Sigur Rós - Kveikur

#40 Sigur Rós – Kveikur

(XL Recordings)

Jon Hopkins - Immunity

#39 – Jon Hopkins – Immunity


Other accolades: #11 on NME, #29 on MOJO

Har Mar Superstar - Bye Bye 17

#38 – Har Mar Superstar – Bye Bye 17

(Cult Records)

I have to admit, when it comes to touting new music, I have a bias toward midwest acts, especially those from The Twin Cities.  In this case, though, there was no special treatment needed. Sean Tillman, better known by his stage name Har Mar Superstar, has always been known for his pop songwriting skills for the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Lee (among others) and his brash stage antics that help to consistently draw a crowd to his shows.

His sleeze-pop niche of a genre has been popular over the years, but it wasn’t until his 2013 release, Bye Bye 17, that his musical genius really held on to my attention. Bye Bye 17 is stuffed full of soulful licks featuring plenty of horns and powerful vocals. The lead track “Lady You Shot Me” is a no brainer pick for best songs of the year and fortunately the ear candy doesn’t end there. It’s immediately followed by “Prisoner” that boasts many of the same soul attributes, but also adds funky keys and bass lines.

“Restless Leg” (yes, a dick joke would be appropriate here) provides a touch of clappy swing and is followed up seamlessly by “12:12”, a slower, piano-heavy tune that could probably played at a 1950’s sock hop.

Har Mar took a big step this year to earn critical acclaim and fans will be more than appeased to hear more of the same on future releases. -Quinn

Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap

#37 – Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap


Other accolades:  #2 on Spin, #10 on Consequence of Sound, #18 on Stereogum, #26 on Rolling Stone

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito

#36 – Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito


Other accolades: #30 on NME

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