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04.16.14 2014, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume I)02.14.14 MisterTornado in 2013
11.15.13 2013, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume III) 05.25.13 2013, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume II)
03.08.13 2013, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume I) 01.14.13 MisterTornado in 2012
10.31.12 2012, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume III) 08.24.12 2012, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume II)
06.30.12 2012, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume I) 12.26.11 MisterTornado in 2011
11.19.11 2011, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume III) 09.30.11 2011, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume II)
08.31.11 2011, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume I)

MisterTornado in 2011
100Twin Sister
In Heaven

Lightly coated kindergarten joy | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=_eeZnLX_XBM
99Big Troubles
Romantic Comedy

Suburbian nostalgia | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wwfn8AijAPs

Superhappyrobotokyoglitchpop | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=Tm_OGT9oNiU
97 Dale Cooper Quartet and the Dictaphones

There is beauty in sadness | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=L8RWdYkmQXA
96Herajika Tracks
Love Universal

The lovely, tireless art of rhythm | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=AduqdgidfTc
95Heidecker & Wood
Starting From Nowhere

Smoother than a glass of your Pep Pep's white wine | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfrF-pykQtU

Post-rock in the fields of breeze | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=rxzzCzx52hA
93East of the Wall
The Apologist

Because last 40 seconds of Whiskey Sipper | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvjIaPj2dAY
92James Pants
James Pants

Overlooked psychedelic elevator pop | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=kAV2I-cDctU
91Night Beats
Night Beats

Garage rock bastards | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcYdXxsdFzg

The cold resonate of echoing brass | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=Uzrwhceb2-4&feature=related
89Bong Rodent
Bong Rodent

Pop-a-pill-before instrumental hip-hop | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=sGNVV2u49kE
88Fred Falke
Part IV

Baby when I look into your eyes, I see where all the love hides | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btd-ND424Ks
Arabian Horse

Coastal ice-breakers on the dance floor | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=PstK0gj5VUI
No NES For The Wicked

Power-metal NES covers, need I say more? | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c_BATLsou8
85Ash Borer
Ash Borer

Burnt at the stake | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1MVMbf0lxE
84Glitter Wizard
Solar Hits

Retro grooves for a lifetime | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drbGNEqZlbI
83Other Lives
Tamer Animals

Tremont mannerisms for elegantly somber | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfnGHRVCik0&ob=av2e
82The Joy Formidable
The Big Roar

Climb the mountainous indie anthems | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=FrzewLfcIG8
81The Antlers
Burst Apart

Reflective off-road acoustics | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=utLtAU9uCNk
Useless Eaters

Hip-hop that should have reached more. | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=XmdtSMe5rsU
79White Denim

White-picket fence countryisms | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=2Jn0PBHLgL8
78Mikal Cronin
Mikal Cronin

Album of choice for teenage protagonists from the Goosebumps series | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkTCmGiz2oY
New Album

J-pop for m/'ing | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_NPPknoVqY
76FareWell Poetry
Hoping For The Invisible To Ignite

All In The Full, Indomitable Light of Hope Pt. II was one of the very best of the year | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoXrZppEcV8
75The War on Drugs
Slave Ambient

The sprawling revolution | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMToQg0vSds

Proof Jazz is still relevant and thriving into the 21st century | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7PEnj-8NHw
You Drive Me To Plastic

A 20-minute labyrinth of proper instrumental finesse | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcuHHi2Wa9o
Roads To Judah

The screaming banshee of the clouds | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=rUJoPoNYQQI
71Dom and Roland
The Big Bang

It's a heated all-nighter on Goldeneye 007 ... Antenna Cradle on Secret Agent | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bf5Ed2hwzXE

Drowsy hip-hop for Nintendo nostalgic gamers | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb8gj-TH8G8
69James Blake
James Blake

Blue smoke future soul | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isIABK-0ohQ
68Dirty Beaches

The old desperado reflects in a shady old motel | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTch7g_gkfU
67Arctic Monkeys
Suck It And See

