The Shins -- Port of Morrow
I'm not so much a Shins fan as a Chutes Too Narrow fan, and even there the twee lyrics make that record age as poorly as the early Bright Eyes records, so I was excited to hear Mercer come out of the bedroom diary and write surprising turns of phrase and more complex themes while retaining his ear for melody and pop sensibilities.
Beach House -- Bloom
A darkly enchanting record that begs for multiple thru-listens, with Legrand's searing delivery and beautiful phrasings drawing you in, and the lush production serving as audiopiate (how is this not a word?).
Cloud Nothings -- Attack on Memory
When I need loud guitars and pointed lyrics to shout along with in the car, I can't get enough of this record, an Albini-produced, room shaking diatribe against getting old and boring.
Miniature Tigers -- Mia Pharaoh
This is the album Of Montreal should have made after Hissing Fauna, crammed to the point of bursting with pop goodness and a wicked sense of fun from first to last track.
Lotus Plaza -- Spooky Action at a Distance
A guitar record with a thick gauze of summer haze and loads of noise, it's another one that needs to be played loud, with windows down and the smell of heat matching the energy of these songs.
Spiritualized -- Sweet Heart Sweet Light
Sometimes you need a good mess in your life to appreciate the structure that felt suffocating only days ago, and this record is that walking disaster that you invite into your house, but leave the door open.