2014 wasn’t a great year of music for me. There were quite a few albums that I liked but there was only four albums that really blew me away. Luckily, those four little albums blew me away completely.
Owen Pallett – In Conflict
This year, Owen Pallett dethroned Patrick Wolf as my favourite adorable pop violinist. In Conflict is a gorgeous album, full of the epic moments and theatrical flourishes that I’m always a sucker for. Pallett creates intricate loops of strings and beats to build around his voice, which he allows to soar above the music with more confidence and sincerity than ever before.
FKA Twigs – LP1
Everyone loved FKA Twigs this year, and with good reason. Her hypnotic music is like a stranger, more feminine James Blake. The lyrics are blatantly raunchy but underlined by such a delicate vulnerability that it never sounds crass. There is a real “girl power” vibe to the whole thing for me – a confident woman making music for herself an no one else. I’m very excited about seeing her when she tours here next year.
Zola Jesus – Taiga
I was nervous about this album. Zola Jesus had been so good for so long that I thought surely she was due for a slip-up. Surely she couldn’t keep surpassing every previous album. But when I first heard Taiga, my jaw literally dropped. This album is absolutely stunning. It’s the way epic pop music should be – beautiful, bombastic, powerful and empowering. This is the music that plays as kick-ass super hero girls walk away from an explosion.
Interpol – El Pintor
If you had told me a year ago that Interpol would release another album as good as their earlier work, I would have scoffed at you and then gone home to cry myself to sleep on my copies of Antics and Turn on the Bright Lights. But then El Pintor happened, and I was reduced to a squealing teenage fangirl once more. Interpol sound more sure of themselves than they have in years. They are still mopey of course, but there is a lightness to their darkness that had been missing from the last two albums. If you were to ignore Our Love to Admire and Self-Titled completely, El Pintor would sound like the perfect evolution of Antics. It sounds like the album they’ve been wanting to make for years and they’re finally in the right mindset to do it. I’m so happy to be in love with them again.
So that’s my top four albums of the year. I also made a Spotify playlist of my top 14 songs of 1024 if you want to check it out.