Pensacola, Florida
Monday June 18th 2018


10 Albums from 2014 You Should Already Own

By Jason Leger

• Mac DeMarco-Salad Days
Mac DeMarco is an opportunist. He takes chances he wants and writes by his own rules. His second album, “Salad Days,” should be more than enough to validate him. Meeting somewhere in between jangly psych rock and ‘80s public access background music, “Salad Days” is a testament to DeMarco’s songwriting strength. Top track: ‘Go Easy’

•Real Estate-Atlas
Real Estate have built a very recognizable sound on the back of freewheeling melodies and refreshingly catchy guitar riffs. Third full length, “Atlas,” is a strong addition to their catalog and proof of their growth as musicians. Top track: ‘Talking Backwards’

•Cloud Nothings-Here and Nowhere Else
Ohio three-piece Cloud Nothings became quite ambitious on their fourth full length in hopes of distancing themselves from earlier material. Their effort paid off, and the finished product is an album of catchy indie punk that will stick with you. Top Track: ‘Now Here In’

•The War on Drugs-Lost in the Dream
Nearly a decade into his career as the creative force behind The War on Drugs, Adam Granduciel has streamlined his sound and made his most accessible album to date, while simultaneously staying true to himself and his fans. Top track: ‘Eyes to the Wind’

•Black Lips-Underneath the Rainbow
On “Underneath the Rainbow,” Georgia garage punks Black Lips take their love of dirty country and grunge and their penchant for uncouth activity and churn out 34 minutes of distorted goodness. While sticking true to the punk roots that helped them gain notoriety, Black Lips have taken their raw sound and put a bit of sheen on it, which makes this album more accessible to a wider audience. Top track: ‘Drive-By Buddy’

•F*cked Up-Glass Boys
I can’t express how glad I was to learn this band was returning from hiatus with a new album. “Glass Boys” focuses more on simply being an LP of rock songs and less on the dramatic and conceptual works which put F*cked Up on the map. Top Track: ‘Echo Boomer’

•Future Islands-Singles
When this album first came out, I called these cats the most important band of 2014. I still stick by that, as “Singles” is full of infectious, catchy tunes delivered with passionate vocals that are unmatched in the majority of the indie rock landscape. Top Track: ‘A Dream of You and Me’

•Spoon-They Want My Soul
“They Want My Soul” is immediately infectious and Spoon’s most grandiose attempt at achieving mainstream attention to date. This collection of songs takes everything we have always loved about Spoon and hones it into purity. Like I said in my review, I’ve never been happier with a Spoon album. Top track: ‘Do You’

•Tune-Yards-Nikki Nack
Tune-Yards are always impressive. Merrill Garbus’ writing style is creative, inventive and bursting with flair. Every time I hear a new album, I immediately try to visualize how it’s pulled off live and it’s always more intricate than I imagine. Musically speaking, this is one of the most important bands around today. Top track: ‘Look Around’

•Strand of Oaks-HEAL
While this list is full of incredible albums, so far, “HEAL” is the best I’ve heard this year. It’s personal, emotive and quite striking. Plus, there is a gamut run from indie folk to blistering rock to synth-driven pop. This is my frontrunner for 2014’s album of the year, but it’s far from over. Top track: ‘Plymouth’

These 10 albums are the cream of the crop for me so far in 2014. I wish I had room to write a top 20, because there are several other artists, including Jenny Lewis, Wye Oak, Dum Dum Girls and Beck who have put out albums deserving of your time. However, these are the top 10 so far, and we have about four months to go. Obviously, if your record collection is shy any of these listed, I highly recommend every one of them.

Keep reading and I’ll keep you up to date on upcoming releases from Foxygen, The Drums, Caribou, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Death From Above 1979 and anything else that comes my way.