Figuring out what my top 5 albums of 2014 were, proved to be not as hard as I imagined it to be. There weren’t many options for me to choose from because I have a small amount of albums that I loved in 2014. I changed my mind a few times, and while I was writing my final list I stumbled upon an album I hadn’t heard since February, and I changed my mind again last minute. I had to cut an album of one of my favourite artists off the list to make room for this refound album. In the end I’m happy with my list and this is what 2014 was to me.
My EverythingΙAriana Grande
Ariana Grande was the “It Girl” of 2014, from her VMA performance, her new album, and recently being nominated for a Grammy. Less than a year after her breakout album “Yours Truly”, her sophomore album “My Everything” topped the charts once again. Grande recently became one of four women to have three singles charting in the top ten of the Hot 100 simultaneously, with songs “Problem”, “Break Free” and “Bang Bang”. And this album has a more mature R&B sound that suits her soaring vocal abilities. This album shows Grande coming into her own and showing us who she really is. This album is still cohesive amid the power ballads and groovy dance tunes, and I could see myself listening to this album for a long time.
Mind Over MatterΙYoung the Giant
Young the Giant waited three years to put out their second album but it was well worth the wait. This is the album I fell in love with all over again and I’m glad it made my final list. “Mind Over Matter” is indie-rock at its finest, with laid back California vibes and powerful vocals. “Mind Over Matter”, and “It’s About Time” are the strongest songs on the album, lead guitar lines, keyboard melodies, and synth strings, make these songs catchy yet powerful. Forlorn lyrics are mixed with layers of synth and it has a euphoric feeling that immerses you and makes you feel like you are far away. This album is better than Young the Giant’s debut and it adds depth to their already successful alternative rock sound.
So Long, See You TomorrowΙBombay Bicycle Club
Bombay Bicycle Club have really outdone themselves on their album “So Long, See You Tomorrow”. They have a unique sound that is so distinctively them, and I would describe this album as indie-techno with hints of cultural impact. The percussion and instrumentation are influenced from African and Asian cultures from lead singer, Jack Steadman’s, travels. The way these exotic sounds are juxtaposed with the modern pop-synth style makes this album fresh and highly intriguing. If you were to only listen to one song, I would recommend “Carry Me” because it truly an experience from its distorted drum breaks to the heavily processed guitars. The rest of this euphoric indie-electronic record is in one word, superb.
The BalconyΙCatfish and the Bottlemen
“The Balcony” by Catfish and the Bottlemen is my favourite album of 2014, without a doubt. This band is an ode to classic rock bands and they have a style that is uncommon amid the plethora of indie-pop/rock bands. Catfish and the Bottlemen come out strong with “Kathleen” and don’t slow down until the final two songs of the album. They have a lot of youthful energy, and they scream it into their lyrics. The lead singer, Vann McCann, has a raspy, deep voice which suits the songs perfectly. Guitar-heavy riffs and powerhouse drums are a staple to this band, and they execute it extremely well. I can’t wait to see what’s next for these Llandudno lads, and I can’t wait to see them on their American tour.
“Room 93” is an EP but I couldn’t bear to not put it on my top 5 albums of 2014. Halsey puts her emotions out on the table for everyone to see and she has no regrets. This EP is a diary of her escapades of living in New Jersey, and she doesn’t hold back from talking about sex and other gritty realities. “Hurricane” makes you feel free and challenges women stereotypes with lyrics “I’m a wanderess, I’m a one-night stand”. Halsey has a raw, unique voice and she has the ability to tell a story, which many artists have difficulty doing. My favourite off the EP is “Trouble”, it’s a stripped down piano ballad and you can hear the pain in Halsey’s voice as she sings about a toxic relationship. This electro-indie EP is mesmerizing and I recommend everyone to listen to it.