It’s December, and here’s what I’ve got: There wasn’t anything this year that grabbed me by the neck and shook. But hey, who am I to criticize? I can’t hum in tune. Here are the 10 albums that I listened to most. Each one has its moments, but not sure how well any of them will hold up over time.
|Julien Marchal – Insight
I’m going to call this my album of the year. 4 delightful small piano pieces, recorded and released independently by the artist. Do yourself a favour and go to his Bandcamp page and give him a few Euros.
|Thievery Corporation – Saudade
That untranslatable Portuguese word that everyone likes to mention. Although the emotion of saudade is one of sadness and longing, this is a very pleasant album.
Listen to Nos Dois
|Poppy Ackroyd – Feathers
This recent release is more music-box like than Escapement, which was my 2013 album of the year. There are really nice tracks here, but It was a hard act to follow and (sophomore curse) its just not quite at the same level.
Listen to Strata
| Abdullah Rashim – Unanimity
Angry. But good.
Listen to Unanimity
|Max Cooper – Humans
Not sure what to say about this. I like it.
Listen to Empyrean
| 36 – Dream Tempest
Good stuff. This one stayed near the top of my playlist for most of the year. First track is highly reminiscent of Koyaanisqatsi but it covers a lot of musical territory.
Listen to Dream Tempest
|Imogen Heap – Sparks
Very disappointing for the first half. But the instrumental versions of each track are included too; and much better IMHO.
Listen to the instrumental version of Cycle Song
| Loscil – Sea Island
Released late in the year, so kind of early to say if this is worthy. But Scott Morgan/Loscil has released so much material that I really like in the past few years…..I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt. He’s at his best when combining synthesizer with piano or vibraphone, and there’s enough of that here to give me hope that this one will have staying power.
Listen to Sturgeon Bank
|Pjusk – Solstøv
In the same vein as Nils Petter Molvaer, if that helps.
Listen to Trolsk
| Hildur Guðnadóttir – Samar
Sometimes people include tracks on their “best of” list that are….. difficult. Sometimes you think that they might do that in an attempt to impress you with the range of their musical tastes.I would never do that.
Listen to Strokur
Maybe the days of the “album” are over. Listed below are some of my favourite tracks from the year, and I don’t even know what albums some came from. These are the catchiest tunes from 2014.
Click on the name of the track to listen.
- Deadmau5 – Pets
- Andre Sobota – Pulsatilla
- Gustavo Santaolalla – Seguir
- Field Report – Home (Leave the Lights On)
- Recondite – Caldera
- Andre Sobota – Time
- Elbow – Fly Boy Blues/Lunette
- Cody ChesnuTT – Gunpowder on the Letter
- Ana Tijoux – Vengo
- Eno • Hyde – Who Rings the Bell
Very interested in what discoveries others made this year. Feel free to agree/disagree/go on a tangent by adding a comment below.