December 1, 2018

QC10 - Jesse's Top 15 Albums from 2008-2017

Editor's Note: After 10 years of submitting top 10 lists, frequent contributors are going back and picking out the albums that they still love.

Kelli Schaefer – No Identity (2017)
As if Led Zeppelin was led by art school feminists studying how to absolutely shred. Or something. Silliness aside, touchstones are more like Nick Cave and PJ Harvey. They are transcendent live.

Japandroids – Celebration Rock (2012)
I can practically smell the sour beer, cigarettes & pepperoni as I crank it up again and again.

Divers - Hello Hello (2015)
It’s embarrassing, but this was just the first of three Party Damage Records on my list that year. No label ever dominated my record player like this since I first discovered STAX.  Rough and passionate, Divers mix heartland punk and slow burning indie rock.

Battleme - Future Runs Magnetic (2013/2014)
It wasn’t even a contest this year. After being blown away live, these songs kept those moments fresh on my stereo, again and again.

Radiation City – Synesthetica (2016)
Fully realizing their breathtaking potential as they imploded personally. So many layers of art pop awesomeness.

Frightened Rabbit – The Winter Of Mixed Drinks (2010)
Their mastery of celebratory self-loathing is peerless.  Scott Hutchison’s death this year cut deep for so many reasons.
Portugal. The Man - Evil Friends (2013)
Long-time favorite keeps the streak alive. With each stylistic shift I love them even more. One of four albums that made my annual top 10.

Deathlist – Deathlist EP (2016)
A personal & potent EP from Portland’s busy renaissance bassist. Listened to this EP a ton. She is consistently creating and collaborating on many of my favorite songs each year.       

Waves of Fury – Thirst (2012)
Does it get better than blaring horns over blasted vocals? No. Some of wildest, best, careening off-the-brink garage soul-punk you can imagine.

Lucero - 1372 Overton Park (2009)
It's the perfect mix of Memphis horns, country grit, and rock n' roll.

Benjamin Booker - Benjamin Booker (2014)
Although not written about this year’s civil rights struggles, they could be. I hear the same anger, frustration, and confusion resonate in his soulful garage rock.

Hockey - Mind Chaos (2008/2009)
They perfectly combine my love of gritty soulful vocals, funky baselines, and indie rock. In small way, we may have even contributed to breaking this band.

Sheer Mag – I, II, III EPs (2015/2016)
The blownout lo-fi might deter some, but to me it sounds like that hidden gem on a friend’s overdubbed radio mixtape. Cranking up this album makes any day feel like Friday night and every beer taste like a High Life. Thanks Larson!

The Autonomics - Debt Sounds (2017)
Ignore the Saturday morning Snapchat cover, this is road-honed, pogoinducing, virile rock n roll.

Jay Reatard – Watch Me Fall (2009)

Paranoid, dark, and gleeful. This may be more melodic, but it's far from mellow. Loved all his albums. Always shifting, I wonder what he would have come up with next. Another painful loss.


Rain Hiawatha Kernytsky said...

Solid list, Jesse, and yet, somehow, I'm not shocked that we don't have a single crossover in a decade of work. That's exactly why I love this "community". Keep on truckin'!

awmercy said...

Ha. Thanks. Yeah, that's what I love about it too. It makes the individual lists just as exciting as the compiled list.

In reviewing my top 100 albums over the last 10 years I noticed a number some genre-modifiers popping up again and again across multiple genres. I bet others have similar themes and trends. I am half tempted to do a thematic analysis, but I think that might be getting a bit overly nerdy. Ha.