And here are my top ten favorite albums of 2014!
10 – St. Vincent – St. Vincent
Annie Clark has finally ascended to the top of the world. This album is her craziest and probably best yet. Awesome arrangements, demented lyrics and beautiful vocal work.
9 – Waterdeep – Waterdeep
I’ve been following this band for 16 years now. This year they put together a Kickstarter campaign to produce this double album – half Don songs and half Lori songs. It’s a sprawling work that’s clearly been a labor of love. They’re making the songs just how they want them and it’s a joy to hear.
8 – TV on the Radio – Seeds
TVOTR has been off the grid for awhile, but they stormed back with “Seeds” this year. It’s a great collection of classic TVOTR sounds. After a few listens, it’s not quite as good as “Dear Science”, but not many things are.
7 – Jenny Lewis – The Voyager
Jenny Lewis has been involved in a lot of awesome projects over the years. Here she’s all on her own and sounds confident in herself to pull it off. And her confidence has paid off with a very, very good album.
6 – Phantogram – Voices
Phantogram only has two members, but their sound is big and complex. There are some legitimately awesome songs on this record and I found myself listening to it a lot during walks.
5 – The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream
This band has been around for a few years now, but this album may eventually be regarded as their master work. It’s a sprawling and lush collection of melancholy tunes that unfold slowly and pull the listener in.
4 – Damien Rice – My Favorite Faded Fantasy
Where has Damien Rice been the last 8 years? Who knows. What I do know is that he hasn’t lost a step. With more songs about broken hearts, unrequited love, self-doubt, etc, Rice has grown older but still wrestles with the same stuff. I hope it’s not 8 more years before we hear from him again.
3 – Spoon – They Want My Soul
Man, Spoon really knows how to make music. They just hit this one out of the park. They have a signature sound, but I feel like they jacked around with it a bit more on this album than on their last couple. “Inside Out” is one of my favorite songs of the year.
2 – Jeremy Messersmith – Heart Murmurs
Local guy makes good! Messersmith put together this awesome album of songs that many are calling “new classics”. With every listen a new turn of phrase will catch my year and a new chord progression will tap my foot. We played “Tourniquet” at our church this year and had a ball learning it. Great job, Jeremy!
1 – Beck – Morning Phase
My favorite Beck album is “Sea Change”. I love the Nick Drake-esque nature of the stripped down acoustic format. Sure, Beck is great at ramshackle rock, but his grasp of the folk style is underrated. So when he returned to this style for “Morning Phase” I was all in. This is an awesome album and I’ve probably played it more than any other complete album this year.
Again, am I missing something from my list that you think should be there? Let me know in the comments. I love giving new music a chance!
2015 is already shaping up to be a great year for music with a front-loaded release calendar featuring the likes of The Decemberists and even Modest Mouse! I can’t wait!