Proper english pub-ridden swagger | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=3lpCKqSnqM0
66Tom Waits
Bad As Me

The howlin' coyote never sheds | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=QAjtkyGVDxc
65Trash Talk

Runaway angst | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXFf2z86vbv
64The Weeknd
Echoes of Silence

Hasn't had enough time to completely sink in, but this is Abel's deepest, most complex work to date | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebtXqt- 9eA8
63Oneohtrix Point Never

Making commercialism at art form | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=hiwi7d0f91Y&ob=av2e
62Christina Vantzou

Unrestrained ambience flows freely without temper | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQhxdm4VH40
61Elite Gymnastics

Slowly wavering crayola-spectrum electronics | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNfiTIfMdfI

Score to hyperactive Mobile Suit Gundam's in the final countdown | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u3NBryQ_MU
59Peter Evans Quintet

The lucid beauty of the trumpet in the hands of chaos | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHTxjt0yj-M
58I Break Horses

Shoegaze for reels of vintage computer graphics | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Sg7YkPnEYw
57PJ Harvey
Let England Shake

Beautiful hums from the forgotten battlefield | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2tGhWVMc2E

'90s winter nostaglia in corpse paint | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=nsAR9rJoCe8
55Anna Calvi
Anna Calvi

Raging moonlit power anthems | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=_ZhAG01aDFg
54The Tikiyaki Orchestra
Aloha, Baby!

Oh, the beauty of a careless tropical afternoon | http://soundcloud.com/musicofolives/the-tikiyaki-orchestra
...and so we destroyed everything

A truly massive album | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGniWLIEBBI&
52 Graveyard (SWE)
Hisingen Blues

Joakim Nilsson has some of the very best pipes in rock | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeXChfKnh3I
51Trophy Scars
Never Born, Never Dead

Or how to expand a genre | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGj89ge8bQw
50A Winged Victory For The Sullen
A Winged Victory For The Sullen

And we went to sleep, dreaming with ambition | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dxS35gCbf0
49 Laura Stevenson and the Cans
Sit Resist

The lovely joy of happiness | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeH2-XA1k6Q

I have yet to completely grasp this, I can feel it | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L6R7y2H49w

When your side-project tops your main-project | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a_hklNJys8
46Y Niwl
Y Niwl

Feel-good instrumental tropics never die | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=hLZPdHn0RQo
House of Stone

I am thoroughly confused why Sputnik was the only who praised this, let alone listened | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ov6Cf6i5Tg
44Floating Points

One of the prettiest house records of the year | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inANu1ZmuqM
43Beastie Boys
Hot Sauce Committee Part Two

Three pioneering white-boys from the 1980s continue to stay relevant in 2011, and put out one of their best in the process | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3W7koH-isE
Making Mirrors

While too many pop musicians are busy trying to be something their not, Gotye embraces his honest and charming sound, putting out one of the strongest pop albums of the year | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3W7koH-isE
Mind Bokeh

All-over-the-place crystalline hooks and sparkled electronics warps | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_z932YJOLU
40TV On The Radio
Nine Types of Light

Though slightly less than their last two albums, this is further proof TV On The Radio is one of the most interesting bands on the planet | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFkLmLipCV4&ob=av2e
39The Horrors

Nostaglia-driven revivalism | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJQk0jDZx8o
38Panda Bear

COUNTING! IT'S COUNTING! COUNTING! | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=reOjWhEhbmA&
Spiritual State

Didn't miss a beat, a flawless tribute from beginning to end. RIP Jun; we lost you too soon | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-N-Y0Ztn8A4&
36Bombay Bicycle Club
A Different Kind of Fix

Get lost in the magic of harmony | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=PXIpedIGN50
35The Midnight Eez
The Midnight Eez

Unknown project creates flawless beats | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=oAiN2unFFu8

The white tuxedo drenched echo of high-speed wave runners cruising through neon-coated cities | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz7oaUUWWYk
Electronic Dream

