With 2014 coming to a close I figured I would throw my hat into the flurry of “best of 2014” posts circling the internet. Below you will find my top ten albums of 2014. Keep in mind these are not necessarily what I think are the “best” albums of the year, rather they are my favorite albums of the year. The albums I just can’t stop listening to.
Looking back on it, 2014 was a great music year for me. Probably the best year of my life from a musical perspective. I found myself with a lot of extra time at my previous job which led me to a lot of musical exploration. I found a lot of unknown bands that I felt needed to be heard (and a lot that I felt did not), really refined my taste in music, and started this blog so that I could share with my friends. It’s been a great year, thanks for coming along on the ride with me.
Now the part you’ve been anxiously waiting for! My favorite albums of 2014.
- Magic Man – Before the Waves
- Since the day this album came out I knew this was going to be my favorite album of the year (really, I did) and that hasn’t changed. Magic Man debuted with a bang this year and made it known that they came to play. This band deserves the world and more albums like this one will take them to the greatest of heights and the biggest of stages. If you aren’t already listening to Magic Man then you haven’t been paying attention to me as I have been raving about them to anyone that will listen. I’m so excited to see where they go from here.
- Parade of Lights – Golden
- Okay so this isn’t technically an album, it’s a 4 song EP, but there is no way I was going to leave Parade of Lights off this list and once I decided they would be on the list putting them at number 2 was an easy decision. If this had been an album I would have struggled a lot more between them and Magic Man. Let’s call this 1a and 1b. While Magic Man has my favorite album of the year, Parade of Lights is hands down my favorite band of the year. The title song from this EP, Golden, is far and away my favorite song of the year and the other 3 songs are just as infectious. Not to mention their less known songs that you can find on Soundcloud. I had the great pleasure of seeing, and meeting, Parade of Lights in Columbus, Ohio this summer when they opened for X Ambassadors and it was one of the best live shows I’ve seen. They have so much energy and are so passionate about the music they make it’s hard not to fall in love with this band. Parade of Lights is currently at a studio in Nashville working on their debut album and saying I can’t wait would be a huge understatement. Parade of Light’s debut album is my most anticipated album of 2015.
- Sir Sly – You Haunt Me
- Another debut album that caught my eye this year (see a pattern yet?) is You Haunt me by Sir Sly. I admittedly did not hear this album until about a month ago, which is why you didn’t see an individual post on here for it, but it’s been on repeat ever since. This album hits on all cylinders. Impressive debut that should set them up for big things in the future.
- The Black Keys – Turn Blue
- The first non-debut on this list comes from a familiar face. Akron, Ohio’s own Black Keys released their long awaited eighth album this year and boy was it a good one. I have to admit that I was lukewarm on this album the first time I heard it and was ready to write it off as “just another Keys album” but the more I listened the deeper I fell. Maybe that was what they were going for with all of the hypnotism imagery they used in their promotions and the album cover itself. I just fell deeper and deeper into their spell the more I listened. While Turn Blue won’t challenge Rubber Factory and Thickfreakness for my favorite Keys album, it’s definitely deserving of the number 4 spot this year.
- The Colourist – The Colourist
- Yet another debut album, The Colourist came out and absolutely killed it with their self-titled album. I found this band on Spotify when they had 1 song available, Little Games, fell in love, and patiently waited for their debut album. When the album finally came out I could not have been more thrilled. This album delivers from top to bottom and Little Games is one of my favorite songs of the year.
- Strange Talk – Cast Away
- So Cast Away was technically released in 2013, but only in Australia. It was released to the rest of the world in 2014 so I’m taking that window and including it here. Cast Away is Strange Talk’s debut album and produced quite a few good singles including Climbing Walls, Young Hearts, Is it Real?, and the title song Cast Away.
- Walk the Moon – Talking is Hard
- Walk the Moon’s sophomore album is awesome. I don’t know how else to put it. All I want to do is dance while listening to this album. They will be making Ohio proud for years to come.
- Dan Croll – Sweet Disarray
- Quite frankly I’m surprised this album is so low on my list but I just didn’t have anywhere else to put it. I can’t even begin to describe how much I’ve come to love Dan Croll. This album just plain makes me feel good and From Nowhere has become one of my favorite songs. Dan’s got a great voice and is extremely talented.
- Little Dragon – Nabuma Rubberband
- Little Dragon’s sophomore album was a solid follow up to their spectacular debut Ritual Union. Little Dragon has been on a tear this year, stealing the show at every festival they play at and rocking the stage across the whole world. If they aren’t already, Little Dragon will be one of the biggest names in music in 2015.
- Vance Joy – Dream Your Life Away
- Everyone’s heard Riptide, the song that has been played again and again on the radio. Lucky for me I don’t listen to the radio so songs like this one don’t wear out on me. That said, Riptide is far from the best song on this album. My personal favorite is Mess is Mine and I’m a big fan of Georgia too. This is an album I love to have on in the background while I cook or am reading a book or just trying to sit back and relax.
So there you have it. My 10 favorite albums of 2014. Let me know what you think! Also stay tuned for some more “best of 2014” posts to come from me as well as a few guest contributors!