Drawing courtesy of andrewhoffmandesign.com

A fun fact I like to let vinyl outsiders know is that of every release that comes out, the most likely way you can now get the music is on vinyl. With all the battles over rights many bands opt out of Spotify or Apple Music or (insert name of the next one), and many other formats are dying or just catching speed – Cassettes and Tapes. Happily there is one faithful standby and that’s vinyl records. I like to think that it’s due to the fact that truly no medium for music feels as great as vinyl.

For the bands that we work with on the SlyVinyl Records side, pressing an album isn’t just a way to make some money, it’s the ultimate expression of the art they’ve worked so damn hard creating. Hence why we work so hard to make them all so special. I personally don’t see how or why this would ever change. Vinyl collecting stays as strong as ever. Might the “vinyl bubble burst” yeah maybe, but all that will do is weed out the casual collector that only has records in his room cause it’s currently cool. What will never die is that feeling that both music nuts (like us) and the bands get when they finally hold the magic they’ve made on (hopefully) a 180g slab of wax.

Hail the record – king of the mediums!

Oh, wait this article is about our top albums… well this year was another great year. Psych and Garage music is still holding the world hostage and personally we’re not even interested in paying the ransom. Keep it fuzzy.


#15 Leon Bridges – Coming Home

Fun fact, back when Leon was unsigned Sly was trying real real hard to press a limited 7″ for him. Sadly it didn’t happen and he still has yet to put out a limited vinyl. That being said Leon brought the 50s soul sound back into our lives and we couldn’t be more grateful.



#14 Grimes – Art Angels

Such a great return from Grimes. After supposedly throwing albums worth of material away she dropped Art Angels and restored our faith in quirky avant-garde pop. This one came out on a cool limited cassette.



#13 EL VY – Return to the Moon

This year had a great “wife swap” with 2 half National / Menomena bands forming – EL VY and Pfarmers. And to no one’s surprise both albums were great. But the couple that worked out the best was definitely EL VY. This one didn’t have any limited variants.



#12 Thee Oh Sees – Mutilator Defeated At Last

Such an amazingly energetic release from Thee Oh Sees. This album has so much depth and just continues rage. Definitely one of the best garage rock / post -punk albums of the year.



#11 Tobias Jesso Jr. – Goon

So much soul. Such great melodies. Tobias was something completely different and pure. Essentially just a dude and a piano making heartfelt songs about life and loss. This is timeless music.



#10 John Moreland – High On Tulsa Heat

Heartbreakingly direct, lyrics first alt country from my hometown Tulsa, Oklahoma. John hides from nothing and make music that’s hard to ignore. This is an album that needs to be listened to end to end. Get it on vinyl and get a glass of whiskey.



#9 FIDLAR – Too

Drugs, debauchery and endless summers. FIDLAR served us up another amazing album of ferocious garage rock. The amazing splatter version was a must have.



#8 Fuzz – II

It wouldn’t be a year end list without some Ty Segall. Fuzz’s second full length gets a little weirder than the first and each song is completely unexpected. This gold foil cover version was very very slick.



#7 Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-love

Such a groovy album, multi-love is a great name for this album as it makes you want to have groovy love multiple times. The pink vinyl was a perfect match, just a great album cover to cover.



#6 Paul Orwell – Blowing Your Mind Away

Not only is this a killer album with amazing 60s grit, but only available on vinyl! Yeah this one was made for Sly. I hope you guys have gotten a copy of this one, as it will be a collectors piece.



#5 Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

It seems there should always be at least 1 hip hop album that makes it into the list and at the current pace it’s going to either be Kendrick or Run the Jewels. To Pimp a Butterly was an icon album, must have.



#4 Sufjan Stevens – Carrie&Lowell

When news of this release dropped I was on my way into work and pulled my car to the side of the road to purchase it. This was a brutally honest and personal album that only someone like Sufjan could ever make. Losing a parent is not something anyone wants to go through and Sufjan deals with his loss right in plain sight. A bold and majestic ode.



#3 Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

The Courtney Barnett wave just continues to build and has hit a new high this year with her latest album. Her swagger is the female version of Kurt Vile for me, confident, maybe drunk and sure doesn’t care what you think. Super solid album.



#2 Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear

The famous vinyl destroying packaging that created such a stink with vinyl collectors this year and then later won best packaging, hah mine showed up perfect and I love it.. so yeah. This album also created a rift out there amongst FJM fans. His self-defeating sarcasm found a new high, some loved some didn’t. Here at Sly we ate it up. Keep the magic coming J Till.



