#BestOf2014 – Top 50 Albums

ARIEL PINK 1-ARIEL PINK
Pom Pom
(4AD)


RUN THE JEWELS 2-RUN THE JEWELS
RTJ2
(Mass Appeal)


ST. VINCENT 3-ST. VINCENT
St. Vincent
(4AD)


ANGEL OLSEN 4-ANGEL OLSEN
Burn Your Fires For No Witness
(Jagjaguwar)


OUGHT 5-OUGHT
More Than Any Other Day
(Constellation)


SUN KIL MOON 6-SUN KIL MOON
Benji
(Caldo Verde)


LYKKE LI 7-LYKKE LI
I Never Learn
(LL)


FREDDIE GIBBS & MADLIB8-FREDDIE GIBBS & MADLIB
Piñata
(Madlib Invazion)


FKA TWIGS9-FKA TWIGS
LP1
(XL)


SHARON VAN ETTEN10-SHARON VAN ETTEN
Are We There
(Jagjaguwar)


FLYING LOTUS11-FLYING LOTUS
You're Dead!
(Brainfeeder)


TOTAL CONTROL12-TOTAL CONTROL
Typical System
(Iron Lung)


BEYONCE13-BEYONCÉ
Beyoncé
(Columbia)


THE WAR ON DRUGS14-THE WAR ON DRUGS
Lost In The Dream
(Secretly Canadian)


APHEX TWIN15-APHEX TWIN
Syro
(Warp)



SHELLAC 16-SHELLAC
Dude Incredible
(Touch & Go)


CARIBOU 17-CARIBOU
Our Love
(Merge)


PARQUET COURTS 18-PARQUET COURTS
Sunbathing Animals
(Rough Trade)


THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS 19-THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS
Brill Bruisers
(Matador)


DAMIEN JURADO 20-DAMIEN JURADO
Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son
(Secretly Canadian)


SWANS 21-SWANS
To Be Kind
(Young God)


MAC DEMARCO 22-MAC DEMARCO
Salad Days
(Captured Tracks)


CLOUD NOTHINGS 23-CLOUD NOTHINGS
Here And Nowhere Else
(Wichita)


ARCA 24-ARCA
Xen
(Mute)


LA ROUX 25-LA ROUX
Trouble In Paradise
(Polydor)


SHABAZZ PALACES 26-SHABAZZ PALACES
Lese Majesty
(Sub Pop)


TUNE-YARDS 27-TUNE-YARDS
Nikki Nack
(4AD)




REAL ESTATE 28-REAL ESTATE
Atlas
(Domino)


LANA DEL REY 29-LANA DEL REY
Ultraviolence
(Polydor)


PERFECT PUSSY 30-PERFECT PUSSY
Say Yes To Love
(Captured Tracks)


ALVVAYS 31-ALVVAYS
Alvvays
(Polyvinyl)


NENEH CHERRY 32-NENEH CHERRY
Blank Project
(Smalltown Supersound)


TY SEGALL 33-TY SEGALL
Manipulator
(Drag City)


JACK WHITE 34-JACK WHITE
Lazaretto
(XL)


ICEAGE 35-ICEAGE
Plowing Into The Field Of Love
(Matador)


SHARON JONES 36-SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS
Give The People What They Want
(Daptone)


WILD BEASTS 37-LEONARD COHEN
Popular Problems
(Sony)


LEONARD COHEN 38-WILD BEASTS
Present Tense
(Domino)


JAVIERA MENA 39-JAVIERA MENA
Otra Era
(Unión Del Sur)



GOAT 40-GOAT
Commune
(Sub Pop)


PERFUME GENIUS 41-PERFUME GENIUS
Too Bright
(Matador)


TODD TERJE 42-TODD TERJE
It's Album Time
(Olsen)


FUTURE ISLANDS 43-FUTURE ISLANDS
Singles
(4AD)


popcaan 44-POPCAAN
Where We Come From
(Mixpak)


HUNDRED WATERS 45-HUNDRED WATERS
The Moon Rang Like A Bell
(!K7)


GRUFF RHYS 46-GRUFF RHYS
American Interior
(Turnstyle)


BEN FROST 47-BEN FROST
A U R O R A
(Bedroom Community)


THE BUG 48-THE BUG
Angels And Devils
(Ninja Tune)


