Finally time for that Albums of the Year list. Here’s the first chapter and places 30-16. Top 15 to come sometime tomorrow. It was a good year and I could have easily made a top 50, but you have to draw the line somewhere even though it means you have to drop out a lot of great albums. Which is not nice and hurts like hell. Anyway, here’s the first chapter.
TOP 30 Albums of the Year 2014 – International Edition
30. I Was A King – Isle Of Yours
My favourite Norwegians I Was a King can do the honors and get this list rolling with their latest album Isle Of Yours. I don’t love this one as much as their 2012 album You Love It Here (which was on my top 3), but this is still gorgeous and contains some of my favourite songs of the year. This is Bygdøy 30 from the album and it sounds absolute perfect to my ears.
29. Arlo Mckinley & The Lonesome Sound – Arlo Mckinley & The Lonesome Sound
In the real world probably only the selected few are aware of the greatness of Arlo McKinley & The Lonesome Sound, but in the americana blogosphere where I do my online living, he is kind of a big deal and extremely highly regarded. I’ve seen this album on many end of the year lists. Even as #1 on some of them. Thanks to ninebullets for spreading the gospel about Arlo. This is Just Like The Rest from the album.
28. Withered Hand – New Gods
Withered Hand’s new album New Gods was surprisingly pop, but that wasn’t a bad thing. I love pop music. I can’t stand the song called Heart Heart and skip it every time, but oher than that, this is a wonderful album. Horseshoe and Black Tambourine should be hits and are an incredibly way to kick of the album.
27. Ryan Tanner – Together Is Where We Belong
Ryan Tanner is up next with his serene and beautiful album Together Is Where We Belong. This is such a heartfelt record. This almost feels spiritual. Maybe it’s a tad too long, but it doesn’t really matter because it’s absolutely magical most of the time. This is Days To Think Of You from the album.
26. Caleb Stine – Maybe God Is Lonely Too
Caleb Stine’s new album Maybe God Is Lonely Too is a serene, beautiful and even meditative folk album. You probably can’t find it from many year-end lists, because you can only get it from his shows or by sending him an email. So too few have heard this album that tackles difficult issues beautifully.
25. Lydia Loveless – Somewhere Else
Somewhere Else by Lydia Loveless was one of my early favourites. It’s a great record as it is, but perhaps they could have gotten even more out of these wonderful songs. But I’ll stop that annoying whining right now, because each time I hit play, I enjoy every damn second.
24. Anthony Atkinson & The Running Mates – Broken Folks
My Australian hero Anthony Atkinson finally released a new album. Together with The Running Mates he delivered a beauty of an album that is filled with wonderful folk-tinged pop music. Broken Folks is another proof that Anthony Atkinson is a great songwriter.
23. Guy Capecelatro III: Scatter The Remains
A couple of months ago I didn’t even know this man existed, but Guy Capecelatro III has been a big addiction during the last month of 2014. His latest album Scatter The Remains is a melancholic beauty that deserves a lot of attention.
22. Otis Gibbs: Souvenirs Of A Misspent Youth
Otis Gibbs is the world’s greatest podcast host, but even more importantly he is an extremely good singer-songwriter and storyteller. My favourite Otis album is still Joe Hill’s Ashes, but it might just be because that’s the first one I heard. The latest one is called Souvenirs Of A Misspent Youth and it’s once again a great Otis Gibbs album.
21. Nikki Lane: All or Nothin’
Maybe Nikki Lane’s new album All or Nothin’ isn’t the second coming of the Christ, but it sure is a great record that has stayed on my playlist since it came out in May 2014. I never seem to get tired of it. Good Man, You Can’t Talk To Me Like That, Man Up… So many damn good songs on this one.
20. John Davey – Living Is Trying
John Davey was another fall obsession. You could argue that I spend too much time listening those sad & beautiful folk songs, so it was refreshing to find a singer-songwriter who also has a great sense for pop music. Living Is Trying is a record that I keep on returning to on a weekly basis and I truly enjoy every listening session.
19. Ryan Boldt – Broadside Ballads
Ryan Boldt is the frontman of the wonderful Canadian band The Deep Dark Woods (who has made the best album of the current decade, The Place I Left Behind) and late in the year he released his first solo album Broadside Ballads. Wonderful traditional folk songs and that voice. That combination had to work and it did work beautifully. It might have gotten further up on the list, If I’ve had the chance to spend more time with it.
18. Ryan Adams: Ryan Adams
Another Ryan, but a bit more famous one at this point. Where to put the new Ryan Adams album? That was one of the biggest difficulties I had when making this little list. I haven’t really listened to this as much as I should have. For some weird reason I just don’t seem to be appreciate it enough. However, whenever I actually do flip it on the player, I actually love listening to it. So why does my brain tries to resist this awesome album? Weird stuff.
17. Hurray For The Riff Raff – Small Town Heroes
The new Hurray For The Riff Raff album Small Town Heroes leaves a long-lasting impression. Alynda Lee Segarra has written a rather stunning album that deals with difficult issues in a beautiful way. Besides being a great songwriter, she has a unique voice that always sounds perfect to my ears.
16. Turner Cody: Plans and Schemes
This is the real last minute entry, but I had to include Turner Cody. He was one of my biggest songwriter favourites during the year. I spent an awful lot of time listening to his 2013 release The Last of The Big Time Spenders and really loved that record. Somehow I managed to miss his new album Plans and Schemes that came out in the fall. Probably because it wasn’t on his Bandcamp page. Anyway, I picked up a copy a week ago and I’ve been listening to this a lot since. It’s rather difficult to compare this one to to those that I’ve been listening to for 10 months, but because this was a year of Turner Cody here at onechord.net, I have to include it. And a good way to do that is to end this first chapter of the list with his lovely album Plans and Schemes and his lovely song Memories Of You.