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Published Sep 5 by Daniel Moss.


Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper
Since the late 90's Noah Lennox has been making some of the most critically acclaimed albums in independent music both as part of Animal Collective and under his solo guise Panda Bear. His new record 'Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper' which came out through Domino earlier this year continues this trend with an album equal parts hook laden and sonically adventurous. Co produced by Spaceman 3's Sonic Boom, the album draws on a wide array of sounds and reference points from The Beach Boys, King Tubby, Steve Reich, Silver Apples and J Dilla amongst many others. Like most of Lennox's work this record contains a lot of hypnotic and repetitive jams that demand repeat listens to reveal a lot of the intricate detail. Very early in the year 'Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper' set the bar high for best Dad release of the year. 


Built To Spill - Untethered Moon
Built To Spill put out their first studio album in 1993. Twenty two years later they have just released their eighth, which remarkably is really good. I really shouldn't be surprised that Built To Spill have released another great album but not many bands can lay claim to the consistency of Doug Martsch and his cohorts, especially over such a long career. They've been one of the most influential figures from the Pacific Northwest indie rock scene and this album allows you to settle in just where they left off. Their sound never drastically changes from album to album, rather expands and elaborates on different ideas and sounds explored before. Still there are the intertwining guitar jams, still there is Martsch's high pitched yelp, still there are lyrics that shift from universal to introspective, still is there no sign of a release from this band being anything less.


Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi Love Play in successful band in New Zealand with your brother, band breaks up and you think music as a professional endeavour is over for you so youmove to Portland with your wife and children, record an album in your basement by yourself for fun which ends up getting crazy hyped in the blogosphere, tour the world, release another successful follow up, become involved in a polyamarous relationship with your wife and another women, record your third album in your basement about said relationship. That's the story thus far for Ruben Nielsen and his band Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Now one of the biggest names in the wave of modern psych bands, their third album 'Multi Love' is doing a lot to help this cause. Throwing some soul, disco, funk, and motown into the mix with the usual psych, krautrock and pop influence, Multi-Love is 2015's polyamorous dad record of the year.


Wilco - Star Wars I'm not sure what the significance the cat on the cover has to anything on this album, nor the title Star Wars, but I'm into it. It seems like Wilco are letting their hair down a little on this one, their last record 'The Whole Love' was a dense multi layered record full of rich orchestration and restrained production. 'Star Wars' on the flipside seems a lot more off the cuff - opening with a Captain Beefheart meets Sonic Youth angular guitar frenzy in 'EKG' and expanding from there. There's a more present glam influence with T-Rex, Bowie and Velvet Underground reference points and there's also seemingly more flippant production choices with flanged drums and lots of fuzz pedals... everywhere. It takes a band of extremely accomplished musicians to be as seemingly carefree as Wilco are on Star Wars but Jeff Tweedy and co have this in spades. Dad Rocks best band have churned out another great record who, like Built To Spill continue to make relevant music after twenty years in the game.


Destroyer Poison Season Definitely one of the more verbose lyricists in music today, Dan Bejar's tenth studio album under his Destroyer solo moniker continues to stake his case as one of music's most unique voices. No one really sounds like Destroyer, nor does Destroyer sound anything like his namesake suggests. Bejar's music is ever evolving and always drawing from new inspiration - most evident this time around are the echoes of orchestrated chamber pop and the jazzier side of 70's pop rock. Still notable is Leonard Cohen's influence on the lyrical flow Bejar's work but thrown in this time around are more pre-rock n roll standpoints. A little less Bowie and a little more Sinatra than previous outings, 'Poison Season' feels a little like the next logical step from his critically acclaimed 'Kaputt' album. This is an extremely cinematic record that like all Destroyer albums will be one of the most literate albums of the year. 
If we waited to make this list at the end of the year then there's a good chance we would be adding a couple more to this collection as we are still awaiting albums for Kurt Vile and Low in the coming months. An honorable mention also goes to Father John Misty who has released one of the best albums of the year but despite his namesake cannot lay claim any biological children.
2015,  wilco,  panda bear,  unknown mortal orchestra,  built to spill,  destroyer,  dad,  father,  best albums,  panda bear meets the grim reaper,  untethered moon,  star wars,  multi love,  poison season