When I think back on the music of 2014, I'm struck by how many singer-songwriters I listened to. It's been a while since that's happened. Dylan Shearer and his album Garagearray was one of them. So was Matt Kivel's Days Of Being Wild. But it was Chris Staples' simple but deeply moving poetry and melodies that crushed my little heart in 2014. That's one of the big things I'll remember about music from this year.
On the other end of the sonic spectrum is the new Weezer record, Everything Will Be Alright In The End. Seriously, it's a breathtaking work of art, brilliantly produced. Intimate, thoughtful, reflective and, at the same time, a fearless, take-no-prisoners, rock-and-roll assault. I've heard plenty of albums over the years that left me in awe. But I can't think of any in recent memory that have been so much fun to listen to, and so affecting. Everything Will Be Alright In The End is the record of the year.
I loved way more music in 2014 than I could ever fit on a top ten list. But the albums below are the ones I found myself going back to the most this year, and the ones I'm sure I'll still be listening to years from now. Ten bonus albums not on the list (that easily could have been): Perfume Genius' Too Bright, Angel Olsen's Burn Your Fire For No Witness, Damien Rice's My Favourite Faded Fantasy, Beck's Morning Phase, Spoon's They Want My Soul, Luluc's Passenger, Joe Henry's Invisible Hour, Bing & Ruth's Tomorrow Was The Golden Age, Actress' Ghettoville and Damien Jurado's Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son.