The Breakdown’s Top Albums of 2014

Posted: January 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

The happiest of New Years to all the wonderful Breakdown followers! The year just ended has seen an incredible amount of amazing music released. This is where we go over the strongest album releases of the last 12 months. All of these are an absolute must in your musical collection. MUST. ;)

The releases have been ranked in a top 10 countdown format. Here goes!

  1. Wild Beasts – Present Tense

These guys are something completely different to anything else out there, and we love that. The combination of two falsetto vocalists and a musical style that jumps from intense, dark, brooding to bright, overt celebration within the one song brings a very rewarding listening experience. They have been Breakdown favourites for years. This, their third studio album, brings more of the same from the English act, and that’s just the way we like it.

 

  1. We Were Promised Jetpacks – Unravelling

A really original sounding indie rock / punk band from Scotland. They impressed with the raw intensity of their debut album a few years back, and now refined their sound on this record. The intensity is still there, but they have honed and refreshed their songwriting and production. While still staying essentially a bona fide rock band, they have introduced mesmerising pop hooks into a lot of their songs.

 

  1. Future Islands – Singles

One of the most original sounding bands out there, this US band have done everything we love here at The Breakdown: developed a completely original sound and stayed true to it. It continues in the same fashion as the previous two albums on this list, returning favourites with a new album. The vocalist is like nothing you’ve ever heard, and so addictive to listen to. The songwriting style you just have to tip your hat to. Brilliant.

 

  1. SOHN – Tremors

This English producer has been known to the Breakdown for a couple of years, dropping little tidbits here and there. He finally released his debut album and it did not disappoint. A wistful brooding electronic sound with haunting vocals, it’s quite the experience.

 

  1. The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream

A band that re-ignites a wonderful sound from the past and puts a completely new spin on it. There’s a bit of Bruce Springsteen’s better moments, along with Jackson Browne, packaged up in a very current way. Their tune Red Eyes is honestly one of the best songs of recent times, and there are many more incredible moments on this album. It would have finished much higher in the list if there weren’t a few songs that tend to drag on and lose focus a bit, but having said that, they will not stop this album becoming one of the best releases for the year and perhaps the decade.

 

  1. Gardens & Villa – Dunes

Yet another Breakdown favourite back with another blistering release. As with the other favourites, they have a remarkably unique sound that they have cultivated, refined and added to. An incredibly strong album, just about every song is awesome, has its own personality, yet retains the band’s original sound.

 

  1. #1 Dads – About Face

This one came from nowhere, having come to our attention very late in the year. It simply cannot be denied, and may have ended up higher in the list had we had more time with it. It’s hard to believe this band is considered a side project. Tom Iansek, from award-winning Australian group Big Scary, penned all these tracks, with cameo performances from some of his musical friends. This album, in our opinion, outstrips anything Big Scary have done. It is haunting, emotional, addictive and spell-binding. You simply have to hear it.

 

  1. The Glitch Mob – Love Death Immortality

The holders of the Breakdown’s number 1 album of 2011 returned this year with their second studio album. While it is different in so many regards, it does the same things so very well. Big crescendos, drops, fired up choruses, all the while dripping with excitement and energy. If we are permitted to use an analogy, if Drink The Sea, was an acid trip, then Love Death Immortality is a cocaine bender. But you are in the same house, and with the same friends.

 

  1. Caribou – Our Love

Just to continue a trend you may have picked up on, this album rounds out our extensive selection of old favourites returning with stunning new material. Caribou, a solo producer from Canada, was the big mover in this crop. We were well aware of him for the last few years – this is his sixth studio album – with a few of his songs popping up in our playlists, but never really grabbing us with his albums. This album has blown the top off that, however. It is ridiculously good, a journey from beginning to end, showcasing remarkable songwriting and production skills. There are devastating hooks throughout, tantalising build-ups aplenty and pure satisfaction that expands with every listen.

 

  1. Flight Facilities – Down to Earth

We may have been able to copy and paste the description from Caribou’s album to this one, except that this is the Australian group’s debut release. Like many of our favourites, these guys had been dropping tidbits for years, finally packaging them up and releasing them together, with quite a few stunning new ditties. This album gets the nod for the number 1 spot, simply because some songs take one to greater heights than Caribou does. Close your eyes and be transported to a magical place that only you own and inhabit. Soak up that incredible feeling that only music can bring. This album is a definitive statement of why music is the unparalleled bastion of human accomplishment.

 

 

 

As always, there are some ridiculously good albums that could not be squeezed into the top 10. These are also very much worth the time and money. Here are the runners up, organised in order.

  1. ODESZA – In Return
  2. Milky Chance – Sadnecessary
  3. Postiljonen – Skyer
  4. Mr Little Jeans – Pocketknife
  5. Jungle – Jungle
  6. Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow

 

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