It’s the end of the year and it’s time to wrap up everything we loved, and this year I’d like to make this a buyers recommendation for records this year. At this point in my life, these are all records I think you should drop $20 on and spin the vinyl like there is no tomorrow.
I didn’t think it was proper to put these in any type of order although most people who I discuss music with will probably know what my number one is. Without further ado, here are my recommendations for records to buy that released in 2014.
Cory Branan – The No Hit Wonder
Cory Branan’s “No Hit Wonder” might be my favorite song of 2014, and with that, this record is one of my favorites of the year. Blending country, punk, rockabilly and rock & roll Branan nails it all on this record, combining fine musicianship and songwriting on an album that should absolutely be in your collection.
Buy No-Hit Wonder
Blake Mills – Heigh Ho
At first this record was too much experimentation, but as I got deeper and deeper with it, I found amazing pieces, and the sum of all of its parts is a record that shows Blake Mills gets to do whatever the hell he wants, and always pulls off something amazing. He’s an amazing artist, and if you don’t already know him, you better start now.
Buy Heigh Ho
Chromeo – White Women
I’d love to make a bold claim here, Chromeo’s Old 45’s is the best pop song of 2014. Of course that’s my opinion, but regardless, their album White Women is full of gems. Tracks like Come Alive, Sexy Socialite, Old 45’s & Frequent Flyer, this record is stacked from top to bottom. If you have a pulse, you’ll enjoy at least something on this record. I’d hazard a guess you’ll enjoy all of it.
Buy White Women
PHOX – Self Titled
PHOX’s self-titled debut was one of those records that really grows on you. The Wisconsin based sextet filled our ears with lush sounds that are hypnotic, and entrancing, yet minimal and quiet. The album grew on me even more so when I picked it up on vinyl, it was one of those you just keep flipping and never move on to something else. You’ll find little sonic nooks each time that you didn’t know were there.
Luke Winslow-King – Everlasting Arms
Winslow-King’s delta blues steeped record Everlasting Arms is one of my favorites of the year for his ability to bring pre-war period jazz and blues into our modern world. His voice and songwriting are top-notch, there’s some barn burners on this record like “Swing that Thing,” to “Traveling Myself” the bouncy “Levee Man,” and the charming “Everlasting Arms,” Winslow-King puts a great touch to each of his songs.
Buy Everlasting Arms
Jonah Tolchin – Clover Lane
Tolchin’s Clover Lane is a remarkable Americana effort, and most definitely worthy of a vinyl purchase. It spans from casual front-porch blues tunes, “Hey Baby Blues,” to the bedroom confessional “Diamond Mind, and into the barn stomper “Mockingbird.” Please do get this record into your ears, it’s one true special record and deserves every bit of praise it gets.
Buy Clover Lane
Ages and Ages – Divisionary
When sung at a show, Divisionary’s title track makes a statement, when sung with a choir it’s really jumps out. It’s that song you’ll be singing until the day ends, and possibly the one you are waking up singing to. Divisionary is chock full of some of the best pop tunes you are going to hear anywhere. What you have is a triumphant effort of music where each song is memorable, and within an instant you’ll be singing along with one of the best all-around records of the year.
Swing back in tomorrow and I’ll have the second portion of my list.