As we are halfway through 2014 already [!] I thought it was only right that I round up my 5 favourite albums of the year so far. All five albums are pretty different musically but all brilliant, excellent and stunning in equal measure. Hopefully, you’ll all have had the pleasure of already listening to these albums but if not then I highly recommend that you give them a listen.
Thumpers – Galore
Released: May 2014
‘Galore’ is the debut album from London based Thumpers. After releasing a successive set of brilliant and catchy as hell singles, the band finally released their debut LP last month. It’s an album that ranges from uptempo pop-tinged indie classics in the making to calmer, atmospheric tracks that are full of harmonies and oodles of percussion. For me this is the best release of the year so far fully showcasing the talent the band have as musicians and confirming all the hype I’ve given them as being very true with such a good release. A must listen to album.
“For me, this album showcases the bands talents perfectly from using simple yet effective techniques of vocal harmonies and layers of sounds… An excellent and promising debut from Thumpers.” – Quote from my review of the album.
Read my review of the album here and listen to ‘The Wilder Wise’, my favourite track from the album, below:
Check out more from Thumpers on Soundcloud
Tensnake – Glow
Released: May 2014
Another debut album here in the form of ‘Glow’ from Germany’s dance producer extraordinaire Tensnake. After bursting onto the dance/house music scene a few years ago with his absolute anthem of a track ‘Coma Cat’, it has been a long time coming for this debut to drop. Taking old school house sounds and classic Chicago beats and mixing them with disco, funk and wonderfully poppy accents has created a debut that is not only full of dancefloor fillers in the making but is also a worthy and credible house record of the present day.
“The art of making solid, interesting pop is one that Tensnake’s triumphantly mastered.” – Felicity Martin, Clash Magazine [source]
Read Clash magazine’s full review of the album and listen to the single ‘Love Sublime’ below:
Check out more from Tensnake on Soundcloud
We Are Scientists – TV En Francais
Released: March 2014
The fifth album from the New York based duo was two years in the making but after such a long wait the end product was more than worth waiting for. Full of beefy rock guitar moments, catchy chorus after catchy chorus and the band’s penchant for a good melody or five, it’s an album that fully delivers on every single track. Keith Murray’s vocals have improved even further creating a voice that truly is wonderful to listen to and that is set against the band’s growth in sound and clash of genres that occurs throughout. I have said this is one of, if not the album of 2014, and I still stand by that even now.
“At this point in the year, this is the best album of 2014 for me and every other band may as well just give up now… It’s a masterpiece and personally I think it is one of the strongest and most cohesive records the band have released.” – Quote from my review of the album.
Read my review of the album here and check out the single ‘Make It Easy’ below:
Check out more from We Are Scientists on Soundcloud
Warpaint – Warpaint
Released: January 2014
The self titled second release from the American indie rock girl band is not only stunning but completely took me by surprise when I listened to it. I’d only really heard about Warpaint mentioned in certain indie publications and after repeatedly good reviews I decided to give their new release a listen. The sparse yet haunting sounds, swirling synths, atmospheric tracks, hazy vocals and nostalgic moments all create an album that truly is a great listen. This really is a release that is full of atmosphere, emotion in the lyrics and wonderful musical sounds, showcasing the often forgotten beauty found in just letting the music speak for itself.
“This is a great album and a brilliant listen; it may not instantly hit you with how good it is instead subtly seeping into your subconscious with its excellence.” – Quote from my review of the album.
Read my review of the album here and check out the single ‘Love Is To Die’ below:
Check out more from Warpaint on Soundcloud
The Horrors – Luminous
‘Luminous’ is the fourth album from shoegazey indie five piece, gone are the gothy beginnings of the band and here is a much more mature sound. Taking the best of the sounds I personally really love from eras gone by, turning it on it’s head, using some musical know how and innovation they have worked hard to craft two brilliant and stunning musical masterpieces in the form of 2011’s ‘Skying’ and this, their most recent release. Like their previous effort I can see this becoming a staple album in my music catalogue and I really do think The Horrors are the best at what they do at the minute, with a few bands trying to imitate but never fully matching up. If you want ambient, shoegazey synth laden indie with a strong beat and Faris Badwin’s trademark lethargic yet haunting vocals then The Horrors are the band for you.
“Which means, for a 21st century release, it’s a pleasingly old-fashioned entity. It’s a welcoming experience, an embrace from a band that used to want to boot your shins in.” – Mike Diver, Clash Magazine [source]
Read Clash’s full and brilliant review of the album and check out the single ‘So Now You Know’ below:
Check out more from The Horrors on YouTube
Other Noteworthy Mentions:
– Paolo Nutini – Caustic Love
– Gabby Young – One Foot In Front Of The Other
– St. Vincent – St. Vincent
– Foxes – Glorious
– Swallow and the Wolf – Fire EP