Albums

This is where you will find a list of our favourite albums here at The Breakdown for each calendar year that we have been doing this little thing.

Shortcut to the blog posts here:

The Breakdown’s Top Albums of 2014

The Breakdown’s Top 10 Albums of 2013

The Breakdown’s Top 10 Albums Of 2012

For the purists out there, please note we are aware that some albums were released earlier than the year they’ve been put in. Sometimes some bands slip under our radar and we catch them a little later, or we love an album for longer than a year.

* Denotes super awesome. If you only want a couple, get these.

**Denotes if you don’t listen to these, you are a damned fool…

2014

View the full blog post here

Flight Facilities – Down to Earth**

We Were Promised Jetpacks – Unraveling*

Wampire – Bazaar

The Preatures – Blue Planet Eyes

In The Valley Below – The Belt

Wildcat! Wildcat! – No Moon At All

Caribou – Our Love**

La Dispute – The Rooms of the House

ODESZA – In Return*

Postiljonen – Skyer

Jungle – Jungle

Milky Chance – Sadnecessary

Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else

SOHN – Tremors

Chronic City – Nom de Guerre

Mr Little Jeans – Pocketknife

Future Islands – Singles

The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream**

Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow

Racing Glaciers – Ahead Of You Forever

Wild Beasts – Present Tense**

Nightbug – Parallels

The Glitch Mob – Love Death Immortality**

Papa – Tender Madness

Gardens & Villa – Dunes**

Darkside – Psychic**

 

 

2013

View the full blog post here

Rufus – Atlas*

July Talk – July Talk

Darkside – Psychic

Jagwar Ma – Howlin*

On An On – Give In**

The Mary Onettes – Hit The Waves

Polica – Shulamith**

Surfer Blood – Pythons

The Polish Ambassador – Superpowers

Cloud Control – Dream Cave**

ODESZA – My Friends Never Die

London Grammar – If You Wait**

Black Light Dinner Party – Sons & Lovers*

When Saints Go Machine – Infinity Pool

Holy Ghost! – Dynamics

CHVRCHES – The Bones Of What You Believe**

Snakadaktal – Sleep In The Water

Atlas Genius – When It Was Now

Wild Cub – Youth**

Austra – Olympia*

Junip – Junip

Divine Fits – A Thing Called Devine Fits

Pretty Lights – A Color Map of The Sun*

Gold & Youth – Beyond Wilderness

The National – Trouble Will Find Me**

Alex Clare – The Lateness Of The Hour

Lord Huron – Lonesome Dreams**

Intothenorthsea – Intothenorthsea**

Geographer – Innocent Ghosts

Surfer Blood – Astrocoast*

The Lumineers – The Lumineers*

Odesza – Summer’s Gone

Half Moon Run – Dark Eyes**

Flume – Flume

Tor – Drum Therapy

The New Division – Shadows

Emancipator – Dusk To Dawn

Foals – Holy Fire**

Toro Y Moi – Anything In Return*

 

 

2012

View the full blog post here

Humans – Traps

Geographer – Myth

Flume – Flume

Poor Spirits – Mellow

Fredrik – Flora*

Gardens and Villa – Gardens and Villa**

Young Magic – Melt

Wye Oak – Civilian

Fort Lean – Fort Lean (EP)

Alabama Shakes – Boys and Girls

Theme Park – EP

Husky – Forever So

Django Django – Django Django

Beats Antique – Electrafone*

Alt-J – An Awesome Wave*

Hot Chip – In Our Heads

JBM – Stray Ashes

Bravestation – Giants and Dreamers*

Passion Pit – Gossamer

Yung Life – Yung Life*

WU LYF – Go Tell Fire To The Mountain**

Other Lives – Tamer Animals*

Future Islands – On The Water**

St. Lucia – St. Lucia

Yeasayer – Fragrant World**

Tim and Jean – Like What

The xx – Coexist

Chromatics – Kill For Love

The Black Angels – Passover

Plants and Animals – The End of That

The Maccabees – Given To The Wild*

Groove Armada – Lovebox*

Perfume Genius – Put Your Back N 2 It*

Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal*

Au Palais – Tender Mercy (EP)*

Haim – Forever (EP)*

Four Tet – There Is Love In You*

Phantogram – Eyelid Movies

Crystal Fighters – Star of Love*

Tours – Stay (EP)

