Welcome to this list of my favorite albums and EPs of the 2010’s. It’s completely subjective and as true to my honest favorites as I could be…which means lots of repeat artists. Sorry if anyone is bothered by that, but it’s the only way I can make a personal list. Thanks so much for reading! Now for the list:

130. Further Seems Forever – Penny Black (2012)

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One of my favorite bands of all-time got back together with original vocalist Chris Carrabba and delivered this album of quality emo-influenced rock songs.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: Circa Survive, The Julianna Theory, Anberlin

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/0wjsGsKcsVTnrXBmGGDUsd?si=B6Iv9JPkQnaw98kyZ_YqVA

129. Living Sacrifice – Ghost Thief (2013)

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The most recent Living Sacrifice proves that they’ve still got it, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Genre: Metal

RIYL: Demon Hunter, Soul Embraced, Zao

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/6KqSwNeMSceudMNuWKlPng?si=v3Ngcb_RS2G9OUUTBIk_bg

128. Too Close To Touch – Haven’t Been Myself (2016)

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Removing any bias about the fact that my wife taught two of these guys in high school and another one goes to my church, this is full of high-energy, melodic post-hardcore songs that I’ve come back to time and time again.

Genre: Post-hardcore

RIYL: Dayseeker, Hands Like Houses, Saosin

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/2nGyrk4CKknFVjrEZQud7l?si=n_ns2XOoRa6MyPu-uK3SDA

127. Washed Out – Within and Without (2011)

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I like to chill. Chillin’ in is cool. Chillin’ in waves. Chillin’ like a villain.

Genre: Chillwave

RIYL: Toro Y Moi, Neon Indian, Small Black

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/0vYB6MiRN1DAlZe79uR3LR?si=YDorDI0PQr2wRx1NLGxkGg

126. Sons – Keep Quiet (2012)

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“Caution” and “Ghosts” are two of the best songs of the decade, and everything else here is quite enjoyable, as well.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: House of Heroes, Come Wind

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/2Ba3mnnn3ybmhWu7GETCDj?si=3umAp2NyR72PMQCEb97MWA

125. The Frozen Ocean – Skeleton Key (2015)

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David Swanson is a guitarist in the hardcore band Life In Your Way, but he’s also great a making softer rock songs.

Genre: Indie Rock

RIYL: Dustin Kensrue, Life In Your Way, Young Oceans

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/1Uth5t1WYwdJfm2Bq9tlK1?si=ZyALOhOfRuae41rA0ohVaQ

124. Many Rooms – Hollow Body (2015)

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I did not know who Many Rooms was when I attended a show where she opened up for My Epic in 2016, but after seeing her  perform, I knew she was an artist I would not soon forget.

Genre: Indie Rock

RIYL: Julien Baker, Tomberlin, As Cities Burn

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/2i1PxTD4C1AfVYyg6xoBIH?si=FOjqKINkTo6WrCStQ65-Jw

123. M83 – Junk (2016)

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This album was quite a grower. I truly did not get it at first, but after seeing the songs in one of my favorite live shows of the decade, it started to click.

Genre: Pop

RIYL: Cheesy pop music

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/0iSRofVrTOCOs841JkSgwk?si=mXDm8wnmTa6rARUumnjuYw

122. The Appleseed Cast – The Fleeting Light of Impermanence (2019)

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This might be my favorite Appleseed Cast album since Two Conversations.

Genre: Post-rock, emo

RIYL: American Football, Moving Mountains, Mineral

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/1YIK4zD8nDqN210TJIyiPB?si=2DRDbOovQUqFQSNmjhdetw

121. Holden Days – Sylvan Lands, Vol. 1 (2019)

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A beautiful collection of lush, experimental folk tunes. And my goodness, Timothy Andrews’ voice is heavenly.

Genre: Indie Folk

RIYL: Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Copeland

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/1sxYhidQt9O3xvIyx07r48?si=ppggpyQDTGegvcmafKW4Zg

120. Jimmy Eat World – Surviving (2019)

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Hooks and riffs and a few surprises, as expected from the pop/rock masters.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: Bleed American and Futures

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/1oXiDeNuXr0A4DFQEr3fhI

119. All Sons & Daughters – Live (2013)

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We started singing some of these songs in church and they just stood out from a lot of the Hillsong-type stuff and hymns that we sing, so I looked into it and found it really enjoyable and heartfelt.

