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Albums of the Year 2016-2018

Here we go! After nearly three years of good intentions, and broken promises to myself, I’m finally writing a list of my favourite albums. I’ll be honest that as time has passed, I’ve listened to less music over these years and been truly blown away by even fewer. I really struggled to even find 2 or 3 albums from 2018 that I could imagine listening to in the future. So, instead of a numbered list from 2018, 17 and 16 here is a selection of albums from the past three years that has actually caught my attention. But before I even start there is something that really affected my listening habits in 2018. Podcasts!


I had always dismissed them as boring and never given them a chance but by some stroke of luck I came across Reply All and it made me realise everything I was missing. Before you start checking out the music I recommend, add Reply All to your list, it’s a podcast about the internet all the weird, funny, sad and mindblowing things that pass through the world wide web. It’s on almost every podcast app and even their website, so if you’re interested, try out:

Episode 99 – Black Hole, New Jersey

Episode 91 – The Russian Passenger

or Episode 36 Today’s the Day

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Phoebe Bridgers – Stranger in the Alps

My most listened album of 2018 was released in 2017 (I’m always behind the times these days).
Phoebe Bridgers has a lot audibly in common with Julian Baker and Noah Gunderson and that’s a massive plus point for me. Her songs are mostly quiet, guitar led songs about relationships, break ups and life in general. It also brings to mind Jacob Golden, a seriously underrated singer songwriter i loved in the mid 2000’s and even Conor Oberst in places.
She recently released an EP with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus under the name Boygenius, go check that too!

Best Song: Motion Sickness

Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book

Taking some influence from his buddy Donny Trumpet’s Album Surf (where he is a part of The Social Experiment backing group), Chance exemplifies feel good, gospel tinged hip-hop. In my opinion, even two years after this record he’s criminally underrated. I’m sure guesting on DJ Khaled songs raises his profile but his best work is on his own tracks. You can see why Kanye has used him to help write songs and why he is such a well loved character in the hip hop scene. Featuring ‘Same drugs’ is the sole sad song (and coincidentally my favourite) on this album and the layers of vocals from chance to the backing singers really brings the feelings. Oh and it’s not actually about drugs, listen out for the Peter Pan references.

Best Song: Same Drugs


Trash Boat – Nothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through


I first saw these guys supporting Roam in a tiny room in Hafenklang, Hamburg, and to be honest, they blew all other bands off the stage, Lead singer Tobi was throwing himself into the small crowd from the very beginning. The intimate show could easily have been in a huge “O2” sized venue from the way the band played and the energy was infectious. Then 6 months later, this album reared its head and I was honestly blown away; the production was phenomenal, the songs flowed freely into each other without sounding too samey and the lyricism really shone through. I’m patiently waiting to see what these guys do next. (Update since I wrote this, they released another album, it was ok, but listen to this one instead 🙂 )

Best Song: Tring Quarry

The Hotelier – Goodness

Following up one of the most critically acclaimed and surprising underground hits of 2015 was no mean feat. But The Hotelier, formed of Christian , Chris, Sam  and Ben managed to pull it off and push their music in an intriguing and satisfying evolution. Unafraid to try new things and push the boundaries. This album has spoken word pieces, 7 minute long songs and dramatically minimalist ballads to lost grandparents. I wasn’t expecting them to move in a more arty direction but I am definitely pleased they did, it’s not the simplest of listens and at times takes some concentration but it really is worth the effort.

Best Song: Piano Player

The Dirty Nil – Higher Power

These guys sideswiped me. Thanks to one of the many algorithmic Spotify recommendation playlists, No Weaknesses came in and battered my eardrums on an early morning commute to work and definitely woke me up. Rushing guitars and pummelling drum beats push the music in the direction of Jawbreaker, The Bronx and Quicksand and the snotty punkish sounding lyrics give them a real cutting edge.

Best Song: No Weaknesses

Beach Slang – A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings

After ruling my 2015, I had high hopes for the next album from these guys and I was actually slightly disappointed. On their first album, they had mastered the honest, heart-on-your-sleeve punk. Their sound was Jawbreaker, The Replacements, The Psychadelic Furs and nothing really progressed, but I still love them. Not long after this album, half the band left, they had equipment stolen and lead singer Alex James played a tour on his own. The singles off the album are great but many of the other tracks just merge together and the choruses fail to shine. I’m hoping after his foray into acoustic recordings with Quiet Slang that Alex and what’s left of Beach Slang get themselves together and really challenge themselves because I know they have another album of raucus sing-along songs in them.

