1. TY SEGALL Manipulator

Garage rock.  50 Years on.  Not very 2014, is it?   But unlike a  lot of Ty’s back catalogue, Manipulator isn’t really Garage rock.  It’s glam rock.  So only 40 years old.  But but but….it sounds fresh and exciting and it just goes to show that rock’n’roll needs no fancy tricks.  Just massive tunes, attitude and exactly the right amount of rehearsal. Not too much, not too little.   Lashings of Bowie and Bolan, and by extension, Suede.   Tune after tune after tune.  I could probably live without the last three songs but the first fourteen are solid gold: economic, fun and fuzzy pop songs.    Feels like the first time, all over again.


What a debut.   Confident, bold, classy and, yay, clever British pop music.  Excellent shine and bounce.    Very cool and beguiling songs, and a really goddam brilliant production.   You are going to buy this album next year.  Do yourself a favour and get in for Xmas.  Wild Beasts should probably give up now.  Sounds like it is made out of flawless, coloured glass spheres, if that helps.

 BECK Morning Phase

I am not usually a big fan of Beck’s strumming albums but this is so massively lush and deep.  Like Simon & Garfunkel holidaying in Laurel Canyon.   It sounds like soft sunlight coming in through the window of a log cabin, way up in the woods. Wide awake, it’s morning.  It makes me want to for a walk and feel the grass beneath my feet.


Motown.  That’s it really.  Draws from the same sound palette as Back To Black but Dave Sitek adds some super clever little quirks.   A lot of songs about food and boys.  It’s the first Kelis album I’ve really got into and it’s brassy, breezY and super classy pop.  She sounds like she is having al kinds of fun doing the singing.   What a massive voice she has too, eh?

JANE WEAVER: The Silver Globe

 Well, I wasn’t expecting that.  It’s throbbing psychedelia and glowing, pastoral romance.  Absolutely fantastic and totally accessible pop music.   There is so much filigree wit and gleaming invention going on in this record and I’ve barely scratched it’s glistening surface.  Like finding a baby dragon in your back garden.


 If The Manics had just made Generation Terrorists, Holy Bible and this, they’d be legends.  They are legends of course, but this truly is the best thing they’ve done in 20 years.  Bold, European, electronic, Bowie ish, Post Punky new gold genius.  It fucking leaps out of the speakers and batters you about the head.  Excellent production too.  Shit title though.  Money back if not satisfied.  Sounds like it was made from lasers, glass and perspex

LYKKE LI: I Never Learn

 She just gets better, doesn’t she.   Deceptively simple and hugely effective.   These songs head straight for the heart.  Barely half an hour long but this is an album we’ll be listening to in 20 years.    She sounds mighty cross too.   Witches brew.

 LIARS: Mess

 Always great but this is just brilliant.  Electric, wired and ever so slightly psychotic pop music with atomic ants in its tight white pants.

JACH WHITE: Lazaretto

 It’s quite an odd record. JW spent months making it, rather than bashing it out over a weekend as per.   Again, it seems deceptively simple and slightly oddly sequenced but the more I listened to it, the better I liked it.   It’s kind of a history tour of American rock but it makes for a totally convincing whole. And that show at Hammersmith was easily the best I saw this year.

EX HEX: Rips

 I think this sounds like The Pretenders doing Ramones songs.  And doing them very well indeed.  Is this what the kids like now? Good for them.

FKA Twigs LP1

 This has really grown on me.  Super-assured debut.   Conjures a mood of its own and holds it tightly.  She speaks as much through the music as the words.   Well sexy too.


 There’s a reason this record is in every End of Year List.    Dan is at the top of his game, eh?  There isn’t a genre for this record, is there?  You’d LOVE it.   Go on, spoil yourself.    Like getting tipsy and falling into a room filled with coloured plastic balls.

 BROKEN BELLS: After The Disco

 It is quite Hall & Oates-y, and a bit Bee Gees.  Super sleek, immaculately crafted songs.  Wasn’t sure at first but I love it now.   I might be the only one in Britain.  It sounds really good if you turn it up, so turn it up.

 Honourable Mentions

WHITE LUNG:                      Deep Fantasy                                  Mustang

GRUFF RHYS:                        American Interior                         Pickup, battered

MARTIN CARR:                    The Breaks                                       60s Jag

CRISTOBEL TAPIA DE VEER:Utopia (OST)                              Prius filled with gas

TVOTR:                                    Seeds                                                Audi TT

TEEN:                                       The Way And Color                        Herbie

ST VINCENT:                          St Vincent                                        Mercedes SLK

PRINCE. 3RDEYEGIRL:        Plectrum Electrum                        Anthill Mob’s car

PIXIES:                                     Indie Cindy                                      Capri

PERFUME GENIUS:              Too Bright                                         Morgan

MOODOID:                               Le Monde Moo                                Rollerskates with jelly

LANA DEL REY:                      Ultraviolence                                   Open top Cadilac

LA ROUX:                                 Trouble In Paradise                        2CV

HUNDRED WATERS:            The Moon Rang Like A Bell            Kharmann Ghia

ADULT JAZZ:                          Gist Is                                             Mini Cooper, 1 square wheel

DE LUX:                                   Voyage                                               Discobus

DFA 1979:                                The Physical World                         Big, sexy motorbike

DEAN BLUNT:                        Black Metal                                      70s Transit

CLOUD NOTHINGS              Here & Nowhere Else                      Splitter with full ashtray

ARCA:                                        Xen                                                    Very expensive bike

ANDY STOTT:                         Faith In Strangers                           Blacked out limo

R SEILIOG                               In Hz                                                   New camper van

TEMPLES                                 Sun Structures                                  Old camper van