LIARS 49-LIARS
Mess
(Mute)


CLARK 50-CLARK
Clark
(Warp)


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#BestOf2014 – Top 100 Tracks (25-1)

st.vincent

We’ve finally reached our favourite tracks of the year, and judging on their titles alone you could be excused for thinking 2014 has not been the happiest of times. Wars; heartbreaks; fires; bad habits; killings; hurts; bruises and, the exception to the rule, a Belgian party lie ahead. Check them out (at your own peril) Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2014 – Top 100 Tracks (50-26)

javiera mena

We’ve reach the middle of our countdown. Further ahead we’ll find two songs of the most controversial act of the year; a track dedicated to the shocking events in Ferguson; J-pop infused dance numbers and some of the most talked-about returns of the year. All of that and more at the click of a finger Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf 2014 – Top 100 Tracks (75-51)

OUGHT

The second quarter of our countdown offers tracks by a saint; many sinners; old and new punksters; returning legends; Venezuelan hipsters; Scottish rappers and the best cover version of the year.

Check it out: Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf 2014 – Top 100 Tracks (101-76)

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101-TAYLOR SWIFT
Shake It Off
(Island)

As another year comes to an end, the time for annual review begins. And our blog typically does so with our Top 100 favourite songs. Also a tradition, we kickstart the countdown with the much-feared 101 position, symbolically reserved to a “guilty pleasure” left at the gates of our main chart. This year the slot goes to Taylor Swift, the only artist capable of both selling over a million copies when Adele is on holiday and defying Today’s all-conquering streaming model. 2014, commercially at least, belonged to her.

Escaping the branded corners of the Top 40, women seem to have taken over every genre. A large proportion of our selected tracks and albums are female-led. Amongst them, though, the prevailing tone was completely different to Swift’s cheerful, mass-marketed tunes. From Lykke Li dedicating a whole album to her recent breakup, to Sharon Van Etten’s devastating “Your Love Is Killing Me’, heartbreak seems to be the engine behind some of 2014 most notable works.

In the first quarter of our chart star-studded soundtracks; caribbean riddims; Swedish dynamite; Brazilian girl bands; dependable supergroups and masters of retro soul go hand in hand. Check it out here: Read the rest of this entry »

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Arca ‘Xen’ Hits #1 In Our Last Loop Of The Year

arca xen

In demand Venezuelan electronic Maverick Arca, soon to work with Björk in her new album, hits the top of our loop, the last of 2014, with the title track of his album ‘Xen’.

Sun Kil Moon, having a break from his feud against The War On Drugs, delivers a brand new track, is the highest entry. Dej Loaf; James Blake; Beyoncé and a collaboration between Sleigh Bells and Tink are among the rest of the debuts.

Check the new loop here: Read the rest of this entry »

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Ariel Pink Three Times Lucky In Our Loop

ariel pink picture

For the third time this year and right after his terrific London show at the Scala, Ariel Pink reaches the top of our loop, confirming his newly released album ‘Pom Pom’ as one of the year’s finest. Picture Me Gone, helped by a rather disturbing video, follows up ‘Put Your Number In My Phone’ and ‘Black Ballerina’ in our track of the week honours.

Another standout track from Arca‘s album is the highest entry. Parkay Quarts; Tobias Jesso, Jr.; September Girls and the return of Faith No More also debut on this edition.

Check the new loop here: Read the rest of this entry »

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Get On Up: A Tribute To James Brown’s Legacy

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It was just a matter of time for the life one of the greatest legends of American popular music to be taken to the big screen. The Godfather of Soul’s rags to riches life story was not easy to convey, as it contains more drama than an entire TV series and relates to a wide range of politically, historically and socially influential events happening all over the 20th century, but the moment has arrived and James Brown has finally got a biopic that above all celebrates his musical legacy.

