Here’s the entire Top 25 Albums of 2014 list on one page! Enjoy.
25) Swans – To Be Kind
There’s nothing about Swans’ To Be Kind that’s easy (or it would be ranked way higher), but if you can fully immerse yourself in its sprawling sound, you’ll find that it’s a rather rewarding album.
:Swans – A Little God In My Hands:
24) Interpol – El Pintor
While it’s no Turn On The Bright Lights, I do think that El Pintor is the best thing to come from Interpol in a long while. Who knew that parting with Carlos D would turn out to be good for the band?!
:Interpol – All The Rage Back Home:
23) Future Islands – Singles
Future Islands’ Singles is one of those albums that I burned out on and then ending up excitedly coming back to. It’s a pretty great effort, especially if you need something to dramatically dance to.
:Future Islands – Seasons (Waiting On You):
22) Sylvan Esso – Self Titled
Sylvan Esso’s self titled debut is an easily accessible effort that’s loaded with some of the year’s best electronic pop songs. I often just put it on and let its warm sound fill the room.
:Sylvan Esso – Coffee:
21) Thee Oh Sees – Drop
Just when it looked like Thee Oh Sees were going to take a lengthy break, they released the lively Drop. I approve of such indecisiveness. Here’s hoping they continue on maybe going on hiatus.
:Thee Oh Sees – Penetrating Eye:
20) Ty Segall – Manipulator
Manipulator is the culmination of all the various sounds that Ty Segall has churned out over the last few years, and it’s great. Way to bring everything full circle, Mr. Segall.
:Ty Segall – Susie Thumb:
19) Phantogram – Voices
I can’t say that Voices dominated my time the way that Eyelid Movies did (way back in 2010), but it’s definitely a high quality effort. Phantogram craft great hooks.
:Phantogram – Fall In Love:
18) S – Cool Choices
Jenn Ghetto (formerly of Carissa’s Wierd) is S, and Cool Choices is her very sincere, introspective album. She’s got the sort of voice that I can’t help but get hung up on.
:S – Vampires:
17) Mono – Rays Of Darkness/The Last Dawn
Technically, Rays Of Darkness and The Last Dawn are two separate releases, but I still consider them to be a two-disc effort. As for the actual LPs themselves, I really dig how neither of them feel like the Mono that made the over-orchestrated For My Parents.
:Mono – Recoil, Ignite:
16) Jack White – Lazaretto
I can’t ever make any sense of the things that Jack White says and does these days, but I sure do like his music. Lazaretto is a boisterous experience.
:Jack White – Lazaretto:
15) Abram Shook – Sun Marquee
Austin’s own Abram Shook put out the immensely pleasing Sun Marquee back in January, and it’s been a favorite of mine ever since. It’s the kind of breezy, relaxed pop music that’s impossible to not get lost in.
:Abram Shook – Coastal:
14) Tune Yards – Nikki Nack
Nikki Nack is exactly what we’ve all come to want and expect from the talented Merrill Garbus (aka Tune Yards) – it’s creative and a whole lot of fun to listen to.
:Tune Yards – Real Thing:
13) Ex Hex – Rips
I miss Wild Flag, but their disbandment delivered Mary Timony’s equally catchy and rocking Ex Hex AND put Sleater-Kinney back together. I’ll take that deal any day.
:Ex Hex – Hot And Cold:
12) The Dead Space – Faker
If you are even the slightest fan of post-punk, then you need The Dead Space’s Faker in your life. There’s not a track on it that isn’t rad.
:The Dead Space – Behind The Wall:
11) Tacocat – NVM
I didn’t pay much attention to Tacocat’s NVM until kind of late in the year, but once I “discovered” it I was forever hooked. It’s total surf-rock bliss.
:Tacocat – Crimson Wave:
10) The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream
The War On Drugs’ Lost In The Dream is as dad-rock as it gets, but it’s also the most compelling album of 2014. Grab some whiskey and give it all your attention.
