Before I start, a few notes:
*It was an amazing year for music, but I didn’t listen to anything on here as often as I listened to Hospice and Burst Apart by The Antlers.
*I liked the Beach House and Lower Dens albums very much.
*I hated the Chromatics album that everyone freaked out about, and the Japandroids one, too. Sorry.
*Some albums that were good but which I didn’t listen to enough: Sharon Van Etten: Tramp; Leonard Cohen: Old Ideas; Animal Collective: Centipede Hz; both of the new Mount Eerie releases.
*If this list were BEST albums of the year, then Frank Ocean would be #1. It’s of course a fantastic and creative album, but some of the Nostalgia, Ultra songs have a bigger impact on me, so I’m regretfully excluding it. Sorryx2.
Now, for extra drama, here’s a cut.
*One thing of note: While I do love many of my boyfriend’s band’s songs (specifically Better the Devil) I’m restricting myself from including The Veda Rays on any year-end lists. They are really, really good though, I swear!
15 Beach House—Lazuli: A gorgeous song absolutely ruined by the load of hipster horseshit that is its promo video.
14 Mystery Jets—Greatest Hits: Songs that name check other songs or albums are usually pretty cute, and there’s nothing to dislike about a good Mark E. Smith reference.
13 Frank Ocean—Pyramids: The first of two Frank showings on this list, because I don’t have Channel ORANGE on my albums list. An ambitious song with brilliant lyrics.
12 The Antlers—Drift Dive: Seeing the Antlers twice this year and hearing this song live was heaven on earth.
11 Future of the Left—Failed Olympic Bid: “I’ve got a home for the Millennium Dome/A heart disease ward underwritten by McDonalds/You got funding while I got fat/On a training programme for type 2 diabetes.” Brilliant!
10 Azealia Banks—212: Any song that uses the word “cunt” this much, I’m gonna love.
9 Chain and the Gang—Heavy Breathing: Nothing to hear here, just Ian Svenonius bein’ incredibly sassy.
8 Richard Hawley—Seek It: Still getting over how awkward and touching it is to hear Richard Hawley singing about a weird dream where he and his lady love get naked.
7 Jens Lekman—The World Moves On: Really didn’t dig this album, but this song is pretty much perfect in its wry heartbreak.
6 Hot Chip—Motion Sickness: I listened to this song repeatedly when it came out, and really thought it would be my favorite of the year. Instead it’ll just have to settle for Jam of the Year.
5) Bill Fay—Jesus, Etc.: I know the Wilco version is great, but this manages to be staggering and sparse at the same time, as well as utterly heartbreaking.
4) Frank Ocean—Thinkin’ ‘Bout You: Just a beautiful song that puts me at ease even when just hearing a snippet blaring from a car window.
3) Fiona Apple—Hot Knife: Pretty much every song on The Idler Wheel is outstanding, but this gets extra points for ending the album on such an exhilarating note.
2 Paul Weller—The Attic: Such a dizzy, swoony song, and unlike any others I’ve heard this year. The album was mega-overlooked and I’m still pissed off about that.
1 Santigold—The Keepers: Already wrote about it on PopMatters, so there’s little else to say. The best, catchiest social commentary of the year—musical division.
Ahhhh, ever since Marc Maron started interviewing musicians, I’d been hoping he’d snag Fiona Apple. So glad the dream has become a reality! Gonna listen to this tomorrow and the day after, and perhaps the day after that too.
Nice reminder of why I like her as much as I like her music.
A library patron requested a bunch of old issues of The Face (!!!) and a Fiona Apple article with really incredible pics was in one of them. Unfortunately, I had to scan it in a rush. I may go back and rescan it today, as the person who requested the lot will probably never come in (just as they never came in for the million and one back issues of GQ they ordered).