Guilty pleasure? Fuck mental restraint, this album is full of too much quality to be wasted on the piety fear of objection | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2hW6WJ_goM
32Steven Wilson
Grace For Drowning

Loathed it on first listen, loved it on second; there's something here that manages to reveal itself every time I listen to it | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC_TCH3WZFs
31Tim Hecker
Ravedeath, 1972

He needs to legally change his name to Count Hecker | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvu-1mUKlDQ
The Hunter

M/ | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr8tgjtSpQ8
29Toro Y Moi
Underneath The Pine

The ringing of dead malls and polaroid memories | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNXx26pRtcg

Fucking banger. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q1TWfQxW9k
27The Stepkids
The Stepkids

The funkiest album of the year, explanations are irrelevant beyond the funk | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLtt5Fi4Gbs
26Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Sun-soaked Sunday psychedelia for drowsy afternoons | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gLn85TMOzQ
25 Raphael Saadiq
Stone Rollin'

Raphael Saadiq is on a mission (whether he knows it or not) to supply the mainstream with the most universal music he can, through the only way he knows how; soul baby, soul. His relativist act could be dismissed as novelty, but Stone Rollin? is proof Raphael is indeed the real deal. He?s a man of pure, raw talent; armed with a set of golden pipes, and an acute ear for sounds that would sound just as relevant 50 years ago as they do today. He rarely misses a beat on Stone Rollin?, and its oh-so refreshing to see the mainstream taking notice of his flawless singles. Raphael is like a rain-check to pop music, because when all?s said and done no matter how far you progress, no matter how high up the ladder you get, you can never forget where you came from. And that baby, is universal. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHyalVRUXrA
24John Maus
We Must Become The Pitiless Censors of Ourselves

Soaring somewhere high above the clouds, John Maus gazes down upon the dampness the hidden land below. His songs are in many ways a deconstruction of pop music; an unfiltered, castaway collection of synth-pop crooners that sound neither here, nor there. Ideas of ?80s-pop revivalism are irrelevant, for Maus? songs don?t hit the same way the over-saturated indulgence of the day did. It?s sorrow music for the upbeat; catchy hooks and vintage instrumentation pull the listener into something deeper, something darker than what?s heard on the surface. Atmosphere is key here, as everything else fuels Maus? eerie memory without an easy association. | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=ylkgqUgOx38
23Omar S
It Can Be Done But Only I Can Do It

When I began compiling this year-end list, finals week was in full throttle. In the midst of the boiling pressure that was, during a lonesome night at an unholy hour, I began studying for my Algebra exam. It was going to be difficult test, despite any fluffy mental substitution that said otherwise. As time continued to tick, I began to set up; overwhelming Algebra text-book open, 12 clean sheets of college-rule notebook paper on side, and a finely sharpen pencil wielded. Amidst the sparkling workplace, something was missing ?a soundtrack; noise, background, filler, something to keep this interesting, something to fill the void. Omar S and his misunderstood It Can Be Done, But Only I Can Do It immediately came to mind, after several respectable yet hesitant listens. I knew something was there, beneath the shaded lull of consistently challenging house. After a tireless night of dim-lit questions, equations, and solutions, Omar S cradled me into a mental state I hadn?t thought possible; a cinematic night of crunch-studying. It was motivation in numbers, guided by sunken textures, pulsating rhythms, and the utter audible aroma that oozes out of every pour of this album. Off the dance floor and into your mind; Omar is there waiting patiently around the corner. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFJ_zkBiKaQ

How can an artist manage to spark such a wide array of noise? How can an artist manage to spin, twirl, flatten, and crease the spark into such varied templates of mood? How can an artist manage to control it all, as the seamless by-product of an ape-shit mad scientist with a heart of gold? Questions loom, Scintilla remains. It?s an album driven by its own impending doom, only to be swept gracefully by a starry cosmic force, with its feet stuck on the ground and mind high up in the air. In the process harsh magnets crash, light explodes into fragments, dusk-ridden beats flash a dizzy pattern, and as contraction is stretched, pulled, and released from its throbbing mount, one thought remains; there is beauty in chaos. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG0Xh4VY7xE
21Andy Stott
We Stay Together

