60. Electric Youth – Innerworld (2014)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


“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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


“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)


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)


“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)


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)


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) 


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)


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