1. Flogging Molly - Speed of Darkness
This album was written while Dave King was living in Detroit and deals with the collapse of the American Auto industry and how it has impacted the lower level employees of the big companies. In a time when companies are cutting employees in order to justify large bonuses for executives, Speed of Darkness speaks out against this greed. It took me a couple of listens to truly digest, but this is one of my favortie albums by Flogging Molly.
2. Wild Flag - Wild Flag
Wild Flag's debut album is a blast to listen to, and even better to experience live. Carrie Brownstein is a monster on the guitar and they do a great job reviving the Portland punk sound.
3. M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
This album is one I listen to after a long day at work and I just need to decompress. M83 has a way of centering me when I really need it.
4. Fucked Up - David Comes to Life
Great blend of hardcore vocals with melodic instrumentation. My favorite track is Queen of Hearts, the contrast between the male and female vocals is fantastic.
5. Dodos - No Color
I saw the Dodos open for The New Pornographers last year and I have been a fan ever since. No Color didn't let me down. Using only an acoustic guitar, simple drum kit and xylaphone, the Dodos manage to create simple, beautiful music.
6. Beirut - The Rip Tide
I am a sucker for horns and non-traditional instrumentation and Beirut delivers on both counts. This combined with Zach Condon's sleepy voice, I have a hard time not listening to this album.
7. Frank Turner - England Keep My Bones
After only listening to the first track on England Keep My Bones, I was hooked. Turner has a way with words that I particularly love and his general philosophy on music is one to be admired.
8. Dainumo, Jeesh, P SUS - Three Flaovrs of 8-bit
These three artist take turns on the album exploring 8-bit techno, playing around with sounds from iconic video games, that makes me feel like I'm standing in an arcade. One track in particular starts off with general noise in an arcade that reminds me of the game room of the Putt-Putt I worked at in high school.
9. Cut Copy - Zonoscope
Zonoscope is a tribute to 80's new wave without being a sloppy makeout with the genre.
10. Old 97's - Grand Theater, Vol. 2
This Dallas rockabilly bands ninth studio album is an all around fun listen. The standout track on Grand Theater, at least for me, is the sea shanty, White Port. It even has yodeling.