Some unintended themes this year. Bands I Never Listened To Before This Year and Now I Love. Bands From Texas. Songs About Rattlesnakes. And so on. I had a lot more time to listen to music this year, and divided my time pretty evenly between new albums of 2014 and podcasts. Last year, I felt like there was a drought in good music and this year I was overwhelmed and didn't get to everything that I wanted to. A good problem to have! As such, a tough list to narrow down. These are the ones that got the most play on my headphones.
5. We're All Young Together - Walter Martin
This is a weird album to put on my list, because it is a children's album. It comes from one of the members of the Walkmen. I was so happy to hear an album that is as appealing to adults as kids. It is brilliant and sweet. Even though she is too old now for kids albums, even Kennedy got into this one. She really liked the song "Rattlesnakes," so here is a live version:
4. Adore Reissue - Smashing Pumpkins
I am such a sucker for these reissues. But this one is amazing! So much extra material. So great. I love to hear these demos. It's like looking at someone's sketchbook. Also, this is the album I have autographed by Billy Corgan and framed above my desk, and I pee myself every time I look at it.
3. Too Bright - Perfume Genius
We saw Perfume Genius and unfortunately fell into one of those annoying Dallas crowds. You know the type. I'm not even going to explain. Despite that, Perfume Genius has a great show, and a fine album.
2. And the War Came - Shakey Graves
I'm fond of Shakey Graves' first album, Roll the Bones, but I SUPER love his new album. It feels a little more confident. He is on my want list of people I need to see in concert. Here is one of my favorite songs:
1. St Vincent - St Vincent
Miss Annie Clark. I didn't really listen to her until the last couple years. I knew of her, of course; we just never crossed paths. Then came her collab with Mr Byrne, and then this album. Oh, I burned this album into my brain. So, so good. We saw her in concert early in the year and I was hooked. Oh, if I could be Miss Annie Clark with her frizzed out hair and weird choreography and mad guitar skillz.
Swimmin' Time - Shovels & Rope: I had a hard time not putting this on my Top 5 because I love this band so much. But I wanted to share other things.
Half the City - St Paul and the Broken Bones: Just, yeah. Good stuff.
Don't Disconnect - Sarah Jaffe: Love this new sound. You go, lady.
Small Town Heroes - Hurray for the Riff Raff: Lots of praise this year, and well deserved. We saw them open for Shovels & Rope a couple years ago.
Fumes - Lily & Madeline: These girls are teenagers! Their voices are magic!
Sylvan Esso - Sylvan Esso: Jumped on this bandwagon too.