What a horrible year for new music. There were quite a few albums I was looking forward to (The Antlers, Fanfarlo, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Lily Allen, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Beck, Lykke Li, Wooden Wand, How to Dress Well, The Rentals, Alt-J) that just completely disappointed me. Especially you, Wooden Wand. Get it together. You were going to be my new favorite band.
These are the albums that I enjoyed. There is no order, because none of them were outstanding enough to be given a rank:
Andrew Bird – Things Are Really Great Here, Sort of… – This is an album of covers of Handsome Family songs. It’s an Andrew Bird country album. I like Andrew Bird, and I’ve been going through a big country phase, so I enjoyed this. It also led me to explore the Handsome Family’s albums, which I just couldn’t get into.
Slow Club – Complete Surrender – I hadn’t been a big fan of Slow Club in the past, but this is very nice and R&B-like. I’m pretty sure this is not what their other albums sounded like.
Allo Darlin’ – We Come From the Same Place – I liked Allo Darlin’s last album too. This is more of the same. They have a really good bassist, and that goes along way with me.
Chet Faker – Built on Glass It took me awhile, but I found my sexy album for 2014. This is what How to Dress Well could sound like if they decided to focus on melody.
Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music – Every best of list has this one on it. It’s pretty good. It’s edgy enough that you can listen to country music without feeling like you are listening to country music.
Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker – I think DP would like this album. It’s aggressive bluesy rock n roll. This guy can yell, and sometimes you need that.
LVL UP – Hoodwink’d – This gets a mention just because the lyrics reference the Silver Jews. At first I thought that the album was supposed to be all cut up, but now I think my copy is just bad. Anyway, I’ve got at least 7 songs that are whole, and I like pretty much all of them. It’s got a nice 90s sound.
Sun Kil Moon – Benji – Now everyone who knows me knows that I love sincerity in my pop music. If the lyrics are so sincere that you just want to cringe yourself into a ball, then I am right there. Sun Kil Moon is like the indie Counting Crows. This guy is pouring his heart out there on every song. He likes to make mention that he’s the kind of guy who writes songs and goes on tour and connects with his audience. There’s even a song about the Newtown massacre, that gets stuck in my head sometimes. I’m cringing just thinking about it.