Superintendent of SACS Top Albums of 2014

Written by The Point 91fm. Posted in Lists, Music

Dr. Downs, Superintendent of SACS shared his top 10 albums of the year with WCYT.

(in no particular order)

Lucinda Williams Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone
Ryan Adams Ryan Adams
Sturgill Simpson Metamodern Sounds in County Music
War on Drugs Lost in the Dream
Old Crow Medicine Show Remedy
Bruce Springsteen High Hopes
First Aid Kit Stay Gold
Old 97’s Most Messed Up
Hard Working Americans Hard Working Americans
Tweedy Sukierae

Mr. Hill’s Top Ten of 2014

Written by The Point 91fm. Posted in Lists, Music

Having Spotify in your life makes it difficult to sit down with one album long enough to really make friends with it­­ with so much available to you, you’re constantly aware that there might be something else out there you might like even more. But pondering the Spotify Effect deserves its own essay. The point is that these are the ten records that held my attention enough that I wasn’t distracted by the universe of musical possibility.

1. Real Estate—Atlas

This is one of those records that surprises you with its simplicity. I mean, these songs are so basic, lots of noodling around inverted D chords and other tricks that have been done so many times, but I’ve been killing this record and hacking my way through its progressions on my guitar for a year and it still feels fresh. Probably the best band I have no interest in seeing live.

2. Ariel Pink—Pom Pom

Ariel was discovered by Animal Collective several years ago now, but he has since far surpassed them in inventiveness and consistency. Songs just fall out of this guy’s pockets. But even though, by now, I know what to expect from an Ariel Pink record, he still makes me feel uncomfortable. I honestly feel wrong laughing at his lyrics sometimes, but that’s what driving around alone is for.

3. God Help the Girl OST

Hallie’s Top Ten Albums of 2014

Written by Hallie Nowak. Posted in Lists, Music, Reviews

As our station manager and general manager previously mentioned, 2014 truly has been a great year for music, especially in the Indie/Alternative genre. In fact, I can hardly narrow down my favorite albums into a top ten list, and I couldn’t be happier with all of the music to choose from. As 2014 comes to a close, I can only hope to see subsequent years as musically promising as this one. With that being said, here are my top albums of 2014.

Close Contenders:
Ariel Pink, pom-pom
Iceage, Plowing Into the Field of Love
Run the Jewels, Run the Jewels II
Sharon Van Etten, Are We There
Future Islands, Singles

 

upside down mountain

10.) Conor Oberst, Upside Down Mountain—I’ve been a huge fan of anything Conor Oberst related since listening to Bright Eyes’ I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning for the first time a few years ago, and this is probably the only reason why he’s on this list. Upside Down Mountain is surprisingly positive and mature, which is why it might be so refreshing to me.

familiars

9.) The Antlers, Familiars– I’ve been a fan of the Antlers since blindly picking up their 2012 Undersea EP and giving it a listen, and Familiars seems to hold up to the high standards they’ve created in their debut 2009 album Hospice. Silberman’s ethereal voice ranges from hesitant to urgent throughout Familiars, and the fluctuating rollercoaster of emotions that he takes you through the duration of the album makes the Antlers’ 2014 album one worth listening to.

perfume genius

8.) Perfume Genius, Too Bright—A brief 11 track, 33 minute album, Perfume Genius’ Too Bright was quite an easy album to get into. Mark Hadreas invites you into Too Bright with the slow, warm “I Decline” and entrances you to stay a while with the stand-out track “Queen”. With Hadreas’ shimmering vibrato and hymn-like singing it is nearly impossible to not listen to Too Bright and dislike it.

alvvays

7.) Alvvays, Alvvays—This debut album from Alvvays ended up being a surprise addition to my list, and I didn’t listen to their eponymous album until recently when I figured out that it had been them who sang the song “Archie, Marry Me”. The Toronto band’s 9 track, 32 minute album is simply a feel-good, catchy indie-pop album. I usually don’t like these kind of things, but the Best Coast vibe Alvvays gives off is too good not to have on this list.

war on drugs,

6.) War on Drugs, Lost in the DreamLost in the Dream seems to pay homage to 80’s stadium artists in the least cringe-worthy way possible, and that in itself is a feat worth talking about. From the first track “Under the Pressure”, a Springsteen-esque feeling is established by the resonate vocals of Adam Granduciel. I will admit, Lost in the Dream is a bit intimidating to look at in comparison to the other artists on this list as it spans for an hour and 17 minutes; but that hour and 17 minutes is well spent on you getting lost in the War on Drugs dream.

atlas real estate

5.) Real Estate, Atlas—I mainly listened to this album in my car over and over. People would often honk at me because I would be unintentionally driving under the speed limit while listening to Atlas because of how placid the songs are. In fact, Atlas sounds strangely like unusually pleasant elevator music, or maybe even like a band quietly playing in the back of your local coffee shop. Real Estate’s album is tinted with beach rock and all ten tracks could easily be one song if the 2 second gap between each song was removed; that’s how organized Atlas is. But the consistency on Real Estate’s Atlas is why it’s such a good album.

they want my soul

4.) Spoon, They Want My Soul— Either a lot of people forget about this album, or they prefer Spoon’s earlier albums. I, for one, think They Want My Soul has many strong points. This is an album that has many single-worthy tracks, so each song holds itself well, especially the looping, mesmerizing “Inside Out”, the foot-tapping “New York Kiss”, and the reverberating “Do You”. They Want My Soul is Spoon’s first record since Transference in 2010, and holds up to Spoon’s consistency for releasing strong albums that are a bit different each time.

