Yeah yeah, I know everyone usually does their AOTY writeups in November/December, but I always end up dragging my feet. I don’t even think I even came up with final lists for 2013 (or even 2012 for that matter), but I finally ended up getting it together for 2014, and without further ado, here’s my tops, with a few words about each pick…
- Sun Kil Moon – Benji (10 Feb, Caldo Verde)
Maybe one of the most depressing records of all time (someone literally dies in every song), and yet really powerful storytelling with vivid imagery.
- Cymbals Eat Guitars – LOSE (26 Aug, Barsuk)
The album I likely spent the most time with this year. Just a great rock record through and through.
- Honeyblood – Honeyblood (15 Jul, FatCat)
Another one I spent a ton of time with this year. Something about this one really hooks me.
- Future Islands – Singles (25 Mar, 4AD)
Killer record, and finally a breakthrough for these guys! Plus that Letterman performance, you kidding me?!
- Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness (18 Feb, Jagjaguwar)
She’s great. After digging into this one I even listened to her previous one a bunch. Plus somehow “Forgiven/Forgotten” became my airplane takeoff song (somehow that’s a thing, I guess?).
- Sharon Van Etten – Are We There (27 May, Jagjaguwar)
Maybe the fullest record she’s done yet, my favorite songs she’s made are some of the best songs of the year, for sure.
- Twin Peaks – Wild Onion (5 Aug, Grand Jury)
My darlings of CMJ, probably the funnest record for me this year. And funnest shows. Do these guys know how to party or what?!
- Real Estate – Atlas (3 Mar, Domino)
A nice nostalgia record, lots of heavy play time on the early side of 2014. The last song on Days left me off at the end of summer (in 2011) and Atlas picks up after a loooong winter to try and reintroduce spring.
- Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso (13 May, Partisan)
I remember the first time I heard “Coffee”, I was listening to Sirius XMU and returning a rental car in Hoboken – blew me away. The rest of the album absolutely holds up as well.
- Strand of Oaks – HEAL (24 June, Dead Oceans)
Solid record full of great songs. Absolutely rocked Bowery Ballroom with an emotional performance when we saw them at the Hifi team outing in early December. And of course I was sure to get a big sweaty hug from Timothy Showalter after the show.
- The Men – Tomorrow’s Hits
- Caribou – Our Love
- Wye Oak – Shriek
- Parquet Courts – Content Nausea
- Eagulls – Eagulls
- Hospitality – Trouble
- D’Angelo – Black Messiah
- Spoon – They Want My Soul
- St. Vincent – St. Vincent
- Karen O – Crush Songs
- S. Carey – Range of Light
- Julian Casablancas+The Voidz – Tyranny
- Beck – Morning Phase
- Speedy Ortiz – Real Hair
- Panda Bear – Mr Noah