Brill Bruisers by The New Pornographers
The band at #18 are Canadian, but don’t hold that against them:
A super-group built over time. That is what The New Porngraphers are. Even though the Pornos formed after each of the band’s most prominent members (Neko Case, Dan Bejar — who also performs in Destroyer, and de facto band leader AC Newman) had released records under solo or alternative bands, their first joint album, 2000’s Mass Romantic, has been recognized as one of the most influential indie-rock albums of the past two decades.
That’s what I wrote when I posted the first video released from their phenomenal sixth record, Brill Bruisers. The album has proven to be one of my favorites, after having tried and failed to thoroughly enjoy their past three albums. Their 2010 album Together didn’t make the countdown that year, but Neko’s most recent solo album made it all the way up to #5 last year.
They’re all excellent musicians in their own right. Throw them together and magic happens on one or two songs per album, but rarely across the full length of a record like Brill Bruisers. This is something different, something special. I highly recommend it.
Side Note: I recently learned that my favorite New Pornographers song, “Letter From an Occupant” — the only single from their 2000 debut album Mass Romantic — gives sole songwriting credit to Neko Case. I had previously thought Newman was the driving force behind the band. Now, armed with this new information, my whole world has been shaken to its core. If I thought I could love Neko more…
19. Only Run by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
20. Augustines by Augustines
21. El Pintor by Interpol
22. I Never Learn by Lykke Li
23. Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes by Thom Yorke
24. The Voyager by Jenny Lewis
25. Voices by Phantogram
26. Morning Phase by Beck
27. Hungry Ghosts by OK Go
28. Run the Jewels 2 by Run the Jewels
29. Cosmos by Yellow Ostrich
30. Teeth Dreams by The Hold Steady
31. With Light & With Love by Woods