Yep, it's that time of year when writers all over the world produce their "best of" lists. Unlike other news outlets such NPR, Pitchfork or Paste, you won't find Kanye, Arcade Fire or Justin Timberlake on my list (mostly because I cover the western Massachusetts/southern Connecticut indie music scene). In no particular order, here they are:
Daphne Lee Martin, "Belly" - The lead single off her Moxie release gives me a boner. Enough said.
Speedy Ortiz, "Pioneer Spine" - There's something heartening about reliving the height of the Matador Records-era all over again. Sadie Dupuis and band-mates deliver the goods on their first full-length, Major Arcana, with this quiet/loud opener.
Mercy Choir, "Waaybaayo" - New Haven's Paul Belbusti is Mercy Choir. He released two albums this year, the instrumental Apostrophe Music and the singing-heavy His Noiseless Ball, His Boxwood Rattle. If you're a fan of Mark Linkous' Sparklehorse, you'll dig this.
And the Kids, "Neighbors" - Whether busking on the streets of Northampton or playing to a rapt audience at this summer's Green River Festival, And the Kids blew it up.