Favorite Albums of 2014 (6-10)

Today is the 3rd entry in my Favorite Albums of 2014 list which will detail albums ranked 6 to 10. If you missed the following two entries, read them right here.

6. Sharon Van Etten Are We There - What a celebration of painful moments, yet with the clarity afforded by time, it never truly feels like the miserable downer it could be. Sharon's warm voice and wonderful composition roadmaps an aching heart for all those unlucky in love. I saw her in Nashville as a fringe fan, now, both feet on the bandwagon, even walked away with a setlist.

Essential tracks:

'Afraid of Nothing', 'Our Love', 'Every Time the Sun Comes Up', 'Your Love is Killing Me'

7. Lydia Loveless Somewhere Else - Some people work things out with pen, paper, and a guitar pick. Then toss in a bottle or two of cheap wine to get the some real truths on paper, and that's where we find Lydia at her finest. She buries past loves, but not before a quick verbal skewer, and for now, one last late night tease, or hook up, depends on who's doing the talking. 'To Love Somebody' reeled me in, but 'Verlaine Shot Rimbaud' is the star of the album. After missing her a handful of times this summer, I bought tickets for her Valentine's Day show in Nashville, and I can't wait.

Essential tracks:

'To Love Somebody', 'Really Wanna See You', 'Verlaine Shot Rimbaud', 'They Don't Know'

8. Caroline Says 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong - This selection is a serious dark horse, but I knew it would be included here the instant I heard it. I happened across her album by accident, and became mesmerized by her made for a Wes Anderson movie sounds. Breathy vocals, soft acoustics, and a few keys tinkling here and there make this album an absolute dreamy joy.

Essential tracks:

'Winter is Cold', 'God Knows', 'I Think I'm Alone Now', 'Funeral Potatoes'

9. Honeyblood Honeyblood - Glaswegian 2-piece somehow made 12 bitter skewerings of past loves sound fun. Perhaps it's the spot on vocal harmonies, or the vintage melodies, or that it's entirely relatable, but the truth is that it's all over far too quickly. It's all acceptance and moving on, but not without one last verbal jab as the door slams.

Essential tracks:

'Biro', 'Killer Bangs', 'Bud', 'Super Rat'

10. Hookworms The Hum - I've owned this album for a week now, and it's my first experience with the 5-piece Leeds pysch-rock outfit. For three days, I couldn't get past the 2nd song, 'On Leaving'. And that was only because I kept replaying it. If I had to guess, 20 times. When I ventured forward, I ran into the same problem again, this time with 'Radio Tokyo'. It reminds me so much of many of the late 60's and early 70's sounds I heard from my Mother's turntable as a child.

Essential tracks:

'On Leaving', 'Radio Tokyo', 'Off Screen'

Song of the Day - Scott Get The Van, I'm Moving by Cayetana

If you've been hanging around the last few days you might have noticed a bit of reminiscing going on here at Aimless Skylarking. Maybe not the type of reminiscing that The Little River Band sang about, more remembering great artists, albums, and songs of the year. I touched on a few favorites so far this week, Beverly and Honeyblood, and surely AmandaX's fantastic debut LP 'Amnesia' will be included in the end of the year talks.  What AmandaX did, unbeknownst to the band, was introduce me to another fantastic Philly trio, Cayetana. Over the past few days, the 3-piece garage punk band's sound has filled the headquarters here at Aimless Skylarking with pure fun.  Their debut LP is out on Tiny Engines Records, and has shoved its way on to my end of the year list for favorite LPs.    

Today's Song of the Day is Cayetana's urgent, wistful, punky anthem, 'Scott Get The Van, I'm Moving'.  I can't stop bobbing my head and tapping my feet to this one. Stream it below and become a fan too.

For more information on Cayetana:

Website

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Bandcamp

Tiny Engines Records

New video for Honeyblood

Another band that will feature heavily in my end of the year favorite lists is Honeyblood.  The Scottish 2-piece band's highly anticipated debut LP was in heavy rotation around the offices at Aimless Skylarking over the summer, and is still getting spins and adoration even after the newness has worn off. Even the discerning ear of the boss seems to like the bitter ditties that group has a penchant for harmonizing so damn well. 'Bud', 'Killer Bangs' and 'Super Rat' were the first spin favorites, but others such as 'Choker' and 'Biro' are being examined a bit closer these days. A little secret, the original version of 'Bud' (linked above) is better than the album track. Both versions are amazing, but I do prefer the original.

Their latest offering is the black and white noirish video for 'Choker', watch it below and become a fan as well.  Also, look for new band member Cat Myers, she makes an appearance.