The National

Trouble Will Find Me

This stately, gorgeous sixth album from the National once again validates the band’s growing legion of loyal fans. From the clanging “Sea of Love” to the hushed and searing “Pink Rabbits”, this album feels like yet another step up in an already great career.


James Blake


James Blake scooped up a Mercury Prize for his latest album, and it’s easy to see why. He expands on the interior electronica of his earlier EPs and self-titled LP, making his sound more accessible and letting his sweetly morose voice shine on every track.

Queens of the Stone Age

…Like Clockwork

Blistering, sludge-y rock has always been Queens of the Stone Age’s signature sound, and this album shows no signs of their slowing down. Plenty of established bands released passable new LPs this year, but Queens was one of the few who actually upped the ante.


Julia with Blue Jeans On

Best known for his work in the currently defunct Canadian indie outfit Wolf Parade, Spencer Krug opts for something different on this sparse, piano-driven solo album. His distinctive voice is on full display, perfectly suited to wrenchingly personal ballads like “November 2011” and the title track.

Vampire Weekend

Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend have kept up their momentum by branching out on each new album. Modern Vampires of the City is no exception, showing more introspection in their sound. It wraps up with the gorgeously restrained “Hannah Hunt”, allowing frontman Ezra Koenig’s voice to soar.

Fast Romantics

Afterlife Blues

If you like propulsive, instantly catchy Canadian indie rock (think the Weakerthans, the Arkells, etc.), you should check out this second LP from Toronto’s Fast Romantics. “Funeral Song” offers an unexpectedly upbeat take on a sombre topic, while “White Lights” is just as spirited as anything the New Pornographers have put out.

Laura Marling

Once I Was an Eagle

Quietly earning the favour of music critics since her debut at the age of 16, the now 23-year-old Laura Marling returns with her fourth album, Once I Was an Eagle. Her albums are always full of exquisitely crafted, deceptively restrained songs, and she continues to mature and develop her craft here.


Jake Bugg

Shangri La

Indie rock’s new “it” boy shows his songwriting chops and delightfully off-kilter voice on Shangri La. “Messed Up Kids” proves that Bugg knows how to tell a relatable story, while the swirling Britpop of “Simple Pleasures” suggests that he might be capable of filling arenas before long.



Eschewing the myth of the sophomore slump, Villagers craft a dynamic blend of genres with {Awayland}. They even offer a shimmering, accessible single in the form of “Nothing Arrived”, which sounds like a cross between R.E.M.’s “Nightswimming” and Bright Eyes.

Johnny Flynn

Country Mile

Country Mile may be folk-rock troubadour Johnny Flynn’s most fully-formed album yet, a comfortable blend of folk, rock, and pop. Gems like the politely crashing title track and the soothing lullaby “Einstein’s Idea” are new high-water marks in his catalogue

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