Of course, this list does not include 3 absolute own-horn-tooting-favorites from this past year (so those of you with OCD tendencies, myself included, add one of these we released this year in order to make a clean "14 of '14") ---
"Through the Prism, Gently"- Black Whales
"Songs for Clones" EP- The Dirty Moogs
"Grow Something in the Ground"- Aaron Mark Brown
AND, we'd love it if you'd check out these releases if you haven't and see where they'd fit on your list.
Anyway, moving on- presented free from commercial interruption after this point:
Doug Tuttle- S/T (Trouble in Mind Records)
Like I've come to expect Trouble in Mind Records had another stellar year, and Doug Tuttle and his psych-pop meanderings are a good portion why.
Mac Demarco- Salad Days (Captured Tracks)
Just good. Perfect hazy, summer-Kinks jams.
Nothing- Guilty of Everything (Relapse)
At first I thought I liked it because I liked Hum. Then I realized it's better.
Timber Timbre- Hot Dreams (Arts & Crafts)
Creep on, Creepin' On is still one of my favorites but this new record, although a slight departure from the doom-wop vibes of the former is gold in it's own right. Turn the neon lights down low.
Damien Jurado- Brothers and Sisters of the the Eternal Son (Secretly Canadian)
It's been a long time and a journey of varied terrain as a fan of DJ, but the last couple of albums have felt special and different- like when an artist is "hitting their stride," as they say. The acoustic-with all female backing choir- bonus LP that includes many of the full band songs on the album is equally great.
Morgan Delt- S/T (Trouble in Mind)
Summery psych-jangle, sign me up.
Pure X- Angel (Fat Possum)
Temples- Sun Structures (Fat Possum)
If you know what I like (or are picking up a bit here) it will come as no surprise that I like this so much. Fuzzy psych jams enhance not overshadow good songwriting.
Ultimate Painting- S/T (Trouble in Mind)
I'll stop crushing so hard on Trouble in Mind releases when they stop being so good. No chance here with a record that kind of took me by surprise. A perfect 2:30am or Saturday morning spin.
Quilt- Held in Splendor (Mexican Summer)
Splendor is right, wraps around you like a thick, heavy hand-made blanket full of interlocking squares.
Pontiak- Innocence (Thrill Jockey)
This record rips. Super nice, unassuming dudes who were a pleasure to work with at Treefort Music Fest, and then peeled my hair back with riffs. Whenever I find myself with a bit of a sore neck it's because I was listening to this record the day before.
Wye Oak- Shriek (Merge)
While I full heartedly love everything this band has done previously, I'd heard enough about what this record was going to be like (i.e; no guitars...) for me to be willing to forgive an ill-advised artistic foray. Perhaps I didn't expect the fantastic songwriting to come through so clearly that it still sounds like the band I love, only with a new/different energy. An impressive release and I love the spirit by which they arrived at this point in their catalog.
The War on Drugs- Lost in the Dream (Secretly Canadian)
Though I've been a War on Drugs fan since early on, I knew when I heard this album that the hints and brilliant moments of previous albums had materialized into one fully realized epic. Feel like I could write much more about this record, but instead I'm just going to go put it on....