PERFECT|MIDNIGHT|WORLD // Favorite Albums of 2014 (so far)

When the year started, I felt like there was a deluge of strong singles (that list coming next), but great albums seemed to be trickling out at a snail’s pass. Now, six months later, I think it’s safe to say that the two have evened out, as I could have easily made this list three times as large without much trouble. Of course, it’s easy to fall in love with an album on a couple of listens and then slowly forget it’s existence as more new sounds find their way to your rotation. That’s why as I shrunk my favorites list down to twenty for this mid-year round-up, I focused on the albums that have maintained or have shattered expectations. Look over this list, I see two albums in particular that I imagine will be in my top five at year’s end - barring something truly remarkable happening. One of those albums is not such a surprise as I’ve been a huge supporter of the artist since he launched his career back in 2010, with the experimental lo-fi, bedroom R&B classic “Love Remains” - How to Dress Well’s “What is this Heart?” lived up to the promise and landed with an emotional wallop that I’m still absorbed within. The other album came from out of nowhere and caught me completely off guard with it’s “Twin Peaks” inspired take on some stunning mix of new wave, folk, and dark pop  - and that album is Haley Bonar’s brilliant “Last War”. 

Outside of those two albums, any of these choices could be number three at this point. It’s been a rich six months of music that has fueled me creatively (Alcest, Ought, and The War on Drugs), entertained me thoroughly (Kevin Drew, Future Islands, and Tycho), and even did the me the honor of being genuinely moving and thought provoking (Haley Bonar, Gem Club, The Antlers, and How to Dress Well). I won’t bother with individual critiques at this stage in the year - just some links to stream the albums on Spotify if you’re inclined (please seek out and buy what makes you happy so they will have funds to keep making you happy). I can’t promise that you’ll love everything equally, but i can’t imagine that you’ll find yourself disappointed in the least.  

THE LIST (in alphabetical order)

Thanks for reading, listening, and being a music fan. Take care and best wishes on the next six months - may it be filled with exceptional music. 


In collecting my most played and favorite songs of the first quarter of 2014, I was kind of shocked by how solid the year has been thus far. I can’t remember a year in recent memory that had so many standout tracks and albums so early. So, in making my selections, I didn’t fuss a whole lot and mostly went with the songs that I’ve played the most, as well as some fresh material that I just couldn’t leave out. I did remove some demo work from some artists who will be releasing material later this year, just so that I can give highlight versions that are intended for mass consumption.

No reason to waste any time. These are the thirty songs that have made the first quarter of 2014 an extra special audio journey. Click the track for streaming audio and in most cases, my original thoughts on the song. Thank you for listening. Enjoy


There you have it! Hopefully the next quarter will be as strong. I’ll do my best to keep up on the best of what’s around. Thanks for reading/listening! 

Watch on

Gem Club - “252” - directed by Matthew Salton.

  • Flax
  • Gem Club
  • Acid and Everything

Gem Club- Flax.

Leave him as a boy
His laugh divides the day in two
Let him dream of birds
I wish I was more like him
Instead I’m shaking in the sun

He came in a wave
His wings were full of songs
White and unafraid
I wish I had known him then
I wish I was more like him

Anyway I’d love to see you there
Outside that place someday
And secure I hope to see you there
Outside yourself someday

Anyway I hope I see us there
Outside that place someday
And secure I’d love to see us there
Outside ourselves someday

  • Twins
  • Gem Club
  • Breakers

Gem Club - Twins

You ever come across a thing a beauty by surprise? That moment where you think to yourself what have I deserved to experience this moment? With simple chords on the piano, a violin, a horn and a weighted soul Gem Club has created such a moment.

Be sure to pick up their debut full-length Breakers out September 27th on Hardly Art and also be sure to check out previous works.