If you?re ever attempting to come up with synonyms for the word ?Dark?, skip the thesaurus, and look no further than We Stay Together. Glum, somber, arcane, deep, cryptic, abstruse, dismal, morbid, the list goes on. You?d have to be a burning pessimist, a raging sociopath, or a sore anti-socialist on a steady diet of low-grade soy milk to enjoy the sounds of such music, no? How about a suburban teenager at a crossroads, or a 30-something as life begins to regress. In other words, this is music that can be appreciated by anybody. All you need is a little adventure in your belly and an eye open enough to see conventions flipped upside down. And on this level, We Stay Together is a revelation. | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=zAVTnDpobms
I Was Here For a Moment, Then I Was Gone

Post-rock is a relatively fresh genre taking time into consideration, and like any genre, eventually pressure has been laid on the fundamental sound to strive for further over-zealous concept, creativity, and ambition. Call it natural evolution, but as we?ve seen in the past decade, less and less ?groundbreaking? post-rock albums have been released, which ultimately begs the question; how far can you take a genre? The answer lies within albums like I Was Here For A Moment, Then I Was Gone. Nothing here is the particularly awe- inspiring, sprawling, and climatic monsters of the late ?90s / early ?00s, though Maybeshewill aren?t out to drill away at past glory. Here they ground themselves on shorter structure and tighter arrangements, and as a result the band wastes absolutely no time in composing superbly effective little nugget anthems. The instrumentation is flawless throughout; whimsical orchestral tones in constant heat with grinding piano lines and escalating percussion, balancing a fine line between erratic and calm sentiment. It?s why no other post- rock album this year was better, and it?s why the genre will continue to strive long into the future. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxrBPsPNqPM
19DJ Rashad
Just A Taste

While Clams Casino was spotlighting atmosphere, BADBADNOTGOOD were creatively fusing jazz and hip-hop, and AraabMuzik was dipping beats in gooey trance, DJ Rashad reimaged bass- drilling juke in what was easily the most overlooked instrumental hip-hop album of the year. While it?s a tougher pill to swallow than the aforementioned acclaim, Rashad was completely short changed this year after managing to seamlessly mix a unique formula of 70s soul samples, repetitive vocal blips, project-approved g-beats, and furious low-end proficiency. Just A Taste is the perfect merger of soulful ecstasy and gangsta prowess, Rashad tipping his cup of hypnotic plunderphonics somewhere distant to those willing to take the first sip. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxkNphMn7c4
18 Irrelevant
I'll Be OK

Slowly swaying in the view past your soaking window wipers, a hooded figure looms in the dead of night. You?re in a make-shift downtown of rotting lofts and smoky sewer pipes, unable to tell if the figure you plant your fragmented scope on is there to help, or hurt you. I?ll Be OK recorded, looped, and played with emotions. Grave textures haunted long structured atmosphere, dissonant voices echoed in despair, rhythm was molded into a mood. Cold, bleak, haunting, beautiful, that was up to you, what wasn?t was the woven drones of unsettling melancholy drifting throughout the album that persuaded a simple gesture, how much can you take until your response to it all is just. | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=bz1TAxPy9YQ&
Escape Velocity

Zombi are the epitome of a modern group embracing the vintage aesthetic to electronic music. In the land before time, there were pioneers such as Klaus Schulze, Ashra, and Tangerine Dream embracing their work around progressive rock?s electronic rational. Zombi compose the whirling electronic psychedelia of their ?70s kraut-ancestry in a more controlled and simplistic linear pattern. Beyond just its primal sound, what really set Escape Velocity apart from other electronic releases this year was its unrivaled consistency and pacing, that any electronic musician, whether young, old, vintage, or future-forward, should take cues from. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T_dZhO9mCc
16Fucked Up
David Comes To Life