Best Song: Punks in a Disco Bar

Blink 182 – California

I didn’t think it would work, replacing the snotty, barely tuneful yet completely iconic voice of Tom Delonge with the smooth tones of Alkaline Trio front man Matt Skiba, but it really did. Blink came back more mature sounding, while still keeping their childish side on a few of the tracks, the lead single Bored to Death felt like a big stadium filler that the Blink of old loved to write. Mark and Matt complement each other well, and it sounds like they really enjoyed writing the album together. Matt was probably scared to piss off the hardcore fans of old and sometimes comes across a little restrained so I hope that if they record another album he can let some of his own gothic tinged songwriting shine through.

Best Song: She’s Outta her Mind

Hamilton – Original Broadway Cast Recording

Never did I think I would listen to a double disc soundtrack to a Broadway musical all the way through, and then listen to it again, and again and again. But I did. If you haven’t heard of it by now you’ve probably been living under a soundproof rock, but even if you have I cannot recommend this R&B/Hip Hop/Latin/Gospel musical about the life of “Founding Father” Alexander Hamilton enough. The hype around it is justified, and Lin Manuel Miranda has an knack for writing catchy ear worms that straddle several of the mentioned genres. We actually went down to London to see the show live and it’s as good a show as I’ve ever seen!

Best Song: Wait For It

Ducking Punches – Dance Before You Sleep

Another discovery thanks to the magical Spotify algorithms. Originally the solo acoustic project of guitarist and vocalist Dan Allen, Ducking Punches are now a punk / folk / rock quintet surrounded a revolving cast of live musicians. Folky, Punky in the mould of Frank Turner this collection of songs about real life problems, the loss of close friends has many sing along choruses that I hope to one day sing at a show.

Best Songs: Big Brown Pills From Lynn

The Bronx – V

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A BAD BRONX ALBUM.

Best Song: Sore Throat

Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle and Turn out the Lights


When I started writing this list, Julien Baker only had one album to her name….Now she has two and both are excellent. Sprained Ankle is what got me into her and while I guess it could be said there’s not a whole lot of variation to the songs, mostly just voice, guitar or piano, the actual songwriting is out of this world and truly amazing from someone so young. Go home, the last song on the album is one of my favourite sad songs to listen to that doesn’t actually make me feel sad.
Follow up album Turn out the Lights adds more layers to her sound and really shows her development, It also seems to convey that she’s experienced her fair share of heartbreak from the venom displayed in a few of the songs here.

Best Song: Go Home

Bon Iver – 22 A Million


This was an absolute sleeper for me. Luckily, I made up for lost time and listened to it non-stop. It’s honestly almost indescribable, a glitchy, electronic soul record that only is really tied to Justin Vernon’s earlier work by his incomparable falsetto voice. The closest comparison I could think of was Radiohead’s In Rainbows or Amnesiac. Nevertheless, it’s brilliant! Go and pop in/on some headphones and listen now.

Best Song: 715 – Creeks




Frank Ocean – Blonde


A lot of people were waiting what felt like a long time for this album, and while it is by no means disappointing, I don’t think it was what most people were expecting. It’s comprised of mostly bare bones songs, formed from keyboards, guitars, beats and Frank’s vocals. On many of the tracks his voice is pitch shifted and along with the floaty backing tracks it gives the whole album a hazy, lazy afternoon sound which can almost pass you by if you’re not listening carefully. Funnily the most attention grabbing track: Solo (Reprise) doesn’t even feature Frank’s vocals but Andre3000 (from Outkast) spitting fire and (maybe) dissing Drake’s lack of songwriting skills in the process.

Best Song: Solo (Reprise)

The Augustines – This is your Life


Sadly, The Augustines are no more. But this album is a good send off, maintaining their sing along rock and roll vibe from previous albums, adding some more electronic drum and keyboard layers to the mix gives the music an early Killers feeling (which isn’t actually a bad thing). Bill McCarthy’s lyrics are written with Stadiums in mind and while The Augustines never reached those dizzy heights and while I never saw them live as a full band (I did see Bill perform solo and that was an experience in itself) I’m sure they graced many a room with their fans singing the choruses back to them.

