Definitely one of the best hip-hop albums I have heard this year is Shabazz Palaces' Black Up. It's some of the most creative music I've heard. These guys challenge modern day hip-hop. Though not everyone will enjoy it, you must acknowledge the fact that it's something that you don't hear very often.
Starfucker's album, Reptilians, is another great album that was released in March. It is one of my favorite electro-pop albums of all time. They do a great job of mixing synth keyboards and acoustic guitar with the vocals. It's just a really good dance party all on one disc.
The best instrumental album is by far the new Explosions In The Sky. The whole album is a soundscape of guitars and more guitars and some keys too. This is a must own album, especially if you like intricate guitar work. Check out the first track, "Last Known Surroundings" from their sixth album Take Care, Take Care, Take Care.
And of course May saw the release of Fleet Foxes' second album, Helplessness Blues. This is a great vocal album, I would like to hear more drum influence, but I feel like they focused on harmonization and acoustic guitars, which sounds amazing!
Another great release this year was The Antlers' Burst Apart. There's something about Peter Silberman's vocals that makes me want to love everything. Plus the music is really good too, there's more electric guitar than their last album, Hospice.
My favorite album this year is a tie between Jeff The Brotherhood's We Are The Champions, and Starfucker's Reptilians. I haven't been able to not listen to either of them, and every time I hear a song from them I want to listen to the rest of the album.
All of these albums are must buy! They are so good. Check my other posts for more great albums from the first half of the year.
The second half of the year has some great stuff in store. Washed Out is coming out with his debut full length, new Neon Indian, The Shins, Modest Mouse(?), Blink-182, No Doubt, Muse, and so much more.