Auditorium – Be Brave

Washed Out – Within and Without*

Holy Ghost! – Holy Ghost!*

Active Child – You Are All I See*

Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory

Caveman – CoCo Beware

The Weeknd – Echoes of Silence

Real Estate – Days

We Were Promised Jetpacks – In The Pit of The Stomach

The Limousines – Get Sharp

New Animal – New Animal*

A.A. Bondy – Believers

The Black Keys – El Camino

First Rate People – Its Never Not Happening

Keep Shelly In Athens – In Love With Dusk*

 

 

2011

10. Smith Westerns – Dye it Blonde

These guys must be somewhere between 17 and 21 years old, but have written an album that channels some of the best sounds of the 70’s, while maintaining a distinctly modern and relevant sound. It’s catchy, but its dirty, underground and swirling with an ethereal 70’s feel.

9. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

A band that keeps stepping it up. Personally, I wasn’t that overly taken with any of their older work. It was solid without being spectacular. Then this album dropped, with a multitude of powerful, anthemic, original and sometimes deeply moving songs. It includes one that sounds not a thing like Arcade Fire, almost more like The Knife, and is probably the standout track for a lot of people. Very strong album by one of Canada’s most consistent performers.

8. Washed Out – Within and Without

I’ve only had this one a while, and it’s Washed Out’s debut full length album, following on from a couple of really cool EP’s that I enjoyed immensely. His first foray into albums is a stunning exhibition of his skills. Dreamy, deep, moving and ahead of his time, all songs are distinctly different from one another, yet on the same page and fit beautifully into this one piece of work. He is young, independent and produces music in his bedroom. Get amongst it.

7. Bonobo – Black Sands

This album is the pinnacle of blissed out electro beats for this past year (yes, I am aware it was released in 2010). It has on so many occasions taken me to far away places that don’t actually exist, and that excite me greatly. It is also fantastic to snowboard to.

6. Pretty Lights – [Pretty much everything he’s put out]

He is a one man show, creating amazing electronic music using samples and fat bassy undertones. He releases all his music on his website for a donation (free if you are really that cheap) the way music should be released. Some of it is chilled and blissful, some of it heavy and powerful, some of it dark and complicated. No matter what there is something for everyone in Pretty Lights. He has released a number of albums and EP’s, of which I came across all at the same time, so I’m not going to divide them up. Listen to them all. Realistically, he belongs higher than number 6 in my list, but they are still somewhat watered down by sheer number (over 100 tracks in all). If all my favourites were in one release it would probably come close to number 1.

5. Holy Ghost! – Holy Ghost!

Another electro duo, hailing from Brooklyn NY, but one that stands head and shoulders above the rest with this release. Every track is catchy and individual and grabs you from the opening moments. Maintains an underground feel, while being slightly pop, an incredibly difficult thing to do, done best in recent years by Cut Copy. These guys remind me of Cut Copy, but sound effectively nothing like them… How does that make sense…?

4. The Vaccines – What Did You Expect From the Vaccines

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a British indie rock band produce such a solid album. From start to finish it is full of catchy yet not too poppy brit rock style indie rock. Based largely on what I can only imagine to be a relationship breakup and the guy’s healing period, it is full of self-exploration, longing, sadness and loneliness; yet all carried out with an air of optimism. The guitar riffs and drum beats are super fun too, this one is really cool… I found myself continually coming back to this album.

3. The Rural Alberta Advantage – Hometowns

An example of true genius song writing. This guys voice is so unique, you could pick it anywhere, any time without hesitation.  His song writing abilities complement what is an amazing talent. These songs will get stuck in your head for months, and I mean in a good way. They are all so simple, yet so individually captivating and diverse.

