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Best of 2014

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Best of 2014

Postby numbersix » December 20th, 2014, 7:54 pm

Time to get this countdown rolling. Forget the critics, forget the charts, here's the real best of what 2014's music had to offer.

I'm going to do what I usually do - 10 albums and 10 tracks, one each per day. But before I start below are the 5 records that always made it.

Feel free to join in. Surf, I know you want to.

Cloud Nothings: Here And Nowhere else
Another great record from the barely legal guitar act, with the album getting better and better as it progresses.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6FtHfJOW-A

Dirty Beaches: Stateless
The Canadian musician's final record is a great piece of ambient work, both dreamy and melancholic. The sound of isolation and vulnerability.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsEtxazQeM4

Scott Walker and Sunn O)))): Soused
An utterly insane collaboration from the crooner-cum-freaky-experimenter and the doom metal act.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_NIop72vis

Ben Frost: AURORA
If the Dirty Beaches is minimalist, this is maximalist - in the form of electronic music that overwhelms.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Gig7e5lwOE

Andy Stott: Faith in Strangers
Moody dance music sounds like a contradiction in terms, but Stott manages to make this fascinating.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbnG4AcAqkA
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Re: Best of 2014

Postby Leestu » December 20th, 2014, 11:59 pm

I've had a lot better access to music and a bit more time to listen this year so I can comfortably do a top 10 songs and albums . Here are three albums and two songs that just missed out.

THE SMITH STREET BAND "Throw Me in the River".
The third album from this band is powerful Aussie alt pub rock with a dash of punk.
the smith street band - i don't wanna die anymore: http://youtu.be/eJKyuta-xlI

THEE OH SEES "The Drop" I only got into Thee Oh Sees this year so this album might have suffered in my affections due to having to compete for my musical attention with Floating Coffin, and Carrion Crawler/Dream. All excellent albums.
THEE OH SEES - "Penetrating Eye": http://youtu.be/AuKssV_IOpU

ROYAL BLOOD "Royal Blood" Just missing out on my top 10 this debut album rocks!!
Royal Blood - Figure It Out [Official Video]: http://youtu.be/jhgVu2lsi_k

I've got a couple of fuck buddies for my two songs that just missed, possibly unfairly because they were earlier in the year. I found when compiling my list that the fresher songs seemed to be given more prominence.

Drenge 'Fuckabout' (Official Video): http://youtu.be/uEZ7EFJaO_8

Savages - "Fuckers": http://youtu.be/Zkz6qKCYjDM
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Re: Best of 2014

Postby Leestu » December 21st, 2014, 12:14 am

That Scott Walker song was strange, too weird for my tastes and I usually appreciate the unusual. An interesting one off listen but now that it's done I doubt I'll do it again.
I liked The Cloud Nothings song. They've been on my radar lately and I've been meaning to check them out soon.
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Re: Best of 2014

Postby numbersix » December 21st, 2014, 7:50 am

Some cool stuff there, Leetsu.

Totally forgot Fuckers came out this year. What a song! Did you get their live collaboration with Bo Ningen? I caught a live stream of it and it was pretty good.

Love the Oh Sees, as you know. The Drenge song was pretty nice.

Royal Blood. Hmmm... they're pretty big over here and I see the appeal. They lie between QOTSA, the White Stipes, and DFA 79, but they're just not distinct enough for me. Maybe Surf will convince me ;)

And yeah, I'd say you'll dig Cloud Nothings.
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Re: Best of 2014

Postby Leestu » December 21st, 2014, 10:24 am

I've heard some of her guest vocals with Bo Ningen on their III album but that's all. I don't think I've seen or heard any of their live collaboration.
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Re: Best of 2014

Postby numbersix » December 21st, 2014, 7:38 pm

TRACK #10
Sun Kil Moon - The Possum



While Mark Kozelek's Benji has been adored by the critics, for me the decent album was amazing in the lyrics department but not as impressive when it came to the instrumentation. But in this song, Kozelek has achieved both - an honest and moving song about one's fate, with great sections of music stitched together.

ALBUM #10
Parquet Courts - Sunbathing Animal



This is a perfect example of an album that's more than the sum of its parts. Each individual track is pretty good, the inspirations ranging from The Velvets to punk to shoegaze to 90s indie rock, and the array of styles join together to make something wholly satisfying.
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Re: Best of 2014

Postby Leestu » December 22nd, 2014, 6:08 am

Before I start my top 10 songs let me clarify that these are my top 10 songs of the year that aren't from one of my top 10 albums. Otherwise about 7 of them would be, which would be a bit repetitive.

Song #10. TOTAL GIOVANNI "Human Animal"

I knew nothing about this band, just heard the song on the radio a couple of times, shazamed it, and added it to my favourites playlist. Researching a couple of days ago it turns out this is the debut single from a Melbourne europop band, and judging by their second single I doubt I'll ever like much of them, but this song has a cool funky groove.
Listen to Human Animal by totalgiovanni #np on #SoundCloud
https://soundcloud.com/totalgiovanni/human-animal

Album #10. KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD "I'm In Your Mind Fuzz"

Possibly one of my favourite band names ever! A prolific seven piece garage psych rock band from Melbourne ,this is their second album this year, their fifth in the last three years and easily their best so far. While the others have their highs and lows, this is a lot more consistent, highlighted by the first four songs which seem to flow into each other so well they could be seen as four movements of the same song that also can stand on their own. Here is track three off the album, Cellophane.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qwdxKkmhoc
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Re: Best of 2014

Postby Leestu » December 22nd, 2014, 7:45 am

I love Sunbathing Animal. It's a great album.
I agree with your assessment of Benji. I was enthralled on my first listen and it's a very good album but it was all about the lyrics, and now that I've heard the tales I don't return to it often and when I do I just listen to individual songs. There is some great honest, fascinating, storytelling though, and his voice is awesome. I hadn't heard The Possum before but it's much the same in a good way. An interesting listen I'll probably revisit sometime.
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Re: Best of 2014

Postby Brockster » December 22nd, 2014, 10:55 am

Love doing this...last year I downloaded quite a few new tunes b/c of it that I would have never known about.

Thoughts so far:

Sun Kil Moon - sounds like the next in line to be dictator of North Korea, other than that this was a satisfying song. Very simple, yet still good...reminds me a little of Dylan (not the voice, just the style of the song). Simple delivery, good lyrics = good song.

Parquet Courts - hmmm, I have to be in a certain mood to listen to tunes like this (old school punk vibes). Not a bad tune, I liked the guitar solo in the middle especially...very dirty guitar playing, which I like (Jack White used to do this a lot).

"Human Animal" - I love the music behind the vocals. I like the chorus, not really digging the spoken word portions of the verses.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - first of all, this may be one of the best band names ever, lol. However, I can't say I'm digging the music, sorry Leetsu! I can say, the track you provided, I like the guitar work, but that's about it :(
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Re: Best of 2014

Postby Brockster » December 22nd, 2014, 11:35 am

I'm going to start off w/ song #10 only today, because I couldn't come up with a top 10 albums this year (I'm finding it increasingly hard to enjoy full albums). Anyway, here is song #10 for me:

The War On Drugs - "Disappearing"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKIFQah_TO4

What a mellow, relaxing song. Very atmospheric. If this was around when I was in college I would have definitely been smoking to it :twisted: Some great guitar playing on the track too.
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Re: Best of 2014

Postby silversurfer19 » December 22nd, 2014, 4:25 pm

I will get around to commenting on some of the new tracks when I get a chance to listen to them, but of the ones I have heard already, it was nice to see appearances of Parquet Courts, Thee Oh Sees and Royal Blood, who all turned up in my top 25 countdown I'm currently doing on the other site.

I did enjoy the new Cloud Nothings record, though nowhere near as much as their previous one. I just think their sound needs that gritty kind of production to really appreciate it, and the overly polished sound if anything detracts from their style on this record. As for Royal Blood, I mentioned in my own comments that it's not an album gifted with variety. If you like that style of rock, you will like this record. If you want something more, maybe we will have to wait a couple of years to see how the band develops. For the moment though I think there is a lot of potential and they certainly know how to crack out a riff or two.

I also really quite enjoyed the Ben Frost record. Didn't really know much about him prior to downloading a song or two, and in the right mood the entire record is a quite beautiful thing. Just didn't find myself listening to it as often as other records though so maybe it will grow on my more in time. Still struggling with Dirty Beaches, given a couple of their records a try and it just isn't sticking, nothing to really draw me in.

Finally, though not on the countdown it was mentioned, and I agree, something about that Benji record just didn't work for me. I kept seeing critics lauding over it and I kept trying to find what was so awesome about it, but the music just isn't there.

Anyway, for those not using Facebook so much, here's my no.10, and I'll provide a different song to what I posted there.

10. Hookworms, 'The Hum'
In the space of 18 months Hookworms have become one of the most important bands currently playing in the UK. Continuing on with the space age, psychedelic punk of their debut Pearl Mystic, The Hum finds the band entering even heavier territory as they blast through their set, but beneath all the hostile anger is a truly melodic pop sensibility at heart, and the band are not afraid so show how anthemic their music can be. An ecstatic and euphoric listen from start to finish, this band is going to be huge.

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Re: Best of 2014

Postby numbersix » December 22nd, 2014, 7:08 pm

TRACK #9

The Amazing Snakeheads: "Memories"



A very hyped (perhaps overhyped) Scottish act known more for their intense live act than anything else. Their debut album Amphetamine Blues shows promise, although it gets a little repetitive. This is one of my favourite tracks, the singers snarls adding menace and the addition of the sax reminding me of that haunted, unnerving masterpiece by The Stooges, Fun House. What I also love is that while most new bands always try to replicate the singing style and accents of their idols (usually American or London accents), these guys are distinctly Scottish.


ALBUM #9

Aphex Twin: SYRO



One of the most anticipated records of the year, once the rumours started fans of AP almost exploded with excitement. And understandably so, as this was the first full album Richard D James released under his most successful moniker for over a decade. And boy this record does not disappoint. While you could argue that there's nothing radically different from his previous releases (even 2001's Drukqs featured some surprising piano-only instrumentals), listen close and you'll find an even greater complexity in these stunning tracks. AP sounds like he's light years ahead of everyone else, for better and for worse. There's something fascinating about this record, like staring into a massive kaleidoscope, the millions of intricate details forming into something inexplicable.
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Re: Best of 2014

Postby numbersix » December 22nd, 2014, 7:26 pm

Quick responses...

Hookworms: Pretty cool. A real Spaceman 3 vibe off them
The War on Drugs: Everyone is going crazy about them (and not just because Mark Kozelek wrote a song called "War on Drugs Suck my Cock"). The critics love them. There's a bit of Dad-rock which puts me off, but they're pleasant enough.
Total Giovanni: Not bad. Kinda offbeat funk, a little like Talking Heads and LCD Soundsystem
Kind Gizzard: Very, VERY psych. Video was hilarious. Bet they're cool live.
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Re: Best of 2014

Postby Leestu » December 23rd, 2014, 9:14 am

Song #9. MODEST MOUSE "Lampshades on Fire"

It may have only been out for a week but I guess that is all it takes to make a fanboy's top 10 of the year. I'm calling it now....their new album will be in my top 10 next year. :roll: :lol:
Modest Mouse - Lampshades On Fire (Audio): http://youtu.be/ztdoHfbTRsk

Album #9. THE ORWELLS "Disgraceland"

Obviously influenced by the likes of The Strokes and Nirvana this is a fun "good mood" record that I just keep listening to.
The Orwells - "The Righteous One" [Official Music…: http://youtu.be/ASu5r_QwJtw
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Re: Best of 2014

Postby Leestu » December 23rd, 2014, 9:28 am

numbersix wrote:
Kind Gizzard: Very, VERY psych. Video was hilarious. Bet they're cool live.


They have a great live reputation. They played here a couple of weekends ago but unfortunately I just couldn't make it. I fully intend to catch them next time.
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