Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. ― Plato
I love music almost as much as I love sharing music.
If I can share an album that becomes an anthem for you then the amount of joy derived isn't quantifiable.
The following albums weren't necessarily released this year, but it's when I discovered them.
I hope some of them strike your fancy!
Atoms for Peace - AMOK
Mostly a side project of Thom Yorke (lead singer of Radiohead), ATP dwells securely in the electronica that made Radiohead's Kid A and Amnesiac enjoyable. If you're a lover of the electronic side of Radiohead then this is an album for you to check out.
Ducktails - The Flower Lane
The first couple of listens to this album left me lukewarm: I found the album only mildly appealing. Somewhere around the fourth listen something clicked and I began to really groove with the record. If you're looking for a soft and melodic a bum with a band-jam kind of feel then this is the album for you.
Foals - Holy Fire
Foals' previous record Total Life Forever is one of my favorite albums, so it's not surprising that I was hotly anticipating their next release. Holy Fire is a solid album, with the standout single of My Number, however it doesn't flow as smoothly as I had hoped for. Sometimes more punk or ambience than necessary, my nit-picks aside this is a solid album which stands as a decent follow-up to their previous stellar release.
Inc. - No World
Blue eyed soul with splashes of electronica, Inc. whispers into the microphone as they croon over catchy beats and minimalistic riffs. I've played The Place more times in a row then I'm proud of, half of those plays probably hoping that more tracks on the album were as catchy. If you like R&B and aren't afraid of alternative influences then I definitely recommend you try out Inc..
Josh Ritter - The Beast in Its Tracks
Singer/songwriter, Josh Ritter is a prolific artist whose soft voice, care-free guitar, and endearing lyrics always leaves me warmed as I let the sun set beyond the horizon. This album follows that tradition, another thirteen solid tracks, from a songwriter who knows who he is and embodies it fully.
Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
Perhaps deserving of a deeper review due to the cultural relevance of Mr. Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience presents itself as an album not heard on the radio (with the average track length of 7 minutes) when the reality is quite the opposite. Ever charismatic, each track is full of JT's youthful voice and backed up Timberland's bombastic beats. This is an album to groove to.
Lord Huron - Lonesome Dreams
I don't have any empirical facts about this band, all I know is the sound of this band - and for me that's enough. At times sounding like Paul Simon (in a very good way), Lord Huron brings a full band-sound to an otherwise solo-singer-songwriter style. Standout track is easily Time To Run, however each song ably stands on its own. Fantastic album, already on my best-of list for this year.