Tina’s Top 10 Albums of 2014
Whoever said that writing about music shouldn’t be personal either had a big bowl of phooey for breakfast or they’re just in the wrong profession. If you’ve never had a personal connection to a particular song or album, what are you doing with your life?
This past year has been pretty rough for me. If I didn’t have these albums, I’d probably be in a nut house somewhere. When curating a best-of list, it forces you to reminisce on the past twelve months in detail. As you go through each album, you remember what you were going through during that particular month and so forth. Even though I wasn’t at my best this year, I can honestly say that 2014 was a killer year for music and the albums chosen were carefully selected from a rather long list of contenders.
This list isn’t comprised solely of albums that sold well or have garnered some critical acclaim (though some have) but rather ones that I connected to the most. Basically, this list was a no-brainer.
So, without further ado, here are my top 10 albums of 2014.
10. The New Division – Together We Shine
Released March 18, 2014
The New Division always deliver and their sophomore effort is a delight to get lost in, especially after learning the backstory of how important files were corrupted during the recording process. It just goes to show that everything happens for a reason and that hard work + determination = magical things.
*Key Tracks: Shine, Honest, Den Bosch
9. Neon Trees – Pop Psychology
Released April 22, 2014
Have I mentioned that singer Tyler Glenn is one of my favorite people ever? This vibrant third album from the Provo, UT band glimmers in 80’s synths but showcases forms of hurting in the happiest way possible.
*Key Tracks: Sleeping With a Friend, Unavoidable, First Things First
8. Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence
Released June 17, 2014
LDR is probably one of the most misunderstood artists of our generation. In her sophomore effort, she quieted the naysayers and delivered a masterpiece that I still can’t get over. This album let me do all the brooding I wanted this summer with the lights off and windows & heart wide open.
*Key Tracks: West Coast, Sad Girl, Money Power Glory
7. Taylor Swift – 1989
Released October 27, 2014
When Taylor Swift sets her mind to something, she really brings it! It was only a matter of time before she released a full-length pop album. With a little help from her friends and a new independent attitude, it’s only gonna get better from here.
*Key Tracks: Blank Space, Style, This Love
6. Haerts – Haerts
Released October 27, 2014
I am still excited that this album is finally out. I get the chills every time singer Nini Fabi’s voice blares out of my speakers and I find something new to appreciate with every listen.
*Key Tracks: Heart, Call My Name, Lights Out
5. Charli XCX – Sucker
Released December 15, 2014
I hopped on the Charli train this year and dived into her debut, True Romance, only to come out lovesick and drenched in synths. Her sophomore effort is a progressive leap from her debut, but it fits her so well. Whoever said punk and pop shouldn’t mix was probably on something.
*Key Tracks: Sucker, Doing It, Famous
4. LIGHTS – Little Machines
Released September 23, 2014
I feel like LIGHTS and I have grown up together. I feel my most confident after listening to her music. She has a way with words that just makes everything click and somehow makes you feel like you’re not going through it alone. I got to see her on tour this past October and I’ll never forget how that show made me feel. Her third release is a let’s-talk-about-growing-up-while-having-a-dance-party kind of thing.
*Key Tracks: Portal, Speeding, Muscle Memory
3. PVRIS – White Noise
Released November 4, 2014
No other album expresses the bad thoughts swirling around in my head than this one. Fortunately, it helped me let go of a lot of someone else’s heavy weight. Lynn Gunn’s vocals are so powerful that it’s hard not to get swept up in the chaos and uneasiness. If you need an album to let go of some pent up frustrations, look no further.
*Key Tracks: Smoke, Holy, Ghosts
2. Banks – Goddess
Released September 9, 2014
Some might say that Jillian Banks is an enigma. I, on the other hand, feel like she’s my long lost twin. In her stunning debut, Banks sings of heartbreak, phony liars, feeling alienated, and every uncomfortable emotion that comes with growing up with a sultry aesthetic, of course. She’s not like the others, and for that, I bow down to this goddess.
*Key Tracks: Alibi, Waiting Game, Brain
1. Kye Kye – Fantasize
Released January 21, 2014
I didn’t know of Kye Kye until this past May, but once I dived into their sophomore album, I knew I had found the album I had been waiting for – and what a gem it is. Every thought, every emotion and every essence of the past four years of my life are expressed beautifully throughout this album. I’ve sat and cried with it, prayed with it and spent numerous times lost in it’s dreamy synths and gorgeous vocals of singer Olga Yagolnikov. It’s helped me see things with more clarity. It was sent to me in the midst of the confusion when I started to lose faith. This is the album I will hand to someone very special while telling them to listen intently. The entire story lies within.
*Key Tracks: I Already See It, Dreams (2AM), Softly
1. Magic Man – Before The Waves
Released July 8, 2014
*Key Tracks: Apollo, Paris, Out Of Mind
2. DWNTWN – DWNTWN
Released April 29, 2014
*Key Tracks: Til Tomorrow, Skins, Blankets
3. In The Valley Below – The Belt
Released August 26, 2014
*Key Tracks: Peaches, Dove Season, Hymnal
What are your top albums of 2014? Let me know in the comments below!