:The War On Drugs – Red Eyes:
09) Tycho – Awake
Tycho’s Awake is a must-have for fans of instrumental music. I don’t know how many hours I’ve spent with its post-rock-leaning sound swirling around in my headphones.
:Tycho – Awake:
08) Spoon – They Want My Soul
They Want My Soul is the latest high quality release from Spoon. I advise that you take a moment to fully appreciate the fact that they’ve been consistently good for roughly TWENTY years. Wow.
:Spoon – Inside Out:
07) Cloud Nothings – Here And Nowhere Else
I’ve listened to a lot of people ramble on about how “their last album was better” but Here And Nowhere Else is the first time I’ve truly loved something from Cloud Nothings. There’s not one bad song on the thoroughly 90s-enthused effort.
:Cloud Nothings – I’m Not Part Of Me:
06) Solids – Blame Confusion
From start to finish, Solids’ Blame Confusion is just one lo-fi indie rock gem after another. It seems unlikely that I’ll ever tire of the album.
:Solids – Traces:
05) Lace Curtains – A Signed Piece Of Paper
With A Signed Piece Of Paper, Michael Coomer (aka Lace Curtains) has further cemented himself as one of my favorite singer/songwriters. We just get each other. Or something. Anyways, have you heard his debut, The Garden Of Joy And The Well Of Loneliness? It was my #1 album back in 2012.
:Lace Curtains – The Fly:
04) St. Vincent – Self Titled
I’m just about out of ways to praise Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent). This is the fourth time she’s landed in the Top 5 of my year-end album list. Is she even capable of putting out something that’s not utterly fantastic?
:St. Vincent – Digital Witness:
03) Tony Molina – Dissed And Dismissed
12 songs, 11 minutes. Tony Molina’s Dissed And Dismissed may not seem like it has a lot to offer, but it’s actually home to some of the best pop hooks I’ve come across in a long time. Talk about infectious.
:Tony Molina – Nowhere To Go:
02) Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal
There was a sizable stretch this year where I found myself listening to Parquet Courts’ Sunbathing Animal at least twice a day. I really think the album features some of the best songs that the band has ever written.
:Parquet Courts – Instant Disassembly:
01) Run The Jewels – RTJ2
OH MY. Here in the #1 slot of my Top 25 Albums of 2014 is none other than Run The Jewels’ RTJ2! The explosive duo of Killer Mike and EL-P really hit a home run with their sophomore effort, and we should all celebrate accordingly.
:Run The Jewels – Oh My Darling Don’t Cry:
To be honest, I could have easily detailed 50 albums this year, but since the bottom 25 slots would have been occupied by the various releases that I liked but didn’t listen to a whole super lot, I figured it was best to hold back. For fun though, here are the LPs that more than likely would have made an expanded list.
A Sunny Day In Glasgow – Sea When Absent
Alex Napping – This Is Not A Bedroom
Alvvays – Self Titled
Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness
Ariel Pink – Pom Pom
Coathangers – Suck My Shirt
Cymbals Eat Guitars – Lose
Deerhoof – La Isla Bonita
Equals – Tracts
Eternal Summers – The Drop Beneath
FKA Twigs – LP1
Flesh Lights – Free Yourself
Literature – Chorus
Men – Tomorrow’s Hits
OBN IIIs – Third Time To Harm
Owls – Two
Pompeii – Loom
Ramesh – The King
Sharon Van Etten – Are We There
Thurston Moore – The Best Day
Tontons – Make Out King And Other Stories Of Love
Warpaint – Self Titled
We Were Promised Jetpacks – Unravelling
Wye Oak – Shriek
Yellow Ostrich – Cosmos
Also, for even more fun, here are my five favorite EPs of 2014.
Speedy Ortiz – Real Hair EP
Diarrhea Planet – Aliens In The Outfield EP
White Reaper – Self Titled EP
Otis The Destroyer – Dark Arts EP
Whiite Walls – Self Titled EP