2014 Manny: This year was a fantastic year for music. I had many travels and a lot of time in those travels to enjoy a handful of solid albums. I had a blast at Lollapalooza in Chicago (seeing many of the groups/artists below) and also loved listening to the albums below on my long train rides in Europe this past fall—where music was essential for reflection, relaxation and time consumption.
These are my top rated albums that carried me through 2014…
OH BABY, it’s a TOP 15 this year! HERE WE GO:
15. Future of Forestry // The Piano & Strings Sessions
Just like the title says, a refreshing and soothing take on some of our favourites.
14. Switchfoot // Fading West
They’ve been together for a long time and they keep making great music… and they’re amazing people, you can’t go wrong.
13. Phantogram // Voices
You feel like an invincible, electro-energized badass listening to this album.
12. alt-J // This Is All Yours
You don’t know what they’re singing half the time, but their instrumentation and intonation trump the lyrics anyway.
11. Ben Howard // I Forget Where We Were
I’ll never forget where I was when I listened to this album over and over:
Tuscany, Italy, working in a family’s vineyard looking over rolling hills… sorry I brought that up.
10. Ásgeir // In the Silence
Icelanders are music writing GURUS. Enough said.
An original and acoustic version of one of the best songs on the album.
9. Kye Kye // Fantasize
A family band consisting of 3 Estonian-born siblings based in Portland,
and the frontwoman’s name is Olga!
Indietronica at its finest. What else do you want?
8. Hey Rosetta! // Second Sight
A thoroughly engaging, endearing, and musically jam-packed album. One where you headbang very noticeably while singing along loudly in the car… solo.
7. Sam Roberts Band // Lo-Fantasy (Deluxe Version)
Again, Sam Roberts Band is as tight as a band can be. Riffs and groove galore.
6. Jars of Clay // 20
A silky smooth 20th anniversary re-recording of fan-voted favourites from their two decades as a phenomenal band. Includes two great new songs as well.
5. Sleeping at Last // Atlas: Year One
One of those albums you listen to while admiringly looking down onto the world from your window seat, high in the sky.
4. Vance Joy // Dream Your Life Away
Vance will melt your heart. I witnessed this, standing beside several love-struck/fainting women during his Lollapalooza set this summer.
3. Bahamas // Bahamas Is Afie
This guy can shred a guitar, yet he does so in the most effortless, nonchalant manner. This album will make your head swim with pleasing goodness.
2. James Vincent McMorrow // Post Tropical
Talk about mind-blowing falsettos, which even blow the minds of the preceding songs’ falsettos.
This album is epic beyond measure.
AND MY FAVOURITE ALBUM OF 2014 IS…
1. Manchester Orchestra // COPE & HOPE
The album that became two. COPE is a genuine rock album. Manchester Orchestra felt that they needed to buck the electronic trend so many of their peers were following. A hard-hitting, electric guitar smashing album of piercing vocal melodies and blasting distortion was brought to life as a result. Then came HOPE. HOPE was the kicker for me as it was surprisingly released five months later. It uncovered the complementing, heartfelt side of the same lyrics and skeletal compositions of COPE. Overall, Manchester Orchestra intricately exposed the beautiful acoustic faces of their core songs from COPE.
Enjoy “Girl Harbor” and “Top Notch,” two songs that clearly illustrate the difference between Manchester Orchestra’s yin-yang albums:
Local Winnipeg Albums
Saint Kris // 329
It is an honour to have contributed to Saint’s album with “Flow”. It is also NOW UP ON SoundCloud as a FREE DOWNLOAD. Enjoy!
The Bros. Landreth // Let It Lie
Coldplay // Ghost Stories
The Ones That Got Away (2013)
THANKS FOR LISTENING WITH ME.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!