Genre: Worship

RIYL: Folky, well-crafted worship music

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/1xFAQGLd2GUNK0Ji9ss9TG

118. Kari Jobe – The Garden (2017)

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I’m so surprised to have this album on here. I like her voice, so I took a chance on this CD when it was $2 at Lifeway’s going out of business sale, and I was caught off guard and so pleasantly surprised by the big, almost post-rock structures, with big hooks.

Genre: Worship

RIYL: Huge sounding, anthemic, post-rock influenced worship music

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/0VlrwygIqoI06z2BTCYuTq

117. Valleyheart – Nowadays (2017)

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This band is so exciting to me. They have great lyrics that don’t distract at all from the structures and melodies and musicianship. This is a taste of something they would do even better with their full-length which will appear later in this list.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: Lyrical, emotional, alt-rock.

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/0hhd9KDukrvcyhOjJQIaqU

116. Hands – Give Me Rest (2011)

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The final Hands album cuts out most of the hardcore influence that I really enjoyed from them and went full-on post-metal. It’s heavy and spacey and worth a listen if you’re into that kind of thing.

Genre: Post-Metal

RIYL: Isis, Everything in Slow Motion, Rosetta

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/7kxHA6L2NxB1YBvlp7Je4L

115. Young Oceans – Suddenly (Or the Nuclear Sunburst of the Truth Revealed) (2017)

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You’ll be seeing more in this list from one of my favorite bands of the decade. One of the more experimental worship bands you’ll find and this may be their most experimental release yet.

Genre: Worship

RIYL: Experimental, atmospheric worship music.

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/1NnzAkcue0YdEzLWKb8bfp

114. My Epic – Violence (2019)

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The darkest of My Epic releases. I’m a big fan of the electronic elements that they brought to the forefront for the first time.

Genre: Post-Hardcore

RIYL: Deftones, Chevelle, Norma Jean, Thursday

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/1JEGmU4yqtuuFceHpVCvHK

113. Everything In Slow Motion – Phoenix (2013)

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An offshoot of the previously mentioned band, Hands. This one is also spacey and riffy, but stronger melodically than Give Me Rest.

Genre: Post-hardcore

RIYL: Hum, Blindside, Hands, Space

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/0B1Iy2POFJQQbIZsU04zYM

112. Thrice – Major/Minor (2011)

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By far my favorite Thrice release of the decade.

Genre: Post-hardcore

RIYL: Heavy music with strong melodies.

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/0xQYyIZThYYrCWcVqRNybH

111. La Dispute – Rooms of the House (2014)

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A great album to yell along to.

Genre: Post-hardcore

RIYL: Touche Amore; mewithoutYou; heavy, word music

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/5m0NdXjQm038wphE4VSTPU

110. Gemma Hayes – Let It Break (2011)

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I just love her voice so much.

Genre: Pop

RIYL: Harriet Wheeler, The Corrs, Dia Frampton

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/1drLsmab6XcCyJC1UuoiKa

109. I Break Horses – I Break Horses (2011)

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This one didn’t really connect until after I fell in love with Chiaroscurobut now I’m totally into it.

Genre: Shoegaze/Synth-Pop

RIYL: School of Seven Bells, M83, Postiljonen

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/0CLz2Hqr0i9X7uvwjHNKEB

108. The National – High Violet (2010)

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People aren’t gonna like that this album is ranked so low, but it’s one where I think the high’s are fantastic, but there’s a few tracks that don’t do much for me.

Genre: Indie Rock

RIYL: General melancholy, Ohio, baritone vocals

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/59gXPxZ8CwFaeknPxtxXHZ

107. Zach Winters – To Have You Around (2017)

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I found out about Zach when I was looking for artists to approach for the Blurescent Compilation and boy, was it a happy find. Some of these songs are so good for putting on repeat when times are tough.

Genre: Folk-Pop

RIYL: A stylistic mix of folky Sufjan Stevens and Jack Johnson

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/0C6TOafNvw2PpiSdoByAmD

106. No Devotion – Permanence (2015)

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Featuring members of Lostprophets and Thursday, they up the 80s electro-pop influences that were largely nonexistent in their other bands, and it’s a lot of fun. Hopefully there’s more to come.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: New Order, Lostprophets, Thursday

Stream: No Devotion- Permanence in Youtube

105. Search The City – Flight (2013)

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Well, it looks like this band is done again, but they put out a pretty nice album in between breakups, with lots of catchy hooks and fun jams.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: Forever Changed, Mae, Further Seems Forever, Anberlin

Stream: Search The City – Flight in Youtube

104. Deas Vail – Deas Vail (2011)

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This album was a grower. I was not a fan of the production at all, but when the songs began to overshadow how overproduced it was, I couldn’t deny that this was the same band I feel in love with a few years earlier.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: Mae, Sherwood, later Relient K

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/3XHMCmFxAdwY7fOJaPAtDs

103. Gates – The Sun Will Rise And Lead Me Home (2011)

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Yeah, I’m a sucker for the post-rock/emo/post-hardcore combo.

