Better late than never, here is my rundown of my personal fave tunes of 2014. A year that has seen some great music released from newcomers and oldies alike. I have listened to more new music this year than for quite a few years and have found quite a few newbies that have made into my Tracks Of The Year. The ten tracks listed are in no particular order, they are quite simply the tracks that have got me excited this year and have made me want to listen to them again and again...
The Nightingales - Dumb And Drummer
Alvvays - Party Police
The Primitives - Spin-O-Rama
Roddy Frame - White Pony
Alexia Coley - Drive Me Wild
Benjamin Booker - Violent Shiver
Future Islands - Seasons (Waiting On You)
Slow Club - Suffering You, Suffering Me
Ben Watt - Forget
Sinead O'Connor - Take Me To Church
Great to see wonderful new albums from The Primitives and The Nightingales(a gig only vinyl release), a huge return to form from Sinead O'Connor and a triumphant return from Ben Watt. But what excites me more are the tracks from Benjamin Booker, Alexia Coley, Alvvays, Future Islands and Slow Club. There is so much great new music still being made, most of which I hear through fellow bloggers. I think we all owe Drew a huge thank you for pointing us in the direction of Slow Club's sublime Complete Surrender. You would be hard pushed to find a better album released in 2014. You would hardly recognise them as the same band that released Yeah, So back in 2009, but this is definitely an album that gets better and more rewarding with each listen. If you don't have a copy, you should remedy that with any Chritmas money/vouchers that you hopefully received.
As mentioned above new finds for me in 2014 were Benjamin Booker, Toronto indie darlings Alvvays and my tip for the top in 2015, Alexia Coley. Booker blew me away earlier in the year when he was on Later with his bluesy Strokes' sounding Violent Shiver. The album is exciting, encompassing soul, blues, grunge and good ole rock'n'roll, but at the same time still managing to sound modern. Bodes well for his Glasgow gig in 2015. Alvvays may not be the most original band on the list, but the way they have adapted the sum of their influences (The Sundays, Belle and Sebastian, to name a couple) sounds fresh and are one of the many reasons why Toronto is one of the best musical cities on the planet at the moment. New voice of the year goes to Alexia Coley, whose unique blend of jazz, funk and soul generated one of the best albums in Keep The Faith. As with Alvvays, you can hear Alexia’s influences straight away but she has taken them and re-moulded them to complement her modern style.
A couple of other notable album releases were the debut album (after over 30 years!!) from Glasgow's finest James King and The Lone Wolves and the return of The Boy wonder himself. Over 30 years since we waited for the debut album from James King and it was well worth the wait. Primitive Rock'N'Roll played and sung with a passion that you don't see/hear that often these days. Roddy Frame's Seven Dials may not have sounded like an album of the year upon the first listen, but by the time of his triumphant return to the Glasgow stage in December, it had proven itself to be a worthy contender for album of the year. Along with Benjamin Booker and Slow Club, East Kilbride's finest released one of my 3 fave albums of 2014...
unique blend of jazz, funk and soul