Starting today, I'll start listing my 20 favorite albums from 2014, 5 at a time. In all, I bought about 60 albums released this year, and about half that from previous years. My favorites contain one older album, a late 2013 offering, and one released in the UK in 2013, but with a 2014 US release. Here's 16 to 20.
16. Cymbals Age of Fracture - With 'Erosion', the band managed to make one the best 80's song ever made while having 25 years of distance from the decade. The Natural World wasn't far from those lofty heights either.
'The Natural World', 'Erosion', 'You Are', 'This City'
17. Eternal Summers The Drop Beneath - The Virginia based 3-piece was firmly in my blindspot until mid-2014, when, of all things, a UK band, PINS, introduced me to the band's dreamy shoegaze sound. After hearing 'Gouge' and 'Window' I fell hard and bought all three of their albums on vinyl, making up for lost time I guess. They had me at shoegaze.
'100', 'Gouge', 'Never Enough'
18. Two White Cranes Two White Cranes - This LP reminds me of a favorite aunt or close friend beckoning me to sit nearby so they could whisper the same stories they've told me hundreds of times over, but I'm engrossed because I still love hearing the wonder in their voice.
'Walls', 'Everyday', 'Acraman's Road', 'Skeleton'
19. The Debauchees Big Machines and Peculiar Beings - A 2013 release, but I didn't discover the band until their Secret Stages Festival appearance in August. The Louisville trio's sound is unique, and difficult to describe, bits of ska, jazz, punk, and garage rock fleck the sound. Frankly, it's irrelevant, this debut LP deserves a wider audience. The band has been quiet on social media, but I'm hopeful of news of work on new material and live dates.
'Whatever Just Go With It', 'Mathematics', 'I've Got Energy', 'Rancid Dancin'
20. Warpaint Warpaint - Whenever I listen to Warpaint, I think I'm listening to sirens from Greek mythology, yet without all of the ruin associated with a siren song. I'm entranced, and powerless to resist their charms. While I didn't enjoy this LP, their 2nd, as much as their 1st, I welcomed the addition of the moody synths. Warpaint is the epitome of California music -- dreamy vibe, gorgeous harmonies, and sun kissed melodies.
'Keep it Healthy', 'Love Is to Die', 'Disco//very', 'Biggy'