- 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.
GLASS ANIMALS Zaba
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.
MANIC STREET PREACHERS: Futurology
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.
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.
CARIBOU: Our Love
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.
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