I’ve found that with so much of today’s music sound fairly similar to itself, it’s hard to discover something that’s new and really makes you go “Wow – yeah this is good.” For me, these are the albums from 2014 that have done that.
In alphabetical order.
The Archers – These Wicked Woods – These Victoria natives put out their first full length this year. Their five part harmonies make this stomp-folk worth a listen.
BADBADNOTGOOD – III – Hiphop, jazz, house – I don’t exactly know what to call it, but it’s got some sweet groove.
The Colourist – The Colourist – A good, fun album. This defines pop-rock for me. You’ve probably already heard this one but can never place it.
Hanz Zimmer – Interstellar Original Soundtrack – Go see this movie, if just for the music.
Hozier – Hozier – Along with Shakey Graves, I think that Hozier is doing the “solo-stomp-folk” right.
Ingrid Michaelson – Lights Out – In the “girls who play piano” category, Michaelson’s album doesn’t venture too far from what you’d expect – but the songwriting and collaborations are on point.
Kimba – The Golden Echo – This record reminded me a lot of Janelle Monae, proving that Kimbra is more than one hit wonder back up singer material (See: “Somebody I Used to Know”)
Little Hurricane – Gold Fever – I was lucky enough to see this duo at SXSW this year – and no one else is doing the “boy and girl blues” better than these two.
Lykke Li – I Never Learn – Probably one of my favourites of the year, this song was my anthem for the first six months of 2014. When I talk about songs that “go somewhere” – this is what I mean.
Owen Pallett – In Conflict – Minimalism and arranging at it’s finest. In Conflict is as beautiful as it is haunting.
Reuben and the Dark – Funeral Sky – For the “folk band that swims in reverb” fans – definitely check out these guys.
Sharon Von Etten – Are We There – Another girl with a piano – but this one is much more heartbreaking than Lights Out. If you’re feeling a little low about your lover – I’d recommend this.
West My Friend – When the Ink Dries – Friends of the blog, West My Friend’s full length has a lot of surprises. See my review for more detail, but listen to this fun one for now.
Honourable Mentions – Kevin Drew – Darlings, PUP – PUP, Taylor Swift – 1989, Arkells – High Noon, St. Vincent – St. Vincent, Snarky Puppy – We Like It Here, Gutterbird – Speak Easy, The Antlers – Familiars, Beck – Morning Phase, Hey Rosetta – Second Sight, Tokyo Police Club – Forcefield.
Feel free to argue, complain, disagree or hate!