Albums of 2014

As someone in their mid (to late) 30s, I still think of music in albums – and I sometimes even call them records. I realise my time has come and gone but there are still loads of musicians releasing amazing albums every year so I'll keep listening to them.

I'm very happy that despite all the doom and gloom around the future of the music industry, every year an incredible amount of varied and amazing music is released. I don't worry for the future of music even if the industry will end up looking a lot different.

I find most of the new music I listen to via either the weekly Norman Records mailout or from listening to Marc Riley's evening show on 6music while cooking dinner.

So here are my favourite albums of 2014. Where possible I've added a link to the band or label's site where you can buy directly. Alternatively, you can probably get them all from Norman Records.

1. Teleman - Breakfast

Who'd have thought a pop record would be my favourite album of the year? We saw these live a couple of years ago and enjoyed it but didn't think much of it. Heard Cristina on the radio a few times and was hooked. I never expected the album to live up to it but somehow its a delight all the way through. (buy it)

2. Wildbirds and Peacedrums - Rhythm

Drums. Voice. Occasional percussion. Stark, other-worldly and beautiful. Soulful and danceable. All these things at once. Glorious.

3. Tiny Ruins - Brightly Painted One

Another combination of single on the radio + live show. What is this, 1995? "Me in the Museum, You in the Winter Garden" had stopped me in my tracks while cooking a couple of times with its instant, heart-breaking beauty. The album is more of a grower.

4. Pye Corner Audio / Notwaving - Intercepts

I love PCA even if nobody else does. This is even better than last year's proper Sleep Games record. I just love the sound he makes. Puts a big smile on my face.

5. Hookworms - The Hum

I spent most of the year listening to Pearl Mystic, their album from 2013 and then only spotted they had a new one a couple of weeks ago. It's even better! Radio Tokyo is sooo good! Hypnotic rhythms and melodic shouting. Bloody ace. (buy it)

6. Liz Green - Haul Away!

I first saw Liz Green at the End of the Road festival. She walked onto the stage and began her set visibly shaking all over but utterly compelling. Her voice and the blues songs she sings fit each other perfectly. In keeping with her increasingly confident live persona this album is a more mature offering and works perfectly. (buy it)

Also-rans:

Temples - Sun Structures

I found this through the Norman Records weekly email. Then suddenly they were everywhere. It's fresh and familiar at the same time. Sounds stolen from every psych rock band of the 60s but done with style. (listen on Spotify | buy it)

Morgan Delt - Morgan Delt

I think I read about this at the same time as the Temples album and they fit together perfectly. Psych-y and swirly. Melodic but slightly odd. Really great. (listen on Spotify | buy it)

Tape - Casino

Lovely guitar and piano noodlings. The sort of record I listen to while doing something else. But in a good way. (listen on Spotify)

Stewart Walker - Ivory Tower Broadcast

This fits in the same part of my brain as the Tape album although it is more electronic. Dubby, moody and glitchy but also nicely mellow. (listen on Spotify | buy it)