About a month ago, you couldn?t have convinced me this album would have made it on the list, absolutely not. It was long and those damn vocals were too abrasive. But oh was the guitar work just lovely, and hey it was pretty catchy too. After a chance revisit to David Comes To Life, nearly every negative I had embedded in me was replaced with positives. It?s a catchy, powerful, sprawling, and utterly magnificent album that manages to sound so coarse and raw, yet maintains its ambitious conceptual sprawl of a man and woman vs. the world. Though concept or not, Fucked Up managed to put out one of 2011?s most powerful musical statements. | http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=V5na2Nt5phM
15 Causa Sui
Pewt'r Sessions 1

Pewt?r Sessions 1 breathes the same way a live album does. It sounds raw and untamed, yet there is structure and hold to the chaotic sandstorm that is Causa Sui. It very well could have been improvised, as there?s no doubting how high this band?s musicianship is. In reality, nobody jammed quite as hard as Causa Sui did this year; their post-rock leaning build-ups consistently gave goosebumps, for once they reached that shimmering gold-plated monolithic solo 40,000 feet above consciousness, there was no turning back. If this session is a testament of anything, it?s of a band with no foreseeable limits, whether it was a blazingly psychedelic solo or a reflective moment in the wind, Causa Sui were the chosen ones for those 46 minutes. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvgIlAA67XI
14Apollo Brown

How Apollo Brown managed to make it all sound so simple, yet so god damn effective from start to finish I still don?t know. Holding a simplistic approach in hip-hop has for a long time meant a stripping of creditable, artistic merit. Apollo Brown comes out on Clouds with every gun loaded, drum-machine and sampler in hand, with 27 loop-based project beats, guided by whirling cosmic-lite synthesizers and sentimental orchestral samples, that simply don?t miss a beat. If a consistent lyrical flow is what makes a good MCee great, then the same is true for an instrumental hip-hop artist consistently delivering quality beats. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQOCrqiM0CE
13The Field
Looping State of Mind

In many ways Looping State of Mind is the unintentional dance pop sequel to Gas' Pop. The way the album takes lush, fragmented loops of deep sonics and almost subconscious drones is astounding. Its subtle incorporation of nature samples, which often times is difficult to decipher whether or not it's coming from your own backyard, creates the ultimate effect of entranced disillusion. The Field's Looping State of Mind is similar, in that repetition is key, though replace the deeper low-ends and nature samples of Pop with thicker beats and subtle vocals samples. Looping State of Mind is the kind of dance album that's bound to be a rewarding listen, as subtle complexities and woven grooves are distinguished in given time. Ladies and gentlemen, this is real trance, not that it fits the particular genre, but the very essence, the very definition of the word. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28- UTjWgMJc
12The Weeknd

Thursday should be heard by all current and aspiring pop artists, as a reminder of how to get the job done. The opening two tracks embody a perfect balance of borderline commercial appeal and Abel?s signature broken-strobe, gorgeous R&B haunt. The rest digs in deeper and darker territory; smoky corridors of club ridden aftermath, parties where people with persona?s like his have never ventured. To just about any other contemporary artist, a second album within the span of a year would be a cheap victory lap from the success of the first, but that?s not the way Abel works, and Thursday is evidence he?s an artist first, entertainer second. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPIk8QhxZMc
Vitamins and Minerals

ArtOfficial create hip-hop that effortlessly exudes a level of confidence that was simply unmatched this year. Featuring multiple MCee?s and a complete live jazz band, their music is packed to the brim with saucy smooth jazz, catchy live beats, and more soul than voodoo night in east New Orleans. Being such a huge year for hip-hop, it?s appalling to see ArtOfficial remain so overlooked. It?s painful, it really is, because Vitamins & Minerals is the best hip-hop album of 2011, and not enough realize how good these guys really are. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx6vH5G2TcU
10Elder (USA-MA)
Dead Roots Stirring

