Every year, it gets a little harder to make a best-of-Philadelphia local music list. Increasingly, the town is teeming with musical talent, with the indie-rock scene unquestionably healthier than ever. The list below couldn't include all the great events and acts - A Sunny Day in Glasgow, Purling Hiss, Kindred the Family Soul - but sorry, there are only 10 spots on this list.
Alex G, DSU (Orchid Tapes). Havertown native and Temple dropout Alex Giannascoli earns his rep as "The Internet's secret best songwriter," with fractured melodies on his fifth album since 2012.
Amanda X, Amnesia (Siltbreeze). Debut album of alt-trio Kat Bean, Cat Park, and Tiff Yoon recalls '90s femme acts like Scrawl while strongly exerting their own identity on riff-rockers such as "Dream House."
Cayetana, Nervous Like Me (Tiny Engines). Philly pop-punk three-piece, fronted by Augusta Koch, shows off songwriting chops (and a sense of humor) on songs like "Hot Dad Calendar" on this elemental full-length debut.
Fhloston Paradigm, The Phoenix (Hyperdub). DJ/producer King Britt doubles down on his futuristic sci-fi inclinations on this analog head trip. The name is a play on a fictional vacation spot in Luc Besson's 1997 movie The Fifth Element.
Pattern Is Movement, Pattern Is Movement (Hometapes). Indie experimental duo Andrew Thiboldeaux and Chris Ward's first album in six years plays like one long, hypnotic art-funk incantation.
Cookie Rabinowitz, Four Eyed Soul (self-released). Bespectacled Philadelphia soul man specializes in slickly funky pop R&B that harks back to Hall & Oates and the classic Sound of Philadelphia era.
The Roots, ... And Then You Shoot Your Cousin (Def Jam). Along with nightly Tonight Show duties, the Philadelphia hip-hop band found time to release this unjustly overlooked experimental, conceptual gem about violence in America.
Shark Tape, Marathon (self-released). Philadelphia rock trio, fronted by Stephen Lorek, show off their pop smarts and Replacements influence on this promising debut.
Son Little, Things I Forgot (Anti-). Singer Aaron Livingston, former collaborator with the Roots and RJD2, makes an auspicious postmodern soul-man entrance on debut EP.
Strand of Oaks, Heal (Dead Oceans). Mount Airy rocker Timothy Showalter's creative breakthrough rocks out with passion and fights through the pain with winning, seize-the-day sincerity.