mansingingThis is the season of roundups, right? Everyone looking back on the very best of last year and putting a neat little bow on all the good and bad that was released. This list is kinda different. Few of the artists on this list are well-known, but they all pack a punch and deserve a serious listen. You won’t find Kanye or Miley on this list, but maybe something new and exciting is just what 2014 calls for…

1. King Krule “6 Feet Beneath the Moon” – How many 19-year-olds have as much to say as Archy Marshall. This British singer/songwriter’s debut album is a sign of impressive things to come. The deceptively simple lyrics and his thick English accent deserve more than a few spins.

2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. “The Speed of Things” – This duo’s new album is jam-packed with impressive dance hits, perfect to get you in motion those painful first days back at the office after the holidays.

3. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin “Fly By Wire” – This Midwestern trio’s latest effort has enough pop and sentiment to win over the most challenging listener. Expect lo-fi sensibilities and arena-ready hooks.

4. Youth Lagoon “Wondrous Bughouse” – Meet Trevor Powers, the guy behind this sonic soundscape of bizarre and dreamy songs determined to evoke a little awe. This album is slightly more serious than its predecessor, in the best possible way.

5. Savages “Silence Yourself” – Fans of dark and troubled acts like Joy Division will be enamored with Savages. This post-punk female foursome offer soaring vocals and a heaping dose of foreboding guitar riffs.

6. Deafheaven  “Sunbather” – This San Francisco-based metal band’s latest release is both poignant and introspective. Filled with lush textures and erratic drumming, this record would suit a long drive quite nicely.

7. Washed Out “Paracosm” – Like the first single “It All Feels Right,” this entire album offers an ethereal laid-back optimism, which we all need in the dead of winter. Get lost in the sweeping tones and easy-going atmosphere.

8. Capital Cities “In A Tidal Wave of Mystery” – Borrowing from the very best of ’80s and ’90s dance numbers, this pop album shoots for the stars and hits its mark. We dare you not to sing along.

9. Foals “Holy Fire” – These indie rocker’s newest record is angsty and loaded with surprises. Masters of textures and understated guitars, Foals breaks out the big guns with this album. Expect dynamic keys and well-timed low-end from these virtuosos.

10. Haim “Days Are Gone” – Fans of sexy, swagger-driven jams will love this trio. Fans of classic artists like Joan Jett and Fleetwood Mac will likely enjoy this group’s use of yesteryear’s sounds.