January 29, 2015

Albums of 2014

Despite the notion that I have fallen behind the times when it comes to music, which I have maintained for a while, I decided to look back and see if I have enjoyed anything new recently. Turns out that I was mostly right; I normally listen to music 10+ years old. BUT, I also stopped yelling at kids to get off my lawn long enough to enjoy quite a few new releases this past year. The following are albums I had on heavy rotation in 2014.

Say Anything - Hebrews

Say AnythingHebrews

Hands down my favorite album of the year; a grown-up post-punk masterpiece featuring vocals and instruments from nearly every name in the genre—supposedly without any guitar work. I was a huge fan of …Is a Real Boy but haven’t liked anything they’ve released since, so this caught me completely off-guard. Favorite track: “Kall me Kubrick”

Spotify / Rdio

Tycho - Awake


Nearly perfect atmospheric melodies, like his previous records but a little more polished. Great background music. Favorite track: “Awake”

Spotify / Rdio

Collapse Under the Empire — Sacrifice & Isolation

ollapse Under the EmpireSacrifice & Isolation

Sweeping instrumentals, similar to a movie score. One of my go-tos in the headphones while working. Favorite track: “Light in the Distance”

Spotify / Rdio

Hail the Sun — Wake

Hail the SunWake

High-pitched post-hardcore in the same vein as Circa Survive. Favorite track: “Disappearing Syndrome”

Spotify / Rdio

The Echelon Effect — Pacific

The Echelon EffectPacific

Left coast follow-up to their Atlantic album (also check that out)—more atmospheric instrumentals with strong beats, almost orchestral at times. Favorite track: “Monterey”

Spotify / Rdio

Lana Del Rey — Ultraviolence

Lana Del ReyUltraviolence

I actually expected this album to get more recognition. After the disappointing EP/half-album Paradise, Ultraviolence was surprisingly good—fewer beats and more of that voice. Favorite track: “Brooklyn Baby”

Spotify / Rdio

The Algorithm — Octopus4

The AlgorithmOctopus4

Aggressive, experimental electronic that mixes in some progressive metal and breakdowns. It’s truly all over the place and is devoid of the pulsing dance music feel that normally turns me off to electronic music. Favorite track: “will_smith”

Spotify / Rdio

La Dispute — Rooms of the House

La DisputeRooms of the House

The passionate lyrics, raw emotion and unique cadence that toes the line between singing and spoken word have made La Dispute one of my favorite bands in recent years. Rooms of the House is another solid post-hardcore release that takes you on a roller-coaster ride through fragments of narratives. Favorite track: “Stay Happy There”

Spotify / Rdio

Fairweather — Self-Ttiled


An old emo favorite making a comeback. Their songs are the the same catchy, straightforward rock anthems as they were 10 years ago. Favorite track: “Doubt the Doubtless”

Spotify / Rdio

Comeback Kid — Die Knowing

Comeback KidDie Knowing

Old-school hardcore/punk that’s full of angst. Can’t argue with that. Favorite track: “Didn’t Even Mind”

Spotify / Rdio

The Hotelier — Home, Like Noplace Is There

The HotelierHome, Like Noplace Is There

Thoughtful, honest lyrics and straightforward tunes that are reminiscent of early emo. Great album start-to-finish. Favorite track: “An Introduction to the Album”

Spotify / Rdio

Beartooth — Disgusting


Refreshingly raw hardcore-ish album that is almost too catchy at times but maintains enough rough edges to keep me coming back—unlike a lot of recent hardcore/metalcore which has become super technical, polished and boring. Favorite track: “I Have a Problem”

Spotify / Rdio

There you have it. An eclectic sampling for sure, but in my opinion it’s the right mix of uptempo and smooth, of loud and soft. If I missed anything please let me know—always looking for new stuff!