This year's top ten includes three artists making their fourth appearances here in the 21 year I've been doing this, plus seven newcomers.
10. Shearwater - Jet Plan and Oxbow
I've been a fan since 2004's Winged Life, and they've released some good albums in that time, but this is their first truly great record.
9. Frightened Rabbit - Painting of a Panic Attack
While not their most highly acclaimed, it's the one that made me want to listen to it over and over earlier this year.
8. Jesu/Sun Kil Moon - Jesu/Sun Kil Moon
At this point, you either love or hate Mark Kozelek's confessional songwriting style. This is his third appearance in my top ten in past four years, and fourth overall for Sun Kil Moon (which places them in a 7-way tie for seventh most overall with two artists still to be revealed). You can probably guess which camp I'm in.
7. Maren Morris - Hero
I didn't hear this album until it was named Rolling Stone's country album of the year. It's also the most critically acclaimed among my top ten, but probably the one I'll get the most flak for from my pal Afshin.
6. Eleanor Friedberger - New View
Her old band, the Fiery Furnaces, made my top ten twice, but this is Friedberger's first as a solo artist and perhaps her best album yet.
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