#1 Tame Impala – Currents

With this album Tame Impala has cemented their position in my mind as one of the best bands of my lifetime. We have now been hit with 3 back to back amazing albums from the aussie boys. I have no idea where their music will head by I am on board to wherever they want to take me. Unbelievable album in every aspect.


So to total it up, Out of our top 15 – 9 had limited vinyl versions. Not as strong as last year, though every album on this list is available on vinyl.

See Each Writer’s List

Scott Wickberg

Tame Impala – Currents Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell Jose Gonzalez – Vestiges & Claws Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love Jamie XX – In Colour Paul Orwell – Blowing Your Mind Away Natalie Prass – Natalie Prass Toro Y Moi – What for? FIDLAR – Too Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear

Dylan Tracy

Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit. Ava Luna – Infinite House Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside Bell Witch – Four Phantoms Tame Impala – Currents Ought – Sun’s Coming Down Chastity Belt – Time To Go Home Vince Staples – Summertime 06 Freddie Gibbs – Shadow Of A Doubt Death Grips – The Powers That Be

David Hampton

Wand – Golem Thee Oh Sees – Mutilator Defeated At Last Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly King Dude – Songs of Flesh and Blood Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell Lower Dens – Escape From Evil Fuzz – II Tobias Jesso Jr. – Goon Viet Cong – S/T Tame Impala – Currents

Chris Chew

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly Leon Bridges – Coming Home Bully – Feels Like Bop English – Constant Bop Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love Girlpool – Before The World Was Big Laure Briard – Révélation Farao – Till It’s All Forgotten Lil Dicky – Professional Rapper

Brian Bruemmer

EL VY – Return To The Moon Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit Dawes – All Your Favorite Bands John Moreland – High On Tulsa Heat Father John Misty – I Love You Honeybear Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle Leon Bridges – Coming Home Tobias Jesso Jr. – Goon Will Butler – Policy

Burt Kohler

Tame Impala – Currents Grimes – Art Angels Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color Father John Misty – I Love You Honeybear Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit & Think The Go! Team – The Scene Between Panda Bear – PB Meets the Grim Reaper Purity Ring – Another Eternity Hop Along – Painted Shut Twerps – Range Anxiety

Aaron Greufe

Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface MS MR – How Does It Feel Fort Frances – No One Needs to Know Our Name You, Me, And Everyone We Know – Dogged The Dear Hunter – Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise Grimes – Art Angels Robert DeLong – In The Cards Fall Out Boy – American Beauty/American Psycho Heyrocco – Teenage Movie Shoundtrack Matt and Kim – New Glow

Jon Hamilton

Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit Fuzz – II Father John Misty – I Love You Honeybear Mountain Goats – Beat the Champ Paul Orwell – Blowing Your Mind Away Mikal Cronin – MCIII Desaparecidos – Payola Lonna Kelley – Take Me Home Spiderman Thee Oh Sees – Mutilator Defeated at Last Dead Weather – Dodge and Burn

Ryan Anthony Davis

Fidlar – Too The Tallest Man On Earth – Dark Bird is Home Wavves – V Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly Other Lives – Rituals Lord Huron – Strange Trials EL VY – Return to the Moon Langhorne Slim & The Law – The Spirit Moves Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats

Sindre Ernst

Death and Vanilla – To Where The Wild Things Are… King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Quarters Gold Celeste – The Glow Dråpe – Relax/Relapse Pauls Orwell – Blowing Your Mind Away Uncle Acid & the deadbeats – The Night Creeper Tame Impala – Currents The Butterscotch Cathedral – S/T The Mild High Club – Timeline Triptides – Azur

Ryan Ribitsch

Caspian – Dust & Disquiet Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell Julia Holter – Have You In My Wilderness John Moreland – High on Tulsa Heat Frog – Kind of Blah Father John Misty – I love You, Honeybear Tame Impala – Currents Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress A Sudden Burst of Color – Waves Will Rise on Silent Water We Lost the Sea – Departure Songs

Matt Hoendorf

Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear Mac Demarco – Another One Tame Impala – Currents Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell Beach House – Depression Cherry Fuzz – II Neon Indian – VEGA INTL. Night School Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love Tobias Jesso Jr. – Goon urt Vile – B’lieve I’m Goin’ Down

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