David Pautsch - Albums of 2014 and more.... - Articles - Soundblab

David Pautsch - Albums of 2014 and more....

by D R Pautsch Rating: Release Date:

And so we come to the end of the year, and another top 10 of the year in music is called for. Much hype, lots of new bands and lots of old favourites returning - 2014 had its highs and lows. Here are the 10 best albums, in the opinion of this reviewer, with a few disappointments thown in the mix. In no particular order, then, here's my list, which will probably change by year end but hey ho…

Total Strife Forever - East India Youth

Electronica done by someone new to the genre, this was a gem early in the year. With an even mix of instrumentals and vocal pieces, this album is Beach Boys go electronica and a stunning debut. A Mercury nod was to come later in the year and much is promised by a new album next year.

'Hinterland': 

Our Love - Caribou

Dan Snaith is someone Gollum would call tricksy. He has multiple monikers and delivers albums regularly. To follow up the last Caribou album was a hell of an ask. He bettered it. It also has one of the best tunes of the whole year in 'Can’t Do Without You'. 

'Can’t Do Without You':  

To Be Kind - Swans

The revival continues and so does the dark, brooding manner in which Swans are somehow attracting new fans. A remix album followed and somehow a band with a massive career-break and songs that last longer than England at a world cup overcomes all of that and more to deliver joyous depression.

'Oxygen': 

Commune - Goat

Their first album defied genre and expectation. This one does the same. Perhaps too much so. But forgive that and you have a dizzying album.

'Hide From the Sun': 

Royal Blood - Royal Blood

OK, they sound like Muse at times. But Muse used to be good, before they decided that having songs with no guitars was a good thing and became a parody of themselves. This isn’t going to break new ground. It is hyped beyond its quality. But leaving those things at the door, it’s a joy to hear someone doing balls out rock 'n' roll so well.

'Out of the Black': 

Lost in the Dream - War on Drugs

How did this happen? How did everyone’s favourite band you never heard of become the band that everyone has heard of? With another brilliant album, that’s how. Rock music sounds simple when you listen to this. It isn’t easy to make something as good as this, though.

'Red Eyes': 

Brill Bruisers - New Pornographers

Some bands do bleak and sound like a wet weekend in Grimsby at the best of times. Others sound like they create a party around them, even when they sing about heartbreak and pain. New Pornographers are in the second category. This band is so good you forget Neko Case is in it.

'War on the East Coast': 

Mosaics in Mosaics - Circulatory System

Third album in 13 years. Elephant Six’s best and finest came together and helped Will Cullen Hart deliver another gem. Totally bonkers as ever this is the kind of music that is loved in obscurity.

'There is No Time But Now': 

Typical System - Total Control

Close your eyes and listen to this album. It sounds like two different bands. One in love with guitars and the other in love with electronics. Both deliver an album that might just get them noticed. If you haven’t heard of these Aussie post-punk joy-masters, you need to.

'Liberal Party' 

Singles - Future Islands

It’s not a greatest hits album and he can’t dance (see the Letterman video below for proof). However, this growly, sweet, melodic pop album is something to listen to.

'Seasons (Waiting on You)': 

The disappointments of 2014 were quite a few. alt-J returned, and at times they sounded like the band they were and at others like the bedwetters that Alan McGee once famously likened Coldplay to. Elbow delivered an album that some described as their best. It was largely snooze-inducing. 

Others followed, like Foo Fighters' uninspiring Sonic Highways, the Pixies comeback that was just awful, and a Pink Floyd rehash which contained one track with lyrics. I could go on….

2015 promises much though. The just announced is new double-album from Modest Mouse is due in March. There's a preview the first single here: 

. Panda Bear and The Decemberists will also hit early on.   

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