9. The Internet, 'Ego Death'
"Girl, just go with it, lose control," sings Syd the Kyd, who applies a similar ethos to the Internet's blend of basement soul. The band has grown as musicians by evolving from a two-person project — Syd and keyboardist Matt Martians — to a six-piece band with lyrical contributions from Nick Green. Ego Death is more vibrant than the slight and underdeveloped alt-soul of their past two albums: Steve Lacy's chicken-scratch guitar colors the songs with a comfortably slack indie-rock tone and their sound has an easygoing beat reminiscent of early Aughts future jazz. At the center is Syd, who is turning into a great bandleader that can sing about love and heartbreak with irresistible cool. Whether missing a girlfriend as she embarks on another flight on "Gabby" or cooing, "You fucked up" on "Just Sayin/I Tried," Syd is the magnetic presence of Ego Death. M.R.