Genre: Emo/Post-Rock

RIYL: Moving Mountains, Athletics, Owel

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/6veKAyDh4FnDiB31ntFmE8

102. Holy Fawn – Death Spells (2018)

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I listened to this on a whim and it blew me away the first few plays.

Genre: Post-Metal

RIYL: Junius, Deftones

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/3L9kfqui54S1V2MvOHKmJC

101. Cannons – Night Drive (2017)

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“Kiss Me’ is almost good enough to get this album on the list by itself, but there’s a lot of other really fine nostalgia-inducing synth-pop moments to be found.

Genre: Synth-Pop

RIYL: Postiljonen, Chvrches, Polychrome

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/5zifluY4N0CV8n88BF6Xvy

 

100. All the Day Holiday – The Sloth Sessions (2010)

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I think there were only 50 of this tape made and it’s presence from the internet is pretty much dried up. It’s re-worked/re-mixed versions of songs from one of my favorite albums of the 2000’s, The Things We’ve Grown To Love.

Genre: Rock/Electronic

RIYL: Mute Math, Paper Route

Stream: N/A

99. Chvrches – Love Is Dead (2018)

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Chvrches solidify their status as some of the top-dogs in synth-pop with their third album of catchy, synth-y jams.

Genre: Synth-Pop

RIYL: Now Now, Postiljonen, Harriet Wheeler

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/7EchhykwUf4ACDDABEDa7o?si=UIzGdc4PSsqHushVn0JV7Q

98. Paramore – Paramore (2013)

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This is the album where Paramore decided to stop being a pop-punk scene band and deliver an album for their maturing audience. Ain’t it fun? Yes. Yes, it is.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: Jimmy Eat World, Metric

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/4sgYpkIASM1jVlNC8Wp9oF?si=-6e5Dxo8TJaJJbFUAYWXAw

97. Waterfront Dining – Melodies & Mermaids (2016)

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This is my favorite Vaporwave album by my favorite Vaporwave artist.

Genre: Vaporwave

RIYL: 80s & 90s R&B

Stream: Waterfront Dining – Melodies & Mermaids

96. Kye Kye – Fantasize (2014)

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Smooth, dreamy jams from a band that has been way too quiet since this released.

Genre: Dream Pop/Synth Pop

RIYL: Copeland, Lovelite, Cannons

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/41Ifm24Z3c8pAIFxMWUJp3?si=Xfpze-xNQ_upoqyVnZOsuQ

95. Dream Cannon – Illusions (2011)

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A project featuring Falling Up band member, Daniel Elder. This release is full of big, echoing guitars and synths with soaring, clean vocals.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: Falling Up, Dredg, U2

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/3QxtlwU7BE7frlTfi2mEYV?si=1ESqpPWJSEGwoVH2hinJvA

94. Jackie Hill Perry – The Art of Joy (2014)

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It’s been a long time since I listened to a hip-hop album as much as I did this one. Jackie is a brilliant lyricist.

Genre: Rap

RIYL: Lauryn Hill, MC Lyte, Propaganda

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/5onYnoS1ziFOeS97mNukM9?si=v_uZ1tavTbSOojZ9kByXbQ

93. Anberlin – Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place (2010)

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The fact this is one of my least favorite Anberlin albums and it’s still good enough to make this list says a lot about this band. There’s several great songs on every Anberlin album, including tracks like “Pray Tell” and “Art of War” on this one.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: The Classic Crime, Mae, House of Heroes

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/0aJvU0peEjLVYTOhaPVLXv?si=gJlyR-ppRbyAF3n0umtY_g

92. Continuance – Carry Ourselves (2010)

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From the ashes of two of my favorite hardcore bands (Saints Never Surrender & Means) comes Continuance. I had the privilege of watching this band play in a garage in the literal middle of nowhere Kentucky when they were touring this albums and it was incredible. I’m really hoping for more music from this band or their previous bands at some point in the future.

