Here are 10 albums I've loved in the first half of 2016, and 7 more that just missed the cut.
  1. 1) The Hotelier - Goodness
    Life-affirming emo/indie rock about moving on. The Goodness Pt. 1 > Piano Player 1-2 punch is a drug for me.
  2. 2) Pinegrove - Cardinal
    An indie rock album that almost feels country. The band refers to it as "introspective partying". Cadmium and Aphasia are standouts.
  3. 3) Wye Oak - Tween
    This one had to grow on me, but Watching the Waiting and If You Should See are such bangers. Can't get enough.
  4. 4) Andy Shauf - The Party
    The production is muted, mellow British pop. The songs are all vignettes of different observations from a night at a party. The Magician might be my song of the year so far.
  5. 5) David Bazan - Blanco
    Such a different sound than his first two solo albums, but this one has grown on me, too. Check out Both Hands and With You.
  6. 6) Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
    An overly long, overly loud rock record that I can't get enough of. Listening to Vincent and The Ballad of the Costa Concordia will set you back almost 20 minutes, but it's worth it.
  7. 7) Robert Ellis - self-titled
    Maybe not as great all around as his previous album, but still full of weird, sweet songs (although sadder this time) combined with stellar playing from himself and his band.
  8. 8) The 1975 - i like it when you sleep...
    Another overly long one, but I can't get enough. I also can't believe I don't hate them. The fact that my favorite song on here is called UGH! should tell you a lot.
  9. 9) Alez Dezen - self-titled
    The first full-length solo album from one of my favorite songwriters. Mostly sad stuff, but always interesting.
  10. 10) Mitski - Puberty 2
    On a list full of unexpected albums for me, this is probably the most unexpected. But when I first heard Your Best American Girl several months ago, I knew this one would be a big part of my year.
  11. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
    Favorite tracks: Daydreaming, True Love Waits
  12. Sturgill Simpson - A Sailor's Guide to Earth
    Favorite track: Call to Arms
  13. White Denim - Stiff
    Favorite tracks: Holda You (I'm Psycho), Had 2 Know
  14. Savages - Adore Life
    Favorite track: Adore
  15. Margaret Glaspy - Emotions and Math
    Favorite tracks: You Don't Want Me, No Matter Who
  16. Penny & Sparrow - Let a Lover Drown You
    Favorite tracks: Bourbon, Each to Each
  17. Brandy Clark - Big Day in a Small Town
    Favorite track: Three Kids No Husband