My Favourite Music of 2014

Because there are not enough ‘best of’s’ out there at this time of year, I made this list of some of my favourite and most memorable music of 2014 for you. I completely reserve the right to make changes, additions and amendments to this list until the end of time.

I’m not even sure how I stumbled across Strands of Oak, but Goshen ’97 is hands down one of the best tracks of the year, and the album it calls home is a angsty, teenagery thing of beauty.

The best gig I went to this year was Underworld at the RFH celebrating the 20th anniversary (yes Grandad….20 YEARS!!) of the epoch defining dubnobasswithmyheadman album. It was just incredible and every time I listen to this band I can’t helpthinking “I cannae believe how good Underworld are”. So you can imagine that this gig, plus a few pints of wine, sent me back to my 22 year old self. I was semi-raving.

My most listened album of 2014 was the return of Embrace. It’s just fucking brilliant — from the first song to the last, there are massive choruses, sing-a-long verses and an epic feel throughout. I sort of feel that this should have been the biggest guitar album of the year but our music press are so fucking ruined that this could never happen. I make no apologies — I just love this.

The other best gig i went to in 2014 was the much anticipated return of Kate Bush. Calling it a gig feels abit wrong — it was an event, a performance, a pieceof theatre….and completely unforgettable. I spent the months aheadof the gig rediscovering her catalogue and the grown up me found a whole new level of understanding and joy from it. I thoroughly reccoemend that you forget whatever you think you know about her, even if it’s all positive, and start again. It’s a journey.

It took a while, but it was worth the wait for Johnny Marr to release albums as a solo artist. And what do you know….he released two in a year. It’s simple really — good old fashioned heads-down guitar rock and roll. For some reason this took me by surprise but I like these sort of surprises.

I completely love “Messiah” by Prides. That is all.

I saw Afghan Whigs twice in 1989 and 1990 and they were magnificent. Their version of drama and darkness is appealing to me…a film noir of smoke and whiskey (even though I don’t smoke and don’t drink much…it’s a feeling). So their first album release in ove 15 years got me really excited. It didn’t disappoint. Best listened to on your own and if anyone interrupts you punch them in the fucking head.

What’s the next best thing to a Frightened Rabbit album? A solo album from lead singer Scott Hutchison under his Owl John guise. Scottish prebetarianism with a small ‘p’. Lyrically genius.

Whooooaaah! This is fucking brilliant. Nick Mulvey’s ‘First Mind’ has been a total go-to listen all of this year. ‘Juramidam’ is the pick of the bunch but the whole record is a brilliant mess of folk, rhythms, jazz, world music and fuck knows what else. I don’t even care……just listen.

I know next to fuck all about The Gloaming but this is modern Celtic music at it’s best. It’s disconcerting and challenging whilst being beautiful and overflowing with drama and mood whilst being sparse and cinematic at the same time. It reminds me of that brilliant solo Mark Hollis album but in a different genre.

EDIT: As expected, here are the things I forgot about when writing this but then remembered and had to add.

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