As we wrap up another year, we asked our Music Designers to share the best albums they discovered this year. We bet you’ve heard many of these artists while shopping at your favorite store, dining at your neighborhood bar and grill, or traveling to spend time with your loved ones this holiday season.


John Parsons

Burn Your Fire For No Witness – Angel Olsen
Lost In The Dream – The War On Drugs
LP1 – FKA Twigs
It’s Album Time – Todd Terje
After The End – Merchandise

Ashley Columbus-Plinzke

Haunts- Tiny Victories
In Return – Odesza
No One Is Lost – Stars
Hozier – Hozier
Ices – Lia Ices

Mandi LeBlanc

The Voyager – Jenny Lewis
They Want My Soul – Spoon
Disgraceland – The Orwells
1989 – Taylor Swift
Sun Structures – Temples

Randy Schlager

Junto – Basement Jaxx
Sirens – Gorgon City
Motion – Calvin Harris
A Perfect Contradiction – Paloma Faith
Studio Rio Presents The Brazil Connection

David Sheyda

Lost In The Dream – War On Drugs
Eagulls – Eagulls
Atlas – Real Estate
Here And Nowhere – Cloud Nothings
Dude Incredible – Shellac

Tristan Bolden 

Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse – Mariah Carey
Somebody’s Party – Erik Hassle
Aquarius – Tinashe
Vibes – Theophilus London
10/21 – Rochelle Jordan

Janica Chang 

1989 – Taylor Swift
Mandatory Fun – Weird Al
Evergreen – BROODS
Oh, What a Life – American Authors
Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness – Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness

Jesse Nathason

At War With Reality – At The Gates
Year Of The Caprese – Cherub
Sirens – Gorgon City
Sun Structures – Temples
Forward Escape – Tipper

Justin Main

Benji – Sun Kil Moon
Under Color of Official Right – Protomartyr
Poor People are Revolting – The Gotobeds
Just Enough Hip To Be Woman – BRONCHO
Clean Blood Regular Acid – Spray Paint

Erin Yousef

1989 – Taylor Swift
Evergreen – BROODS
Ghost Stories – Coldplay
Nabuma Rubberband – Little Dragon
Ultraviolence – Lana Del Rey

Trevor Pronga

In Return – Odesza
Jungle – Jungle
Ultraviolence – Lana del Rey
Brill Bruisers – The New Pornographers
Headphone Concerto – AmpLive

Linda Kennedy

Warpaint – Warpaint
Emmaar – Tinariwen
Black Messiah – D’Angelo & the Vanguards
It’s Album Time – Todd Terje
Jungle – Jungle

Joel Oltyan

So Long, See You Tomorrow – Bombay Bicycle Club
Voices – Phantogram
New Eyes – Clean Bandit
X – Ed Sheeran
A Perfect Contradiction – Paloma Faith

Deidre Gott

Sun Structures – Temples
Ritual In Repeat – Tennis
Atlas – Real Estate
Voices – Phantogram
Sweet Disarray – Dan Croll

Erick Bohorquez

Emmaar – Tinariwen
Gary Clark Jr. Live – Gary Clark Jr
Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker
Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes – Tom Yorke
Lazaretto – Jack White

Amy Frishkey

Nikki Nack – tUnE-yArDs
Vengo – Ana Tijoux
Ultraviolence – Lana Del Rey
Supernova – Ray LaMontagne
Ices – Lia Ices

Bo White

Black Messiah – D’Angelo
Typical System – Total Control
Burnt Offering – Budos Band
Film Of Life – Tony Allen
Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels

Mark Shapiro

Lookin’ Up! – Joe Magnarelli
Let’s – Adam Schroeder
Live At Cory Weeds’ Cellar Jazz Club– Louis Hayes
The Messenger – Gerald Beckett
During This Time – Oscar Peterson and Ben Webster


Caramel – Connan Mockasin
The Bones of What You Believe – CHVRCHES
Pure Heroine – Lorde
Days Are Gone – Haim
Melophobia – Cage The Elephant
Random Access Memories – Daft Punk
Holy Fire – Foals
Night Time, My Time – Sky Ferreira
Overnight – Parachute
Lightning At The Door – All Them Witches
Pickup Lines – Sweet Talk
4: Into Unknown – Human Eye
Big Wheel and Others – Cass McCombs
Corrupt Free Enterprise – OBNOX
Woman – Rhye
Beautiful Rewind – Fourtet
Warm Blanket – Dent May
Overgrown – James Blake
Swedish Ballads And More – Scott Hamilton

– Submitted by John Parsons, Ashley Columbus-Plinzke, Mandi LeBlanc, Randy Schlager, David Sheyda, Tristan Bolden, Janica Chang, Jesse Nathason, Justin Main, Erin Yousef, Trevor Pronga, Linda Kennedy, Joel Oltyan, Deidre Gott, Erick Bohorquez, Amy Frishkey, Bo White and Mark Shapiro, Music Design