I have rejigged my list. Reckon the Octo Octa and Ryuichi Sakamoto albums are quite similar tbh, both very personal and autobiographical works in genres not normally associated with those things. Knowing their backstories and contexts makes them both very #moving. Even considered making them joint first tbh.
Couple of caveats:
World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda, and PAN record's Mono No Aware have both been disqualified, because they're compilations of existing music, but they were easily two of the best things I heard this year.
Decided to take a go out on a limb and place Charli xcx pretty high even though i haven’t had loads of time to let it sink in, but I’m pretty sure it’s a top tier banger of a release. Might even deserve to be higher tbh.
In a rough, but in no way definitive, order:
1. Octo Octa - Where Are We Going?
2. Ryuichi Sakamoto - async
3. Thundercat - Drunk
4. Luka Productions - Fasokan
5. Charli XCX - Pop 2
6. Kehlani - SweetSexySavage
7. Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement - Black Magic Ambient
8. Julien Baker - Turn Out the Lights
9. Folamour - Umami
10. Arca - Arca