What an amazing year for music! I had to leave off lots of music that I love off my list, and that just never happens in a normal year.
MY FAVORITE ELEVEN ALBUMS
1. Thee Ahs – Names
2. The School – Wasting Away and Wondering
3. Adam and Darcie – Kindness
4. Dick Diver – Melbourne, Florida
5. Knife Pleats – Hat Bark Beach
6. Twerps – Range Anxiety
7. Summer Fiction – Himalaya
8. Postal Blue – Of Love and Other Affections
9. The Innocence Mission – Hello I Feel the Same
10. Seapony – A Vision
11. Sleuth – Out of the Blue Period
MY FAVORITE ELEVEN SONGS
1. Adam and Darcie – While You’re Mine
2. The Color Waves – Chirology
3. The School – Do I Love You?
4. Faith Healer – Again
5. Bodyheat – Talk it Over
6. Summer Fiction – Dirty Blonde
7. Thee Ahs – Alexandra
8. Thee Ahs – Ridley
9. Thee Ahs – Olga
10. The Innocence Mission – Washington Field Trip
11. Postal Blue – Bitterness is Sweet
This year, I went with a fairly arbitrary number to limit my picks for albums and songs: 17. It just seemed right for some reason. With that said, here are my lists. Hope everyone had a happy 2014. My new year’s resolution is to post more to this site. We’ll see how that goes.
Top 17 albums (only top five in order)
Real Estate “Atlas”
Thee Ahs “Corey’s Coathangers”
Space Daze “Follow My Light Back Home”
Watoo Watoo “Une Si Longue Attente”
Colin Clary “Twee Blues, Vol. 1″
Vashti Bunyan “Heartleap”
Alpaca Sports “Sealed With a Kiss”
Ginnels “A Country Life”
Trick Mammoth “Floristry”
Holly Barkem “All is Alright”
Sleepy Seeds “Sleepy Seeds”
The Glamorous Life Savers “Resurrected Elsewhere”
Fireflies “In Dreams”
The Wendy Darlings “The Insufferable Fatigues of Idleness”
The Royal Landscaping Society “s/t”
Top 5 EPs (in order)
Imaginary Pants “Kites at Night”
Mitchell Adam Johnson “Half Moon Lane”
Blooper “So Very Small”
The King in Mirrors “Little Voices”
Top 17 songs (in order)
Alvvays “Archie, Marry Me”
Thee Ahs “Does it Still Count?”
Space Daze “Line Up on the Solstice”
Colin Clary “Repeat Me”
Rocketship “That Old Black Magic”
Brideshead “The Loneliest Boy in the World”
Vashti Bunyan “Mother”
The School “When I Fall in Love”
Northern Spies “4-ever”
Parcel Post “Centimetres”
Souvenir Stand “Only Talkin’ to Myself”
Postal Blue “The Last Goodbye”
Withered Hand “Black Tambourine”
A Seasonal Disguise “D.Y.F.H.D”
Marine Life “Fool of a Kind”
I really love me a good music blog. Bloggers get inundated non-stop with promotional materials from bands and labels, and so, if you find one whose tastes you trust, you can almost guarantee that they will find music you love that you would have a very hard time finding yourself. It’s not overstating anything to say that music bloggers enrich my life immensely. So, with that said, here is a list of my favorite blogs. It’s worth noting that most of these bloggers, over the years, have said some very kind things about my band, and most of these bloggers I would consider my friends. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m plugging them here because of that. I still get lots (if not most) of my new music recommendations from these blogs.
- Bloodbuzzed. This one is written by Raul Jimenez Jimenez, who lives in Barcelona. He writes a lot about indiepop, but he also covers more indie-rock-ish stuff like the National. In addition to covering music, he also writes really great movie and book reviews. He’s usually a bit more critical of movies and books than he is of music, which I like. He has a few regular features that I really love: Discoverer, where he covers up-and-coming bands, and Stop Bad Covers, which shines a spotlight on the worst album art imaginable. He has set the record for most positive mentions of The Very Most, and for that we’ll be forever grateful.
- Songs For Girls To Sing. Xanthi Piretzi writes this blog from the beautiful island of Syros, Greece. She loves indiepop bands with female singers, Australian indiepop, and the tambourine. She might be the world’s greatest TracyAnne Campbell fan. We also happen to be next-door neighbors on last.fm, which means we have exceptionally similar taste in music. Anytime I feel like swooning to a new pop band (which is nearly every day), I visit her blog. I also want to add that she wrote my favorite thing that anyone’s ever written about The Very Most.
- Piggledy Pop. Marie-agnes Hallé hails from Paris and always recommends the most amazing music: everything from sunshine pop to folk to classic 60s singer-songwriters. She writes in French, and I don’t want Google translate to butcher her beautiful words, so I usually just listen to her recommendations, but she is a blogger I trust implicitly.
- MP3Hugger. The ever-mysterious Mr. Hugger comes to us from the city I most want to live in: Dublin, Ireland. He covers a lot of ground, genre-wise, but I enjoy almost every recommendation he makes. He’s introduced me to some amazing bands, including Candy Claws, Standard Fare, and Avi Buffalo. He also runs a label called Indiecater Records which released our last full length album A Year With The Very Most. We also happened to write the blog’s theme song.
