Already more than halfway through, 2012 has gone just way the Mayans predicted it, with the Top Albums of 2012 (So Far) offering loads of ear deliciousness streaming out of your speakers. There have been grand returns -- the Shins and Fiona Apple dropped their first discs since when people actually bought CDs -- and a handful of acts burst upon the scene with awesomeness previously unseen: the despondent-exuberant fun., the hell-hath-no-fury-like-an Alabama Shakes.

With the fate of the world at stake (or so those Mayans say), we’ve combed the charts, listened to at least a few of our readers, conferred amongst the staff, read the flight of birds, talked to trees and further destroyed our hearing in the name of research. And so we hope, as the days begin to grow shorter again, that this 10-star constellation can provide you a moment to reflect upon the amazing artistic output of the past six months. Surely, there will be discs you think should be on here -- Gotye came out last year, after all, and this list focuses only on albums released in 2012 -- so let us know in the comments section. And be sure to check back, as there are major releases -- a Passion Pit here, a Grizzly Bear there -- on the horizon, so this Top 10 list will shift with the seasons.

In this most cosmic of years, if we run into an alien invasion apocalypse, we’ll at least be able to offer our new overlords a slew of fabulous listenables. Click the beautiful button below to begin your voyage.