Genre: Melodic Hardcore

RIYL: Saints Never Surrender, Means, Life In Your Way

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/7ojPYxkOxUlOiN80ooObKa?si=z9ubwNrwSQSOyupM2umYzA

91. Oceana – Cleanhead (2010)

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Gritty, but melodic post-hardcore. Only four songs, but more than enough to make an impact.

Genre: Post-hardcore

RIYL: Saosin, Sparta, Thrice

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/6sUKYFZet57qfn9IlOCk5Y?si=5UYWCc3sR3SYlxRbS2gtbA

90. My Epic – Viscera (2016)

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My Epic shift gears from the more worshipful Behold and Broken Voice towards seeming to try to address hard questions and topics in their songs. Not that this was something they shied away from before, but it seems to be more of a focus here and with the next couple EPs.

Genre: Post-hardcore

RIYL: Thrice, As Cities Burn, Oceans

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/76q9WrF4Lftzb6VX4I9M5V?si=8jLY_0kLS1-00fywQunzBA

89. Still Remains – Ceasing To Breathe (2013)

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My favorite melodic metalcore band reunited after a lengthy hiatus to bring this album into the world. It has all the elements that made them my favorites in the genre: strong melodies, gorgeous harmonies, prominent keys/synths, great vocals/drums/guitars.

Genre: Metalcore

RIYL: Bleeding Through, Haste the Day, Bullet For My Valentine

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/534aS9XVVHRQpmdPrhMr4T?si=ozfECTf2RKOZWBbS4cF33A

88. Life In Your Way – Kingdoms (2011)

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The masters of melodic hardcore up the metal for the Kingdom of Man and Kingdom of Darkness sections of this trilogy. The Kingdom of God is where they show the style that they mastered with their previous releases, and while it was nice to hear them go for a darker/heavier sound, they excel when they opt for more melody in the guitars.

Genre: Melodic Hardcore/Metalcore

RIYL: Misery Signals, August Burns Red, Shai Hulud

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/4tfylKybFBlNAjPctZgo8s?si=7m51H3c_RVinhlc7HH0ltA

87. Jimmy Eat World – Damage (2013)

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More great emotional, rockin’ jams.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: singing along, wearing your heart on your sleeve

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/3cTKLglWH2XfDfbwqXvaGo?si=2Um4R0LgTnyWczp5JSxGXg

86. Now Now – Saved (2018)

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Now Now released a nice emo-influenced indie rock album called Threads in 2012, but decided to head in more of a pop direction for their sophomore full-length, and I think it worked out. I’m not a fan of the title track, but pretty much everything else here is stellar. Not to mention “Yours”, which is absolute pop perfection.

Genre: Synth-Pop

RIYL: Chvrches, Cannons, Priest

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/2omSHllc8JtVw7CqyMvVOr?si=aIEEvjveT0-mpp4WqUbITA

85. Barrie – Happy To Be Here (2019)

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This album is hard to pin down. There are some synth-y elements here, but I can’t quite call it synth-pop. The rhythm section has a 70s feel to it, which goes really nice with the smooth, soft vocals or Barrie Lindsay.

Genre: Pop

RIYL: Mute Math, Hatchie, Geowulf

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/74hkehs2cahKJ7jFLOrxYh?si=5I13XcyXTIqan38oD1dz5A

84. The Sleep Design – Kings (2012)

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Gorgeous instrumental post-rock in the vein of Explosions In The Sky. I think one of these guys plays in Katy Perry’s band now, if that should make you want to listen for any reason.

Genre: Post-Rock

RIYL: Explosions In The Sky, Moonlit Sailor

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/6AsgIIcquQ1iGpFt3IxLlV?si=Mq3dFcFiQaKkfJuegDn09g

83. Polychrome – Polychrome (2018)

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My pals in Polychrome deliver the goods here. It’s got a bit of everything you could want in a synth or electro-pop album. One of the more diverse bands I’ve heard in the modern synth-pop scene. Plus, Vicky Harrison is one of the most personable and kind people I’ve come across in my many internet interactions. Following their Facebook page is a must if you like to talk music online.

Genre: Electro-Pop

RIYL: Chvrches, M83

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/3n1pAJ0hDKtOaDpPpQRrHZ?si=8StJml4TQPG33gmZmcg0sg

82. Ellis – The Fuzz (2018)

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The Fuzz is a great name for this EP as it’s got a fuzzy grunge/shoegaze feel that only adds to the sincere lyrics and sweet melodies of Linnea Siggelkow.

