsIrreal (Post-Punk/Krautrock) [ Kranky]

There’s always been an element of the robotic to krautrock. It’s there in its humourless repetition and wheezy compressions of industry. On Disappears’ fifth album, Irreal, the Chicago band strip out the last vestiges of melody from their serious post-punk, making an album that sounds like the product of a hive mind rather the human ones, its cold streams of notes and chords flowing like antifreeze in the fuel lines of military tech.

13. BjörkVulnicura (Electronica/Singer-Songwriter) [One Little Indian]

With producers as strong as Arca (see #50) and The Haxan Cloak could Vulnicura remain a Björk album? It means “cure for wounds” and it’s well documented as a cathartic reaction to her break-up with Matthew Barney. It’s personal out of necessity – as intimate as Vespertine – and it’s also 100% Björk, a return to the string arrangements and beats of Homogenic, so too the angelic choral turns of Biophilia. We should have expected nothing less.

14. Father John MistyI Love You, Honeybear (Country-Rock) [Bella Union]

Josh Tillman lives and breathes the conflicts of folk-rock: its carefree sprawl; its bleak romance; its deep cynicism. Honeybear is an out-of-time opus framed by Tillman’s recent marriage. He openly questions intimacy and he’s often insensitive. His music is old but his acerbic words are modern. Through it all his personability shines through. It’s not a brave face he wears though, but one of a battered realist who understands his medium.

15. Moon DuoShadow Of The Sun (Psyche-Rock) [Sacred Bones]

Do something different or do something well. Moon Duo’s MO has hardly changed since 2009 and why should it? They’re modern masters of the space-rock game and Shadow Of The Sun is another major success. The key has always been in the blend of astral synths and guitar hooks, Ripley Johnson’s sleepy vocal carrying just enough weight to stabilise otherwise certain tail-spin. Keep making ‘em this strong and we’ll keep buying ‘em.

16. Deaf WishPain (Noise-Rock) [Sub Pop]

Though Deaf Wish’s new LP, Pain, plays out like the sweetest of punk-rock mix-tapes, there are no prizes for guessing the Aussie four-piece’s biggest heroes. Guitarist Jensen Tjhung’s contributions come straight from the Thurston Moore anti-pop handbook. Second guitarist and part-time vocalist Sarah Hardiman is very much the Kim in this deal and in certain moments they combine just like poetry: “sometimes my life turns to noise.”

17. Milk TeethSad Sack (Grunge/Emo/Indie-Rock) [Venn Records]

We were all young once. Some of you may still be. Stroud’s finest four-piece (no sniggering at the back please) Milk Teeth certainly are, yet their fiery scuzz-pop is deeply nostalgic all the same. Their six-track Sad Sack EP is full to bursting with melody-heavy angst, allowing frontwoman Becky Blomfield’s inner grunge goddess to flourish. In simple terms, Milk Teeth put a smile back on the mush of po-faced rock.

18. CourtesySlow Bruise (Psyche-Pop/Kraut/Experimental) [Moon Glyph]

It’s no discredit to Moon Glyph to say that Slow Bruise is more than deserving of a wider-scale release for Chi-town residents Drew Ryan and Kirk Rawlings sit their impressive palettes somewhere between the Embryonic psyche-pop of The Flaming Lips, the shadow-world sounds of Liars and the minimal kraut of this year’s Vision Fortune LP (see #32). It’s truly the audio answer to Philip K. Dick’s timeless question “Do Androids Dream?”

19. Sun Kil MoonUniversal Themes (Singer-Songwriter) [Caldo Verde]

Universal Themes may not quite have met with the acclaim that recent career highlight Benji saw, but in a way it seems more personal, more defiant and yet more vulnerable. Mark Kozelek’s tumbling prose will not convince the wary, but the converted will find both magic and honesty in his words and awkward melodies. Yes, the sly old bastard, battered tales in tow, only went and made me cry when I saw him live at OFF festival this year.

20. Colin Stetson & Sarah NeufeldNever Were The Way She Was (Drone/Neo-Classical) [Constellation]

The solo work of renowned bass saxophonist Colin Stetson, collaborator with Arcade Fire, Bon Iver et al., has always pushed the envelope. Here he gets together with fellow Arcade Fire alum and violinist Sarah Neufeld for a delightful, intelligent and challenging collection of instrumentals that scour neo-classical highs and dour drones, all captured via a breath-taking lack of overdubs. The artistry of these one-take compositions is astounding.

