Hey, y’all, it’s that time of year again. I’m dusting off the old blog, and I’m going to share my favorite music releases of the year. Just for clarification I consider a release anything from a 7″, EP, LP, or a mixtape. Pretty much everything is eligible unless it’s just single solitary song. Last year, I tried the whole song list thing, but it wasn’t me. If you want a decent list of those, go visit Nic’s blog. She’s a song person.
Alright. For the sake of brevity, I made a Spotify playlist for y’all to subscribe to. It contains a single song from every album I mention here. The playlist is located right under this text. You can just listen to the playlist and forego the whole reading my explanation/feelings about each release. Note: There are two releases from Sport and Human Hands that are not on Spotify that made the end of year list. Embedded frames for their albums from Bandcamp can be found later in this post.
Another clarification, these are my favorites. Don’t get upset with me when your faves not on here. Okay?
Beyoncé – BEYONCÉ
This album came out two weeks before 2014, and it didn’t make my 2013 list because it was released so damn late. This is the first Beyoncé album I loved. There is not a skippable song on this thing, and it might be the best thing to happen to the Internet/world since the polio vaccine. I don’t know. Jury’s still out on that.
Joyce Manor – Never Hungover Again
I actually didn’t like Joyce Manor when I first heard them a year or two again. I was so surprised when friends of mine were reaching out to me to tell me how great this album was. I fell in love upon first listen. It’s a perfect mix of emotion, solid songwriting, and catchy hooks.
Weatherbox – Flies In All Directions
It’s rare to find bands that pay a lot of attention to the dynamics in their music, especially in the “punk” genre. Weatherbox draw you in and blow you away in the span of a single song. It’s really fantastic to see live. I suggest catching them if they roll through your town.
Childish Gambino – Kauai/STN MTN
Childish Gambino just went ahead and answered all of his critics with these two joint mixtapes. Kauai is a solid solid release that highlights Donald’s ability to write a great song with personality. STN MTN feels like a big middle finger to his critics who say he isn’t real enough or street enough. He did the same stuff a lot of rappers are getting tons of credit for in hip hop but better and with more passion. I’m officially a Gambino fan, guys. It finally happened.
Two Knights – Shut Up
I love watching this band live. Seriously. Go see them. You can see my head in the back in this video.
Isaiah Rashad – Cilvia Demo
I’m definitely excited to see what Mr. Rashad has ahead of him. He’s definitely got the skills to make something of himself.
Donovan Wolfington – Scary Stories You Tell in the Dark
Young and energetic are a couple of things I am no more. DW definitely use their youthful exuberance to bring a special kind of light to their music that’s missing from a lot of emo bands at the moment. I’m very excited to see what they do in the future.
The Hotelier – Home, Like Noplace Is There
I’m trying not to play favorites with my favorites, but this is definitely a top 5 if not top 3 release for me this year, and I just heard this album this month. I couldn’t believe I missed its release earlier this year. I’m about 10 months late, but I don’t care. This shit bangs.
Big K.R.I.T. – Cadillactica
Mount Olympus was the Star Wars trailer of music this year. I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I just wanted to hear it over and over again. I was so hype. This album is that feeling in a 17-song pod. Jesus. Thank
Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2
One of the top albums of the year for a lot of people. This thing is propulsive as hell. You can’t help but dance to RTJ2.
Logic – Under Pressure
I was a big fan of this guy’s cypher during the BET Hip Hop Awards this year. It was one of the few bright spots of the entire awards ceremony. I really wanted to check his music out, but I didn’t really know where to start with his discography. Luckily, this album came out shortly after the
BET Hip Hop Awards aired. It’s really a mix of a lot of my favorite things about hip hop at the moment. I strongly recommend listening to this album.
Dads – I’ll Be the Tornado
Another emo band. I can’t help myself.
empire! empire! (i was a lonely estate) – You Will Eventually Be Forgotten
Empire! Empire! are one of my favorite band. I’ve been anticipating their second LP for a while now. Although it doesn’t hit the heights of What It Takes to Move Forward, it’s a very good record.
Dikembe – Mediumship
Dikembe’s sound has changed pretty extensively over the past few years in my opinion. With every release, their sound evolves. Mediumship is the next chapter, and I’m really interested in how they got here from Chicago Bowls. Someone ask them for me.
Restorations – LP3
They remind me of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band without the horns and with more punch.
Dad Punchers and The Exquisites Split 7″
Dad Punchers wrote the emo song of the millennium for this split. Literally every emo kid that finds this song covers it.
Schoolboy Q – Oxymoron
Not going to lie. This album didn’t really meet the lofty expectations I had for it. That might be partly my fault. That doesn’t mean this album isn’t a really fun listen. There are some questionable song choices on this thing, but for the most part, this is a strong release.
SZA – Z
Another TDE release. I’m starting to sound like a gd fanboy, but I don’t care. This is a really interesting sound release in a genre that I’m not too familiar with, if we’re being honest.
You Blew It! – Keep Doing What You’re Doing
I’m still waiting for You Blew It! to release a bad album or even a mediocre album. Hell, even their cover albums are fantastic. All hail You Blew it!
Joie De Vivre/Prawn Split
Probably my favorite all around split of the year, Prawn and Joie De Vivre really put some of their best work together for this release.
SPORT – Bon Voyage
A French punk band, y’all. They’re sooooooo damn good.
Human Hands – s/t lp
I couldn’t buy or download this album for some reason. It wasn’t available to anyone in the US. I commented on a Facebook post about this album mentioning that, and someone from the band reached out to me and sent it to me for free. That’s so goddamn punk and amazing. I couldn’t believe it. Thanks to the people in Human Hands. Your album rules, and it got me through a lot of shit.