Genre: Indie Rock

RIYL: Longbeard, Great Grandpa

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/1f3Zh1IS7yMNLFU2G0lPOG?si=SOQvv_Y2SauP7X2-Je6qog

81. English Gardens – Rest (2017)

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I came upon this album after reading that Jessy Ribordy of Falling Up produced it, and I really took to it. It’s got the feel of later Falling Up albums, but not quite as prog-y or conceptual. The basslines are another interesting component of this album as they become the most prominent aspect of a lot of the songs.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: Falling Up, Dream Cannon

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/4Rc2O8jVdUp9aNnPLn9nEa?si=MOhDS91URxmhgIajbiQs3w

 

80. The Gloomcatcher – Starla Over The Fences (2011)

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The first of a few Jessy Ribordy fronted projects you’ll find on this list as it proceeds (Falling Up, The River Empires, Gloomcatcher). I think he’s an absolute musical genius. Start with some releases that appear closer to the top of the list, but this one is great and you’ll definitely want to get to it at some point.

Genre: Folk-Rock

RIYL: Falling Up, The River Empires, The Dear Hunter

Stream: Starla Over The Fences – The Gloomcatcher

79. The War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding (2017)

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It’s like hearing 70s rock hits that never were, but with a nostalgic atmosphere.

Genre: Indie Rock

RIYL: Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/4TkmrrpjlPoCPpGyDN3rkF?si=jiLhWUYDQLq7Kr4169tWtQ

78. Jars of Clay – Inland (2013)

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I cannot stress enough that people need to understand that Jars of Clay are a legitimately great band and not just a punch line for articles about 90s Christian youth group culture. They never were a dumbed down, mainstream-copying CCM band, and they still aren’t with their most recent full-length.

Genre: Pop/Rock

RIYL: Counting Crows, Sixpence None the Richer, Crowded House

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/26xODR4QAfy3zgeLAvxhpG?si=TlVekK6iQCSYFGv21XWqKQ

77. Jimmy Eat World – Invented (2010)

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Yet another album of bangers by one of the best pop/rock bands to ever do it.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: I mean, you most likely know what Jimmy Eat World sounds like.

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/1TxRb6Hl940xyXG4eL8Tlo?si=vgt3WxZ1Ro-RTub-EYTcpg

76. Canopy Climbers – Blindfold (2014)

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This band was one of the best kept secrets of the decade. You’ll be seeing more of them on this list. You’ll definitely want to check them out if you like the bands in the RIYL.

Genre: Pop/Rock

RIYL: Paper Route, Mute Math, All the Day Holiday

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/1edBqhcYVNTGW2yRsxCwpK?si=o0eAuj24Ss-pUFGXnFFiww

75. The National – Trouble Will Find Me (2013)

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This is my favorite album by The National.

Genre: Indie Rock

RIYL: Being in your 30s or 40s.

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/2JhR4tjuc3MIKa8v2JaKze?si=nbS-e0HmRGCM3inEJPu_vw

74. Bon Iver – Bon Iver (2011)

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This is just a gorgeous collection of atmospheric, falsetto-dominated folk songs by Bonny Bear.

Genre: Indie Rock

RIYL: Pretty things

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/1JlvIsP2f6ckoa62aN7kLn?si=FExbfA0eSHSanwRTtcV7wQ

73. My Epic – Ultraviolet (2018)

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My Epic show off their softer, dreamier side here with the companion to the heavier/darker, Violence. I still think they’re at their best when they incorporate it all together, but I love that they gave us a proper look at each extreme of their musical personalities.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: Thrice, Medical Morning, No Devotion

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/6eIyBydQxrNK0J14hGm74W?si=fGJYJTcSRPSds7yVgidjZg

72. Jimmy Eat World – Integrity Blues (2016)

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I see a lot of people saying that ‘Surviving’ is the best Jimmy Eat World album of the decade, but I’ll continue to stand with Integrity Blues.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: Jimmy Eat World

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/03hVtUfmQW3fhMbYoliIod?si=JMA7dmx5QoqF3iYiqGtLNQ

71. Paper Route – The Peace of Wild Things (2012)

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This is the closest thing I heard this decade to the Tears For Fears classic, Songs From The Big Chair. If you love that album, this one deserves your attention.

Genre: Pop/Rock

RIYL: Tears For Fears, Canopy Climbers

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/4gCXFcJXBeseiCQ0GCakO0?si=6aEhWfN_RH2IuAb-vnOtsA

70. Beach House – 7 (2018)

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I’ve been a casual Beach House fan for awhile, but this is the first release from the band that I found myself wanting to keep listening to over and over.