Mac_DeMarco_Salad_Days

3.) Mac Demarco, Salad Days—I’ve never met anyone who hates Mac Demarco. His high-water pants and goofy, gaped smile are just so lovable. Salad Days’ lazy guitar, softy sighing vocals, and weird synth tracks exemplified on “Chamber of Reflection” and “Jonny’s Odyssey” transport you into an alternate dimension in which Michael Cera is president. Mac Demarco seems to be just a nice guy who loves to make music that happens to sound good, and we need more people like him in the music industry of today.

burn your fire for no witness

2.) Angel Olsen, Burn Your Fire for No WitnessBurn Your Fire for No Witness is one of those albums that you can listen to over and over without getting sick of it. Angel Olsen’s voice makes your heart ache on songs like “White Fire” while simultaneously compelling you to put on a leather jacket and spiked jewelry and run around town with your friends on “Forgiven/Forgotten”, which is strange and awesome, because this is a folk album. Burn Your Fire for No Witness is a perfect balance between radio-friendly and the avant-garde, quivering, almost yodeling Olsen from Strange Cacti. You will probably find yourself loving Angel Olsen after listening to this album, too.

benji sun kill moon

1.) Sun Kil Moon, Benji—Sometimes, I’m not sure why I like this album so much. I know that many people have shied away from Benji because of the scandal involving War on Drugs, but if you don’t think about how much of a jerk Mark Kozelek is and absorb the brutally honest storytelling present on Benji, I don’t think that you’ll be disappointed. Sure, he talks about Panera Bread a lot, as well as second-hand-embarrassing, wince-worthy encounters, but the simple lyricism is what makes Sun Kil Moon’s Benji such an endearing and memorable album.

WCYT General Manager Top Albums 2014

Written by Adam Schenkel. Posted in Lists, Music

Adam Schenkel, WCYT General Manager
adam@wcyt.org

I hate these Top 10 lists at the end of each calendar year, not because it’s hard to find 10 great albums – and just being honest, this year was extraordinarily easy to do that – but because I am afraid I’ll omit an album (or three!) or discover something after the fact.

Yes, this is coming from the guy who had Tegan and Sara in his Top 10 last year. I liked that album, in a cheesy/80s pop type of way, but not having The National’s Trouble Will Find Me or The Strokes Comedown Machine makes my list look very amateur. I listened to those albums but didn’t recognize how good they were until after the New Year. I am afraid I will do that this time around once again.

One thing for sure is that my #1 isn’t up for debate and won’t be in time either. It’s made almost everyone’s Top 10 of the year, but I am going as far as saying it’s the best album I’ve heard since Radiohead’s In Rainbows seven years ago. Ask anyone that knows me, I’ve tried pawning this album off to them all year long. There’s something going on here that I can’t explain, it’s timeless, it’s depressing and uplifting at the same time, it’s perfect.

1. War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream

With so many musical influences ringing through each track (Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen must be smiling), along with some of the most haunting lyrics I’ve ever heard mixed in with beautiful sounds from a multitude of instruments, the album literally sucks you in and doesn’t let up for 60 minutes. It’s pure, it’s unique, it’s original. And it just keeps getting better with every passing week. There is no doubt in my mind that this will still be in my playlist 10 years from now. It also contains three of the best songs of the year (if I did a Top 10 song list, these three songs would be on it). “Red Eyes,” in my opinion, is the best song from 2014.


2. Real Estate – Atlas

Almost the exact opposite of Lost In The Dream, the latest from Real Estate is perfect in its simplicity. A short album with no wide array of instruments being used on different tracks, the band from New Jersey just keeps it up with every song that appears on the record. Some may say it all sounds the same, but after a couple of listens you begin hearing the difference and uniqueness of each track.

Station Manager – Top Albums 2014

Written by AndyD. Posted in Lists, Music

 

1.  Ty Segall – Manipulator
tysegall
2. The War on Drugs – Lost in A Dream
3. Chad Van Gaalen – Shrink Dust
4. Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
5. Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness
6. Real Estate – Atlas
7. Swans – To Be Kind
8. Mac DeMarco – Salad Days
9. Strand of Oaks – Heal
10. Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker

 

With such a strong year I  have decided to expand on my list:

11.The Antlers – Familiars 12.Liars – Mess  13.First Aid Kit – Stay Gold  14.Sun Kil Moon – Benji 15.Perfect P – Say Yes to Love 16.KithkinRituals, Trances & Ecstasies for Humans in Face of The Collapse  17.King Tuff – Black Moon Spell 18.Future Islands – Singles 19. Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else  20.Kishi Bashi – Lighght

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