I’d like to consider myself a connoisseur of music; I think I have a rather eclectic taste, I’m always open to checking out new artists, and I’m always the first of my friends to discover a new artist. So, I thought I’d try something new and start my year off with a list of last year’s best music, from my point of view.
So Long, See You Tomorrow // Bombay Bicycle Club
This album is my absolute favourite from Bombay Bicycle Club, and not just because I saw it performed live and met Jack Steadman last April (though that certainly didn’t deter me from enjoying it as much as I do). This album is literally perfection from start to finish.
Favourite track? Luna.
Ghost Stories // Coldplay
Say what you want about Coldplay, but your words won’t stop me from falling head over heels in love with this album. From the sappy love ballads like Magic to the conscious uncoupling of Another’s Arms, this album is heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time.
Favourite track? Midnight.
Talking is Hard // WALK THE MOON
Not going to lie, I was very skeptical about this album, from it’s conception under the working title “wtm2” to the single Shut Up and Dance, but after the first listen I was hooked to the extreme. It’s impossible to be sad while this album is playing, so if you’re having a rough day, I suggest cranking up Avalanche and dancing your heart out.
Favourite track? Avalanche.
Hozier // Hozier
Take Me to Church drove me nuts for the first few months I heard it on the radio. Seriously. I’d change the station so quickly you’d think the car was going to blow up otherwise. But alas I gave the album a listen, and boy am I glad I did. He’s as if someone took a little bit of The Black Keys, Led Zeppelin, and The Sheepdogs, put them all into one dude, and made that dude Irish. Not to mention his voice is heavenly; I can see why he needed to be taken to church.
Favourite track? From Eden.
Little Machines // Lights
I never thought I’d fall in love with a Lights album harder than I fell for Siberia, but I was wrong. So, so wrong. This album is the perfect mix of up-tempo and a little bit cutesy at times. Lights truly does tickle a gnarly synth. (Also she’s really sweet in person!)
Favourite track? Oil and Water.
Very Good Bad Thing // Mother Mother
Mother Mother is one of those local bands that you can’t not love. I can’t think of a single track they’ve played on our local radio station that I didn’t find catchy. The album is such a satisfying listen.
Favourite track? Very Good Bad Thing.
This is All Yours // alt-j
This band is so blissfully weird, it’s so gratifying to listen to. Alt-j’s second album goes effortlessly hand-in-hand with their debut An Awesome Wave, yet it is also distinctly its own, complete album. The range of the tracks are all over the place, from the melancholy harmonies of Pusher, to the strange sexiness of Every Other Freckle, to Left Hand Free, a song I dare you to try not dancing to.
Favourite Track? Every Other Freckle.
Tidal Wave // Young Liars
Strangely enough, I came across this group through one of those sponsored posts you see on Facebook, and to be honest I was mainly interested in the album art. But wow, this album rocks. Then I found out they’re a relatively local group, and I was lucky enough to attend a free concert this past summer. This album was one of my two summer albums, and I urge everyone to give this one a proper listen.
Favourite track? Night Window.
Mind Over Matter // Young the Giant
I love Young the Giant; they were my first 19+ concert, their debut album was the anthem of my 2012 trip to California, and I actually discovered my current favourite band (Gold & Youth, who opened for them at their Commodore Ballroom show in 2012) because of them. Young the Giant will always be in my top ten favourite bands. So, when I found out that this album was due at the beginning of 2014, I was stoked, and when the album dropped, I was not disappointed. For an album that released in January, it has such a summer vibe but not too much so that it’s awkward to listen to in the fall/winter (like The Beach Boys, for example; I love ‘em but if I listen to anything summer-related in the winter months I just make myself sad, so, nope). A+ album, absolutely.
Favourite track? Teachers.
When the Night // St. Lucia
Arguably my favourite musical discovery of the year. These guys have such a distinct sound, and this album is superb. I read a review once that compared a St. Lucia concert to seeing a John Hughes film played out on stage, and when I had the pleasure of seeing them perform at the Commodore Ballroom this November, I found that comparison to be 100% true. If you ever get the chance to see them play live, do it. You won’t regret it.
Favourite track? September.
Dream Your Life Away // Vance Joy
The moment I listened to Vance Joy’s EP God Loves You When You’re Dancing, I knew I needed a full album, and to see him perform live. A year later, and both of those wishes came true.You know when you have one of those concert moments where everyone in the audience is singing along to the same song and you feel so happy that you could almost float on air? For me, that moment was during From Afar; the entire room was singing in unison to my favourite song and I swear my face broke from smiling to hard. This album is an utter treat.
Favourite track? From Afar, obviously.
Sadnecessary // Milky Chance
This album is simply a fun listen. No existential experiences were had during the initial listen of this album, but I love it nontheless.
Favourite track? Sweet Sun.
Well, that’s it folks! Thanks for reading, and I hope I’ve helped at least one person discover their next favourite band!