Genre: Dream Pop

RIYL: Grizzly Bear, Real Estate, Deerhunter

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/4qftBBO7pnYlek3mRENIvM?si=d60gOZF2TZ6598McuTRbew

69. Over the Ocean – Paper House (2010)

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This is one of the best post-rock influenced worship albums I’ve heard. The guitar work is beautiful and the vocals are pretty unique for the genre.

Genre: Post-rock/Worship

RIYL: Explosions In The Sky, Young Oceans, The Glorious Unseen

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/1ZRSDwOlk80SAt8T9WidVC?si=RAljHQarSFap1muo6GXQ6A

68. New Canyons – Everyone Is Dark (2013)

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This album is very much dark and light. Both are strongly at play and working together. It’s like Depeche Mode and U2 making music together.

Genre: Pop/Rock

RIYL: Tears For Fears, Depeche Mode, U2, Paper Route

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/1BiWLsvr6CacIJBy4T4adZ?si=72qOCdq9QHWhv36jjNsNBA

67. Terrible Things – Terrible Things (2010)

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This is the only album released by this super-group consisting of members of Taking Back Sunday, Coheed & Cambria, and Hot Rod Circuit. These songs have Jimmy Eat World-quality hooks, vocals, and compositions. It’s a bit overproduced, but like several albums on this list, the songs overcome it with repeated listens.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: Taking Back Sunday, Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/1TyMDExhiw77m4yoUC9ZOY?si=vAfO8O2pTsSM4tS0m6ipXw

66. Ships In The Night – Myriologues (2017)

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Alethea Leventhal attempts to process the death of a loved one with these heartfelt tracks.  The atmosphere around these songs is thick and heavy, as expected, but a beam of light often shines through.

Genre: Darkwave

RIYL: Dark and atmospheric synth-pop

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/4kdlQdWX4jaVI5HSXqWm4F?si=Z_TcyH-xQbq_fxCeZ6oijw

65. Hundredth – When Will We Surrender (2010)

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Before they were making quality shoegaze-infused indie rock, they were a beast of a hardcore band.

Genre: Melodic Hardcore

RIYL: Shai Hulud, Strongarm

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/0goba3bGJ2BHbK8hTpeEMz?si=RrJkpmkuShugtkoAlkeVNg

64. Athletics – Who You Are Is Not Enough (2014)

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Post-rock + Emo + Post-hardcore = YES. I really miss this style of music that Athletics and Moving Mountains did so well.

Genre: Indie Rock

RIYL: Moving Mountains, Gates

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/3XkhvmeGUwG2IZbxkQnsDH?si=yg1wCfe-S427hOrSa7d1Yg

63. My Epic – Yet (2010)

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This is the first My Epic release to have Matt Goldman on board as producer, and he takes this band to a whole new level by making their already great songs sound as huge and powerful as the deserve.

Genre: Post-Hardcore

RIYL: Thrice, Brand New, Attalus

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/4msQh5pDwjBIwh7fEOYhZ5?si=4c2ORChETSGleSWg5E9hPw

62. Tusks – Dissolve (2017)

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This album has shoegaze, dream pop, some Sarah McLachlan-type adult contemporary, some R&B. Having so many different things going on can come across as incohesive to me oftentimes, but the steady atmospheric feel makes it all work fabulously here.

Genre: Dream Pop

RIYL: Anything atmospheric

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/343TgZDe4XHXNBNO1RWiT6?si=TEyWkHZqS6SNOYXYK8bN0Q

61. Owel – Paris (2019)

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Owel takes elements of Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, and American Football (that’s what I hear, anyways) and makes them work well with every release. This one may be their most consistent release yet.

Genre: Indie Rock

RIYL: That little cute cartoon mouse with the big sneeze

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/4aobB2zVFraL709l2rekaY?si=4-3mbUPRRPSGz0zrLRDYsA

 

60. Electric Youth – Innerworld (2014)

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Electric Youth burst onto the scene via the Drive soundtrack, and they continue with that nostalgic 80s vibe here.

Genre: Synth-pop

RIYL: Chvrches, M83

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/4Kt5QSgaOzr6nTIN4RBmkf?si=6EPjRJQNS0elVWGXESKLww

59. Mint Julep – Broken Devotion (2016)

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The side project of Keith Kenniff of Helios and his wife, Hollie. If dreamy synth-pop is your kind of thing, this album offers so much replay-ability, as it slowly reveals itself among the haze.

