Moving on to the second chapter. If you didn’t catch the part one you can find it here. Anyway, here we go. 15 more albums to go.
Top 30 Albums of the Year 2014 – Internation Edition (Part Two 15-1)
15. Sloan: Commonwealth
One of my all-time favourite bands Sloan can kick off this second chapter. Each of the four songwriters in the band wrote one side of the record and they all did an excellent job. I suppose the highlight has to be Andrew Scott’s 18 minutes long Forty-Eights Portraits. A stunning song and it’s rather remarkable that a person like yours truly who usually gets bored if a song lasts over three minutes, really loves this song.
14. Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds In Country Music
I’m not amazed if I start receiving hate mail when people see Sturgill Simpson’s americana/country masterpiece Metamodern Sounds in Country Music outside the top 10 (thankfully nobody actually reads this, so they don’t see this). If this list tried to be objective, this would go into the top 3, but on a personal level this wasn’t as important as the ones that you will see next. But hey, I still love the record and I really loved the fact that it got such a great reception.
13. Doug Paisley: Strong Feelings
I’m not sure did I ever feature Doug Paisley’s Strong Feelings at onechord.net, but I did buy it the minute it came out back in January and we have been close friends ever since. Perhaps I felt that there wasn’t really any need to praise him. Doesn’t everyone already know that this guy is one of the best. Such a great songwriter, such a lovely album.
12. NQ Arbuckle – The Future Happens Anyway
I’m a long time fan and therefore I was thrilled about the fact that there was finally a new NQ Arbuckle album out and available. These Canadian folk rockers should be far better known. Their albums XOK and Last Supper In A Cheap Town are both classic in my head & heart and this new one called The Future Happens Anyway is also brilliant.
11. Caleb Caudle: Paint Another Layer On My Heart
Caleb Caudle already appeared on the best songs list, but of course Paint Another Layer On My Heart claims a place here as well. It might not be the most original thing I’ve ever heard, but the songs are so well written and the whole thing feels so genuine and heartfelt. This album makes me cry, but in a good way. No matter how many layers you have around your heart, this one will get through and hits the romantic core of your heart.
10. Parker Millsapp – Parker Millsap
This young man from Oklahoma released a stunning debut album. After hearing a song or two here and there, I wasn’t that convinced about the greatness of Parker Millsap. I mean I definitely liked the songs, but I didn’t think they were something that special. However, when I finally started fully concentrating and listening to the whole album, I saw the light and realized that a) I had been an idiot b) this guy is a damn good songwriter. What a spectacular record.
9. The Delines – Colfax
I’m a huge Willy Vlautin fan so obviously I was extremely excited about The Delines and they sure didn’t disappoint me. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the latest Richmond Fontaine album, but this album by The Delines is just wonderful and dazzlingly beautiful.
8. Robert Ellis – The Lights From The Chemical Plant
Another of those early favourites. The new Robert Ellis album came out in February and have hold its charm throughout the year. I’m not sure what is the general consensus, but I love this one even more than I loved this excellent New West debut Photographs. Adding a bit of Paul Simon and Randy Newman influences to his sound palette was a great idea if you ask me.
7. Jay William Henderson – Hymns To My Amnesia
I remember reading good things about the previous Jay William Henderson album, but I never properly listened to it. Thankfully I did start paying attention to Jay William Henderson in July 2014 when his new amazingly beautiful record Hymn to My Amnesia came out. This was an album of the month on this blog probably for three months. Partly because I was too lazy to pick a new one, but partly also because it felt relevant all that time and still do.
6. Hallelujah The Hills – Have You Ever Done Something Evil?
This list needs a lot of indie rock and a couple of sing-a-long choruses and Boston-based Hallelujah The Hills is the best option to provide that. Especially the first half of Have You Ever Done Something Evil? is unbelievably brilliant. Not that there’s really anything to complain about the latter half of it either. A damn fine album.
5. Freschard – Boom Biddy Boom
Like I said on the song list. This one is actually December 2013 release, but it’s my blog and my rules. This was a year of Freschard for me and I don’t have the heart to leave this one out. Boom Biddy Boom by Freschard is totally irresistible. I just love her music wholeheartedly. I’m a sucker for sad music, but sometimes it’s good to listen to something that makes me truly happy. For example the first three songs on this album makes me blissfully happy every time and the whole album is magnificent. I can walk around the town for hours just listening to Freschard. She is so brilliant and it’s a bliss to listen to Boom Biddy Boom.
4. J.E. Sunde – Shapes That Kiss The Lips Of God
A Blinding Flash of Light is my favourite song of the year and obviously the whole album Shapes That Kiss The Lips Of God by J.E. Sunde is absolutely amazing. I spend most of my free time listening to new music, but I rarely stumble upon something so unique and out of the ordinary that still is somehow easily approachable. The whole thing is gorgeous, but what about Easy Kid and those three songs in the middle, A Blinding Flash of Light, Dream Baby and I’m Gonna Disappoint You. Oh my. That’s a whole another level of greatness. I don’t think they have invented a word to describe that yet.
3. Daniel Markham – Pretty Bitchin’
I’m not sure do I love that title of Daniel Markham’s new record, but I sure as hell love the record. If I look at my last.fm stats that doesn’t count everything, but gives a fairly good idea, Daniel Markham is the artist that I’ve listened to the most (and by far) during 2014. And this thing came out just a couple of months ago on Halloween. So yeah, you could say that I kind of like this one. Whenever I need some energy, I just play this as loud as possible. This one could put those energy drink companies out of business. Perhaps it’s just rock music, but sometimes that’s everything you need. A brilliant album.
2. Myriam Gendron – Not So Deep as a Well
And then something completely different. This was love at first sight. Myriam Gendron from Montreal turns Dorothy Parker’s poetry into folk music and does it so beautifully. Not So Deep As A Well is magical and captivating and you can listen to it for hours and hours. Believe me. I’ve tried and you can’t get tired of this one. It’s the most moving piece of music released during the year. Ballade Of a Great Weariness, The Last Question and Song For A Perfect Propriety are my favourites, but everything sounds wonderful.
And the album of the year award goes to…
1. Frontier Ruckus – Sitcom Afterlife
No surprise there I suppose. Frontier Ruckus is my favourite band at the moment. Eternity Of Dimming was my album of the year last year and this year they do it again. They took a more melodic approach this time around and released the ultimate break-up album called Sitcom Afterlife. Some lines might even be questionable out of context, but it’s kind of like when The Raspberries sang that Go All The Way tune in the 70s. They get away with it, because they just do it so beautifully. Words like “You say that you’ve forgotten But I know that you’re rotten in your sweet little way” have never sounded as beautiful. Bathroom Stall Hypnosis, Crabapples In The Century’s Storm, Little Henrietta, The Splendid World, Darling Anonymity are all among the very best songs of the year and that’s already half of the album. So yeah, In the end it’s fairly easy decision. Sitcom Afterlife by Frontier Ruckus is my favourite album of the year 2014.