21. Viet CongViet Cong (Post-Punk) [Jagjaguwar]

Behind all the controversy of their name lay – and lies – a pretty good post-punk band. And it’s a shame that Viet Cong’s music wasn’t allowed to do the talking in 2015 because their S/T, long-playing debut screams from pummelling angles, having to shout louder and louder to be heard over their own distorted racket. This isn’t an album full of crystalline basslines; instead the case is made on a pillar of no wave dissonance and smart hooks.

22. Grey HairsColossal Downer (Post-Hardcore/Sludgecore/Punk) [Gringo]

Nottingham four-piece Grey Hairs have been around the block and their debut is pure record-collection rock. Colossal Downer is at once Albini-school post-hardcore given a shaking down by newer-school sludgecore and heavy-chugging garage-punk. Feedback and ugly sneers coat the nasty grooves, speaker-blown crunch face-planting into the nearest concrete. Grey Hairs lead by example, showing the young’uns how it’s done.

23. Godspeed You! Black EmperorAsunder, Sweet And Other Distress (Post-Rock/Drone) [Constellation]

Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress contains only four tracks and they flow as single, spectacular suite. It opens with every-intensifying refrains and trademark Godspeed climaxes, seguing into lengthy passage of atmospheric drones that needle the frontal cortex, before closing out with a huge build and crash, consisting of a smear of feedback and strings as strong as anything they’ve ever committed to record. What’s not to like?

24. Death And VanillaTo Where The Wild Things Are (Lounge-Psychedelia/Soundtrack) [Fire Records]

Some records are like a late-night snack while others, like Death And Vanilla’s third LP, To Where The Wild Things Are, are like a ten-course, wine-matched tasting menu. Named after Maurice Sendak’s children’s book, it’s a delightful collection of dreamy psyche-pop that nods to the trippy harmonies and lounge exotica of Broadcast and Stereolab, nebulous repeats and warm drones giving way to spooky lava-lamp projections.

25. Bernard + EdithJem (New Wave/Alt-Pop) [Bella Union]

Greta “Edith” Carroll
and Nick “Bernard” Delap are a dark and disparate synth-pop duo from Manchester who make sounds an ocean away from their cutesy monikers. Swirling in healthy doses of Cocteau Twins ethereality, strains of warped trip-hop and Angelo Badalamenti soundtrack work, the resultant patchwork is a beguiling statement of retro-leaning futurism that smacks of several greats simultaneously.

26. Dilly DallySore (Punk/Alt-Rock) [Partisan]

Similar in many ways to Bully (see #29) and last year’s [sic] AOTY winners White Lung, Toronto four-piece Dilly Dally‘s debut is crowned by singer/guitarist Katie Monks‘ astonishingly rasping voice. She’s only in her 20s but she sounds like she’s suffered from years of dank self-abuse. Behind her, her band play like an MTV special on Black Francis and his contemporaries, their loud-quiet-loud structures peaking well into the red of the mix.

27. SealingsI’m A Bastard (Shoegaze/Noise-Rock/Darkwave) [Faux Discx/Italian Beach Babes]

[sic] have championed noisy gits Sealings for a number of years now and they remain one of our favourite British band of rockers. I’m A Bastard is probably their highest profile release to date and it comprises their best track to date, the ever-brilliant “My Boyfriend’s Dead”, with newer material positioned somewhere between shoegaze, noise-rock and darkwave. Marvel at how warm their fuzz makes you feel inside.

28. Pretty LightningA Magic Lane Of Light And Rain (Blues-Psyche) [Cardinal Fuzz]

When you think of the Delta blues, it isn’t the backwater swamps of Germany that first come to mind. Music is a state of mind, however, not a state of residence and Christian Berghoff and Sebastian Haas proved it on their debut. With an arsenal of dirty riffs, heavy drum stomp and psychedelic swirl it rightly blew some brains and, with its follow up, A Magic Lane Of Light And Rain, the Saarbrücken duo have done it all over again.

29. BullyFeels Like (Alt-Rock/Grunge) [Columbia]

One of a series of 2015 firebrand frontwomen elevating their scrappy indie-punk to grungier hunting grounds, Alicia Bognanno has been done wrong and Feels Like yells it from the rooftops in no uncertain terms. It’s a proper early 90s album, too, buoyant Pixies melodies scuzzed up with generous distortion. It’s a well-worn road, of course, but Bully revel in youth and naivety, coming at it from a surprisingly world-weary angle.

30. Colleen GreenI Want To Grow Up (Pop-Punk) [Hardly Art]

Colleen Green is now of an age at which she’s “sick of being dumb”. She’s nervous of growing old, wondering how to do it gracefully and if she’ll ever find love in the process. Her self-questioning and doubts make I Want To Grow Up, her third LP, a very relatable record. Though she’s recruited Jake Orrall and his trademark crunch for the album, her formula remains super simple. Drums + fuzz + bubblegum vocal = retro slacking majesty.