Genre: Synth-pop

RIYL: Very dreamy synth-pop, Helios

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/0aQrTaKNXKsTiDwPryQSuN?si=4xIN3PfcSRa1skvKDNduKw

58. Chvrches – The Bones of What You Believe (2013)

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This one is loaded with good songs, but Lauren Mayberry’s Harriet Wheeler-esque vocal tone is what initially drew me to the band when this album came out.

Genre: Electro-pop

RIYL: Harriet Wheeler, New Order, M83

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/6RtJAKlrtGqsOnJ849wreV?si=Oc-0ib57QA6orQz-b9cE2A

57. Anberlin – Lowborn (2014)

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Anberlin had so many great songs throughout their career, so I didn’t really expect them to deliver one that might be their best ever (“Atonement”) on their “final” album, along with a bunch more killer tracks. I say “final” cause they’re playing shows and releasing new merch, so it’s just a matter of time.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: Jimmy Eat World, Terrible Things, Paper Route

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/0J2ytBHerNl1uzVP5jozX2?si=CgRk4gxBQieGUc7U5Cg42g

56. Starflyer 59 – Young in My Head (2019)

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Jason Martin proves that even 25 years after he wrote “Blue Collar Love”, he’s still one of the best lyricists, guitarists, and songwriters in the game.

Genre: Indie Rock

RIYL: Nostalgia

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/3TVKAqSrq7LUZXb9RvdLFN?si=nZHqbm-JRhWFvlhzOX-Ypg

55. Falling Up – Midnight on Earthship (2013)

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This album is much more straightforward musically than most of Falling Up’s later albums, but it still has their unique fingerprints on it, which means I enjoy it very much.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: Falling Up

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/3hKyqncVyi3t4vQoeOnp8h?si=vGv4oWAmRxKwFlP-HOeNUw

54. Starflyer 59 – The Changing Of The Guard (2010)

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“Those pictures
They cause me to think about my life
Passing by
And I can’t do a thing to stop time from moving
So I’m looking for a time machine
And I’m looking for a time machine
That takes me there again”

Jason gets my nostalgic brain.

Genre: Indie Rock

RIYL: Top-notch guitars and lyrics

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/6tRAxYbRiZpsmKE08eMo5e?si=MhnnYle_RqyPdEYPG4-7Ew

53. Attalus – Into the Sea (2015)

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A concept album about a storm-filled journey on the sea. Seth Davey’s lyrics and story telling are brilliant and the rest of the band more than holds their own. If you like your post-hardcore to be described as “epic”, here’s an album you need to hear.

Genre: Post-hardcore

RIYL: My Epic, mewithoutYou, Thrice

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/2mk7BVUY7BkN7vyKitOTEr?si=7-aVLLOCR-Wn0jVG_Ijn3w

52. Owel – Owel (2013)

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I think Paris is the more consistently good album in Owel’s catalog, but the highs on this one are undeniably great, which is why I decided to give it a higher ranking.

Genre: Indie Rock

RIYL: Sigur Ros, Radiohead, American Football

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/37u3ei7yoghnG356i0soAr?si=-rA5aokJQoaGasw7OpGbTA

51. States – Line ’em Up (2010)

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A project consisting of members of Copeland and Mindy White of Lydia. This EP blends the more chill aspects of the bands they came from with some relatively straightforward rock and pop. Mindy’s incredible vocals finally get a chance to shine here, and they’re a huge part of what makes this release special.

Genre: Pop/Rock

RIYL: Metric, Cardigans

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/4SkLNtIiLB8fZxVEOd3WAc?si=CKxXjOvGRW6qKSv_rEhYGA

50. Starflyer 59 – IAMACEO (2013)

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This incredible musician and songwriter runs a trucking company, which is where the title comes from. The music is great, of course, but it’s also nice to have a world-class musician who can relate with the working class.

Genre: Indie Rock

RIYL: Reckoning with your 9-5…and life in general.

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/1UeHygljKz2nVg675j0DjW?si=9vCYNdfEQsuUINCa2WbxCw

49. Canopy Climbers – Distances (2011)

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This was a right find at the right time. Right time because I was really into All the Day Holiday and Paper Route when I came upon this band, and also right time because I was in at the beginning of the band and got to enjoy the rest of their fantastic releases in real time.

