This year, I lost the plot.
Mainly, I just worked way too much. As a result, my typical time spent with music reduced severely and is starting to induce a semi mid life crisis. Personal feeling asides, I did get to listen to a few albums this year and in no particular order, here are some of my favorites.
War on Drugs – Lost in the Dreams
I can’t even name one song off this album, but I listen to it all the time. It reminds me of a chiller time and also summer. I love albums that remind me of summer.
Lykki Li – That really sad record
Totally forgot what that album was called, but it was super sad and super awesome. I listened to it non-stop when it first came out and I still put it on regularly today. It really sucks that Lykke Li had to go through such heartbreak, but man does it make for phenomenal art.
Jessie Ware – Her second album
I remember when I first heard Jessie Ware and me and my friend Jessica were discussing her track and thought it was kinda meh. How wrong we were! Ware’s first album was great and she continues to build on it with her new album. Maybe it’s nostalgia but she has got that classic 90’s R&B sound that many singers try to imitate but few succeed. It’s just gorgeous pop music.
Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal
Parquet Courts released two albums this year, the second one I have yet to really engage with but the first one was an album I was constantly listening to this summer. The album was exactly how I like meetings at work – short, to the point and sweet. The album reminded me a lot of late 90’s college rock, but Parquet Court combines that with good vocal hooks that ab adds just that much more to it.
Caribou – Our Love
First album in four years and Dan Snaith has not lost a step. The album’s first track Can’t Do Without You is one of the best tracks of the year and it should definitely be on the Polaris list for next year. It’s a complex electronic album that abandons a lot of conventional EDM tricks and will only grow with time.
It only took one album for Molly Rankin to surge to the top of the Rankin family power rankings. A great poppy debut record from the Canadian group had everyone’s panties in a bunch and for a great reason – great jangly beachy pop tracks like the ones that dominate this album are hard to find. Combine that with Rankin’s icy cool distant vocals and it makes the album that much cooler. A no brainer record that is probably on everyone’s best of.
Tennis – Ritual in Repeat
Sometimes the best summer albums get released in the fall. Tennis is a band who’s sound is pretty refined by now, but like a sushi chef who is dedicated to his craft, the band only seems to improve with each iteration.
Manic Street Preachers – Futurology
Manics seem to come up with a new record every year in recent times but Futurology took them in a drastically new direction from 2013’s Rewind the Film and the results were amazing. Inspired by Kraut rock and glam pop, Futurology has a freshness from the Welsh trio that would normally seem rare for a band with so many albums under their belt. I was kind of stunned when it wasn’t nominated for the Mercury Prize. I thought it was a good bet to win it when this record first came out. But then again, Talvin Singh won over Manics in 1999 so I guess a snub should not be all that surprising.
There were a few more I enjoyed, but I am too tired to write about them.
TV on the Radio