Best Song: Are we Alive

Brockhampton – Saturation 1, 2 & 3


Three albums in one year is pretty impressive from this “boyband”. Actually ,they’re an eclectic rap crew, featuring gay, straight, black and white performers and they have steadily progressed with each album they released. Saturation I reminded me a lot of the old OFWGFTA albums, lots of good individual tracks but no real flow between them. There are a lot of different voices and I’m never really sure which ones I’m listening too.
II is equally polished and the rappers become more recognisable, some of the backing tracks have a real 90’s feel to them but the lyrics are a lot more varied than the average gangster rap, being gay is a big deal (in a good way) for these guys. II comes across more driven and aggressive than the first instalment and that’s a good thing.
III is my favourite album of the trilogy. The group sound the most in sync, they flow in and out of each others verses and the track list really feels more like it was the work of a collective. The energy is high and the rapping is high quality.

Best Song: Sweet

Kendrick Lamar – Damn


Every album Kendrick releases is an improvement on the previous one. Damn has been written and produced to feature absolutely no filler. Just angry, political and intelligent raps from a guy who spans the gamut of pop, hip hop and backpack rap with tracks for almost any listener of a certain age. It’s so well put together that the story that runs from start to finish was able to be released as a special edition which plays in reverse and it managed to not only be comprehensible but a whole new way of looking at each track. It still blows me away how popular he’s become, the backing music is still often heavily influenced by jazz and is layered thick with odd beats and tunes but for me it’s an unbelievably brilliant album.

Best Song: Humble

The Menzingers – After the Party

Rented World, The Menzingers’ previous album and the first released since I became fairly obsessed with them was actually slightly disappointing, it was good, but just didn’t have the poppy choruses that On the Impossible Past pulled me in.
But I’m glad to say that After the Party filled all The Menzingers shaped holes that needed filling. The whole album is themed around growing up. As Greg and the rest of the band have been out on tour, their family and friends have gotten older, had kids and settled down. A lot of the album is about reminiscing to the good times when they were young. I get the impression that the hangovers hit harder now and the guys are getting a little tired of the constant touring life. But this discontentment leads to some great songs. I think a few of the tracks could be a bit heavier or punchier as they definitely could easily make it onto some college rock radio stations, but I love them and I love the album.

Best Song: Bad Catholics

The National – Sleep Well Beast


This album sounds like The National actually had a bit of fun recording it, it’s a little looser and sounds almost rough around the edges which is something I never expected from them.
Also something to note if you’re new to The National, or even a fan…listen to the drums, they’re so good, such a powerful driving force behind all the songs you really have to spend one whole listen just following the off-kilter time signatures and subtle fills.

Best Song: The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness

Some other albums to check out that I was too lazy to write about.

Stormzy – Gang Signs & PrayersThe king of UK rap and Grime released a cracking pop/rap/rnb record in 2017 on his way to super stardom, truly deserved.

Beginner – Advanced Chemistry

Arguably Hamburg’s greatest rap crew and one of the old school came back with a rip roaring.

Rolo Tomassi – Time Will Die and Love will Bury it

One of my few favourites from 2018, noisy, heavy, loud, quiet, superbly produced Math Metal from these Sheffield lot. Mental and sublime. 

Deafheaven – Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
Hipster-Metal, Black-indie, whatever their music is called, it’s brilliant, adventurous and something a bit different. I was a huge fan of Sunbather but not so much of New Bermuda, this is a step in the right direction.

Albums of the Year 2015

Here it is, later than last year, my albums of 2015, give it a read, give them a listen, let me know what you think, let me know your favourite albums of last year, enjoy.

 

  1. Beach Slang  – The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us

Beach Slang

“Good love is not safe”
Anyone who knows me will know that I was excited for the release of this album all year. Last year the guys from Philadelphia released two EPs that impressed me greatly and now they’ve put together one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long time. Now I want to make it clear, this album doesn’t have the greatest musicianship, production or variety of songs. But for me it is perfect, it’s a 10 song tribute to love, loving music and being young.
The lyrics could seem cheesy or be used in inspirational quotes, but that’s what I feel it’s striving for. They want to inspire you, they want you to remember what it’s like to be young, drunk and stupid, they want you to fall in love, they want you to fall in love with music.
I went to see them on my own at Hafenklang in Hamburg and it was the kind of concert where I didn’t care that I was at the front, screaming out songs on my own, it made me feel alive and what more could you want from punk rock music!

