So, we are at the halfway point of 2014. A scary thought. BUT so far I’ve been fairly impressed with the music that has been released this year. Here are my top five albums at this point in the year:
1. How to Dress Well - "What is this Heart?"
If you’ve been following me for a little while, then you know I fell in love with “Repeat Pleasure” when it dropped earlier this year. I was initially skeptical of how this new, more clear sound would translate over to to a whole album as HTDW has achieved success through the lo-fi awesomeness of Total Loss and Love Remains. However, I have a feeling that in a few years we will look back on this record as a cornerstone for the Neo-RnB movement (the Weeknds and Frank Oceans of the world).
Favorite tracks: "Childhood Faith in Love (Everything Must Change, Everything Must Stay the Same), "Words I Don’t Remember"
2. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Days of Abandon
This is truly a step up from this band’s past efforts. Whether it be the edition of Jen Goma of A Sunny Day in Glasgow or the more detailed arrangements (horns and strings and other wonderful things), I really couldn’t keep this record out of my ears. I thoroughly enjoyed this album - 5 of 11 songs are in my Top 25 Most Played in iTunes.
Favorite tracks: "Kelly" "Masokissed"
3. Mac DeMarco - Salad Days
This is another album that I could not stop listening to. Admittedly, I have never been the biggest fan of Mac DeMarco (I have irritated many friends due to my dislike of 2). This is my go-to party music, just because of how laid-back it is. Crossing my fingers and hoping that I get to see him this year - hear he puts on a great show.
Favorite Tracks: "Let Her Go" "Brother"
4. Tobacco - Ultima II Massage
Oh, this one. I’m at a loss for words. If you enjoy mildly Satanic, scuzzy electronic madness, this is for you. A guilty pleasure pick perhaps?
Favorite Tracks: "Lipstick Destroyer" "Father Sister Berzerker"
5. The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream
What can I say about this album that hasn’t been said already? I feel like this is the most over-analyzed, over-critiqued record of 2014. It should be, because it’s freaky good. It has a way of throwing you back in time. This record blindsided me, and I’m glad I gave it a chance this year.
Favorite Tracks: "Red Eyes" "Disappearing"
Favorite songs this year (no order):
Coldplay - “Midnight”
Wye Oak - “Glory”
How to Dress Well - “Words I Don’t Remember”
Sylvan Esso - “Uncatena”
Lo-Fang - “Light Year”
Glass Animals - “Pools”
Foster the People - “Pseudologica Fantastica”
Damon Albarn - “The Selfish Giant”
Beck - “Unforgiven”
The Antlers - “Hotel”
What I’m Excited For:
The New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers
Alt J - This is All Yours
Banks - Goddess
Anything new from Grimes/Twin Shadow/Beach House
And if I hear “Seasons (Waiting on You)” one more time, I might choke someone out. Stop playing it, XMU.
See you in six months
All of these songs I am posting are my favorites that have been released in this first quarter of 2013 (with some from April that are too good to leave off). Some of these will probably end up on my year end list: