Contrary to popular belief 2014 was not entirely ‘All About That Bass.’ There have been some great moments & cracking albums over the last 12 months.
Young Fathers won both the SAY Award & the Mercury Music Prize, Kate Bush returned to the live stage with an incredible 22-night residency at London’s Hammersmith Apollo & Metallica silenced the critics with a storming Glastonbury headline slot, so not a bad year then…
We’ve collated our favourite LPs of the past 12 months from staff at our 8 stores across the country, and here are the results:
1. Goat – Commune
And we thought ‘World Music’ was good.
‘Commune’ builds upon ‘World Music’s acidic grooves, hypnotic incantations, and serpentine guitar lines but also introduces a darker, more angry edge to the band, not seen before on previous releases.
Starting with the layered percussive groove, Eastern guitar flourishes, and convoking vocals of Talk To God , it re-establishes the trance-inducing rhythms and exotic blaze of guitar that characterised their debut so well. That spellbound pulse delves into darker and more propulsive territories on Words and Goatslaves , while Goatchild veers towards the transcendental pop of ’60s Bay Area rock.
Commune reaches its apex when Goat’s hymnal invocations meet a heavy doze of proto-metal fuzz on Hide From The Sun and Gathering of Ancient Tribes.
‘A pitch-perfect mix of Black Sabbath, Can, Fela Kuti, Funkadelic and the northern-lights psych of countrymen such as Pärson Sound.’ The Guardian,
‘Surrender your mind, body and soul to Goat.’ BBC Music.
2. The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream
Already topping UNCUT & Q Magazine’s album polls, TWOD narrowly miss our top spot.
‘It’s no small feat to make rock music sound this fresh nowadays. Amid the hordes of bands pulling the same old tired moves, thank god for The War On Drugs.’ Time Out
‘What at first seemed like a fairly straightforward, traditionalist roots-rock exercise has very gradually, very subtly blossomed into something wondrous and profound.’ Pitchfork
3. Swans – To Be Kind
Swans returned with their epic 13th album featuring St. Vincent, Cold Specks, Little Annie & Bill Rieflin.
‘Swans are as furious and as boundary-pushing as they’ve ever been, and despite the meticulous composition of the album, there’s still the constant nagging suspicion that Gira has gone utterly, chaotically insane.’ The Line Of Best Fit
4. Shellac – Dude Incredible
Dude, this album is incredible. The self-described ‘minimalist rock trio’ return with their trademark spatial post-hardcore sound.
‘Shellac go straight for your throat and don’t loosen their grip until the bitter end.’ Pitchfork
5. First Aid Kit – Stay Gold
The Swedish indie-folk sisters release their beautiful third album off of the back of their hugely popular singles ‘My Silver Lining’ & ‘Cedar Lane.’
‘The siblings have carefully crafted a tender batch of songs that disarm not only with their beauty but also their honesty.’ NME.
‘Their third full length album finds the sisters older, wiser, but still able to create some of the most beautifully intricate harmonies I’ve ever heard.’ The Line Of Best Fit.
Our top 50 albums of the year:
1 Goat – Commune
2 The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream
3 Swans – To Be Kind
4 Shellac – Dude Incredible
5 First Aid Kit – Stay Gold
6 St. Vincent – St. Vincent
7 Jungle – Jungle
8 Lykke Li – I Never Learn
9 Royal Blood – Royal Blood
10 Caribou – Our Love
11 A Winged Victory For The Sullen – Atomos
12 Childhood – Lacuna
13 SOHN – Tremors
14 Wild beasts – Present Tense
15 Honeyblood – Honeyblood
16 Glass Animals – Zaba
17 LIARS – Mess
18 Scott Walker + Sunn O))) – Soused
19 Alvvays – Alvvays
20 Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots
21 Mogwai – Rave Tapes
22. Aphex Twin – Syro
23. Robert Plant – lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar
24. Neneh Cherry – Blank Project
25. FKA Twigs – LP1
26. Flying Lotus – You’re Dead
27. Sleaford Mods – Divide & Exit
28. Sharon Van Etten – Are We There
29. Warpaint – Warpaint
30. Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems
31. Beck – Morning Phase
32. Jack White – Lazaretto
33. Pixies – Indie Cindy
34. King Creosote – From Scotland With Love
35. Jenny Lewis – Voyager
36. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye
37. Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey – Going Back Home
38. Gruff Rhys – American Interior
39. Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
40. The Horrors – Luminous
41. Lucinda Williams – Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone
42. Metronomy – Love Letters
43. Ariel Pink – Pom Pom
44. The Black Keys – Turn Blue
45. Manic Street Preachers – Futurology
46. Elbow – The Take Off And Landing Of Everything
47. Eels – The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett
48. Alt-J – This Is All Yours
49. Future Islands – Singles
50. Paolo Nutini – Caustic Love