Thursday, December 11, 2014

Best albums of 2014

2014 was another year where I continued to listen to more "normal" music than ambient or electronic music.  

Part of the shift in my tastes can be directly attributed to Spotify.  I listen to Spotify at work a lot and I have used it more and more to discover new music.  I keep a playlist called "2014 albums worth listening to" that now has 3874 tracks in it.  Not all the albums in there are great or even good, really.  The playlist is just a collection of things in my wheelhouse.  I'm constantly on the prowl for new things to add to it.

On Tuesday when new music is released, I go here...  to find out what's new and if it looks interesting I sample it on Spotify & maybe add it to a playlist.  Finding new music has become close to an obsession over the past couple of years and with so much stuff out there and ease of access, it's a great time for music lovers.

Most of the albums on this list you can probably find on lots of other indie lists like NPR, Consequence of Sound, Pitchfork, etc.  A couple records not on the national lists are from Wisconsin bands, Phox & Field Report.  Both record for the fine label, Partisan Records, as does Sylvan Esso which came in at #9 on my list.  Another album with a Wisconsin tie is Paradise Outlaw by Pieta Brown.  A beautiful, ethereal album recorded at Justin Vernon's studio in Wisconsin.

Another odd ball selection is the awesome album by Dylan Howe - Subterranean - New Designs on Bowie's Berlin.  It is a collection of jazz versions of Bowie instrumentals from his Berlin period.  I love this record!  Find it & buy it here...

I included Loscil - Sea Island on this list, even though it's electronic not indie, because it's very, very good and deserved to be on both lists.

The only other album that doesn't fit under the indie umbrella is Piers Faccini & Vincent Segal - Songs of Time Lost.  It's a subtle record of soft vocals, guitar and cello.  If you like Nick Drake you will love this record.

The rest of the list is all variations of indie music, some loud, some soft, some electric, some acoustic, some straight forward and some a bit more odd - all of it good stuff worth the effort of seeking out.

What were your most played albums this year?  Please post any favorites in the comments.  I'll also be posting a list of ambient/electronic favs.

BEST OF 2014:

  1. The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream
  2. Damien Jurado - Brothers & Sisters of the Eternal Son
  3. Field Report - Marigolden
  4. The Rural Alberta Advantage - Mended with Gold
  5. Phox - Phox
  6. Strand of Oaks - HEAL
  7. Dylan Howe - Subterranean - New Designs on Bowie's Berlin
  8. Pieta Brown - Paradise Outlaw
  9. Sylvan Esso - Sylvan Esso
 10. Phantogram - Voices
 11. The Antlers - Familiars
 12. Saintseneca - Dark Arc
 13. Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy
 14. The Barr Brothers - Sleeping Operator
 15. Real Estate - Atlas
 16. St. Vincent - St. Vincent
 17. Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots
 18. Eno & Hyde - Someday World
 19. Blaudzun - Promises of No Man's Land
 20. Bill Callahan - Have Fun With God
 21. Loscil - Sea Island
 22. Warpaint - Warpaint
 23. Piers Faccini & Vincent Segal - Songs of Time Lost
 24. Gem Club - In Roses
 25. alt-J - This Is All Yours


foktory said...

Hi Dave, been a fan of the blog for awhile now and listen to your mixes ALL THE TIME. One of my favourite albums of 2014 and actually he is one of my top producers at the moment - Brock Van Wey - Home from February (alos of note was a release with Scott Morgan of Loscil fame which you play a bit) Cheers from Michigan!

Dave Michuda said...

Thanks for your support and for the recommendation of Brock Van Wey. I used to listen to a lot of his stuff as BVDUB but somewhere along the way I lost interest. I'm, not sure why exactly, I keep coming back & trying but it just doesn't do it for me.

Oh well, there is a ton of other stuff that I barely have time to listen to anyway.

Thanks for listening.

Byeloow Chames said...

Wow! I think we are nearly the same, thanks to Spotify I discovered so many strange albums and they are fantastic. 2014 is definitely my 'musical exploration' year.
Great job with your blog!

Dave Michuda said...


Love your year end list as well. Some stuff in there that I'll have to explore. And thanks to Spotify that will be super easy.

Here's to a great 2015!