2. Active Child – You Are All I See

If we are going off raw emotion, a sense of regret, loss and pain delivered with soaring beauty that an artist can convey, then this album would win by a country mile. If you’ve ever loved and lost, if you’ve ever taken pleasure in sitting on top of a mountain and taking in the view, or closing your eyes and being instantly transported somewhere else you will love it. Crazily haunting falsetto vocals, the use of a harp, and combining it with modern electronic instruments and a contemporary beat create something to behold. There are a couple of songs on the album I don’t go much on, but the rest are for the ages.

1. The Glitch Mob – Drink the Sea

This album is mind blowing. It just about creates its own genre. The power of it was encapsulated while backcountry snowboarding one day last march. Skinning up the inside face of a huge bowl, surrounded by ominous vertical cliffs standing 400m above, the track “A Dream Within A Dream” dropped, and music with power great enough to match that of the BC coast mountains finally existed. Sick!

Stupidly close but I couldn’t fit them all in

Suckers – Wild Smile

Yuck – Yuck

Warpaint – The Fool

Austra – Feel it Break

Honourable mentions

The Antlers – Burst Apart

Boy and Bear – With Emperor Antarctica

Blue Foundation – Life of a Ghost

The Cave Singers – No Witch

Cloud Control – Bliss Release

The Cribs – Mens Needs, Womens Needs, Whatever

Delorean – Subiza

Digitalism – I Love You Dude

Emancipator – Soon It Will Be Cold Enough

Florence And The Machine – Lungs

Foals – Antidotes

Foals – Total Life Forever

Friendly Fires – Pala

Gypsy and the Cat – Gilgamesh

An Horse – Rearrange beds

The Kills – Blood Pressures

Metronomy – The English Riviera

Miike Snow – Miike Snow

Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

Ou Est Le Swimming Pool – The Golden Years

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong

The Panics – Rain On The Humming Wire

Polock – Getting Down From The Trees

The Raveonettes – Raven in the Grave

Thieves Like Us – Again and Again

Tokyo Police Club – Champion

TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light

Wild Beasts – Smother

Wild Beasts – Two Dancers

The xx – xx

2010

10. Florence and the Machine – Lungs

Power and originality

9. Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History

Catchy pop hooks

8. Ou Est Le Swimming Pool – The Golden Years

Just some mad gems on this album, gets you so pumped up.

7. The Naked and Famous – Passive Me, Aggressive You

Same as above, but they prove their versatility by jumping out of the pop genre a few times too, invoking memories of some of TV on the Radio’s better stuff.

6. The XX  – xx

So calming and original, so chilled out!

5. The Drums – The Drums

Almost define their own genre, so original, so catchy, and every song is awesome. How can you pigeon hole a band that sounds like a cross between the Beach Boys and Joy Division?!

4. Foals – Total Life Forever

I was excited to see their follow up effort to a stunning first album, and instead of being disappointed as you come to expect, this one truly delivered. Their sound changed, but not in a bad way, they seemed to get a little more melancholy, a bit less bouncy, and more intelligent if that makes sense. Over all it was awesome.

3. Miike Snow – Miike Snow

The finest indie electro pop I’ve heard in a long time. Every song has its own identity and personality. They are musically gifted and display it numerous times over the course of the album, some songs are emotional and thought provoking, but they also know how to write a catchy pop tune.

2. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

The raw emotion and beauty somehow captured in this album can’t be put into words.

1. Yeasayer – Odd Blood

The musical genius shown in Odd Blood is so crazy, it gets deeper and more complex with every listen (and I’m probably at roughly 150 listens so far) that I will probably still be playing it when I’m 70. I’m a little afraid to put it at number 1 cos I still don’t feel like I know it well enough. But that fact (after hearing it for nearly 10 months) combined with the song writing skills; ingenius use of strange instruments, sounds and effects; the two frontline singers that bring such different qualities together and the tribal, other-wordly feeling you get from it is enough to get the nod.

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