2014 in review

2014 has been another great year in music, so here are some (very brief) thoughts on my favourite albums, songs and gigs of the year.

Some of this has already featured in the Getintothis review of the year.

Albums of the year
My top 5 albums of the year are:
1. Temples – “Sun Structures”, lived up to the high hopes I had after seeing them at Sound City in 2013
2. Soft Hearted Scientists – “The Slow Cyclone”, Welsh psych-pop suite par excellence
3. Conor Oberst – “Upside Down Mountain”, Mr. Bright Eyes delivers the most consistent album of his career to date
4. Vic Godard & Subway Sect – “1979 Now!”, modern remakes of forgotten songs from 1979
5. Alvvays – “Alvvays”, Canadian indie pop heaven

Gigs of the year
1. Merchandise and Shopping at The Kazimier
2. Silent Sleep at Leaf as part of Sound City
3. Cate Le Bon at Leaf
4. The Polyphonic Spree at EVAC
5. Jungle Brothers at The Kazimier

Songs of the year
Every year I compile a ‘best of’ CD for friends. I set a few rules – only one song per band/singer, and only songs released that year. This year’s track listing is:
1. Guided By Voices – “The Littlest League Possible”, another year, another two GBV albums! This is the opener from “Motivational Jumpsuit”
2. Alvvays – “Next Of Kin”, dark lyrics of drowning sweetly sung by this Canadian indie pop band who I investigated due to them being the support act for Real Estate
3. Bob Mould – “I Don’t Know You Anymore”, a classic rock song from the ex-Hüsker Dü man
4. Leonard Cohen – “Slow”, a paean to taking things leisurely from the lugubrious lord of lethargy
5. Vic Godard & The Subway Sect – “The Water Was Bad”, a remake of a Vic tune from 1979
6. The History Of Apple Pie – “Tame”, an American modern shoegaze-esque outfit (or dreampop as they prefer to call it), first heard on Jack Rabid’s radio show (creator of the wonderful The Big Takeover magazine)
7. Conor Oberst – “Kick”, one of many great tunes from “Upside Down Mountain”
8. Half Man Half Biscuit – “My Outstretched Arms”, possibly the catchiest track off the Birkenhead band’s thirteenth album about not fully requited love
9. Real Estate – “Horizon”, not the obvious killer single “Talking Backwards” but another lovely song
10. Merchandise – “Enemy”, a difficult band to pluck a song from but as they were my gig of the year they had to be included
11. Linda Perhacs – “Children”, a track from the follow-up to her first album that was released in 1971 – some wait!
12. Vertical Scratchers – “Wait No Longer”, first track off this GBV-esque band’s debut album
13. Bird – “Bullet”, sadly this comes from their only album as they’ve already broken up. Goth-tinged in a good way.
Stuart Turner And The Flat Earth Society – “Call Me Dave”, noisy but tuneful album I picked up in Rough Trade, prompted by the offer of a free bonus disc
15. Cosines – “Binary Primary”, I could easily have picked the sublime “Misguide Me” that first wormed its way into my ears on the excellent The Rider podcast
16. Cheatahs – “Fall”, more US dreampop, another band found via The Big Takeover
17. Tacocat – “Crimson Wave”, the best song about menstruation since PJ Harvey’s “Happy And Bleeding”, though granted I’m no expert. Another tip from The Rider’s Neil
18. Ballard – “Build Break Repeat”, a diatribe about inbuilt obsolescence, thanks to the Trust The Wizards podcast for introducing me to this one
19. Temples – “Shelter Song”, the poppiest number on the album that sounds like it’s stepped straight out of 1968
20. Hooton Tennis Club – “Kathleen Sat On The Arm Of Her Favourite Chair”, this year’s best 3 minutes of Velvets/Modern Lovers-inspired indie pop, and given away free on CD at Sound City to make it sound even better
21. Timber Timbre – “Bring Me Simple Men”, atmospheric Canadian band led by Taylor Kirk’s arboreal voice
22. Chain & The Gang – “Stuck In A Box”, the spiky sounds of Ian ‘Nation Of Ulysses’ Svenonius’ new band
23. The Woodentops – “Stay Out Of The Light”, off their first full album release since 1988, kinda baggy
24. Allo Darlin – “Crickets In The Rain”, perfect indie pop
25. Gulp – “I Want To Dance”, a nice slow one to end. Another band discovered due to being a support act, this time to The Phantom Band

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One response to “2014 in review

  1. Pingback: 2015 in review | undilutable slang truth·

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