Best Song: Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas

 

2. The Wonder Years – No Closer To Heaven

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I remember hearing The Wonder Years first album “Get Stoked On It!” in 2007 and thinking they were just another generic pop punk band with keyboards and overly long song names. The amazing thing is, with every album they’ve released, they’ve progressed as musicians and Dan Campbell has become one of my favourite lyricists in the scene.
With “No Closer To Heaven” the guys have moved away from just pop punk to a full blown rock band. The songs on the album are full of sing along choruses and clever, incredibly personal lyrics.
There’s a lot of sadness and anger on this album, the songs feel like they are gospels for the disaffected, but they always try to find the bright side to it and come away with their best work yet.

Best Song: Cigarettes & Saints

 

3. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

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The best rapper without a doubt. This album covers so many subjects but is primarily about being a black man in the modern world. This is a progression from the incredible Good Kid M.A.A.D. City where Lamartalked about growing up in Compton.
His musical style and flow is so far ahead of any other artist around right now. It definitely has a huge jazz and funk influence and the bass playing of Thundercat is a standout contribution. It’s not always the easiest of
listens but it has so many layers and styles it’s worth every second.

Best Song: The Blacker The Berry

 

4. Doomtree – All Hands

Doomtree

Still by far the best hiphop collective out there. These 7 guys, 5 MCs and 2 Djs are constantly pushing boundaries and mixing up their style with every release.
This one is less poppy and more dense than their last release “No Kings” it’s still filled with an eclectic mix of indie rap, party bangers and classic Doomtree cuts. There’s more of an electro feel definitely influenced by POS’s “We Don’t Even Live Here”. They also put on one of the best live shows I’ve seen, and I was lucky enough to see them on one of the hottest days of the Summer at Molotow in Hamburg.

Best Song: Gray Duck

 

5. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

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Comprised of just vocals, banjo and piano this album feels so intimate and incredibly sad but still also so beautiful.
Named after his Mother and Stepfather and dealing with his feelings about her death, his childhood and relationship with her.
There are so many wonderful moments on this album and really display his strengths as one of the best folk singer/songwriters of his generation.
It’s not easy listening but definitely worth spending some quiet evenings with it on the stereo.

Best Song: Should Have Known Better

 

6. Red City Radio – Titles & S/T

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These guys were probably my discovery of the year. And in the best way possible I heard of them after a late night drunken conversation with a lovely person in my favourite Nightclub in Hamburg. I started listening to 2013’s Titles, which was the perfect mix of gruff vocals mixed with pop, punk and Americana style ballads. The lyrics, guitar riffs and vocal harmonising of the band blew me away and this album was on rotation all year.

Halfway through the year came their new Self Titled album. Off the bat I actually was a little let down, they’d polished off some of the rougher punk edges and most of the songs had the same up-tempo pace.
But upon further listens I realised the sound and lyrics had matured and that’s a good thing, there’s not a bad song on the album and the stand out “In the Meantime” is one of the best songs they’ve ever written.

Best Song on Titles: Joy Comes With The Morning
Best Song on S/T: In The Meantime

 

7. Noah Gunderson – Ledges & Carry The Ghost

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So, Ledges came out in 2014 and I only heard of him from someone else’s 2014 list (and later on the Sons of Anarchy soundtrack), and it was a great introduction to him. Ledges is quite simple when it comes to musicianship, acoustic guitar drums and violin/vocal accompaniment from his sister Abby. There are some absolutely heartbreaking songs, but also some lovely gospel-y feeling tracks, especially the opener Poor Man’s Son, which is almost completely A Capella. This was his solo album, unbelievable!

Then this year came Carry The Ghost, Noah has added a full band, with piano and electric guitar. Normally, I’m not a fan when a quiet, intimate artist starts adding more and more layers to their sound, but this completely works, the feedback and melodies add extra emotion to these beautiful songs. And the overarching strength of both albums is his lyrics. They are incredible, so much more world weary and wise than a guy of 26 should ever write.

