SAN FRANCISCO - There was so much great music that came out this year. The only problem is you probably didn't hear any of it because Kesha and Kanye West sent you screaming to the nearest soundproof bunker. Well, it's time to resurface and discover a dozen worthy albums you may have missed.
1. Beach House: "Teen Dream" (Sub Pop). The title of this Baltimore duo's third full-length release bears an unfortunate similarity to Katy Perry's latest pop enormity, "Teenage Dream," but the music couldn't be any more different. Cosmic and calm, the songs here leisurely float on a bed of vintage organs, with Victoria Legrand's lovely harmonies leading the way. Adolescent angst has never sounded so palpable.
Check it out: " Lover of Mine "
2. Best Coast: "Crazy For You" (Mexican Summer). The first release from Angeleno Bethany Cosentino, whose love of "Seinfeld" reruns is only matched by her enthusiasm for marijuana and random Tweets. On "Crazy for You," she effortlessly channels the delirious sound of vintage girl groups through the fuzz and flannel of the early '90s, creating the closest approximation of what Hole would have sounded like if it were a Ronettes cover band.
Check it out: " Boyfriend "
3. Bonobo: "Black Sands" (Ninja Tune). The fourth full-length offering from mysterious British producer Simon Green is quietly innovative, drawing on jittery electronic rhythms, rich jazz grooves and lush soundscapes. His secret weapon is singer Andreya Triana, who has the kind of soulful voice that makes knees quiver.
Check it out: " Eyesdown "
4. Delphic: "Acolyte" (Dangerbird). The entire history of Manchester, England's pulse-quickening pop scene -- from New Order's sleek beats to Oasis' chest-beating melodies -- comes through on the first album by this unassuming trio. "Acolyte" sounds as brilliant on the dance floor as it does on the headphones, with singer James Cook bellowing the group's mantra, "Let's do something real."
Check it out: " Doubt "
5. Delorean: "Subiza" (True Panther Sounds). A throwback to the days when ecstasy-fueled knob-heads like 808 State and Orbital dominated dance clubs, this Spanish quartet waves its glow sticks with pride on its third CD, packed with synth-pop gems like "Stay Close" and "Infinite Desert."
Check it out: " Stay Close "
6. The Drums: "The Drums" (Moshi Moshi). This floppy-haired Brooklyn outfit makes the kind of music you expect to hear in the middle of John Hughes movies, complete with cheap synths, finger snaps and handclaps. It's a bonus that front man Jonathan Pierce sounds a bit like Morrissey after downing a case of Red Bull.
Check it out: " Let's Go Surfing "
7. Foals: "Total Life Forever" (Sub Pop). This Oxford indie-rock group's tightly wound first album, "Antidotes," drew a few too many Bloc Party comparisons. No such problems here. "Total Life Forever" takes a great stylistic leap forward, exploding with widescreen melodies and sweaty momentum on tracks like "This Orient" and "After Glow." And with the epic "Spanish Sahara," it offers seven minutes of breathless meditation.
Check it out: " This Orient "
8. Janelle Monae: "The ArchAndroid" (Bad Boy). It boggles the mind that Monae isn't the biggest breakout act of the year. Despite collaborating with heavyweight producers like Diddy and OutKast's Big Boi, sporting a magnificent pompadour and nabbing a Grammy nomination for best contemporary R and B album, the genre-bending songs on her debut album remain criminally underplayed. From the frenetic pop of "Cold War" to the dizzying disco of "Locked Inside," each one deserves your full attention.
Check it out: " Cold War "
9. John Grant: "Queen of Denmark" (Yep Roc). This 41-year-old singer-songwriter from Denver, formerly the singer with the Czars, comes out and gets clean on his mesmerizing solo debut. With the backing of Texan folk rockers Midlake, he turns out a set of airy, lyrically lush acoustic-based tunes not properly heard since, oh, sometime in 1975. No wonder Mojo magazine selected this as its album of the year over the Arcade Fire and Black Keys.
Check it out: " Marz "
10. Karen Elson: "The Ghost Who Walks" (XL Recordings). Maybe being Jack White's supermodel wife distracted from the actual music, but taken out of context this is stellar stuff. Elson has a smoky voice that works brilliantly with the retro American gothic sound her husband coaxes out of her Nashville-based pickup band, which happens to include members of My Morning Jacket and the Dead Weather.
Check it out: " The Ghost Who Walks "
11. Tame Impala: "Innerspeaker" (Modular). Australia is not really known for its secret cache of psychedelic rock bands, which makes this discovery doubly pleasurable. Hailing from Perth, the