Elder describe themselves as "a sonic interpretation of the forces that surround us; the pounding waves of ancient seas, the weight of stone colossi rising up from the earth and the endlessness of inflamed, majestic skies." Dead Roots Stirring proves their poetic self- description is truth. Elder's balance of doom-heavy bombast, bulky metal, and long, structured monoliths of massive, slow-burning charcoaled incense makes for what I can only call the best doom album of the year "The waves of ancient seas" act as the foundation in which their songs are layered upon, "the weight of stone colossi rising up from the earth" as the copious, blackened adrenaline of their massive guitar riffs, and "the endlessness of inflamed, majestic skies" as the mythic, earth-toned atmosphere signaled from their self-created, smoke filled sky above. Elder continue to push the limits of rock music, taking melodic heaviness to a completely new level of musicianship. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wYJ_V36AC8
The King of Limbs

Radiohead are unfortunately a band that has live up to an unholy amount of hype every time they release an album. This year we were treated with an album that seemingly came out of nowhere; enter The King Of Limbs, arguably Radiohead's most challenging set of songs yet. Most of this frame lies within the first half of the album, where glitchy atmospheric rock and subtle dub electronics scatter the plot. For most, these are songs that won't click right away. However the second half is much mellower, trading the darker vibed textures for harmoniac acoustics and vocal delays. I was first on the fence with The King Of Limbs for a number of reasons; it's their shortest album by far, from a production stand-point easily is their most sunken, and it packs a lot of new modern influences with it. So it's not much of a surprise why this album is so polarized amongst fans. Although, The King Of Limbs is Radiohead's most cohesive work to date; its hypnotic tone glides effortlessly from song to song. It took me 6 months to come to this conclusion, though most great albums have a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it. I always enjoyed it, but never to the extent I do now. And what's most striking of all is; after almost two decades, Radiohead are still a fresh and magnificant band who manage to record subtle, unique, and complex recordings to devote fans, and wide commercial audiences alike.
8Submotion Orchestra
Finest Hour

Finest Hour is the sound of ethereal ships-in-a-bottle, once in the hands of humanity, now guided by the free flowing fate of nature?s whimsical embrace. Voice acts as a guide of the trumpet?s distant siren, and it?s a gracefully mellow journey to the very end. Cold resonating brass, sweeping orchestral tones, trembling, guttural low-end, and Ruby Wood?s lush vocal fragility escort the unrelenting beauty throughout. Taking all into consideration, it's a bold statement to call your debut album Finest Hour, though Submotion Orchestra demonstrate their point to a fine, glossy print with this piece of majestic finesse that may very well be their finest hour. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFgw4OEZ2Tw
7 Rich Aucoin
We're All Dying To Live

In the process of recording We're All Dying To Live, Rich Aucoin compiled over 500 musicians, friends, and fans from across Canada. The album acts as a musical scrapbook of his trek to completion, sonically documenting where he?s been, who he?s met, and what?s happened to him along the way. Aucoin is an artist who on his debut album, sounds like he wants to start something new, something big, something universal. The evidence is all here; as it shouldn't take long to realize We're All Dying To Live isn't your typical indie rock album. His influences are clear; the climatic grandiose of fellow Canadian's Arcade Fire and the infectious robotics of Daft Punk, though he translates them into a unique cohesion that bleeds throughout the album, as a splurge of genre-melting sonic?s mold into a completely thrilling and captivating hour of music. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uzyre6xGKA
6Leyland Kirby
Eager To Tear Apart The Stars

Leyland Kirby's drowsy orchestrations of emotional unease and underlying drone eject a stark contrast between merciless beauty, and unforgiving hostility. Unrestrained delicacy, a soft haze of static electricity, gorgeous piano reflections, and frail murmurs of vaporized liquid succession harrow through the distressing climate that is Eager To Tear Apart The Stars. ?We are weighed down, every moment, by the conception and the sensation of time. And there are but two means of escaping this nightmare: pleasure and work. Pleasure consumes us. Work strengthens us. Let us choose." - Charles Baudelaire. There are those who will listen and hear pleasure background ambient music, and there are those who will listen closer, and hear mind-altering sonic perceptions of their own lives. Both are equally acceptable conclusions to come to after listening, it's simply a matter of finding out which side you're on. I found the latter, and as a result the album reached a level of emotional consciousness few have ever reached. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQarR5lOmkI
5The Weeknd
House Of Balloons