Best Song on Ledges: Liberator
Best song on Carry The Ghost: Slow Dancer



8. Caspian – Dust & Disquiet

caspian-dust-and-disquiet

Post-Rock, Post-Metal, Instrumental Metal; these genres are normally fairly predictable but still enjoyable for me personally. But this album takes it to another level. For one thing, this isn’t just instrumental, there’s singing, and my goodness can Calvin Joss sing.
The album has a great mixture of classic post rock and more progressive sound akin to 65daysofstatic, it’s impressed me so much that I’ve even moved it up my list while listening to it again

Best Song: Darkfield

 

9. The Front Bottoms – Back On Top

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“This is what I want, Motherfucker make it happen for me”
The Front Bottoms are one of those bands that I keep expecting to get a radio hit and get big. They’re the perfect mix of pop-punk and indie, with truly funny and heartfelt lyrics. Several of the songs off the album are some of my favourites of the year, and some of the catchiest lyrics get stuck in my head for days.

Best Songs: HELP & Cough It out

 

10. Father John Misty – I Love You Honeybear

Father John Misty

Epic psychadelic folk, funny and sad at the same time from the drummer of Fleet foxes. Love songs for his wife and a song about the financial crisis. This album is full of lovely surprises.
He has a lovely 70s style voice, feeling like a mixture of a bitter Neil Diamond and Jackson Browne. The subjects of the songs sound like people you wouldn’t want to spend evenings with but make for great story telling material.

Best Song: The Night Josh Tillman Came to Our Apt.


11. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats

12. Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool

13. Deichkind – Niveau Weshalb Warum

14. Jamie XX – In Colour

15. Deafheaven – New Bermuda

16. Great Cynics – I Feel Weird

17. Foxing – Dealer

18. Miguel – Wildheart

19. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit

20. Pentimento – I, No Longer

21. Moose Blood – I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time

Albums of the year 2014

It’s that time again. One of my favourite times actually. Nothing to do with Christmas or excessively over eating. It’s the time of end of the year lists. I love reading them and finding hidden gems I have never heard of or not bothered to listen to because they have terrible artwork.

So, here is a disclaimer; These are my favourite albums of this year, several were not released this year but I didn’t get round to listening to them last year, some of them are EPs and I don’t care, they’re my favourites. Hope you enjoy reading my opinions and send me a message with any comments or your lists! I love lists!

1. The Hotelier – Home, Like NoPlace is There

Hotelier

As soon as I heard the first few words and notes of this album from the band formally known as The Hotel Year I knew this would be a favourite album. The more I listened to it, the more I loved it. It has the feel of early Jimmy Eat World and such raw emotion in places it’s heartbreaking especially on Your Deep Rest. I love the way his voice breaks when singing loudly and there is incredible intensity in the 9 songs. There’s is not an ounce of filler and if this spearheads a revival of late 90s style post-hardcore/emo/whateveryoucallit I am ready!

Best Song: Housebroken

2. The Wonder Years – The Greatest Generation

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This album came out in 2013 but I didn’t listen to it until half way thorugh this one. I had heard their first album when it came out and the production had been so rubbish and the lyrics slightly childish that I was put off listening to this one. But I wish I had, I was missing out. These guys have matured and turned their pop punk, into a real emotional rock sound.
It’s a dark record, talking a lot about death, regrets, ancestors and ghosts but the lyrics are brilliant, with so many sing-along choruses that I really hope they tour Europe soon so I can be in the middle of the crowd singing out of tune (as always).

Best Song: The Devil in my Bloodstream

Side note – Front man Dan Campbell released an album this year under the moniker Aaron West & the Roaring Twenties, it’s a semi-acoustic concept record about divorce, and while it’s great, it’s depressing as hell and not something I could listen to every day.

3. The Menzingers – Rented World

rentedworld

The Menzingers are currently my favourite band. This changes every few years, but right now, their music is what connects with me at this point in my life more than any others. There will always be Springsteen, Brand New, early Gaslight Anthem and others on my mind, but right now I could listen to the Menzingers all the time.

So why would their latest album be only number 3?

Because while it’s good, really good, great in fact; It’s not On the Impossible Past. For those who don’t know OTIP is their previous album, released in 2012, and in my opinion a near perfect album, I listen to it a few times a week every week and there’s nothing I would change about it.
So Rented World is great, it has great lyrics, they have progressed musically and written a follow up album that most bands would kill for. But for me it was spoiled by that it wasn’t a second perfect album.

