Here’s my favourite albums of 2014, following on from yesterday’s Songs Of 2014. Let’s get on with it, shall we?
Album By Grumpy Scots That I Haven’t Quite Listened To Enough Yet (Redux)
The Twilight Sad – Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave
After a somewhat disappointing third album, and severe financial difficulties making the band seriously consider packing it in, NWTBHANWTL had to be good. It’s more than good. Their most coherent album, featuring slow songs and everything, it rightly gave them more of the limelight than previous records, and has even gone on to win some Album of The Year awards. I would have done too, except, honestly, I haven’t listened to it enough. Whether it’ll bring some more money in remains to be seen; if they can break America in the same way as Frightened Rabbit (who have 10x the YouTube views for their videos) and get some of the daytime play Chvrches get, they’ll be made. I certainly hope so. There’s no band out there who deserve a bit of success more than this lot.
Album By Slightly Less Grumpy Scots
King Creosote – From Scotland With Love
This was my soundtrack in the runup to the Scottish Referendum, listened to before it had the opportunity to be reclassified as World Music. Boom tish. I’m here all week. Try the ribs.
In seriousness though, this was a lovely, warmhearted paean to Scotland, created for a documentary made from archive footage. As ever with KC, you’re coccooned in his soft voice, beautiful instrumentation, and hardly a chorus or middle eight to ruffle the feathers.
Album by A Band That Had Hit The Wall
Wye Oak – Shriek
Where to go for Wye Oak, who’d taken the guitar+drums formula about as far as they could? Keyboards+bass, of course. Normally this can spell a bit of a disaster, but with Jenn Wasner’s ambition, focus, and freakishly good bass playing, they made a record that almost stood up to “Civilian”.
Guiltless Pleasure Album
The Vaselines – V For Vaselines
Sheesh, another Scottish album, though I thought this lot were from Noo Joisey or Ohio or somewhere similar, holed up in a garage, rather better appointed now that they had nice jobs in selling insurance or something. They’ve been around for years, apparently, and this was a comeback album of sorts. Still filled with vim and vigour and pop nous. An excellent album to play when you don’t want to think too hard.
Post-Rock Album Of The Year
Jakob – Sines
A comeback album from a New Zealand band whose three members had all had major hand injuries in the last three years. I must say I know nothing about them other than the fact that they are from New Zealand and they have all had major hand injuries. And that this is a comeback album. Errr….maybe I should try doing some research. More on the Russian Circles side of the post-rock continuum, it doesn’t break any new ground. Great album though.
The Album Of The Year
Spoon – They Want My Soul
How does a band keep going after x albums and y years? You can change your sound (see Wye Oak, above), or just refine and tighten until every song on the new record is a glistening jewel. God only knows how many times I’ve played this record this year. It’s been my go-to album on the commute, in the office, and at home. I’ve had to stop playing it as I feared I’d wear out the memory on my iPhone.
So, there we go for another year. Hope you have a fantastic 2015, and please visit the site from time to time to see if I’ve managed to drag my sorry ass to the computer to actually post anything. Unlikely, but you never know. Thanks for reading.