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13 Favorite Records of '14

Published Sat Dec 20, 2014
by Nathan Walker

Of course, this list does not include 3 absolute own-horn-tooting-favorites from this past year (so those of you with OCD tendencies, myself included, add one of these we released this year in order to make a clean "14 of '14") --- 

"Through the Prism, Gently"- Black Whales

"Songs for Clones" EP- The Dirty Moogs

"Grow Something in the Ground"- Aaron Mark Brown

AND, we'd love it if you'd check out these releases if you haven't and see where they'd fit on your list.  

Anyway, moving on- presented free from commercial interruption after this point:


Doug Tuttle LP cover 

Doug Tuttle- S/T   (Trouble in Mind Records)

Like I've come to expect Trouble in Mind Records had another stellar year, and Doug Tuttle and his psych-pop meanderings are a good portion why.




salad days LP

Mac Demarco- Salad Days   (Captured Tracks)

Just good. Perfect hazy, summer-Kinks jams.




nothing lp cover 

Nothing- Guilty of Everything  (Relapse)

At first I thought I liked it because I liked Hum.  Then I realized it's better.




timber timbre lp cover 

Timber Timbre- Hot Dreams  (Arts & Crafts)

Creep on, Creepin' On is still one of my favorites but this new record, although a slight departure from the doom-wop vibes of the former is gold in it's own right.  Turn the neon lights down low.



damien jurado lp cover 

Damien Jurado- Brothers and Sisters of the the Eternal Son  (Secretly Canadian)

It's been a long time and a journey of varied terrain as a fan of DJ, but the last couple of albums have felt special and different- like when an artist is "hitting their stride," as they say.  The acoustic-with all female backing choir- bonus LP that includes many of the full band songs on the album is equally great.



morgan delt lp 

Morgan Delt- S/T  (Trouble in Mind)

Summery psych-jangle, sign me up.




pure x lp 

Pure X- Angel  (Fat Possum)





temples lp 

Temples- Sun Structures  (Fat Possum)

If you know what I like (or are picking up a bit here) it will come as no surprise that I like this so much.  Fuzzy psych jams enhance not overshadow good songwriting.




ultimate painting lp

Ultimate Painting- S/T   (Trouble in Mind)

I'll stop crushing so hard on Trouble in Mind releases when they stop being so good.  No chance here with a record that kind of took me by surprise.  A perfect 2:30am or Saturday morning spin.




quilt lp

Quilt- Held in Splendor  (Mexican Summer)

Splendor is right, wraps around you like a thick, heavy hand-made blanket full of interlocking squares.




pontiak lp

Pontiak- Innocence  (Thrill Jockey)

This record rips.  Super nice, unassuming dudes who were a pleasure to work with at Treefort Music Fest, and then peeled my hair back with riffs.  Whenever I find myself with a bit of a sore neck it's because I was listening to this record the day before.




wye oakWye Oak- Shriek   (Merge)

While I full heartedly love everything this band has done previously, I'd heard enough about what this record was going to be like (i.e; no guitars...) for me to be willing to forgive an ill-advised artistic foray.  Perhaps I didn't expect the fantastic songwriting to come through so clearly that it still sounds like the band I love, only with a new/different energy.  An impressive release and I love the spirit by which they arrived at this point in their catalog.




war on drugs lp coverThe War on Drugs- Lost in the Dream  (Secretly Canadian)

Though I've been a War on Drugs fan since early on, I knew when I heard this album that the hints and brilliant moments of previous albums had materialized into one fully realized epic.  Feel like I could write much more about this record, but instead I'm just going to go put it on....