Halfway home, everybody! Here are my favorite albums, so far, this year:

1. Moving Mountains – Waves
“Waves” does something that I didn’t think was possible: It combines the luscious atmospherics of a post-rock record with soaring vocals. Not an easy feat, making for a remarkable album.

2. Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
Proving that some things only get better as they get older, Mogwai return with yet another album to write home about.

3. Touché Amoré – Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me
It’s the overwhelming amount of emotion that pushes this record above any sort of expectations. The sheer honesty coupled with bludgeoning drum beats make it even more endearing.

4. Explosions in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care….
After this I think it might be safe to say that this Texas quartet can do no wrong. “Take Care…” soars in and out of our atmosphere multiple times.

5. The Appleseed Cast – Middle States
Meddled with intricate drumming, this album never really hits the crescendo you’d be expecting. And that’s precisely what works so well about it.

6. Now, Now – Neighbors
After immediately falling in love with front-woman Cacie Dalager’s voice, the light and airy guitar work cemented my love affair with this album.

7. This Will Destroy You – Tunnel Blanket
Possibly the most appropriately titled album on this short list, “Tunnel Blanket” wraps you in warmth and darkness and occasionally uncovers your eyes so that you may appropriately take in the beauty around you.

8. The Decemberists – The King is Dead
It keeps the energy up the whole way through, even after multiple listens. “This is Why We Fight” is too much fun to deny.

9. Grails – Deep Politics
Dabbling in the art of soundscapes, “Deep Politics” really sees its shine when the whole band comes together in fully orchestrated jams.

10. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong
This album is laced with positivity and a whole lot of new-school shoe-gaze fuzz, reminiscent of (dare I say?) My Bloody Valentine.

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