12 Days of AOTY: #2

To go alongside our 12 Days of Giveaways, we’ll be posting our personal album of the year lists one by one, from 12 to 1. Each member of our staff (we’re recruiting, by the way) wrote a bit about why x album made y place on their list.

beach musicAlex G – Beach Music
Beach Music is probably Alex G’s most experimental effort to date and I commend him for taking some risks, as this was his first album marketed to big audiences after signing to Domino. Beach Music is another testament to Giannascoli’s versatility and creativity. (Tim Mulhern)

its all trueDiners – It’s All True
Diners writes friendly desert pop with a lot of personality. In the second track, Tyler sings about how it “Must be nice to be so talented,” but I really can’t imagine a band with more talent than this Arizona quartet. (Zackary Kiebach)

the things we do to find people who feel like usBeach Slang – The Things We Do to Find People Like Us
The only word that comes to mind when discussing The Things We Do to Find People Like Us is “busy.” Every instrument is pumping well past 10; and vocalist James Alex seems to bleed out every song, only to return firing on all cylinders for another two-and-a-half minutes. Bearing their souls candidly before a wall of feedback, Beach Slang released the best rock album of 2015–period. (Nick Benevenia)

sometimes i just sit and think and sometimes i just sitCourtney Barnett – Somtimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
The sharpest lyrical wit in music today, an uncanny knack for pop songwriting, and a punk edginess that serves to get the audience both out of their seats and listening closer – what’s not to love about this record? Barnett is a humble virtuoso, the kid in the back of the room with an undeniable talent. (Eli Shively)

no closer to homeThe Wonder Years – No Closer to Heaven
The Wonder Years have entered a new phase of their career. No Closer to Heaven sees the band take on bigger social issues without losing the hyper-personal undertones that fans have fallen in love with. This album is incredibly dense with deeper meanings being revealed upon each new listen. (Scott Fugger)

shamePetal – Shame
Shame is split between analyzing the power of love, and the accompanying anxiety that often comes with feeling inadequate. In that way, the album is inherently intimate and vulnerable – it invites you to curl up inside of it and get immersed in tracks like “Silly Heart.” (James Jaskolka)

jenny deathDeath Grips – Jenny Death
The second half of The Powers That B is one of Death Grip’s very best. This is a group that seems to get more exciting and fresh with each release. (Jack Potz)

sometimes i just sit and think and sometimes i just sitCourtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
This is the only album I would listen to for two weeks this summer. There’s not a song on this album I don’t like. It’s some of the catchiest songs I’ve hear this year. The songs tell stories and she somehow makes buying groceries sound exciting. (Madi Guzman)

death magicHEALTH – Death Magic
Standing as HEALTH’s first release since 2009, Death Magic is an interesting and highly-anticipated view into what the last six years of evolving has done for this band. All the elements that made HEALTH a great noise band are still present, but they’re repackaged into remix-ready pop tracks that are catchy, emotional, and unforgettable. (Hayley Ionia)

no closer to homeThe Wonder Years – No Closer to Home
The Wonder Years are, and have been, above the curb in several ways. Whether criticizing the corruption of large pharmaceutical corporations, rallying against systematic racism and classism, or paying homage to frontman, Dan Campbell’s late friend, No Closer to Heaven shows a higher level of maturity from the band. The album takes listeners through emotions highs and lows, blending the harsh reality of life with the group’s own uncomfortable tales. (Angela Flores)

peripheral visionTurnover – Peripheral Vision
To me, Peripheral Vision is an album of clarity. It’s a very clean album that doesn’t have much in the way of enjoying and discovering the beauty of their songwriting. The music is pretty bare and easy to replicate, and the lyrics, though shockingly morbid and gruesome, don’t require any decoding. I wish I could listen to this album 24/7. This album is absolutely intoxicating. (Kyle Kohl)

further outCloakroom – Further Out
For the months while I was working as a barista in the worst café in town, Further Out did not leave my car’s CD player. Every time I got off work I would immediately put “Paperweight” on as loud as my stereo could handle and speed away. Part stoner metal, part emo, but also not quite either; this album knocks you back with its intensity while also giving some occasional atmospheric downtime before blasting off again. (Corey Purcell)

what you deserveStruckout – What You Deserve
This is the one album I would tell any punk fan to listen to, punk used to loosely mean “angry, yelly, abrasive music.” What You Deserve is emotional, dynamic, explosive, powerful, honest, bare, and beautiful. No other album this year or last has so accurately captured the spirit of the angry, confused, angst-ridden teenager within all of us in all its glory, with all its warts, as genuinely as What You Deserve did. That is not to say that it’s a juvenile record, that is to say it is relateable to its core. If you disagree, you haven’t listened enough. (Mark Garza)

Mark Garza

About Mark Garza

Mark Garza is the co-founder and owner of Funeral Sounds. They also work as a freelance publicist for Dragonfoot PR, and is listed at the "Lazy Web Guy" at Texas Is Funny Records. They need money. Hire them to make your website or something.

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