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Posts Tagged "Indie"

THE TOP 20 ALBUMS OF 2014 (non-Hip Hop)

 

Lots of music comes out every year.  I can’t possibly hear all of it, and nearly everything put out by a major label has no interest to me. Lots of music is delivered to my inbox every year.  I can’t possibly listen to all of it, but I try.  Most of it is mediocre, a smaller percentage is terrible, and some is good enough for me to write about in this blog.  And some, a very small percentage, of the music I hear is good enough to still be in my collection by November.  When that happens, I pull out my favorites and do the blog-list thing.

Keep in mind: I only accept submissions from indie labels, so my exposure to anything from anyone in the RIAA is quite limited.  Someone has to tell me about it (or, better, buy it for me), or it has to be by an artist whose material I will always buy because they earned my brand loyalty.  (Like Counting Crows.  But I’m rethinking that one, because their new album is…Dull.)

If you can get through all those filters and caveats, you must have made a good record.

Here’s the 20 best things in music I heard this year.

Note: For my favorite rap entries, go here

THE 20 BEST NON-RAP MUSIC I HEARD ALL YEAR

 20.  THE WAR ON DRUGS-Lost in the Dream 

War on Drugs, out of Philadelphia, have always been a solid rock band but this may be their most “classic” album yet—you can practically hear them channeling the giants of rock and roll in every song.  If you’ve never listened to this band before, now is the time to get started.

19.  YUCK-Glow And Behold

 

Still rocking, still kicking ass.

18.  BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN-“Royals” (Lourdes cover)

I’m not a fan of the original, but Bruce adds the gravitas that sells the song for me.

Proceed to the next page for more, including some great videos and free albums for download!

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DIVE INDEX-Lost in the Pressure


Listening to Dive Index’s Lost in the Pressure is a spiritual experience for me. On the surface, it’s a sleepy and slow ambient record. But when you hear the lyrics…Holy crap, does this thing have depth. Which is ironic, because they hail from the City of Surface, Los Angeles.

This is a record that questions everything….You’ll be getting lost in it, and then suddenly you’ll hear a line like “open your arms wide and cross your fingers” and you’ll start to wonder about the quality of faith and the meaning of life and …. I loved this record.

Highest recommendation!

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PUZZLE MUTESON-Theatrics

Check out the cool New Order cover. It’s pretty neat.

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DEAD SOFT-Dead Soft

I can’t put my finger on why I’m enjoying this raw, indie rock album with the accents of so many genres sprinkled gently–almost imperceptibly–throughout. This is a band that has been influenced by so many others, from Fugazi to Prince to the Rolling Stones to the ’90s alt-rock of bands like The Breeders–that it’s impossible to pick just a few.

They’re coming from Vancouver (even if their sound feels like Seattle–much more hard than emo), but they feel global. This is truly, with all the variety and muddy composition, a powertrio for the 2010s.

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