2015 is approaching and we are all ecstatic when we think about all the music that is set for release this year. We’re also all anticipating our favourite bands playing in towns near you, and while all of that is fine and dandy, we want to take a moment to recognize the talent of several acts this year that have floored us in one way or another.
Here on New Year’s Eve, we will have two of our members present to you just why they thought 2014 was an astounding year for albums, songs and concerts alike. Part one of our two part year in review comes from our very own Margaret, and she certainly made some great selections.
Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow
While my tastes, and blog posts, usually lean towards the more hidden, obscure depths of the Canadian indie and alternative scene, choosing an album of the year is a pretty significant declaration of confidence in a band and their art and it requires a lot of thought. For me, I felt that this one is well deserving of the title because it is truly a complete and perfect album from this band, who are already established with a dedicated fan base that they must impress.
It was exquisitely produced, the layers of instrumental orchestration, interlacing vocals and synthetic effects fusing together seamlessly. This album shows a full actualization of Bombay’s uniquely driven sound, they have become everything you wanted them to.
Top tracks to me are Home By Now, Come To, Feel and Luna and all could have made my list of top songs listed below. This has been the soundtrack to my life since the release, featured in all kinds of scenes ranging from cooking breakfast to showering to hosting friends. And that full-length listening capacity with flexible applications is definitely a requirement for an album of the year.
Favourite Songs of 2014
1) Alvvays – Archie, Marry Me
The definitive song of the summer, and also the whole calendar year in my opinion. The self titled debut album from Alvvays made quite a splash on the scene and this song was the tidal wave. Alvvays use hazy guitar lines, slightly fazed out far-away sounding vocals, catchy hooks and pretty fills to make this great tune.Their lyrics are intriguing and coy, with a dash of appeal to romantics. The delicate intro with the chirping of birds evolves into a dancey garage pop anthem. This song is buttery yellow sunshine, dipping your toes in a lake and walking through suburban streets at 4:27 AM with a warm breeze at your back.
2) Arkells – Leather Jacket
I’ve always had a soft spot for ballads, or songs with a definitive story line and characters to them. The Arkells did not disappoint with their latest album, showing they deserve their spot in the upper echelon of Canadian bands and while Come To Light is the big hit, this is the stand out song to me. It has a nice rolling rhythm to it held by a tight composition and talented musicians. I like the way Max’s voice strains with the refrain and how the chorus kicks in with a nice bounce.
3) Future Islands – Seasons (Waiting on You)
While this goes without an explanation, the point of this post is to provide one so I shall oblige. I would be committing a felony if I did not concede that this is one of the best songs of 2014. It’s just great. It appeals to some level of rhythm and feeling in everyone. Those opening key tones create a magnetic force drawing people to the nearest dance floor where others are already doing the crouched sideways stepping shuffle that suits the beat. Go on and pound your chest, its okay, we’re all waiting on someone for something right?
4) The Wooden Sky – Don’t You Worry About A Thing
The alternative folk rockers captured my heart once again with their latest LP Let’s Be Ready, the way they manage to create a whole new style and tone per album amazes me. Made for the morning instead of the night, this one is more upbeat, with more electric guitar and showcasing the uplifting side to Gavin’s beautiful voice and masterful lyrics. The appeal of this song is right in the title, in the soft reassuring harmonies and in something about the drum lines and shaker percussion throughout. The smoke rings of my mind indeed.
5) Lowell – The Bells
This year’s indie darling from Toronto gave us this delightful song early on in 2014. The soft floating vocals with a catchy beat and ample bass make it a great stand alone tune that found its way onto a lot of my playlists.
Favourite Shows of 2014
I went to quite a few so this was hard.
1) The Rural Alberta Advantage @ Wolfe Island Music Festival
2) Royal Canoe @ Clark Hall Pub
3) The Violent Femmes @ TURF
4) Alvvays @ The Grad Club
5) The Wooden Sky @ The Isabel Bader Centre
Thanks for taking the time to read, and we hope that you enjoyed the selection. Part two of the year in review will be posted later today along with an 8-tracks playlist with all of our favourite songs from the year, so stay tuned!