Yes, this list is way late. But February is really short, so… whatever let’s just get to it. Below is a list of my favorite 14 albums from 2014. For some reason this year felt a little thin compared to years past. Maybe I’m just becoming more selective or decisive, but it didn’t feel like a heartbreaker to narrow down this list. In fact, 15 felt like too many. There are still some gems though, so without further ado, here are my top 14, in as little words as possible.
14. Streets of Laredo – Volume I & II
Streets of Laredo wins the prize for “accidentally stumbled into their live show and left with their EP.”
13. Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker
Great album art, great bluesy rock. Also, he’s only 25 — listen to that voice.
12. St. Vincent – St. Vincent
What can we say about St. Vincent that can’t be said by her own hair?
11. Sharon Van Etten – Are We There
The kind of songs that probably make most people sad but make me feel all warm inside. First pace album art.
10. The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers
Impressive staying power from a super great band. “Bleeding Heart Show” will never die for me.
9. Beck – Morning Phase
This album would make it on the list for the song “Blue Moon” alone. I’ve listened to that song an embarrassing amount of times.
8. Future Islands – Singles
High placement on the list might’ve been swayed by their incredible dances moves on Letterman.
7. Courtney Barnett – The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
Technically two EPs from past years put together… but who’s counting. Reminds me of a grunge Jenny Lewis, which as you’ll see in a moment, is a very good thing for me.
6. The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream
Feels like it wasn’t made in this era.
5. Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2
Probably the best rap duo album since Outkast.
4. Jenny Lewis – The Voyager
JENNY LEWIS FOREVER. I grew up obsessed with the movie The Wizard, so you best believe I love her music, too.
3. Raury – Indigo Child (mixtape)
Just a teenager, but now collaborating with Kanye and Joey Bada$$ and primed to blow up.
2. Asgeir – In the Silence
Like an Icelandic Bon Iver made from my music dream machine.
1. Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso
Far and away the best album of the year for me. I basically had it on repeat all year, saw them crush the Troubadour, and can’t wait for more. Check out our interview with the band here: https://theswillmerchants.com/2013/09/20/music-of-hanging-out-a-sylvan-esso-interview/