31. GirlpoolBefore The World Was Big (Indie-Punk) [Wichita]

Strip everything back and you’ve got nowhere to hide. Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker follow up their devastating debut EP with the Before The World Was Big LP – a two-chord, zero-percussion collection of fascinating indie-punk. Their music is often barely there and the girls’ whispery vocal harmonies take centre stage in its place. Their fragility is palpable, but they use that vulnerability to burn with intensity.

32. Vision FortuneCountry Music (Kraut-Rock/Post-Punk/Drone) [ATP]

As all the reviews read, Vision Fortune’s Country Music is anything but. It inhabits instead a Liars-esque netherworld of minimal electronica, Gothic drones, krautadelic percussive repeats, as well as housing the frostiness and oblique angles of post-punk. It’s a real square peg that refuses to nestle in any appointed round hole. It has a presence though, creeping around the shadows and breathing uneasily down your neck.

33. U.S. GirlsHalf Free (Alt-Pop) [4AD]

Continuing where Gem left off in 2012, Half Free is a no-holds-barred account of what it is to be a woman today. Subjects as wide-ranging as liberty, war widows, low self-esteem and abusive relationships are all tackled from a strong feminine viewpoint. Spend some quality time with Meg Remy and understand that her stories are all too common and then precisely for whom and why she’s dressing them up so nicely.

34. The Soft MoonDeeper (Darkwave) [Captured Tracks]

There’s a deliciously dark undertow to Deeper, even by Louis Vasquez’s own bleak standards. His mixes are pushed into increasingly industrial and punishing arenas, blunt-force beats, alarms and synths conjuring black-hearted darkwave as much Gothic post-punk. There remains an element of human compassion in his compositions, however, and it’s for this reason they come across as triumphant rather than dirgeful.

35. FöllakzoidIII (Krautrock/Psyche) [Sacred Bones]

Chilean groove titans Föllakzoid’s latest offering makes up for what it lacks in track number by gargantuan track length. Mesmeric and monolithic riffs play across deeply repetitive percussion, placing the absorbing listen into locked-in zoning country. In fact, in places, III gets so insistent in its loops at to edge into techno territory, something that makes total sense when you read German electro pioneer Atom™ listed as producer.

36. So StressedThe Unlawful Trade Of Greco-Roman Art (Hardcore) [Honor Press]

Snagged by Meredith Graves of Perfect Pussy for her first release on Honor Press, So Stressed are an aptly intense hardcore trio from Sacramento and their debut is complex, intelligent and aggressive. The band’s chainsaw guitars, ferocious drums and frontman Morgan Fox’s howled vocals are all caked in righteous distortion. Music like this needs to feel dangerous and So Stressed sound like they could have your eye out.

37. Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell (Singer-Songwriter) [Asthmatic Kitty]

Carrie & Lowell is Sufjan Stevens at his most intimate. Gone are his grandiose art projects: in their place a return to the minimalism of Seven Swans. Framed by his titular mother and stepfather it tells of his fragile childhood. Dealing with maternal abandonment and loss, he seeks refuge in paternal support via passages of self-hurt and painful memories. What on paper sounds torturous is made wonderful on record.

38. Timmy’s OrganismHeartless Heathen (Rock) [Third Man]

Combustible frontman in bands such as Clone Defects and Human Eye since the 90s, Timmy Vulgar (né Lampinen) is a name that really should be better known. You know that type of honest-to-goodness rock ‘n’ roll they simply don’t make any more? Well, nobody told Vulgar because his guitar-lover’s-delight Heartless Heathen is jam-packed (pun intended) with the stuff. Handle carefully in order it doesn’t blow up in your face.

39. Demian CastellanosThe Kyvu Tapes Vol.1 (1990-1998) (Psyche-Drone) [Cardinal Fuzz/Hands In The Dark]

Most psychedelia is transportative but Kyvu Tapes takes you back in time, too. These days Demian Castellanos fronts The Oscillation, but 20 years ago he was still growing up. Captured on 4-track Tascam are his experiments “playing [the guitar] with forks, knives, bits of paper and … effects pedals.” And, to his massive credit they manage also be an engaging, rewarding listen – formative steps that most would call a career highlight.

40. Royal HeadacheHigh (Garage-Punk/Pop) [What’s Your Rupture?]

Nature abhors a vacuum and so does retro-leaning garage-rock. In the four silent years since Royal Headache’s superb S/T a new set of challengers have risen to prominence, taking the plaudits that Sydney’s finest should still be sharing. Further tainting High’s party vibe is the nagging knowledge that it is to be frontman Shogun’s last ride with the band, too. It’s a shame as you feel he’s gonna miss the band just as much as they’ll miss him.

