Top 50 Albums of 2014

Top 50 Albums of 2014

Read More These lists are everywhere, so you'll be excused if you just roll your eyes and skip on. But, that being said, we always...

In Tall Buildings Sounds Better and Better

divrEvery time I hear one of the tracks from In Tall Buildings I have to take a step back.  There’s something striking in the fragility that’s present in the music crafted by Erik Hall over the last four years. But, while the folk aspect is present throughout the entirety of this song, there’s some manipulated tape in there too, causing a change in the song’s balance; I think it’s one of the moments that really makes Hall’s music so intoxicating. His new LP, Driver, will be released on February 17th via Western Vinyl, so you’ve got a few weeks to prepare yourself for this journey.

Cruising Along With Fuzzy Pop From Bruising

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Bruising are a Leeds duo consisting of Naomi Baguely and Ben Lewis, who decided to join forces late last year and combine their skills to make some DIY lo-fi rock and roll. The result can be heard below, on “Can’t You Feel,” which has a gritty sound to its instrumentation only to be juxtaposed by the intense sweetness of Baguely’s dreamy sugar vocals. This single is coming out as part of a Volume series from London’s Beech Coma Records, and can be purchased on limited edition red cassette tape here.

Keep It Simple With Seafret

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Folksy music always has a way of worming its way into my heart and listening patterns, so when I heard this track “Oceans” from acoustic duo Seafret I couldn’t help but enjoy its sound. These two gentlemen currently making music out of London have crafted a simple, yet elegant, track that relies on the emotion-drenched vocals to carry the song along. While this isn’t the most complex of tunes, sometimes simplicity is enough to keep you locked in. Have Seafret done enough to keep you interested?

More from Diet Cig

ciggyThis could be a really awesome year for Diet Cig; the duo is already building quite a name for themselves, which is a great deal considering they haven’t even released their EP, Overeasy.  The songs are immediately accessible, and while I can see some similarities to bands like Tegan and Sara or Vivian Girls (minus the wall of noise), but I hear a lot of Juliana Hatfield.  I’m having fun with the lyrical playfulness; they’re relatable, yet they still have a harsh punch for their intended audience.  Look for Father Daughter to release the EP on February 24th.

Lush Electro-Pop from OOFJ

ringthealarmI’m going to always pronounce OOFJ as Uf-J! I think it adds a bit of emphasis to their sound, which may or may not always be needed.  For instance, on their latest single, the lush arrangements that move through the song’s first few moments are pretty restrained, pulled back as if awaiting the electronic pulse that will soon enter.  It’s like a combination of movie soundtrack bombast butting heads against dance floor sensibilities; not a bad way to approach things in my opinion. They’ll be releasing their new album, Acute Feast, via Ring the Alarm on April 21st.

Why Not Post About Mikal Cronin?

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Everyone’s posting about this new Mikal Cronin single, but it’s too damn good to not share with you!  So if somehow you still haven’t heard this track, it’s time for you to press that play button and get excited for the upcoming release of Mikal Cronin’s latest album, MCIII. Now, you’ll have to wait until May 5th to hear what Cronin has in store for you on the grand scale, but for now, soak up the warmth of this radiant alternative rock song. There’s soaring vocals, great little touches like bouncy piano and a catchy chorus you’ll be singing all day. Go on, enjoy.

 

Another Tam Vantage Tune to Make Your Day Better

a1326028043_2Just before the holiday break and year-end lists I wrote a short note about Tam Vantage, who used to be part of Pop Singles (sorely missed). But, I got carried away with getting back to work and reading all those arbitrary lists, so I missed when he released another great single just before the year ended.  So, why not make your Monday by sharing this tune with you.  It’s a really subtle pop tune, slightly revolving around a melancholy tone that is being offset by the Australian perfected jangle in the guitars.  Just one of the reasons I love this sound.

Yeah, I Dig This Gengahr Tune

unnamedMan, looks like I’m all over the place today; I think I’m okay with that. This tune from Gengahr rolled out late last week, and I didn’t get a chance to really get into it until the sun parted the clouds here in Austin.  The MGMT nod has already been given, but that’s mostly due to the vocals.  I’m listening to the bass line quite a bit, not to mention that cascading guitar part that knifes its way through the middle of the track.  It’s just one of those tracks that makes you feel pretty good inside, so why not give others a chance to hear that too? Look for their She’s a Witch EP on Transgressive Records in March.

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Album Reviews

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Pinkshinyultrablast

Everything Else Matters ★★★½ ·
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The Dodos

Individ ★★★½ ·
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Viet Cong

s/t ★★★½ ·
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Sleater-Kinney

No Cities To Love ★★★½ ·

The Decemberists

What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World ★★½ · ·
belle

Belle and Sebastian

Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance ★★★★ ·
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Ariel Pink

Pom Pom ★★½ · ·
angelo

Angelo de Augustine

Spirals of Silence ★★★★ ·
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Parkay Quarts

Content Nausea ★★★½ ·
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Flesh Lights

Free Yourself ★★★★½