by bands you didn't really know before. I always think this is a much better gauge of the sort of musical year you've had than your top albums of the year list.
1 Okkervil River - Black Sheep Boy/Down The River Of Golden Dreams. Two incredible and really quite different albums by one of the best bands in the world.
2 The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow was one of the three albums that soundtracked last summer the most. Exuberant and lovely and perfect.
3 Wheat - Hope and Adams, one of the most underrated albums ever. Beautiful and hazy and I remember listening to it on the train home from Truck and feeling really emotional.
4 Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism. An album I've been meaning to get for so long, and it's pretty much awesome from start to finish. It's not just a collection of great indie-pop songs but also a really cohesive album.
5 Grandaddy - The Sophtware Slump. Another one where I was really late on the uptake but bloody hell it's good. It's an album of incredible imagination and vision, and really touching at times.
Honourable mentions - Full Collapse, White Pony, Dear You, The Coast Is Never Clear, If You're Feeling Sinister