Album of the Year 2014

 

Let’s go.

Thirty-Five:

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Ben Frost – A U R O R A

Tron City underwater decaying.

Thirty-Four:

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Kairon; IRSE! – Ujubasajuba

Because shoegaze can be fun.

Thirty-Three:

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Obliterations – Poison Everything

Their influences are Black Sabbath and Black Flag. Frantic and angry Obliterations obliterate.

Thirty-Two:

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Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Pinata

Solid beats and quality production from Madlib, Freddie Gibbs matches the beats with his flow that feels like he’s going to stop but he never does he just keeps on flowing – to match Madlib’s beats as well as he does is impressive (and how much is rips into Jeezy as well).

Thirty-One:

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Slippertails – There’s a Disturbing Trend

I love ‘I Wanna Take Pills With You’ so much. Slippertails are dirty radio rock that’s only ever played after midnight when the DJ’s got really drunk.

Thirty:

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Cherry Glazerr – Haxel Princess

I might not like this album in ten years time but right now I like it. There’s a song about grilled cheese on here.

Twenty-Nine:

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Tony Molina – Dissed and Dismissed

In eleven (twelve) minutes you can hear all of Molina’s influences clearly but it will never bother you because his songs have been distilled to pure riffs and the ‘catchy’ parts of songs. You’ll be coming back to it for hit after hit like cocaine to keep you going throughout the day.

Twenty-Eight:

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Alvvays – S/T

It’s gone from being my summer guilty pleasure to only really liking ‘Archie Marry Me’ to declaring said song to being one of the years best to actually liking all the tracks because it’s just got that indie Canadian charm. It’s not just a one week romance.

Twenty-Seven:

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The Coathangers – Suck My Shirt

‘Suck My Shirt’ is raw and upfront and sounds great, it’s catchy it’s a rusty stringed garage rock disease ridden razor blade.

Twenty-Six:

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Brody Dalle – Diploid Love

Brody’s most accomplished and diverse album to date sees a wonderful guest appearances from a mariachi band and Garbage’s Shirley Manson on ‘Meet the Foetus/Oh the Joy’. For strong female all out rock music, a listen is advised.

Twenty-Five:

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Arca – Xen

There’s no one standout track on ‘Xen’ because the whole album is a complete futuristic nightmare painted by Jesse Kanda and soundtracked by Fka Twigs’ and Kanye Wests’ producer Arca. It’s bleak but captivating. It’ll twist you the wrong way.

Twenty-Four:

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Aphex Twin – Syro

I actually find ‘Syro’ to be cold and uninviting whereas Aphex Twin’s previous album have been the opposite to that yet this is why I find this album so appealing. ‘produk 29 [101]’ and ‘minipops…’ showcase Aphex Twin outclassing all these ‘modern day producers ripping him off’.

Twenty-Three:

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Ekoplekz – Unfidelity

Admittedly I find it hard to separate the trio of electronic albums that I have listed in a row here, I think that they’re all really good and as good as each other. Yet ‘Unfidelity’ is a different type of weird to ‘Syro’ and ‘Xen’, it somehow feels more human and grounded in reality (maybe an alternate reality) but that’s why it’s so off kilter because it’s the soundtrack to zoning out and visiting the inside of your waking mind.

Twenty-Two:

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Girlpool – S/T

Okay, so this is an E.P. but the lyrics are great. The vocals are great, everything that Girlpool do, a female duet playing just guitar and bass is just so great. From the strutting sassy ‘Jane’ to the harsh truth of ‘you leave me in the fucking rain’ on ‘Blah Blah Blah’ and discussing being called a slut and gender in ‘Slutmouth’ Girlpool will somehow charm you over the course of the short fifteen minute run-time.

Twenty-One:

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Tops – Picture You Staring

Because that Canadian indie charm can really take you a long way. Strong pop strong writing may not be as strong and catchy as Alvvays but Tops are darker and more emotional and introspective multi-dimensional and I’ve listened to ‘Driverless Passenger’ just as much as ‘Archie Marry Me’.

Twenty:

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Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence

This album isn’t the Lana Del Rey of ‘Born to Die’ and no one should like it because the ‘jazz’ the ‘life’ has been washed out of her voice and this is stripped and ruined and the monochromatic ‘paradise’ that is painted is rough and Dan Auerbach made a little bit of a mess on the production but with songs like ‘West Coast’, ‘The Other Woman’ and ‘Black Beauty’ you can almost take this album seriously, but overall ‘Ultraviolence’ is the biggest joke of the year and you need to listen to it. The persona of Lana Del Rey just keeps on getting more interesting.

Nineteen:

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La Sera – Hour of the Dawn

Katy Goodman’s leap into cementing her own identity apart from Vivian Girls brings a glorious catchy and sunny girl group melodies thrown in with a Punk attitude, that of the Ramones that has matured since the days of Vivian Girls, but now La Sera are a much sweeter Black Flag.

