The Very Very Very Best Music of 2014 // The Year of the Popular Infringement

By: aspyhole

Dec 31 2014

Category: Lists, Music

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Hemispherical travelling in the Asiatic region coupled with climatic disturbance meant that, for me, 2014 has both yet to fully-come (in that memory-anterioration will provide a welcome space for reinterpretation), and has also raced by without providing a hold to grab onto. I feel that this year’s simultaneous timelessness / timefulness has been matched and complimented by the nature of music released, as the stand-out albums have grown into strongholds for satisfaction and springboards for motivation.

My Top-14 may be populated by Pop music, and this is perhaps either a demonstration of the perpetual infringement of the obscure upon the popular, or rather more simply a self-reclassification of my own tastes. Either way, the brilliance of some of the albums out this year was of a consistency more dense than many previous years, and may have led to a (further?) decrease in breadth of exploration. In any case, why dig deeper when purity lies at one’s reach.

Sisyphus came as a surprise. I can’t recall where I first heard about the album, but the combination of Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux and Serengeti (the latter with whom I wasn’t yet familiar), was too good not to at least dip into. The dip became a full plunge and I have yet to dry off. I think the same can be said for several of these albums and many of my experiences this year, and I can but encourage plunging for all into all.


1. Sisyphus – Sisyphus
2. Millie & Andrea – Drop the Vowels
3. alt-J – This is All Yours
4. FKA twigs – LP1
5. Tom Vek – Luck
6. Future Islands – Singles
7. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata
8. Ratking – So It Goes
9. Andy Stott – Faith in Strangers
10. Beck – Morning Phase
11. tUnE-yArDs – Nikki Nack
12. Aphex Twin – Syro
13. Arca – Xen
14. Burnt Friedman w/ Daniel Dodd-Ellis – Cease To Matter

My other favourite albums of the year
(in rescending negative to positive voice-onset time order):

Acid Sessions – Test_2
Alessandro Cortini – Sonno
Alexis Taylor – Await Barbarians
Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks – Enter The Slasher House
Banks – Goddess
Bing & Ruth – Tomorrow Was the Golden Age
Bohren & Der Club of Gore – Piano Nights
Bong – Stoner Rock
Caustic Window – Caustic Window LP
Charles Cohen – A Retrospective
Clean Bandit – New Eyes
Copeland – Because I’m Worth It
Cut Hands – Afro Noise I (Volume 3)
Dean Blunt – Black Metal
Dean Blunt – Mersh / Grade
Death to Ponies – Mangez EP
Diamond Version – CI
eMMplekz – You Might Also Like
Ensemble Pearl – s/t
Evian Christ – Waterfall
Feadz – Instant Alpha
The Fun Years – One Quarter Descent
Holly Herdon – Chorus
Kangding Ray – Solens Arc
Khun Narin – Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band
Killing Sound – s/t
Kyoka – IS (is Superpowered)
Madlib – Rock Konducta Pts. 1 & 2
Mr. Oizo – The Church
NehruvianDOOM – s/t
The Nag’s Head – Luxury Slime Vortex [Unreleased]
Pan Sonic – Oksastus
Panda Bear – Mr. Noah EP
Perc – The Power & The Glory

Prinzhorn Dance School – Live @ DFA
Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2
Shackleton – Delverance Series Nos. 1 & 2
Shackleton – Freezing Opening Thawing
Shinichi Atobe – Butterfly Effect
Sleaford Mods – Divide and Exit
Squarepusher – Music For Robots
Sunn O))) & Ulver – Terrestrials
Swans – To Be Kind
Thom Yorke – Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes
Vindicatrix & Antidrom – s/t

It goes without saying that there were countless albums that I did not encounter this year, and I of course have auditory nerves completely overt to any suggestion to add to my journey through last year this coming year. We are listening.


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