We’ve made it! After almost one month of counting down, we’ve finally entered the Top 10 Albums of 2014. It’s been a long year for music, and we hope that our Top 50 did 2014 justice. Read on to find out who made it into our Top 10, which also features personal submissions from some of the featured artists!
10. ROYAL BLOOD – ROYAL BLOOD What we said: If 2 instruments alone can produce such a large sound, I’m pretty sure we’ll all want to see what Mike and Ben can do with more instruments, time and ideas at their disposal. Whatever they come up with will be a monster, and not a little one at that. Best Song: Out of the Black 8/10
9. ALVVAYS – ALVVAYS
What we said: Alvvays’ self-titled debut may lean heavily towards the balladry side of indie pop, but that’s by no means a sign of this being a dull album. On the contrary, Alvvays is an extremely important album in reviving the slowly-dying surf rock scene. Archie, Marry Me is the album’s standout track by a million miles, with its anthemic chorus completely ready for festivals around the world. With enough promotion and good publicity, we will hopefully be seeing (and hearing) a lot more from these 5 Canadians in the near future.
Best Song: Archie, Marry Me
Alec O’Hanley (guitar) on Archie, Marry Me: “Molly sent the verse and chorus of that one to me when I was in Australia. She had been listening to Everything Flowers on repeat. It’s all there in the liners; an irrelevant dismissal of an antiquated institution” 9/10
8. BRETON – WAR ROOM STORIES
What we said: Despite this record being extremely different to their debut album, Breton have still managed to retain the elements that made them one of the most exciting bands around. This time it’s not so much rawness that we hear, but a polished sound which sounds like a band moving forward instead of looking backwards.
Best song: Fifteen Minutes
Roman Rappak (vocals, guitar) on the story behind War Room Stories: “The story behind War Room Stories is that it was an album that chronicled our escape from London. We had lost our squat to planning officials and crackheads and we needed to record an album in a completely new way. We decided that we needed to get back to how we started, a room with a PA and drumkit and synths. We found a place called the Funkhaus (which translates as “the broadcasting house”) and we rented an apartment opposite. Every day we would play the entire album live, and after a month we were ready to record” 9/10
7. OF MICE & MEN – RESTORING FORCE
What we said: Restoring Force could well be the record that rockets Of Mice & Men into the big leagues of rock and hardcore!It’s a record which not only shows Of Mice & Men progress as a band and try out new styles, but also sees them improve on the hardcore elements from their first two albums.
Best song: Break Free 9/10
6. MARMOZETS – THE WEIRD AND WONDERFUL MARMOZETS
What we said: As the album comes to a magnificent close, one thing is for certain – Marmozets are the best in the world right now. There is no band around right now who can make songs of such intensity and mayhem, whilst still maintaining a smooth, polished radio-friendly sound. As they slowly build up a bigger name for themselves, don’t be surprised if this band will be selling out arenas in the near future. They’re weird, they’re wonderful and they’re absolutely fantastic.
Best song: Vibetech
Jack Bottomley (guitar) on the recording process: “We did a couple of weeks of pre-production at a small rehearsal space/studio in Bradford, and tried to get all the songs nailed. We wrote a couple more songs and scrapped a couple. It was a strange process, as we ended up writing [title track] Weird and Wonderful after we’d finished recording all of the instruments, which was before the vocals as Becca (MacIntyre, vocals) had come down with flu. It ended up becoming the title track! As you can tell, we just go with it” 9/10
5. KASABIAN – 48:13
Kasabian have outdone themselves with fifth album 48:13. Named after the album’s running time, Kasabian have decided to strip it all back visually and shift all the focus on the music itself. Album opener Bumblebeee forces itself upon you with such ferocity and swagger that the bar has been raised higher than ever before. The epic Stevie and groove-centred Treat and Eez-Eh are highlights, but upbeat spaghetti western Doomsday just takes the crown.
Best Song: Doomsday 9/10
4. FOO FIGHTERS – SONIC HIGHWAYS
What we said: And with that, Foo Fighters have offered up what may well be the best album of their career. A lot of people criticize the band for various reasons, but once Sonic Highways hits the #1 spot all over the world, critics will slowly drown in all the rivers that Dave Grohl has referenced through this masterpiece of an album.
Best song: What Did I Do?/God As My Witness 9/10
3. JUNGLE – JUNGLE
What we said: No longer is Jungle the “mysterious” group behind dance-focussed music videos and anonymity, with this record surely the catalyst for a further surge in popularity the world over. From the super funk of The Heat, Busy Earnin’ and Time to the melancholy of Drops, Lucky I Got What I Want and Lemonade Lake, Jungle have made an album which is perfect for all occasions. The likes of Accelerate and Crumbler add a real relaxed feel to the record, with Julia being one of the standout tracks on the album. The future is very, very exciting for Jungle.
Best song: Busy Earnin’ 9/10
2. ALT J – THIS IS ALL YOURS
What we said: On the whole, This Is All Yours is magnificent. Just like on their debut, Alt J have found a perfect balance between eeriness, beauty and sheer brilliance. The likes of Bloodflood Pt. 2 and Nara showcase Alt J’s harmonious, hypnotic side, whereas the likes of Left Hand Free and Warm Foothills have shown that Alt J still have an upbeat, playful side. Some songs may see a significant lack of percussion, but the overall beauty of This Is All Yours on the whole completely makes up for it. This Is All Yours is definitely going to be the album that sends Alt J even higher into the stratosphere than ever before.
Best song: Bloodflood Pt. II 9/10
1. TEMPLES – SUN STRUCTURES
What we said: At just over 50 minutes long, Sun Structures may well be the record that propels Temples to the top of the psychedelic stratosphere. It’s filled with fuzzy guitars, woozy vocals and hypnotic synths – a perfect formula for a band like Temples, who thrive on creativity built from the simplest of instrumental formulas’. It can only get better from here…
Best song: Move With the Season
Samuel Toms (Drums) on the aim behind Sun Structures & why he thinks everything has gone so quickly for Temples: “The aim was to convince you that it was one of the finest psychedelic rock albums of the last 10 years.
A lot of bands also explode out of nowhere. I don’t think there is ever a clear reason for it either. I guess we’ve tried to incorporate cool sounds we like into simple pop songs with melodies which is often a winning combo but it’s never a conscious thing. There is obviously an element of luck and meeting the right people involved too but you still have to capture people’s imaginations. Imagine the amount of incredible bands that have gone unheard over the years though. It’s a scary thought” 10/10
And there we have it – Sun Structures by Temples is our #1 album of 2014.