I grew up listening to punk rock and Britney Spears. The two scenes never mixed. Charli XCX mixed the two genres and created a masterpiece. This girl is a true rockstar. A brilliant, loose cannon party animal, songwriting prodigy superbabe. I want to be her when I grow up.
Break the Rules
MARINA AND THE DIAMONDS
I discovered Marina and the Diamonds this summer so picking between one of three perfect albums was no easy choice. Marina’s eccentric personality bleeds from Family Jewels and Froot is a sophisticated step forward. Electra Heart is that awesome stepping stone in between. This is a pop record perfectly executed.
Blue (from Froot)
How To Be A Heartbreaker
This was the album that started it all. According to Spotify, I streamed this album 760 times which is twice a day for an entire year (and I haven’t listened to it in months). Not only has Natalia Kills (now known as Teddy Sinclair) had the most fascinating life you could ever imagine, she knows how to perfectly illustrate that life with her heartbreakingly personal lyrics.
Wonderland (from Perfectionist)
As Annie once tweeted “Kacey Musgraves is a gift from God.” It’s the truth. She may be the greatest songwriter of her generation. When you listen to her music, you can tell every single note and lyric were polished until perfection. It doesn’t hurt she could probably be a supermodel. But thanks to her title track, we know why she isn’t a supermodel.
Follow Your Arrow (from Same Trailer Different Park)
Are You Sure? ft. Willie Nelson
"Night Time, My Time"
Sky Ferreira has her own thing going on. She’s dark and moody and brooding but funny and thoughtful and unique. I love her dark, visceral approach to everything. Night Time, My Time mixes Nine Inch Nails, Daria and Heart. It's awesome. Pro Tip: This album is (obviously) best experienced late at night.
"Here’s Willy Moon"
I never understood why modern crooners like Michael Buble sing such dorky god damn music. Willy Moon knows what’s up. He takes old school crooner musical stylings and mashes them with modern Wu-Tang and Kanye samples. As if this dude wasn’t already reading my diary, he likes to dabble in dark themes and get all spooky. I can’t wait to see what Mr. Moon comes up with next.
Get Up (What You Need)
Matt Skiba and the Sekrets
Matt Skiba has been one of my favorite musicians since I was a kid. The prolific Alkaline Trio frontman doesn’t know how to take a break let alone write a bad song. KUTS, which is his second solo project’s second full length album, is one of my favorites. His distinct four chord approach is still there, but the sound of this record is different than anything he’s done before. Considering he’s made SO. MANY. RECORDS. for SO. MANY. YEARS. that’s saying a lot.
Lonely and Kold
Way Bakk When
"Queen of the Clouds"
This girl came out of nowhere. Her unique look and style separates her from the Charli’s and Marina’s of the world, but she still has that incredible Europop sensibility. She’s a hell of a songwriter. The kind who dishes out hits to people like Hilary Duff who are looking for a comeback and need a surefire hit. Pro Tip: This album is amazing to listen to in the morning.
Not on Drugs
I once tweeted that Dragonette may be my favorite band that I never list as my favorite band. These guys don’t have a bad song. They don’t have a bad album. It’s a shame they aren’t big rock stars. Their distinctly infectious sound spreads across their entire catalogue, but Bodyparts is where they mastered it.
Run Run Run
Live In This City
Let It Go
Ladyhawke was a late discovery in the year, but she sure made an impact. So many people talk about how Rock N’ Roll is dead, but it’s just not in the mainstream anymore. Ladyhawke is proof of that. Her music is asskicking and catchy and great. The way Rock N’ Roll should be. Even better, she’s not a 50+ year old dude!
Black White & Blue
"Gravel & Wine"
This album is an instant classic. Everything from her name to the album name to the cover, it’s just perfect. Wigmore captured lightning, shoved it in a bottle and figured out how to reproduce it enough to make Gravel & Wine.
Devil in Me
Man Like That
Europe is littered with amazing pop stars. It's unfair. We basically invented this shit but recently, Europop has leapfrogged American Pop. God Bless Kitten. In the world of Europop, Kitten is our Captain America. Chloe Chaidez is a force of nature. Only Charli XCX can match her intensity, especially live. Big things are still to come.
Like a Stranger
Cut it Out
Shout out to Colorado Open Air for turning me on to these guys. Not much to say other than the fact that they rule.
My Own Fantasy
Like everyone, I discovered Elle King from that HBO commercial and like everyone, discovered her album is a delight from start to finish. I dug through some older stuff, music videos and live performances and fell in love. This girl is a badass, super funny and a hell of a songwriter. Great things are still to come.
Ex's & Oh's
Last Damn Night
The Pussy Song
"& Her Dead PetZ"
Miley doesn’t get enough credit for dropping this record online, for free. It’s a fucking weird stoner zone out jam album. Annie likes to listen to it while doing yoga. A handful of years ago this girl was Hannah Montana, a few years later she’s twerking with Robin Thicke and now she’s covered in jailhouse tattoos, jamming with the Flaming Lips and Mike Will Made-It in her backyard. I couldn’t be more infatuated with a person. If only every musician was this awesome.
Don't Dream it's Over (from Happy Hippie Presents)