6. Ellie Goulding – Delerium
Goulding puts out another collection of listenable dance-tinged pop. I’ve been a fan since her first album, and I like how confident she sounds here. Now, as an album Delerium is very long and feels SLIGHTLY scattered. But I don’t mind that, really. The truth is, track to track, it’s an incredibly strong collection of songs. There are a TON of standout tracks for me, including Don’t Panic, Paradise, and the track I chose to represent it, Keep on Dancin’, which I’ll admit has because a bit of an anthem for me.
7. Wolf Alice – My Love is Cool
You know what else is cool? This effortlessly catchy, crunchy, and sonically interesting debut album from North London-based Wolf Alice. It feels like an album that could have been made in the 90s (in the best way) but still feels really current. There’s a wonderful mix of edge, sweetness and swagger to the album. There are a ton of good tracks, buy my favorite is Freazy. Below is the video, which also feels like it could have been made in the 90s.
8. Say Lou Lou – Lucid Dreaming
This came out at the start of the year, and has been such a permanent fixture in my song rotation it feels like I’ve had it a lot longer. The twin sister duo crafted an album of pure dream pop bliss. Their harmonies are gorgeous, and the ambient but driving music keeps propelling you from song to song. I can listen to this whole album without interruption. For my track selection I’ve chosen the epic and beautiful Julian.
9. Julia Holter – Have You in My Wilderness
I find it really hard to classify Julia Holter’s work. Art pop, I guess? But in the best ways. It’s beautiful and ambient and strange and cool and icy and heartfelt and… well, I pretty much fell in love with it on first listen. She’s one of those artists who I know would not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think she’s got a really singular sound and voice.
10. Troye Sivan – Blue Neighborhood
This one was a fairly late addition, and in fact I’ll be waiting to get my vinyl edition of it for the new year. But it came out this year, technically. Out artist Troye Sivan really blew me away with this collection of songs. I love the sound—a modern blend of electronic and pop sound with the occasional rap thrown in for good measure. Musically it sounds like a decent amount of music out there right now. But the songs are catchy, and the album as a whole is very listenable.
BONUS! I listened to a TON of great EPs this year. Here were my favorites:
Joni in the Moon – Sorrow Trees EP
Love + War – Ghosts Vol. 1 EP
Eliott Sumner – Early Reflections SMPLR EP
Lyla Foy – Umi EP
Aurora – Running WIth the Wolves