41. Wolf EyesI Am A Problem: Mind In Pieces (Trip-Metal) [Third Man]

With over 500 releases, where can the newcomer possibly start with DIY trip/noise legends Wolf Eyes? Well, they could do far worse than test the water with this schizophrenically titled LP. Why? Because within a generous industrial/experimental context, discernible guitar, drums and vocals are all present. I Am A Problem is nevertheless the sound of Wolf Eyes dragging their leaden selves and broader noise genre ever forward.

42. TorresSprinter (Singer-Songwriter) [Partisan]

Mackenzie Scott is fast developing into one of America’s best singer-songwriters and with the confident and intense Sprinter in the bag she more than has the ammo to back up such a claim. Her consistently split folk/rock personality still makes it difficult to predict whether she’ll next come out guns blazing or retreat back into self-questioning shadows, but on this evidence just make sure you follow her no matter the direction.

43. Elvis DepressedlyNew Alhambra (Singer-Songwriter/Indie-Pop) [Run For Cover]

Bands ebb and flow as much as their albums. New Alhambra is, remarkably, Mat Cothran’s seventh LP as Elvis Depressedly, and brushing up his infamously cruddy production to a level at which it could meet your mother, he’s at a point in his life where he no longer wishes to write “sad songs”. Spoiler alert: those that revelled in his darker past may not like the switch, but his newfound tenderness seems as real a character as he’s ever been.

44. OughtSun Coming Down (Punk-Rock) [Constellation]

Smart-mouthed and intelligently restrained, Ought are fast making an enviable career out of David Byrne’s rulebook. André Breton once advocated that only the marvellous was beautiful, but punk found a new way, elevating the mundane and workaday to something meaningful via anger and friction. Tim Darcy does the same but keeps his righteous seething to a minimum, translating his nuanced rock from a truly hard place.

45. Kurt Vile b’lieve i’m goin down … (Singer-Songwriter/Heartland Rock) [Matador]

Modern-day troubadour and confirmed grammar hater Kurt Vile was bred on FM rock. You know of his love of Bob Dylan and Neil Young because you can hear it. And, when Vile nabs soulful lyrics from Sam Cooke on b’lieve i’m goin down, you know it’s done with nothing more than wry affection. Vile struggles with identity as a consequence and his voyeuristic, warts-and-all album lays adulthood bare – both good times and the bad.

46. Best FriendsHot. Reckless. Totally Insane. (Indie/Rock) [FatCat]

Why Best Friends aren’t the toast of young indie-rockers the length and breadth of the country is something of a mystery. Certainly once bitten they inspire a level of devotion and enthusiasm usually reserved for some NME-championed clothes-horses, but their scrappy pogoing may just be a little too brash for more polished tastes. A ringing endorsement for some resolutely British garage-rock if ever you heard one, surely?

47. EskimeauxO.K. (Dream/Indie-Pop) [Double Double Whammy]

Standing at the crossroads of two of the most cuddly and fey of strains of alternative music, Eskimeaux’s self-deprecating O.K. makes the most of melody, transforming Gabrielle Smith’s gloomy monotone into the lushest of pop arrangements. Her nursery rhyme structures slow down into pillowy lullabies, twinkling synthwork sweeping in to occupy the scantily-clad bars. This is an unassuming record studded with accidental genius.

48. Beach HouseDepression Cherry (Dream-Pop) [Sub Pop]

Bet you weren’t expecting two Beach House albums in 2015? While a best-of the two would’ve been ideal, Depression Cherry edges Thank Your Lucky Stars because the dream-pop figureheads tend to suit misery better than they do praise, even if musically they’re both approached similarly. That said, no-one likes it when a passion becomes a chore and Depression Cherry lights up frequently enough to help the heaviest of hearts.

49. SportsAll Of Something (Indie-Pop) [Father/Daughter]

All Of Something is the most surprising and rewarding of indie-pop LPs. Trundling along with charming slacker motifs its sugary sucker-punches come from nowhere, and so too its comforting arm around the shoulders. It lasts just a little over twenty minutes and is made all that more bittersweet with the knowledge it will stand as the Ohio band’s swansong. As closing statements go, All Of Something makes sure Sports get the last word.

50. ArcaMutant (Electronica/Experimental/Beats) [Mute]

Producer of the moment Alejandro Ghersi may be taking the plaudits for his work with Kanye, FKA Twigs and Björk, but he’s saved more than enough of his best material for Mutant – an aptly titled tableau on which he repeats Xen’s Frankenstein beats at a more intelligible level, the electronic scree coalescing into a telepathic chatter. Mutant often seems to be trying to communicate and you’d be wise to listen.

