19. Amber Coffman, 'City of No Reply'
During her time in the Dirty Projectors, Amber Coffman established herself as one of indie-pop's most distinct vocalists. On her solo debut, she explores her love of R&B and pop. The songwriting is surprisingly conventional, allowing Coffman to show off the effecting soulfulness in her voice, sometimes evoking a 21st century art-pop Laura Nyro or even Sade. Highlights include the lovely doo-wop-tinged "All to Myself" and the warmly smooth and seductive "Brand New." What holds it all together is the elegance of her vocals and the pure, unguarded emotion that comes through in every song. J.D.