Best Song: I Don’t Want to be an Asshole Anymore

Side note – I got to see them live this year, one of my favourite gigs, in my favourite venue in Hamburg, Hafenklang.

4. Augustines – S/T

augustines

The Gaslight Anthem have been one of my favourite bands of the last ten years. And this year they released their 5th album, Get Hurt. What a massive disappointment it was. Luckily, this year Augustines released their second album and it filled the gap that Gaslight had left.
Previously called We Are Augustines, I had heard of them but never actually listened. And now I’m so glad I did. Their self titled album has an almost religious to it, their are big organs, choir sing alongside and plenty of Woah-ohs. There isn’t one bad track on the album and at least 4 or 5 are exceptional. I feel this will be an album I will listen to long into the future. William McCarthy’s voice has a well travelled feel to it and the lyrics are instantly singable. I really can’t wait until they tour again, I think their live show would be an almost spiritual experience.

Best song: Nothing to Lose but Your Head

5. Front Bottoms – Rose EP

front b rose

The first EP on my list but these 6 songs sound as good to me as many full albums and there’s definitely no filler.
Named after the lead singer’s grandma and the first in what is meant to be a series of grandparent EPs, I don’t think any of these tracks are particularly new but that doesn’t stop them being tremendous.
For some people these guys might be putting off for two reasons; 1, their terrible name and 2, the lead singer’s voice is very american and come across as a little whiny but for me neither is a problem.
The lyrics are, funny and heartbreaking at the same time and the tunes are catchy and foot tapping, and the track twelve feet deep contains my favourite lyric of 2014: “Since when did ‘I wanna hear your voice’ not become a good excuse, calling you at 3 in the morning, laugh at sleep we’ll both lose.”
Their album Talon of the Hawk was one of my favourites of last year so if you haven’t heard either, check them out.

Best Song: Twelve Feet Deep

6. Cro – Melodie/Materia – Zum GlĂĽck in die Zukunft II

When I moved to January at the beginning of the year, one thing I didn’t realise was how massive German HipHop is. The only German acts I really knew were Rammstein, Lena and one track by Peter Fox that was covered (ripped off?) by Plan B.

So, much to my delight I started getting recommendations from friends and the magic of Spotify.
These two albums, by two different artists, while probably poppier than my normal hiphop taste have the best tunes and choruses of all the albums I’ve heard. And seeing as I still don’t really understand all the lyrics then this what I judge them by the most.

cro

Cro is a panda-masked rapper from Baden-WĂĽrttemberg, with an unashamedly poppy style, his music is fun and the choruses great to sing along to. (Even if you don’t understand the lyrics, which I do now, mostly, thanks Google translate).
With a great sense of humour in the songs and his music videos, I’ve listened to some of his songs more than any other American or English hip hop artist.

Best Song: Meine Gang(Bang Bang)

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Marteria is a gravel voiced ex footballer, model and currently rapper from Rostock. Slightly more serious than Cro, slightly less accessible as he raps a lot fast and his vocals often quieter in the mix. But still I love the feeling of the album and the first couple of tracks on the album are catchy as hell. When I moved to Germany the adverts for this album were on every billboard so my inquisitive nature brought me to listening to it.

Best Songs: Kids (2Finger an den Kopf) or OMG!

7. FKA Twigs – LP1

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I didn’t know what to expect when I first listened to this album. I don’t even remember why I did. I’m a big fan of The Weeknd and this has a very similar feel. But where I can’t listen to one of his albums all the way through without drifting off, this had me all the way through!
It is very stark and almost basic comprised mostly of beats and Tahliah’s vocals. But the pacing and atmosphere is excellent and nothing like anything else released in 2014.

Best Song: Two Weeks (seriously, stop what you’re doing and listen to this)

8. Beach Slang – Cheap Thrills on a Dead End Street/Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken

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Beach Slang haven’t released their debut album yet, but these two EPs released in 2014 have gotten me so excited about it. Sounding like a cross between Blake Schwarzenbach’s Jets to Brazil and Jawbreaker. With lyrics reminiscent of the first Gaslight Anthem album and some great choruses, I can’t wait to hear what these guys do next. They released both EPs on Tiny Engines, the same label as The Hotelier’s Home, like NoPlace is There.

