Best Albums of 2014

#30-11 in alphabetical order

  Alvvays – alvvays

download (21)

 Fun indie pop 60s throwback album. 'Marry Me Archie' is definitely
 one of the year's catchiest tunes.

Angel Olsen – burn your fire for no witness

images

 Like 2013's stellar 'Cerulean Salt' by Waxahatchee, Olsen offers
 laid back folk rock bolstered by a commanding voice and 
strong songwriting.

Ariel Pink – Pom Pom

download

After two relatively straightforward, accessible releases (by 
Ariel Pink standards), Pink drops his Haunted Graffiti back up 
band and goes wild in an uneven album that still produces some 
off-kilter 70s throwback gems.

Benjamin Booker – benjamin booker

download (1)

Raw, exciting indie rock.

CARIBOU – OUR LOVEdownload (2)

While I prefer the swirling, sun-tinged kitchen sink psychedelia 
of Dan Snaith's former outfit Manitoba, Snaith is still one the 
most consistent sources of catchy and intelligent dance music 
around.

 Ex Hex – Ripsdownload (3)

An album of catchy garage pop gems.

Jack White – Lazarettodownload (4)

Perhaps a more subdued work but White still delivers 
his exceptionally well-honed brand of bluesy rock and pop.

Jenny Lewis – The voyagerdownload (22)

It would be easy to write off Lewis' countrified pop as white girl
 neo-soul lite but as with her work with Rilo Kiley she brings her 
confident vocals and hooky songwriting to make an effortlessly 
classy AM pop album.

First Aid Kit – Stay Golddownload (5)

Beautiful Scandinavian folk pop delights.

Flight Facilities – Down to earthdownload (23)

You won't find a song much catchier than the Reggie Watts-assisted
 'Sunshine', but this Aussie band's long awaited LP debut is full 
of smooth electro pop that's almost as good.

frankie cosmos – zentropydownload (6)

17 minutes of indie pop heaven. Not as twee as it may seem on first
 listen.

Mac Demarco – salad daysdownload (7)

Our favourite slacker indie rocker is back with his most accessible
 batch of tunes yet.

 Owen Pallet – In Conflictdownload (8)

A less sprightly, more intense listen than we'd usually expect from
 the Canadian string savant, but one that puts forward some of his
 most wrenching songs to date.

The Preatures – Blue Planet Eyesdownload (9)

While I wish 'Better than it ever could be' was included, the fact
 that the album remains solid and chock full of groovy pop songs 
despite it's absence, highlights this Aussie band's knack for hooky
 songwriting.

Run The Jewels – Run The jewels 2photo-main

An exceptionally fruitful combo, El-P and Killer Mike deliver this
 years' most assured and dynamic hip-hop album.

Sharon Van Etten – are we theredownload (24)

Van Etten is nothing if not consistent. Here we get another set of 
beautifully understated music. Brooding and powerful in equal 
measure.

Sun Kil Moon – Benjidownload (25)

Despite constantly putting his foot in his mouth, creatively, this
 year has been a strong one for Mark Kozelek. Benji is full of 
world weary, bleary eyed indie rock. Not his most accessible album,
 but ultimately his most rewarding.

swans – to be kinddownload (10)

A huge album both in length and ambition. 10 minute post rock freak
 outs might not seem like a fun way to spend one's time, but the 
album's variety and excesses keep it engaging and exciting amongst
 all the chaos.
Taylor swift - 1989
 downloadThis wasn't originally in my list, despite earning critical 
plaudits. I really tried to resist it but I can't deny that I've 
listened to certain songs on this album more than most of the 
albums of this list. Pure pop at its finest.

Tennis – Ritual in repeatdownload (27)

Their most fully realised and consistent album yet. Easy going
 indie pop done right.

——————————————————————————————————————-

10

TUNE-YARDS – NIKKI NACKdownload (11)

While not as consistently strong as 2011's brilliant 'WHO KILL',
 'Nikki Nack' sees Garbus producing a more mature album without 
suppressing the energy and dexterity of her musical talents.

9

Perfume Genius – Too Brightdownload (12)

It took until 'Too Bright' for PG's music to kick into the next 
gear and deliver music that was as passionate and raw musically as
 his lyrics and vocals have been since his debut.

8

Spoon – They Want My Souldownload (13)

After the somewhat more sober 'Transference', Spoon go back to what
 they do best, marrying the straightforward indie rock of classic 
'Kill the Moonlight' with the pop sensibilities of 'Ga Ga Ga Ga 
Ga', resulting in another strong effort from a band that has never
 made a bad album.

7

 Real Estate – Atlasdownload (14)

While it's easy to say this is a more somber effort for Real 
Estate, the autumn album to 'Days' summer if you will, the 
general formula doesn't deviate too greatly from the intricate 
yet relaxing guitar pop that Real Estate excel in. Music that
 immediately sounds timeless without being derivative.

6

Future Islands – Singlesdownload (15)

Seasons (Waiting On You) was my favourite track of the first half 
of 2014 and while the rest of the album is not as instantly hooky,
 it is a very consistent set of alternately throbbing and shuffling
 pop songs delivered in Samuel Herring's unmistakable howl.
5

FKA Twigs – LP1download (16)

Dark, icy, gorgeous pop music. James Blake but with a breathy 
yearning replacing his croon.

4

THE WAR ON DRUGS – LOST IN THE DREAMdownload (17)

The very definition of a grower album. This isn't workout music, 
it's a long, slow burn psychedelic shimmer that rewards any
 listener that gives it the time it needs to wash over them.

3

TV on the Radio - Seedsdownload (18) This is by no means TVOTR's strongest album, that would be a toss
 up between 'Return to Cookie Mountain' and 'Dear Science'. Seeds 
lacks the experimental tendencies and the command of different
 musical styles that those albums deliver. But 'Seeds' is still a 
triumph. An uplifting set of poppy indie rock that strive for
 positivity in the wake of the death of bassist Gerard Smith in 
2011.

2

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS – BRILL BRUISERSdownload (19)

The New Pornographers have always gotten me. Their pop 
sensibilities so clearly match what I love about music that it's 
scary. Even on their poorer, slightly phoned-in last 2 efforts,
 each song had a golden nugget of hook that would sustain me. Now 
Brill Bruisers is their best effort since 2005's Twin Cinema, 
brimming in neon soaked pop and slipping in some electronic
 elements without compromising their energy.

1

St. Vincent – St. Vincentdownload (20)

People say Beyoncé is the queen, but I'll always bow before Annie 
Clark. I have nothing else to say.
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