While we’ve been running our “Best local albums of the year (so far)” roundup for 11 years now – and did so again in today’s print edition -- every music site/publication that knows how to spell Ezra Koenig has also starting running their own mid-year list in recent years. So here’s my own (alphabetical) tally of non-local albums to go with today’s all-Minnesotan recap.

Unexpectedly, there’s a whole lotta twang here, from the moody, experimental sound of Phosphorescent to the old-school rootsiness of Patty Griffin’s latest, and the slick commercial appeal of the Pistol Annies to the raw, gut-wrenching thrill of Jason Isbell’s personal masterpiece. However, Kanye’s and MBV’s wowing records are about as far away from Americana as it gets.


Patty Griffin, “American Kid”

Jason Isbell, “Southeastern”

My Bloody Valentine, “mbv”

The National, “Trouble Will Find Me”


Phosphorescent, “Muchacho”

Pistol Annies, “Annie Up”

Kurt Vile, “Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze”

Vampire Weekend, “Modern Vampires of the City”

Kanye West, “Yeezus”

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Mosquito”



Of course, every fan worthy of making a Spotify playlist is going to have their own opinion on which albums should've made these mid-year best-of lists (and which should be left off). Let us know your own picks and disses below.