I'm surprised I stuck through with even posting a list, and finishing it just a week later.
I don't feel up to making a top 5 for EPs. Laurel Halo's King Felix EP wins, though. It wins it all. Gatekeeper had a nice EP release with Giza near the end of the year, too, but I doubt I'd put it in my top 5. Looking forward to LPs from both of them.
Tristan Perich - 1-bit Orchestra
Salem - King Knight
Agalloch - Marrow of the Spirit
I can't decide if I'd even want to include these in a top 10 list, so just consider them honorable mentions with no description. None of them were in my earlier posts, anyway. And yes, 1-bit Orchestra is true to its name. I wrote a bunch of shit about Salem (and a few other albums) when I was still in the mindset of doing a proper year-end list like last year's, but forget it. King Knight's cool, though, and the genre-blending on the album is staggering. Agalloch's Marrow of the Spirit kind of came out of nowhere. I've only listened to it once, but it's pretty good, and they still have the folk metal thing going on. I'd say it's on par with their older stuff.
7. Former Ghosts - New Love
6. Yellow Swans - Going Places
5. Twin Shadow - Forget
4. Avey Tare - Down There
3. Beach House - Teen Dream
2. Jeans Wilder - Nice Trash
1. Dinosaur Feathers - Fantasy Memorial
Dinosaur Feathers wins because it was a huge surprise in an otherwise terrible year. Plus I played the hell out of it, and it got me through the early part of the year. Jeans Wilder's Nice Trash came out a week into December, and it's a damn shame it wasn't just held back for a January release, but whatever. I'd rather include it in the 2011 list if I could, and it'd be an early front-runner for album of the year. The album's tremendous, though, and really has a sound that's unlike anything I've heard. I guess something like ghost dream-pop would be a sufficient enough description? It's nuts. Teen Dream still holds up a year later, although it really isn't much of a deviation from Devotion.
Avey Tare's Down There took a few listens to really set in, but it's a very strong album. There isn't a single bad track on it, but the first half really outshines the second. Twin Shadow was another great surprise, and was what I was listening to for the majority of the late summer into early fall. Yellow Swans I've talked about already, and Former Ghosts were in my top 10 last year, too.