Everywhere’s doing their end of year lists. This is important, because how else will we know what the best album of 2014 was?
I used to do this myself, but I stopped when I realised a few things:
1. Nobody was reading my lists.
2. My lists were essentially identical to everyone else’s, just with the albums in a slightly different order.
3. My lists took weeks to compile and write, but they didn’t make the slightest bit of difference to anyone – apart from that time my girlfriend said that I should have rated Oceansize higher.
Though I no longer compile lists of my own, I still find it useful when others do. I’m finding it increasingly exhausting to seek out new music. Brand new, that is. Whilst it’s always an absolute pleasure to delve into the past, when it comes to new music, I no longer have the energy to listen to as much as I can, in the vague hope of finding something that works for me.
The likes of Spotify have certainly made things cheaper, but by no means have they made things any easier. Being able to stream every album that’s ever released, instantly, at the touch of a button, only serves to highlight just how much new music is released every single week of every single year.
End of year lists make me aware of things that I would otherwise have missed. When they’re compiled by sites like The Quietus and Tiny Mix Tapes, they invariably contain the sort of strange noises that I wouldn’t have heard even if it were still possible to stay up til 5AM every single night, tirelessly trawling the blogs. They champion the unchampioned, and their end of year lists have pointed me towards some truly incredible sounds:
But it’s not just the obscure stuff. Merchandise’s After The End has featured prominently in several year end lists. I simply would not have given it a go otherwise. This afternoon I did, and it was wonderful. I mean, really wonderful, as in, “full of wonder”; as in, it’s a genuine wonder that it’s still possible to make fresh sounds from such basic instruments.
It’s for this reason I thought I’d compile a very short list of my own. These aren’t the best albums of 2014. Rather, they’re albums I’ve really enjoyed in 2014, but which I’ve not seen featured in many other year end lists. Maybe you’ve heard them, maybe you haven’t. In any case, perhaps you’ll discover something new.
Oh. If you have heard these albums, don’t scream at me for having the audacity to suggest that you haven’t. Instead, let’s be friends.