- Rue Something. Kristin Gill from New Hampshire (soon to be Sweden) includes such an amazing personal touch in all her music writing and there are very few people I know that are more passionate about the music they love than she is. She covers almost exclusively indiepop. She also interviewed us for the superb Candy Twist zine.
- Indie Pop Saved My Life. This one is not a blog, per se. It’s a Twitter and Facebook page run by Howard Saltzman. With little fuss or muss, Howard brings the best in indiepop (or is it indie pop? Indie-pop? That’s an inside reference with Howard and I by the way) to my feed on a regular basis. Invaluable.
- Here Comes the Dumptruck. Ben Schultz writes this blog mostly about the Boise live music scene. Ben is an excellent writer, is fair to the bands he writes about, and doesn’t annoy me horribly, unlike many of the other writers that have covered Boise in the past. He also writes for the Boise Weekly.
- Skatterbrain. Coming from Philadelphia, Matthew Edwards does one of the most influential indiepop blogs. His playlists, in particular, are what I keep coming back for.
- El Planeta Amarillo. I’ve got to include Rafa’s blog if for no other reason than the fact that he is a one-man indiepop media mogul. He’s got an extensive YouTube channel of great live clips, a web radio show, and a huge archive of reviews up at his site. Spend hours and hours getting lost on The Yellow Planet.
Anyway, I guess that’s it for now. Notice how none of these are huge career-bolstering blogs like Pitchfork or Stereogum? Yeah, I did too. I find those blogs boring and their focus is far too scattered to be of much use to me. These are the blogs that I come back to on a regular basis.
Could there be any other pick for my number one song and album? Of course not.
- The Pastels – Slow Summits
- Lake – The World is Real / Circular Doorway
- Camera Obscura – Desire Lines
- Prefab Sprout – Crimson/Red
- Veronica Falls – Waiting For Something to Happen
- Dick Diver – Calendar Days
- Cate le Bon – Mug Museum
- The Felt Tips – Symbolic Violence
- Dave the Fave – Long Distance Lover
- Central City Music Company – The Irish Question / Don’t Spin Away / About Your Mom
- Math and Physics Club - Our Hearts Beat Out Loud
- The Pastels – “Check My Heart”
- Prefab Sprout – “Billy”
- The Mini-Skips – “Evil/Shy”
- Dick Diver – “Alice”
- Veronica Falls – “Broken Toy”
- LAKE – “No Wonder I”
- Souvenir Stand – “Days I’ve Spent With You”
- Skelocrats – “What Am I”
- Yakuri Cable – “Giving Into Silence”
- The Choo Choo Trains – “Save Me”
- The Van Allen Belt - “Songs”
Just play one of these songs, both from movies that I remember from my childhood.
Sweet Pea’s Lullaby from Popeye
Love from Robin Hood
I was thinking about maybe having TVM record versions of these, but how can you even try to reinterpret such perfection? I might change my mind about that though.
In honor of the New Year, we decided to share our top albums of the year with you. Check ‘em out suckas! You might like some of them.
Jeremy’s top 12 picks
Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career
Adam and Darcie – California Trail
Pains of Being Pure at Heart – s/t
Lake – Let’s Build a Roof
Girls – Album
The Clientele - Bonfires on the Heath
God Help the Girl
Built to Spill – There is No Enemy
Desolation Wilderness – New Universe
Candy Claws – In the Dream of the Sea Life
Spondee - Pop Your Socks Off
Pastels/Tenniscoats – Two Sunsets
Honorable Mentions: Animal Collective, Canoe, Finn Riggins, Elephant Stone, Le Fleur
Zach’s top 5 picks
Dragonslayer – Sunset Rubdown
Enemy Mine – Swan Lake
There Is No Enemy - Built to Spill
Vs. Wilderness – Finn Riggins
Din Din – Le Fleur
Elijah’s top 5 picks
Bitte Orca – Dirty Projectors
Jake’s top picks (his go to 11!)
Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle – Bill Callahan
Wind’s Poem – Mount Eerie
Bromst - Dan Deacon
Merriwether Post Pavilion – Animal Collective
Sunn 0))) -Monoliths And Dimensions
Squarepusher -Numbers Lucient
Pussygutt -Gathering Streignths
Wolves In The Throne Room -Melevolent Grain
Acid Mothers Temple -Dark Side Of The Black Moon
Black Moth Super Rainbow -Eating Us
Venetian Snares -Horsey Noises
Tim Hecker -An Imaginary Country
Lightning Bolt -Earthly Delights
Clint’s Top 5 Picks
Jovenes Y Sexys – Bruno EP
The Silent Years – The Globe
En Ventura – Los Gandharvas
Hey Chica! – Do You Really Believe…?
The Holiday Friends – self-titled EP
Gia’s Top 3 Picks
Adam and Darcie – California Trail
Finn Riggins – Vs. Wilderness
We Cut Corners EP