***December Sixteenth Two
Thousand and Fourteen***
GET EXCITED!!!!!! It's time for the doginasweater best records of 2014 list!!!!!!!!! !!!!
The Seven Best Records of 2014! I've put these in order, but honestly outside of the first one I could easily be swayed to move them around.
1. The War On Drugs - Lost In The Dream (Secretly Canadian) This was the runaway winner and it's not even close. I listened to this record so much it's entirely possible I heard it more by itself than every other album that came out this year combined. Burning Eyes To the Wind Suffering
2. Run The Jewels - RTJ2 (Mass Appeal) At
this point anything Killer Mike even breathes on is going to the top of
any list. The first side of this one is basically perfect. Blockbuster Night Part 1 Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck) Oh My Darling Don't Cry
3. Pontiak - Innocence (Thrill Jockey) I've
listened to Pontiak for years but it wasn't until I saw them live
multiple times in 2013 that I became a super fan. I never got to see them live this past year (it seemed like they were on tour in Europe for almost all of 2014), but they at least gave us this great record. Nobody blends multiple genres (from stoner metal to space rock to folk to every- thing else) like these Virginia brothers. Ghosts Noble Heads Wildfires
4. Future Islands - Singles (4AD) Things really took off this year for these local lads (who now live in Baltimore) didn't they? Dance like a madman on Letterman and the whole world takes notice! A Song For Our Grandfathers Seasons (Waiting On You)
5. Spider Bags - Frozen Letter (Merge) The Bags made it to the big time this year and put a record out on Merge, and it's their best one yet. These lads are aging like one of those fancy cheeses. Back with You Again in the World Summer of '79
6. Whatever Brains - SSR-63/SSR-64 (Sorry State) Ok, technically this is two EPs, but they released each EP on one side of a twelve inch record so it's pretty easy to pretend
it's just a full length album. Also, they used a photo of mine
for the cover of one of the EPs which will probably go down as the proudest moment ever in life. Also also, the music slays. CONFICKER STOXX (OR ATHLETICS)
7. Wye Oak - Shriek (Merge) What do you do if you're an indie rock duo with a shit-hot guitarist? Put out a pop record almost completely devoid of guitar, of course. And somehow it still works. Shriek Sick Talk The Tower
The Fourteen Honorable Mention Records of 2014! I ordered these alphabetically, which I cannot be swayed on.
Ex Hex - Rips (Merge) Fujiya & Miyagi - Artificial Sweeteners (Yep Roc) David Kilgour And The Heavy Eights - End Times Undone (Merge) Liars - Mess (Mute) Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Wig Out at Jagbags (Matador) The Men - Tomorrow's Hits (Sacred Bones) Paws - Youth Culture Forever (Fat Cat) Perfume Genius - Too Bright (Turnstile) Protomartyr - Under Color of Official Right (Hardly Art) Reigning Sound - Shattered (Merge) The Rosebuds - Sand + Silence (Western Vinyl) Sturgill Simpson - Metamodern Sounds In Country Music (High Top Mountain) Solids - Blame Confusion (Dine Alone) Total Control - Typical System (Iron Lung)
The Four Other Records Worth Mentioning of 2014! With those reasons listed below each one.
The Mary Onettes - Hit the Waves (Labrador) This would easily be my second fvorite record of 2014 had it not come out last year. Gorgeous pop songs that feel like a late Fall day at the shore. I have songs for this one readily available because I just posted them a couple of weeks ago. Don't Forget (to Forget about Me) Evil Coast Hit the Waves
Ernie Graham - Ernie Graham (4 Men with Beards) My favorite reissue of the year. A hard drinking pub rocker from across the ocean recruits the band Brinsley Schwarz to back him up, and he creates what sounds like a lost record from The Band.
The Shivvers - The Shivvers (Sing Sing) Not sure how to classify this one - it's not a reissue because the album never existed before, but all of the songs were recorded between 1979 and 1981. It is claimed by the label this would have been their debut LP. Semantics aside, it's a fantastic collection of vintage Midwestern power pop.
Fugazi - First Demo (Dischord) This one sorta falls into the same black hole as the Shivvers' record for many of the same reasons. But it's Fugazi and everything they have ever touched is gold in my book. Hearing these alternate versions of well-known songs is a must for any big fan of the band.