The first time Team HitFix checked in with our favorite albums this year, we were extolling sets from St. Vincent, Beck, Kelis, The War on Drugs, Future and future-islands" class="autolink">Future Islands (not related) around April.

For the halfway mark of 2014, Melinda Newman shared some of the efforts topping her charts, like country star Miranda Lambert, rising country star Sturgill Simpson, "Stay With Me" saddie Sam Smith, new folkers First Aid Kit and veteran singer Rosanne Cash.

How did we get through three-quarters of the year so far? As we anticipate (or simply cross our fingers) for new albums from acts like Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Adele and Frank Oceans to rear up by the end of 2014, there's been some awesome new additions to our running list.

Click through our gallery below, for our descriptions of great 2014 albums from Aphex Twin, Shellac, Alvvays and FKA Twigs, Sylvan Esso, Neil Young and Freddie Gibbs & Madlib.

After five years as a columnist and editor at Billboard, Katie Hasty joined HitFix in 2009 for music and film reporting out of New York. The Midwest native has worked as a writer, music promoter and in A&R since 1999 and performs with her band Numbers And Letters.