Aaron Paskin

90
Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood’s signature worldbuilding returns at long last on their streamlined follow-up to the Smile’s promising debut. It’s the pinnacle of escapism.
75

On Iechyd Da, his fullest sounding solo record yet, Bill Ryder-Jones calls into question a classic adage: Is it really better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?

90

On I DES, Kenny Anderson is fascinated with, in denial of, and mourning the belief that life is just the time each of us borrows from the universe.

80
Laura Veirs’ latest collection of demos is, perhaps, the greatest testament yet to her singularity as a songwriter and performer.
75

Yard is the stagnation and inaction of self-doubt, an indie drawl confidently built on ‘90s suburban nostalgia.

80
On first listen, James Blake’s return to club music feels like both a detour and a hark back to an old sound. It’s neither of those things.
80
On her spellbinding third album, Julie Byrne allows love, nature, life, death and memory to bleed together as a single entity in constant motion.
80
Angelo De Augustine suggests that life and death are not something to be received, but something to be constructed from within. Despite and thanks to so much pain, Toil and Trouble offers empowering relief.
80
A satisfying culmination of indie veterans humbly closing the gap between artist and listener, releasing their music as they create it.
85

This Is the Kit’s sixth album is a captivating set of jazzy folk rock wonders that demand to be explored, revealing more magic with each listen.

70

My Soft Machine’s matured vulnerability and consistently interesting production keep Arlo Parks as one of indie’s most moving and rewardingly accessible songwriters.

70
Hannah Jadagu’s debut is sweet if safe, a 12-song joyride of easy listening that delivers on the young artist’s promise of bright, chill vibes.
65
Lana Del Rey’s harrowingly personal ninth album includes countless piano ballads, occasional trap beats and a four-and-a-half minute sermon from celebrity megachurch pastor Judah Smith. It’s a lot.
50

Praise a Lord has its glimpses of the soaring glam rock that made Heaven to a Tortured Mind so enticing, and the production itself is undeniably impressive, but Sean Bowie’s budding rock star potential is sorely missed.

70
As the foreboding passage of time looms overhead, Yo La Tengo meet it with their signature romantic recipe: levity, a bit of gentle reflection and a dose of absurdism.
87
Samia’s second album is a milestone, a quintessential season finale to the first chapter of the 2020s indie pop story.
65

The collaborative spirit of Mount Kimbie is missed on MK 3.5: Die Cuts | City Planning, but ultimately Dom Maker and Kai Campos showcase remarkable growth in their respective hip-hop and IDM production.

65
Dan Snaith’s latest Daphni record doesn’t make quite as deep of a dent in the club scene as his last Caribou record did in the indie electronica world, but it’s yet another admirable effort from one of electronic music’s most reliable artists.
80

Despite some awkward sequencing and songwriting, I Love You Jennifer B is yet another promising debut from a budding experimental UK indie scene.

85
After over a decade of focused projects, each technically interesting but lacking the full Radiohead cohesivity, Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood along with drummer Tom Skinner and producer Nigel Godrich have finally borne the fruits of the skills they honed through the 2010s in one dazzling project.
75
Tragic accounts of violence surround a guarded Vince Staples, who raps not proudly but unapologetically about his dedication to the hustle, his anxiety, and ultimately his inability to love, all stemming from his tumultuous upbringing in Long Beach.
80
Wet Leg is irresistible post-punk revival for the internet age that helped propel the band to instant fame.
50

Quirky voices interchange with somber ones on Warm Chris as Aldous Harding seems to choose musical phrases on the spot, and hesitant piano and guitar lines follow suit, resulting in an album that sounds equally alluring and unfinished.


February Playlist
AOTY Discord