When I chose to become a blogger, I don’t think I realised how hard it would be to fully digest an album and appreciate the amount of time, energy and work that goes into each one. Online media is great for discovering new music, but sometimes it prevents you from having the time to listen to things for a long period of time. These albums are the ones that I have genuinely spent the most time listening to for various reasons, the main one being that I adored them. That is how it should be. Nothing more, nothing less.
Tom Vek – Luck
Tom Vek was first introduced to me quite randomly back in 2005. We Have Sound had been released and was my favourite album of that year. I have since become a bit of a Vek stalker. Luck is up there with his debut release and the thing that always strikes me about him is his production – he is a genius. Luck is a fascinating album and my admiration for Vek will never fade. He is one of the best artists of my generation.
Young Fathers – Dead
My thanks will always be with Vic Galloway for his passionate introduction to Young Fathers. Mercury Prize aside, Young Fathers have always had the ability to go global and are nearing that position organically. Trusting their own instincts and simply loving what they do has paid off. With its ethereal grace, Dead is a complete body of work that illustrates beauty and bravery.
Jonnie Common – Trapped In Amber
Released via Song, By Toad Records, Common has penned one of the albums of the year and in my opinion, the best of his career so far. The distinctive creative approach that Common adopts has always made him stand out for me. The overwhelming production of this record does not bury any emotion and instead he wears his incredibly quirky and charming heart on his sleeve.
Poor Things – Poor Things
Another of Scotland’s most underrated bands. This self-titled debut has a bittersweet tone running through its central vein, but its sheer brilliance and atmospheric fuzz-filled playfulness make it utterly charismatic.
Caribou – Our Love
From what I have read, this album will be on the lists of many, ‘Can’t Do Without You’ has been my 2014 anthem. Electronic tick tocks, whirring synths and layer upon layer of melody make this an uplifting and faultless album.
Bronto Skylift – Date With A Ghoul
An exhilarating and towering record that should have got far more attention this year. The notable Chem19 production really brought both musicians to the forefront of this record. Whilst Iain Stewart’s drumming can sometimes leave everything else in its bloody wake, Niall Strachan’s riffs doubled the sonic arsenal.
Call To Mind – The Winter Is White
If this doesn’t make the next SAY Award longlist at the very least, I will be quite upset. The Winter Is White stands out as one of the most original albums to emerge this year. The quintet have explored an emotional territory that feels honest, but also delivers the grand Scottish outdoors to the rest of us in a way that is vibrant and completely effortless.
Machines In Heaven – bordersbreakdown
This was one of my most anticipated albums of the year and did not disappoint. There are no musical whims here; instead its unexpected music shapes and gleaming production make it one of the most fiercely inventive additions to my dance collection. It also must be mentioned that the Glasgow collective are one of the best live bands of the year.
The Twilight Sad – Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave
When ‘The Girl In The Corner’ teaser video was released, I proceeded to hit play and repeat so many times that my partner had to stop me as I was becoming unhinged. The poignancy of this album is almost unbearable at times and that is what makes it one of the most unconventionally beautiful records of 2014. The Twilight Sad have taken their famed, familiar melancholy and have crafted brilliance. This time however, their confidence has no limitations.
Deathcats – All Hail Deathcats
All Hail Deathcats reveals the band’s true adolescence without trading on their charms. Recognised by many including myself as one of the highlight bands of the year, this record is indelibly stamped as a complete triumph for alternative Scottish music.