 

Eighteen:

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Kitten – S/T

‘Pop Album of the Year’:

Sexy Sax Solo
Euphoric chorus’
Best 80’s nostalgia album of the year
Prince level of Funk
Cheeky acoustic closing song

Chloe Chaidez has only just turned 20 and I’ve played ‘Money’ so much (See MXTP)

Seventeen:

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Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else

‘Here and Nowhere Else’ was an album I kept on coming back to because I just kept on getting snippets of the tracks in my head. The recording is rough but that gives aesthetic right? Sometimes I think ‘Attack on Memory’ is the better album and sometimes I think it’s this. Let Dylan Baldi open himself up to you and find the album to be an enjoyable indie rock borderline pop punk/emo (careful now).

Sixteen:

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Azealia Banks – Broke With Expensive Taste

No, this is not an album full of ‘212’ copy cats, and thank god for that. ‘212’ may stand out but ‘Broke With Expensive Taste’ is a collage of Azealia Banks’ life/career since ‘212’. Her beats may be edited samples of entire tracks (mostly) but it’s her rapping/singing/lyricism that stands out, her attitude and her approach to being a young black female in America and the music industry.

Fifteen:

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Thurston Moore – The Best Day

Basically what Sonic Youth would probably be doing if they were still around, just without Kim.

Fourteen:

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Dope Body – Lifer

Energetic and Fugazi like with Nirvana and a load of 90’s misc and nostalgia thrown in but the grooves are heavy, hard and catchy. Turn this one up.

Thirteen:

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Tweens – S/T

Probably what Charli XCX wanted ‘Sucker’ to sound like. Bittersweet punk rock with a pop edge, but just enough for you to be humming ‘Be Mean’ for the rest of your life.

Twelve:

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Have a Nice Life – The Unnatural World

Tired of jumping off cliffs listening to Joy Division? Well Have a Nice Life and all that but try this album out for size, it’s dire and bleak but the post-punk feel crawls inside you not to live but to die.

Eleven:

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Warpaint – S/T

My love for this album has mellowed throughout the year, but this album is pretty mellow. ‘Love it too Die’ is still beautiful and Warpaint are dreamy as ever. Love the album art as well.

Ten:

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Liars – Mess

I never got into the bands 2012 release ‘WIXIW’ but I thought I’d give mess a go and I’m so pleased I did. Colourful but monotonous at the same time, the weird electrical current that weaves its way throughout the album sounds just like the album cover looks. ‘Mess on a Mission’ is great and ‘Left Speaker Blown’ may blow your speaker.

Nine:

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Big Ups – Eighteen Hours of Static

More Fugazi? Well why not, Big Ups released this album at the very beginning of the year but it has stood up to so many records because, whilst I may not like it in 10 years time, it just pins down that angry 20 something nihilistic attitude that Black Flag had, and it hasn’t tired yet.

Eight:

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Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2

The opening line is ‘IM GONNA BANG THIS BITCH THE FUCK OUT’ and it just goes from there. This really is a collaborative effort that basically sees El-P and Killer Mike talk politics, the horrors of drug dealing, and bragging about how great they are. These guys are almost 40 but don’t feel tired and run down, they are at their peak and this album is just one huge hip hop explosion after another. ‘Oh, my’ indeed.

Seven:

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Iceage – Plowing into the Field of Love

From sloppy and fast punk to whatever this is ‘Country Punk’? sure. If you can make trumpets work in a punk song and you can somehow make that sloppy all over the place vibe elegant and captivating, then great. This is band evolution at its finest.

Six:

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Tobacco – Ultima II Massage

‘How to Dismantle Pop Music In 16 Easy Steps’

With the rise of anti-pop label PC Music, maybe more people will take to Tobacco and his post-apocalyptic pop music. It’s like Daft Punk in a blender.

Five:

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BADBADNOTGOOD – III

Smooth like Grey Goose this album is the album of the night.

Four:

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White Lung – Deep Fantasy

‘Deep Fantasy’ is heavy, it’s meaningful and the guitar work is ferocious. Like ‘Sorry’ play this loud and headbang until you break your neck.

Three:

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St. Vincent – S/T

Awkward just like the society Annie Clark is portraying, probably one of the most relevant albums for the ‘Digital Age’, this album is as ugly as it is beautiful, ‘Take out the garbage and masturbate’?

Two:

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Fka Twigs – LP1

What is it to be lonely? What is it to love, to love another and hate yourself? LP1 is the sound of the future, it may pull from the past but the sound of this album is beyond anything going on in modern R&B right now, compare this to the Top 40 and you have tomorrow.

One:

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Swans – To Be Kind

It’s just brutal, but human nature is. Is that album cover not enough for you?

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