Continuing the list of the best (read: my favorite) albums of the year:
40: Delorean - Ayrton Senna (EP)
Spanish dance-rockers Delorean are another group I don't know much about, but this EP, Ayrton Senna, is fantastic. Smooth beats, shimmering guitars, and more hooks than you can count make this an easy choice for this list despite its fairly brief length. (More from me)
Seasun (MP3 via Pitchfork)
39: Visqueen - Message to Garcia
I found out about this album fairly late in the year, but I immediately fell in love with frontwoman Rachel Flotard and company. Visqueen makes big, crunchy guitar rock that spans the past couple decades yet feels fresh despite its familiarity. Put simply, Message to Garcia is an absolute blast.
38: The Lonely Forest - We Sing the Body Electric
This is an album that has continually grown on me throughout the year. We Sing the Body Electric is, in some ways, a throwback to 90s alt-rock, but The Lonely Forest provide plenty of their own personalty over the course of 15 eclectic and energetic tunes. (More From Me)
We Sing in Time (MP3)
37: Mirah - (A)Spera
Mirah's (A)spera impressed me upon first listen, but nearly got lost in the shuffle for me this year. Luckily, I managed to spend some more time with it later on and remembered immediately why I loved it; beautiful vocals, exquisite arrangements, and fine lyricism. A wonderful record. (More from me)
36: Joshua James - Build Me This
Joshua James isn't exactly a local boy, but he did spend quite a bit of time here in Utah while growing his career. He's an amazing performer and gifted songwriter, and on Build Me This, he raises the bar set by his debut with 13 emotionally-charged folk-rock tunes. (More from me)
35: Mount Eerie - Wind's Poem
Ever the adventurous type, Phil Elverum's newest project, Mount Eerie, is perhaps his most ambitious and startling yet. Wind's Poem is something like a metal-folk album, with dense drones and thunderous bouts of noise blended in with more acoustic guitar interludes for a unique and truly compelling experience.
MySpace (I think)
34: Polvo - In Prism
Though 12 years separates In Prism from its predecessor, you wouldn't know it just by hearing the record. Polvo sounds invigorated and inspired, crafting a very strong set of nine rock tracks that should be a delight for both longtime fans and newcomers alike. Would that all comeback albums were this great.
33: Roman Candle - Oh Tall Tree In The Ear
Roman Candle's Oh Tall Tree In The Ear is a simple and even modest records in many respects, but the songwriting here is anything but ordinary. The band's earnest brand of pop-rock is straightforward and mostly gimmick-free, with lyrics that provide the assurance that great storytelling can still be found in rock 'n' roll.
32: The Mountain Goats - The Life of the World to Come
Josh Darnielle maintains his status as one of indie rock's greatest songwriters on the Bible and faith-based The Life of the World to Come. It's a more mellow record (often, anyway) than most of his previous efforts, but it's no less engaging or powerfully personal.
31: jj - jj n° 2
With heavenly female vocals, sunny, relaxed beats, and sharp production, jj n° 2 is a brief but absolutely gorgeous record that effectively puts jj on the map, whoever they are. The anonymous Swedish artists already have another one in the works, so prepare accordingly. (More from me)