Best of 2014

As usual, I’ve not even scratched the surface of all the releases this year (I never do). This is what I’ve loved these last 12 months through my over-complicated music discovery regime.

Here are two mixes that cover selected tracks from both best albums and tracks lists:

Stream Winter Daydreaming or download

Stream Summer Dancing or download

ALBUMS

Sharon Van Etten – Are we there
My absolute favourite and most listened to album in 2014. Standout tracks: I love you but I’m lost and I know

Sharon Van Etten - Are we there

Sharon Van Etten – Are we there

The rest in alphabetical order

Alice Boman – II (EP)
Haunting Swedish singer/songwriter comparable to Agnes Obel. Standout tracks: What and Over

Alice Boman - II

Alice Boman – II

Alvvays – Alvvays
Dream-pop from Toronto, Canada. Standout tracks: Archie, marry me and The one who loves you

Alvvays

Alvvays – Alvvays

Angel Olsen – Burn your fire for no witness
Contributor and tour buddy to Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Angel’s second album is a chunk of lo-fi brilliance balancing between folk siren and scratchy fuzz kick-outs. Standout tracks: Forgiven/Forgotten and Dance slow decades

Angel Olsen - Burn no fire for no witness

Angel Olsen – Burn your fire for no witness

Death From Above 1979 – The physical world
The long-awaited return doesn’t disappoint. Seemingly less ‘disco punk’ remixes floating around for this album. Standout tracks: Trainwreck 1979 and Right on, Frankenstein.

Death From Above 1979 - blah

Death From Above 1979 – The physical world

The Dollfins – I’ll do what you want me to
Garage slash rockabilly from Cape Town. Standout track: I’ll do what you want me to

The Dollfins - I'll do wjat you want me to

The Dollfins – I’ll do what you want me to

Dum Dum Girls – Too true
I’ve been a fan since their first album. Noise pop with a new wave thing. Standout tracks: Under these hands and Trouble is my name

Dum Dum Girls - Too true

Dum Dum Girls – Too true

Gemma Hayes – Bones + Longing
One of my crowd-funded albums for 2014. Irish singer/songwriter doesn’t fail with a collection of mostly contemplative songs layered in beauty. Standout tracks: Caught and Dreamt you were fine

Gemma Hayes - Bones + Longing

Gemma Hayes – Bones + Longing

Grouper – Ruins
Dark, slow, piano, ambience with hauntingly beautiful voice. Standout tracks: Call across rooms and Labyrinth

Grouper - Ruins

Grouper – Ruins

Lisa Gerrard – Twilight Kingdom
Dead Can Dance vocalist solo album (new one of many). Moody soundtrack music with her unmistakable voice. Standout tracks: Of love undone and Adrift

Lisa Gerrard - Twilight Kingdom

Lisa Gerrard – Twilight Kingdom

Wolf Alice – Creature Songs EP
Soft/loud wall of sound harks back to the heydays of Curve and Lush. Stand out tracks: We’re not the same and Storms

Wolf Alice - Creature songs

Wolf Alice – Creature songs

 

The biggest disappointment of the year was the new Pixies album.

 

TRACKS

Sometimes there wasn’t enough time to get into the whole album. Other times I only found a few off an album that blew me away. These are those in alphabetical order:

Anna Calvi (feat. David Byrne) – Strange weather

Antlers – Hotel

Ashrae Fax – Dreamers tied to chairs

Ballet School – Cherish

Bear in Heaven – Demon

Beverly – Honey do

Black Milk – Cold day

Bleached – Born to kill

Blurred City Lights – Anamorphic

Bonobo – First fires

Broken Twin – You can’t put your arms around a memory

The Bug (feat. Warrior Queen) – Fuck you

Caribou – Back home

Eternal Summers – 100

FKA Twigs – Two weeks

Fresh & Onlys – Hummingbird

Gazelle Twin – Anti body

Goat – Words

Hildur Gudnadottir – Birting

Honey Trees – Nightingale

New Myths – False gold

Interpol – All the rage back home

Karen O – Rapt

La Roux – Let me down gently

Lily & Madeleine – Fumes

Luluc – Tangled heart

Lykke Li – Love me like I’m not made of stone

Marissa Nadler – Nothing in my heart

Martha – 1997, passing in the hallway

Mogwai – The lord is out of control

Original Swimming Party – Weeping song II

Oscar – Sometimes

Parquet Courts – Ducking and dodging

Perfume Genius – Queen

Run the Jewel – Oh my darling don’t cry

Sky Ferreira – Nobody asked me if I was okay

Sleaford Mods – Air conditioning

Stolen Pony – I’m dating the internet now

TV on the Radio – Happy idiot

Tycho – Montana

Warpiant – Disco//Very

White Hinterland – Wait until dark

Young Fathers – No way

Zammuto – Good graces

 

Lyric of the year:

“I’ve got an armful of decent tunes mate, but it’s all so fucking boring…” Sleaford Mods

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