There's something mysteriously appealing about Abel Tesfaye. His smooth, sensual, and haunting compositions of stripped down R&B, depicting bleak, black and white romanticism, reflects his shattered imagination on love and loss. Structure is thrown out, continually allowing itself enough time to properly express emotion, rather than fall victim to vacuum- packed reflections of tired ideas. His mix of dwelling phantasm with engaging, borderline commercial appeal is as heartfelt as it is fresh. As a result it?s not your typical R&B album, more a scatterbrain anticipation of where it's heading. Tesfaye is indeed the real deal, and with House of Balloons, he?s created the latest standard for R&B in the 21st century. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTsQWZ6Zj9w
4Julianna Barwick
The Magic Place

Julianna Barwick is proof there is beauty in within the simplest of things. She takes a shockingly stripped down approach to ambient music, and by incorporating sunken choral drones, subtle acoustic delays, and her gorgeous looped siren, The Magic Place struck a deep emotional chord within me. It?s an almost unexplainable feeling, the feeling of being atmospherically one with your surroundings. Whether it was on the computer or a simple walk around the neighborhood, every time I listened, The Magic Place spoke a solemn, unforgiving message of peace; an ease of mind. Feeling was a memory, pain was an illusion, and no matter where I was or how I felt, I was consumed in her mysterious place of majesty. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPKMRcgSBa8
3The Caretaker
An Empty Bliss Beyond This World

There is a scene in The Pianist where Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Jewish pianist in hiding during World War II, is caught by a German officer. In the swollen tapestry of a run-down slum consists a piano, and soon after Szpilman is caught, he?s asked by the officer to play a piece on it. It's an engrossing, utterly haunting piece, and every time I put on An Empty Bliss Beyond This World, I'm echoed of its memory. Szpilman?s condition is devastating and his ballad is somber, yet there?s a ghostly beauty to it all; a man on his last leg, with all circumstance against him, releasing such a delicate elegance through the keys of music. The Caretaker created an entire album of such quality, ultimately rivaling any ambient release I?ve ever had the pleasure of hearing. It?s entrancing, emotional, and timeless music that anyone with two ears and a pumping heart can get completely lost in. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjWNpwLTuxI
Old Raves End

The only place I get hurt is out there. The world doesnt give a shit about me. - Sorrow, regret, and pain; ideas that can be difficult to express through electronic music. The operator is human, with emotions and a pulse, the hardware is not; wired and cold, completely lifeless. A debate often sparks on whether or not emotions can be conveyed through synthesizers, drum-machines, and laptops. The answer lies within albums like Old Raves End. From start to finish, Swarms created a flawless emotional rollercoaster. The tone is often faint, as cloudy textures of atmospheric low-end, descending drones of fallen reflection, and ethereal rays of hope shine down on the foggy perspective below. Ultimately where Old Raves End succeeds most is taking the concept of cohesion to new levels; a shining example of how to translate a persistent, yet distinctive sound throughout an entire album on each and every track. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2FpdEsVgoU
1 M83
Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

M83s sprawling synth-pop epic managed to bridge catchy pop-aesthetic in a seamless flow of unbridled ambition, making it a thunderous, unstoppable pop juggernaut. If the music here is a product M83?s urge to appeal to a wider audience, while continuing to grow increasingly more confident within his work, he succeed in every way possible. But widening your sound doesn?t have to mean flaunting to the capital regression of artist merit, because whether it was a whirling synthesizer portrait, a mountainous percussive build-up, or a reflective pond of atmospheric adolescence, this was an album that journeyed into an ambitious scope of music?s many audible horizons. M83 dared to dream big, and in the process created a world of waning sorrow, irresistible pastoral finesse, and inspirational fireworks, exploding into an unrelenting sense of intimate nostalgia. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI9jSTC9vvI
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