pop culture

Favorite Albums of 2014

There’s no shortage of good music being released, but my interest in the art form has been…somewhat apathetic this year? I still love music and love discovering new artists, but I don’t spend as much time just listening to music as I have in previous years.  That being said, I still found some stuff that I loved this year.  In no particular order, here’s what I really dug this year, musically:

Angel Olsen, Burn Your Fire for No Witness

It’s probably just the lo-fi aspect to her music, but she reminds me a bit of Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast, and that isn’t a bad thing (it’s also probably not super accurate because I’m hardly qualified to be making musical comparisons).  This is not a blow-your-hair-back record on first listen so much as an album that grows on you over time, but it’s still well worth a listen (or seven).

Jenny Lewis, The Voyager

Look, I love Jenny Lewis with or without Rilo Kiley.  In this album, Lewis takes more musical risks than she has in the past and it pays off quite well.  Most of her songs focus on the fate of women, which is fine by me (being a woman and an “ultra feminist” or whatever).  It’s also the perfect blend of indie rock and pop, making it an easy listen for even the uninitiated.

Lykke Li, I Never Learn

This is the third album from Lykke Li, who describes it as a close to a sort of trilogy of music about being in your twenties.  Her voice is haunting, her lyrics are amazing, and I will never not love her.  This album is also her shortest to date (something like 33 minutes) and it’s definitely playing with new sounds for her.  But it’s about love and loss and remains incredibly raw and real.  Good music to wallow in and yet simultaneously draw strength from.

FKA twigs, LP1

This one is hitting all the best-of-the-year lists, and rightfully so.  The British musician and performer Tahliah Barnett got her start in the business as a backup dancer in music videos, but she’s definitely come into her own on this, her first full-length album.  She’s got an interesting voice and a gorgeous look, and her music is definitely something to behold.  Playing around with drums and electronics and more (see? told you I’m unqualified), the sound shifts from otherworldly to fully-grounded in this one.  Her voice is spectacular; her videos completely mesmerizing.

What was the best music you heard in 2014?



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