The Philadelphia indie-music scene is so good right now I almost don't want to say it out loud for fear of jinxing it.
One measure is that year-end best-of lists in national publications feature several Philadelphia bands. In the A.V. Club, the not-satirical arts and culture wing of humor outlet the Onion, four albums in the Top 15 are 215 acts: Beach Slang, Waxahatchee, Kurt Vile, and Hop Along.
Which is one way of saying creating the list below - highlighting musical achievements of only 10 Philadelphia area acts - is more difficult than ever. Millennial influx into the city has meant there are more bands - and more good rock bands, in particular - than ever.
Here is an alphabetized list of some of the best - with the notable omissions of Hop Along and Kurt Vile, who will find love elsewhere in this section.
Alex G, Beach Music (Domino)
Havertown native and now South Philadelphian Alex Giannascoli's seventh album (and first for a prominent label) finds the 21-year-old one-man band still making music that recalls Elliott Smith, while stretching into more esoteric directions.
Girlpool, Before the World Was Big (Wichita)
Ten songs in 24 minutes from the DIY indie-folk duo not yet old enough to drink legally. No drummer, just two guitars and Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad's vocals, making their way in the world together.
Low Cut Connie, Hi Honey (Contender)
Swaggering old-school rock-and-roll to the liking of President Obama, who put "Boozophilia" (from a previous album) by the part-Philly, part-Birmingham, England, band on his summer play list.
Son Little, Son Little (Anti-)
The long-time-in-coming debut of Aaron Livingston, who previously worked with the Roots and RJD2, is a genre-hopping effort that has been branded with a "future soul" tag, but it also draws from a deep well of age-old musical Americana.
Meek Mill, Dreams Worth More Than Money (Maybach)
Before he got in over his head in a rap battle with Drake, the shouting Philadelphia rapper issued his chart-topping second full-length album, highlighted by the seriousness of just-out-of-jail tracks like "Lord Knows" and featuring his superstar girlfriend, Nicki Minaj.
Sheer Mag, II EP (Katorga Works)
There's no full-length album yet, but this Christina Halliday-fronted hard-rocking South Philadelphia fivesome have released a pair of four-song EPs that rage with gale-storm force while recalling '70s riff-rock bands like Thin Lizzy. "Fan the Flames" is not to be resisted.
Jazmine Sullivan, Reality Show (RCA)
An entirely impressive return to form after a five-year absence in which Sullivan considered quitting music, Reality Show finds the Strawberry Mansion-raised R&B singer employing her powerful voice with discretion, raging righteously on "#HoodLove" and berating herself, rumbling like Shirley Bassey, in "Stupid Girl."
Summer Fiction, Himalaya (self-released)
Bewitching, melancholy, melodic pop from Smiths and Left Banke-enamored songwriter Bill Ricchini, recorded with B.C. Camplight in Manchester, England.
Travel Lanes, Let's Begin to Start Again (self-released)
Former Flight of Mavis and Buzz Zeemer leader Frank Brown is a songwriter who couldn't write a not-catchy, jangly song if he tried. Let's Begin toughens up his wistful sound.
Waxahatchee, Ivy Tripp (Merge)
Katie Crutchfield synthesizes the elements of folk, pop, and poetic lyricism of her first two albums - American Weekend and Cerulean Salt - and rocks them out into her most confident work yet.