Best Song: American Girls and French Kisses

9. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2

RunTheJewelsRTJ2

Angry.
Every hipster’s favourite HipHop duo who give their albums away for free and are recording the best rap music around. El-P and Killer Mike deliver an absolute banger!
There is no better way to describe this than angry! It’s focused, immediate and in places catchy. Run the Jewels aren’t about choruses and sing alongs, it’s antithesis of all that and that’s what makes it so great.

Best Song: Zac De La Rocha makes an incredible comeback as a guest on “Close your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)”

10. Punch – They Don’t Have to Believe

punch

19 minutes of vicious, female fronted hardcore/power violence. Absolutely incredible musicianship with lyrics mostly focusing on feminist issues. They really remind me of American Nightmare who happen to be one of my favourite bands, so that’s a good thing. This sadly seems like their last album though as lead singer Meghan left the band just after the album was released. Still, a good way to sign off!

Best Song: Not Sorry

11. Autre Ne Veut – Anxiety

12. Every Time I Die – From Parts Unknown

13. The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream

14. Great Cynics – Like I Belong

15. Jamie T – Carry On The Grudge

16. Modern Baseball – You’re Gonna Miss it All

17. Hundred Waters – The Moon Rang Like a Bell

18. Against Me – Transgender Dysphoria Blues

Albums of the year 2013

I’m sure many people have been wondering, “what were Matt’s favourite albums of 2014?” Well, wonder no more. I have to say I thought this year was really disappointing for music in general and especially the alternative scene. Pop ruled the roost although I honestly can’t imagine looking back and really wanting to listen to a lot of them all the way through. But still, here are the ones that I enjoyed the most.

1. The National – Trouble Will Find Me

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By far my most listened album this year and keeping up the impeccable high standards of the Brooklyn band. Melancholy and humour wrapped in a perfect package.

 

2. The Front Bottoms – Talon of the Hawk

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Stumbled across these guys thanks to a Spotify recommendation. Similar to The Menzingers and other American pop rock. Witty lyrics and catchy tunes and not one bad song on the album won me over straight away.

 

3. Chance the Rapper – Acid Rap

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Best Hip Hop album of the year by far. Even better, he released it for free

http://www.datpiff.com/Chance-The-Rapper-Acid-Rap-mixtape.483826.html

Two of the catchiest songs of the year in “cocoa butter kisses” and “favourite songs”.

Have a listen you won’t regret it.

 

 

4. Bring Me The Horizon – Sempiternal

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Best metal album of the year and even though I’m not a fan of their members I think BMTH are the best british metal band around. With every album they’ve improved and refined their style. Still can’t get enough of “shadow moses”.

 

 

5. Lorde – Pure Heroin

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Brilliant pop music and she’s only 17.

Not one bad song on this album.

 

 

6. Deafheaven – Sunbather

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Hipster Metal…supposedly. It was heralded as original by a lot of people who have never heard Isis, Envy or Neurosis.

But it is still brilliant the musicianship is incredible and brutal.

 

 

7. Touche Amore – Is Survived By

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Brilliant modern take on post hardcore. Great lyrics and music, slightly easier on the ears than the previous two excellent albums.

 

 

8. Haim – Days are Gone

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Great pop music, shame it took so long between the singles coming out and the album as I’d listened to them to death. But still “falling” is pop perfection.

 

 

9. Kanye West – Yeezus

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Absolutely stunning production with some terribly ridiculous lyrics make for a great album about racism and other stuff. Glad Rick Rubin got involved to cut down only the essential songs needed for the album. Also the car crash interviews he’s been doing recently are amazing.

 

10. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

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Brilliant as always from these New York Boys. Not too dissimilar to their previous too but not one bit of filler on the whole album.

 

11. Fuck Buttons – Slow Focus

12. The 1975 – S/T

13. Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse

14. Peace – In Love

15. Dessa – Parts of Speech

16. J Cole – Born Sinner

17. 65daysofstatic – Wild Light

18. Arctic Monkeys – AM

19. Drake – Nothing was the Same

20. Hot 8 Brass Band – Tombstone

Would love to hear anyone else’s lists via the medium of social media.