The best of the rest (no particular order):

YungAlter (Noise-Rock/Post-Punk) [Tough Love]
WandGolem (Garage-Rock) [Garage-Rock]
The AmazingPicture You (Indie/Dream-Pop) [Partisan]
RabitBaptizm (Electronica/Beats) [Tri Angle]
A Grave With No NameFeathers Wet, Under The Moon (Singer-Songwriter/Psyche-Folk) [Lefse]
Holly HerndonPlatform (Experimental/Electro-Pop) [4AD]
Cathode Ray EyesEyes In The Melancholy Palm (Psychedelic Rock/Garage) [Cardinal Fuzz]
White MannaPan (Psyche-Rock) [Cardinal Fuzz]
Eternal SummersGold And Stone (Indie-Pop) [Kanine]
No JoyMore Faithful (Shoegaze/Dream-Pop) [Mexican Summer]
Havah / His Electro Blues VoiceSplit (Dark Wave/Noise-Rock/Experimental Rock) [Maple Death]
Titus AndronicusThe Most Lamentable Tragedy (Punk-Rock) [Merge]
Courtney BarnettSometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit (Singer-Songwriter) [Mom + Pop]
Night BedsIvywild (Neo-R&B) [Dead Oceans]
InstituteCatharsis (Punk-Rock) [Sacred Bones]
Pale BlueThe Past We Leave Behind (Italo Disco/Ambient Techno) [Captured Tracks]
Lower DensEscape From Evil (Dream-Pop) [Ribbon Music]
The ParrotsWeed For The Parrots (Garage-Punk) [Luv Luv Luv]
HorsebeachII (Dream-Pop/Indie) [Alone Together]
Debris SlideAraido (Shoegaze/Noise-Rock) [Fluff]
Minami DeutschMinami Deutsch (Kraut-Rock) [Cardinal Fuzz]
TamarynCranekiss (Shoegaze/New Wave) [Mexican Summer]
BastonGesture (Garage-Psyche) [Howlin Banana]
Advance BaseNephew In The Wild (Singer-Songwriter) [Tomlab]
Israel NashIsrael Nash’s Silver Season (Alt-Country) [Loose Music]
Wax IdolsAmerican Tragic (Goth/Alt-Rock) [Collect Records]
FisThe Blue Quicksand Is Going Now (Electronica/Ambient-Noise/R&B) [Loopy]
AutobahnDissemble (Kraut/Post-Punk) [Tough Love]
ColleenCaptain Of None (Electronica/Art-Pop/Psyche-Dub) [Thrill Jockey]
DeerhunterFading Frontier (Dream-Pop/Indie) [4AD]
10000 Russos10000 Russos (Psyche-Rock/Shoegaze) [Fuzz Club]
FuzzII (Garage-Psyche) [In The Red]
Destruction UnitNegative Feedback Resistor (Psyche-Punk) [Sacred Bones]
Jenny HvalApocalypse, Girl (Singer-Songwriter/Experimental) [Sacred Bones]
3 MoonsAstronomy Of Dreams (Psyche-Folk) [Moon Glyph]
O>L>ACall Of The Wild (Avant-Pop/Electronic Composition) [Ramber Records]
ShoppingWhy Choose (Post-Punk/Punk-Funk) [Fat Cat]
BirdskullsTrickle (Grunge/Punk) [Dog’s Knight]
SexwitchSexwitch (Psyche/Tribal) [Echo]
Hey ColossusRadio Static High (Psyche/Experimental Rock) [Rocket]
PinkshinyultrablastEverything Else Matters (Shoegaze/Dream-Pop) [AC30]
The Band Whose Name Is A SymbolMasters Of The Molehill (Kraut/Psyche-Rock) [Cardinal Fuzz]
Diet CigOver Easy (Slacker Punk) [Father/Daughter]
DesaparecidosPayola (Emo/Rock) [Epitaph]
KrillA Distant Fist Unclenching (Indie-Punk/Post-Hardcore) [Double Double Whammy]
Thee Oh SeesMutilator Defeated At Last (Garage-Psyche) [Castle Face]
HelenThe Original Faces (Girl Group/Garage-Pop/Shoegaze) [Kranky]
Hop AlongPainted Shut (Indie-Rock) [Saddle Creek]
Ian William CraigCradle For The Wanting (Experimental/Ambient/Choral) [Recital]
Last HarbourCaul (Indie-Rock) [Gizeh]