Get On Up’s winning card is its lead actor, choosing a not-so popular Chadwick Boseman who just had his big jump from TV series to film with another biography, 42, playing baseball star Jackie Robinson, was a risk that’s paid off well. Boseman is electrifying as Brown, nailing his sexually-charged stage moves; larger than life persona as well as his physical transformations through the years. His accomplished rendition recalls James Foxx’s equally excellent, Oscar winning turn as Ray Charles. The young star’s breakthrough role hasn’t gone unnoticed, granting him a place in the already packed Marvel’s Universe for a forthcoming adaptation of the Black Panther comic. Read the rest of this entry »

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What We Do In The Shadows: Kiwi Vampire Fun

What We Do in the Shadows, Sundance Film Festival 2014

After years of an extraordinary rebirth in popular culture that has seen the vampire figure invading our screens, big and small; from the young adult-oriented Twilight saga to animated family films such as Hotel Transylvania; TV series like True Blood or such critically acclaimed arthouse works as ‘Let the right one in’ or Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Only lovers left alive’, the ubiquity of this classic horror creatures is now close to saturation point.

Last thing we could have expected then is for a deadpan comic approach to help relieving our fatigue, but that’s what Kiwi actors/directors Taika Waititi and Jermaine Clement, one half of the celebrated comedy band Flight Of the Conchords, have achieved with this mockumentary about the everyday life of a vampire household in Wellington, their immortal habits crashing with the pitfalls of modern living as the source of its jokes. Read the rest of this entry »

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LoneLady Grooves Our Loop Out

lonelady

Almost five year since her promising debut album, Mancunian multidisciplinary artist LoneLady returns with a vengeance, in the shape of her brand new, highly danceable and totally cool track ‘Groove It Out’, which reaches the top position on the latest edition of our loop.

Ekkah is the strongest debut on a week that also sees new offerings by Ariel Pink; Azelia Banks; Nas; Daddy, the Smiths inspired band formed by the ubiquitous James Franco, which counts with Jim O’Rourke blessings and a star studded collaboration between Stromae; HAIM; Q-Tip; Pusha T and Lorde taken from the kiwi star curated soundtrack of ‘The Hunger Games: Mockinjay”.

Check the new loop here: Read the rest of this entry »

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Leviathan: Russian Epic Of Biblical Proportions

LEVIATHAN_1

Released last week, at the same time Christopher Nolan almost set up the standard for modern blockbusters with Interstellar, Russian helmer Andrey Zvyagintsev is arguably doing the same for the arthouse film with Leviathan, an ambitious tale about the impossible battle of honest man versus corrupt state, boasting a lacerating view of contemporary Russia; imbued with symbolism; laced with dark humour and drowned in vodka. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Drop: Farewell To Gandolfini With Fine Crime Drama

DROP_03.

In the last decade Denis Lehane has consolidated himself as the go-to writer when American directors look for superior crime stories. Clint Eastwood took his Mystic River to the big screen, so did Scorsese with Shutter Island and Ben Affleck with Gone, Baby, Gone. This time Lehane adapts his own short story for Michaël R. Roskam’s first English language film, the follow-up to his Oscar nominated debut ‘Bullhead’. The Belgian director successfully changes the illegal hormone trade in his country’s underworld for mean Brooklyn streets populated by small time crooks under the rule of Eastern European mafia. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Loop Dances With Black Ballerina

ariel pink black

Ariel Pink keeps on building up anticipation for his new album “Pom Pom”. The first two tracks released from the record have both now topped our loop. This week’s favourite track is the very 80′s sounding ‘Black Ballerina’.

Highest debut on this edition is LoneLady with other strong entries by Natalie Prass; Alex Calder; Father John Misty; The Dodos and a lost Burial track just recovered for his label’s compilation series.

Check the new loop here: Read the rest of this entry »

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Interstellar: An Imaginary Soundtrack

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So Interstellar finally arrived, and it was EVERY BIT the grandiose, epic, exhilarating to the point of exhaustion space travel blockbuster we were promised. It’s also quickly establishing itself as the most divisive movie of the season. Flawed perhaps, many elements of its storyline would struggle to pass logical scrutiny, but hey! That’s the fiction part in science-fiction and, to Christopher Nolan’s credit, somehow as a whole it manages to be far more than the sum of its parts.

Reviewing it in a manner that doesn’t spoil its many twists would be a nearly impossible task, so we thought an original way to expose our thoughts would be to compile an imaginary soundtrack packed with hits, like the ones big summer movies from the 80s used to complement their scores with, which in this case would have been of help to balance Hans Zimmer’s rousing work; so loudly trying to keep you on the edge that during certain scenes it even renders the dialogue inaudible. Read the rest of this entry »

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