10, Lady Gaga – ARTPOP
Lady Gaga may have achieved the impossible by releasing an album even stranger than her last. ARTPOP is packed full of quirks and sexual innuendos, and gives us a history lesson in Greek and Roman mythology. It may be an unlikely addition to the list, but it’s a wonderfully eccentric one.
9, Paramore – Paramore
Paramore’s self-titled album is without a doubt the most entertaining record they’ve put out so far. They’ve broken out of their awkward, angsty teenage stage and finally found themselves. The core pop-punk sound remains, but it is now layered with lively synth tracks and a why-the-hell-not? gospel choir. Such fun!
8, Bastille – Bad Blood
Yes, they did more than that one song that got you to chant “EH-EH-OH-EH-OH” like you were part of some Native American tribe or religious cult. Cheerful synths, bellowing piano and tribal drums all amount to Bad Blood being essentially an album of pure indie perfection. It’s blindingly obvious why this album became an instant classic this year.
7, Disclosure – Settle
Disclosure’s rise to success this year was so prominent, that it’s surprising the UK hasn’t spontaneously morphed into one massive night club. Their debut album Settle will cause pop-purists and dance-snobs to shake hands, as the future UK chart sprouts legs, wanders into a dark room and emerges at 5am with pupils the size of grapefruits.
6, Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork
Queens of the Stone Age’s sixth record, the most consistent since 2002’s Songs for the Deaf, is a dangerously seductive collection of tracks featuring their trademark crunch that wouldn’t be out of place sound tracking a psychedelic wander into the desert.
5, The 1975 – The 1975
The 1975’s debut injected some fruitful indie pop-rock into the charts with class. The album switches between pumping synth-laced anthems and slow, gentle interludes and openers. Matt Healy’s vocals may sound like that of a whiny pre-pubescent child at times, but they are wonderfully memorable and work perfectly with the band’s light-hearted sound.
4, Kanye West – Yeezus
Everything between the distorted synth whirlwind of ‘On Sight’ to the pitch-shifted soul of ‘Bound 2’ is confrontational. Even a glance at it’s title is bound to whip any self-respecting evangelist into a fit of rage. But then that’s Kanye’s mission statement: “to f**k s**t up.” Stamped with all the unique character of the self-proclaimed “mastermind behind leather jogging pants,” Yeezus does exactly that.
3, Foals – Holy Fire
On their 3rd full length, Oxford’s finest have reined back on staccato rhythms in welcome favour of songwriting finesse and the odd Tom Morello-inspired riff. The result is the bands most accomplished album to date and can regularly been heard soundtracking a variety of hazy house parties, most of which involve at least one person with a poncho.
2, Biffy Clyro – Opposites
Biffy Clyro have given us a double album that might just be their best outing yet (cue manly squeals of excitement). It’s packed with stadium rock tracks powerful enough to literally blow your head clean off your body, and stripped back acoustic tracks to weep over in bed.
1, Arctic Monkeys – AM
Shocking isn’t it? Yes, our top album this year is none other than the masterpiece that is AM. The album is comprised of a collection of what will quickly become timeless indie rock anthems with howling guitars, pounding drums and some of Alex Turner’s slickest vocals yet. It’s no wonder that AM is at the top of every list this year (gosh, we’re so mainstream).
Words by Zoe Coxon, Leo Troy and Aidan Ducker