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... http://www.allmusic.com/newreleases 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... http://dylanhowe.bandcamp.com/album/subterranean-new-designs-on-bowies-berlin
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