Not a great year for music for me. Not many new discoveries, and plenty of disappointing efforts from some of my favourites. Instead, I find myself going back to older weirder stuff, and trying to fill in gaps of my knowledge with my Mojo reviews challenge.
But what of contemporary music. It was kinda tough to even put together 10. But here we go.
10. God Help The Girl – Original Soundtrack
This should be number one. The songs on this record are re-recorded versions of the original, one off, God Help the Girl album, now repurposed for a film. I love that original record so much. According to my Last.fm, I’ve listened to it more than any other, and I can’t describe how much it means to me.
So any album that contains these songs is always going to win. That they are not songs of 2014, I’ll put it at #10.
This is probably my favourite song from this album at the moment.
9. Real Estate – Atlas
It’s very similar to their last album, but they solidify a sound. There’s just something about this band – they worked out a sound that is so familiar yet original on their first record. They own it here.
Lots of mysteries abound for me still in this record. It’s murky and mysterious, soulful and jangly. One of those records that kept coming on, and I kept not skipping. They are working their way towards a masterpiece – I can feel it
8. Lake Street Dive – Bad Self Portraits
Signature Sounds Recordings
A discovery from the documentary Another Day Another Time. A modern soul band. Some people call it indie – but there’s nothing indie about it. It’s beautiful, fresh, honest music. And what a voice, with Rachel Price up front. This band could be as big as Amy Winehouse. They need slightly better song ideas to do it, and if they do – look out.
7. Elbow – The Take Off And Landing Of Everything
I’ve written about this record before. A gorgeous album, that is probably perfect for someone my age. What I love about this band most is the unabashed romance. They write poetically, about big things or not at all. They are also, let us say, older men, who are not making retro music.
6. Ball Park Music – Puddinghead
The only Australian album to make the list this year. Sad that. But oh well – this album is killer. Such an abundance of musical ideas, so many catchy hooks and production ideas. But really, it comes down to this band actually has something to say. There is a real conversation about what it’s like to be young today. The best reflection of it is Next Life Already – one of my favourite tracks of the year.
They are getting angrier, and sharper, and it makes them stand out. The best Australian band at the moment.
Numbers 1-5 to come.