Genre: Electro-pop

RIYL: Chvrches, Paper Route

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/5gjYkbxs28tat7YdaRq3rG?si=yHWXKuRxSFGrHykK_iVKpA

48. Mae – Multisensory Aesthetic Experience (2018)

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The return of one of my all-time favorite bands from a lengthy hiatus. It was a privilege to get to hear this album in the studio of vocalist Dave Elkins, before the album was released. That’s a pretty sure-fire way of having an immediate connection with an album.

Genre: Pop/Rock

RIYL: Death Cab For Cutie, Nada Surf

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/6DWnviHhKVtnuSFdRE12Ij?si=mktgIMbqSZq6e2wmFhQlZA

47. Haerts – Haerts (2014)

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“Wings” is one of my favorite tracks of the decade and there are several more nice pop and synth-pop tunes here. Nini Fabi has the kind of voice to make you want to isolate it from the music at times, just so her unique tone can be clear as day.

Genre: Pop/Rock

RIYL: Stevie Nicks, Postiljonen, DWNTWN

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/0AzzkKWd53eUoJOl4gl7Ns?si=IBjen6c5RdKaRIhJwU4HFA

46. Copeland – Ixora (2014)

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Copeland returned from hiatus to deliver what may be their best album thus far, though it seems you’ll rarely find two Copeland fans who can agree on a ranking of their albums. I take that as a sign that the band has delivered a consistently excellent catalog of music.

Genre: Indie Rock

RIYL: Owel, Eisley

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/6gmmlbyESoYzJB0KkRxLGd?si=RnzkpBMmRJ6SVEGgmq49Og

45. Tiny Fireflies – The Space Between (2015)

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“Icy-cold synth-pop with a warm heart” is how All Music Guide describes this album and I can’t argue with that. Fans of the vocal style and tone of Lauren Mayberry and Harriet Wheeler should also be sure to check this one out.

Genre: Synth-pop

RIYL: Chvrches, Mint Julep, Longbeard

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/3R3XQTg7srUI8h8afDuoWJ?si=8el__Zl1RPu2NRTDzLBWbg

44. Anberlin – Vital (2012)

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Before Anberlin released this album, I had come to accept that their days of delivering a full album that I really enjoyed were gone. Their previous two were just not up to par with the first three albums, in my opinion. Maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to come to these conclusions, as Vital is right up there with the albums that made me an Anberlin fan in their earlier years.

Genre: Rock

RIYL: Jimmy Eat World, Acceptance, Paper Route

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/0nLFBWp0GsRZo8vwWD4ocH?si=U2UlnHEZTl-M_KbNUUaVxA

43. Gold Fields – Black Sun (2013)

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It seems like I played this album consistently for a year after it released. It’s fun, synth-y rock music with tribal-sounding undertones, that you don’t tire of very quickly because there’s so much going on underneath it all.

Genre: Pop/Rock

RIYL: Paper Route, Last Dinosaurs, Strange Talk

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/15KgoEYS6awHSklKrVGDsk?si=M1oV4Rk5TR2qsNow1lKToQ

42. Mae – (e)vening (2010) 

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Part of the (m)orning, (a)fternoon, (e)vening trilogy of Mae EP’s, and I’d say this is my second-favorite of the three. (m)orning is one of my favorite EP’s of all-time and the easy winner here, but it’s bed-time companion should not be discounted. It has a great emo song in “Bloom”, a gorgeous piano-only composition in “seasons”, and an epic closer in “Sleep Well”.

Genre: Pop/Rock

RIYL: Relaxing in your feels before bed

Stream: (The original has been removed, but tracks 13-17 at this link are slightly revised versions of the original tracks)    https://open.spotify.com/album/2DZqZrVNS4vYJSZxHUJ9Gp?si=4iFt5cqpTx69jGJz16aNEg

41. Paper Route – Real Emotion (2016)

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This is a 16-track album with an underlying theme of questions about our brains, mental health, and  obviously, emotions. It’s a little more rocking than their previous albums, but there’s still plenty of great synth-pop/dream-pop songs here if that’s what you’re here for. Fans of high energy pop and rock will also find plenty to enjoy, as well.

Genre: Pop/Rock

RIYL: Feeling less alone in your mental issues

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/4FBgDUQc9uZCuNwySaZPWL?si=blmrYvsHS9COfWQQi2uStA

 

Thanks so much to everyone who read along. I hope you have found some new music to love or have taken some joy in finding that someone else adores some of the same albums as you do.