Top 10 Albums of 2014

2014 turned out to be a year of memorable and exciting albums. This list took some time to compile and many albums came close to being included but these albums proved to be the standouts among the abundant records released this year. From a return to form in the post-punk genre to a soul/funk masterpiece, here are the top 10 albums of 2014.

10. Interpol- El Pintor

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9. The Hotelier:  Home, Like Noplace Is There

 

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8.  Kele: Trick

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7. I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness: Dust

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6. Real Estate: Atlas

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5. The War on Drugs: Lost in a Dream

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4. The Neighbourhood: #000000 & #FFFFFF

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3. Tijuana Panthers: Wayne Interest

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2. Cymbals Eat Guitar: Lose

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1. D’angelo & The Vanguard: Black Messiah

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Top 10 Music Videos of 2014

Music videos over the years have become a form to be reckoned with. Some are mini-movies while others are complete works of art and  2014 has been a year of both these categories. From living in a dream to dancing for self-love here are the top 10 music videos of 2014.

10. Childish Gambino: Sweatpants

9. Kele: Doubt

8. FKA twigs: Two Weeks

7. A Place to Bury Strangers: Straight

6. Beyonce: 7/11

5.  Real Estate: Crime

4. Childish Gambino: Telegraph Ave (Oakland by Lloyd)

3. Sam Smith: Money on My Mind

2. Flying Lotus: Never Catch Me (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

1. Kendrick Lamar: “i”

 

Augustines: Juarez

Augustines are a band that I completely stumbled on last year. Their earnest and moving songs instantly caught my attention and I decided to check out their album “Rise Ye Sunken Ships”. The album was inspired from vocalist/guitarist Billy McCarthy’s pain and loss from the deaths of his mother and brother. After listening to this album I felt like I had to let as many people know about it.

One of the best songs on the album is “Juarez” which is anthemic in scope with its powerful chorus and grandiose sound. McCarthy’s voice soars with the gradually increasing guitar chords. Check it out above.

Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On

I finally had the opportunity to listen to Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” album and I feel like  it is one of the best albums I have ever listened to. It is without a doubt a masterpiece that showcases just how versatile Marvin Gaye was.

The album itself is quite relevant in today’s world especially with the protests going on around the country over the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner to the police. The album really hits home with its plea for equality and peace. I felt like I really had to at least share this remarkable record on this site so that it can reach those that have never heard it before or at least inspire people to try and help to change our world. Check it out.

The Morning Benders: Promises

The Morning Benders was a band that really came into their own with their second album “Big Echo”. Its atmospheric and California surf sound set the band apart from their contemporaries back in 2010. The album is literally quite perfect from beginning to end. To this day I still listen to this album constantly.

One of the best songs on this record is “Promises” which features hazy guitar chords blending with Christopher Chu’s remarkable vocal range. Check it out above.

Top 10 Songs of 2014

2014 has been a year of quite a few surprises in new music. Many artists released singles without an album pending. There has also been a variety of memorable songs released for movies and TV shows. From a subdued dance track to a noisy exclamation of trouble to come, here are the top 10 songs of 2014.

10. Kele: Humour Me

9. The War on Drugs: An Ocean in Between the Waves

8. Drake: How About Now

7. Miguel: Simplethings

6. Drake: 0 to 100

5. Bon Iver: Heavenly Father

4. Real Estate: Crime

3. Motorama: Special Day

2. Tijuana Panthers: Money Jar

1. Cymbals Eat Guitars: Warning

Kele: Humour Me

Bloc Party’s lead singer Kele Okereke has just released his newest solo album “Trick” and it proves to be an amazing followup to “The Boxer”. The songs on this record is much more downbeat and displays its UK garage/ post-dubstep influences that has become a major influence to various artists.

One of the best songs on the album is “Humour Me”. The song is a dance track with a dark bass beat playing throughout. Kele’s vocals blend perfectly with the bouncing beat. Check it out.

Local Natives: Black Balloons

When Local Natives’ sophomore album “Hummingbird” was released last year I was quite disappointed by it. The freak-folk and eccentric music that they had become known for was completely absent on the new record. The album was much more serious in tone and didn’t have any songs that clicked with me. I quickly listened to it and never looked back.

However a year later I revisited the album and it has finally grown on me. Many songs that I felt were skippable turned out to be really interesting and catchy. One of those songs is “Black Balloons” which has an amazing riff that is played throughout the song and is only matched by Taylor Rice’s harmonious vocals. Check it out.

The Machine

I have been watching non-stop science fiction movies over the past few weekends after watching “Interstellar” in theaters. I have been actually surprised by the amount of great and interesting sci-fi movies that are out there. One of these recent discoveries is “The Machine” which was written by director Caradog W. James and which I was absolutely blown away by it.

“The Machine” stars Toby Stephens as Vincent McCarthy a scientist who works with cybernetics and who is also trying to develop a cure for his sick daughter. He meets a young scientist named Ava (Caity Lotz) who has developed an engaging artificial intelligence program that also has acquired a conscious. One day Ava and Vincent are assaulted by a Chinese agent sent by the leader of their corporation Thompson. Thier encounter results in Ava getting killed. Vincent decides to replicate Ava by using artificial intelligence. This results in a new Ava that is called The Machine. Things start to change for both Vincent and the Machine when she starts to develop morals and begins to think for herself.

“The Machine” does a great job at displaying the world that the characters inhabit. It is a very dark and menacing world where people are used as guinea pigs for scientific tests then discarded after they complete their assignments. Vincent is tired of the constant misuse of people and the isolation that comes from his job and the constant surveillance that everyone is under. His only hope is finding a cure for his daughter and his feelings for the Machine’s well-being.

The CGI used in the film is also something to pay attention to. There are many visual scenes that showcase the technology being used to create these robots and artificial beings.

Overall, “The Machine” is a great film that delves into the discussion of what consciousness signifies as well as what constitutes being human. The differences between artificial intelligence and “humanness” creates an interesting film that tries to show what can be accomplished.

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