Boogie Staff Picks: The Year in Music [2014]

Posted on: December 24th, 2014 at 10:37 am by

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Palma Violets at the Bowery Ballroom, May 2013

Here are the albums that scored the most airtime for Boogie this year.

Elie’s Picks

1. Tijuana Panthers – Wayne Interest
Surf-style lo-fi greatness. Plenty of tasty guitar parts drenched in reverb; plus funny lyrics.

2. Orwells – Disgraceland
Flashback to Silverchair. This midwest-based garage group is composed of five 18-year-olds, but can rock out with the best of ’em. Headbanging and toe-tapping.

3. Courtney Barnett – The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
The Australian chanteuse nails the country-folk vibe with pithy story songs delivered in gruff deadpan. Check out “History Eraser.”

4. Dead Stars – Slumber
This three-piece could’ve been plucked from your CD book circa 1993.  Self-described as “heavy fuzz pop from Brooklyn, their brand of rock is easily influenced by the likes of Dinosaur Jr., Smashing Pumpkins, and Husker Du.

5. Temples – Sun Structures
Psychedelic English quartet that’s garnered plenty of buzz on this side of the pond. Their style has shades of Stone Roses.

6. Augustines – Self Titled
Wasn’t completely sold until Holly made me catch their show at the Bowery Ballroom. Plenty of passion behind those introspective tunes.

7. Real Estate – Atlas
Third album continues the soothing sonic journey of its predecessors. Jangly guitars mixed with hummable melodies keep this group fresh.

8. Bellamaine – Self Titled
Endearing sounds spawned in the Pacific Northwest. The male/female vocal dynamic really shines on this eponymous debut.

9. Allah-Las – Worship the Sun
The aural offspring of the Kinks and Zombies, this LA group sits atop the throne of garage rock in 2014. Worship the Sun is the second long player for the quartet.

10. Line & Circle – Line & Circle EP
Granted, this release was an EP. Who cares. These guys continue to record catchy tunes in the follow-up to their gem, “Roman Ruins.”

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Line & Circle at Mercury Lounge, November 2014

Holly’s Picks

1. Ben Howard – I Forget Where We Were
I’ve listened to this album 90% more than any other album on this list. I Forget Where We Were has an edgier sound than Howard’s acoustic debut Every Kingdom, and is full of beauty and circumstance and the human condition at its most vulnerable. “Time is Dancing” is brilliant.

2. Julian Casablancaz+The Voidz – Tyranny
Listen to this album, and you’ll come to realize that everything else you listen to is probably self-indulgent nonsense. I’ve never heard anything like Tyranny, as evidenced here. Its perfection lies in its discordance.

3. Lana Del Ray – Ultraviolence
Lana continues her ethereal crusade of misogyny on her sophomore release. Per usual, she paints incredibly vivid pictures of red party dresses, bourbon, carousing, and being genuinely torn up over losing someone she knew was going to break her heart all along. There are fewer ballads on this album – of note is “Old Money,” which is sultry in a poignant sort of way.

4. The Orwells – Disgraceland
When I saw this band open for Palma Violets back in 2013, I couldn’t remember all that much about them musically. They had cool merch and their front man had an impressive stage presence – it was as if he was playing to a room of 20,000 people, not the 20 that showed up early to check out the opener. Clearly that mindset has paid off, as they are now all over the indie rock circuit. Disgraceland is pretty tight garage rock – “Southern Comfort” is a particular favorite.

5. Augustines – Augustines
This album is uplifting, and their live show is more so. It strikes a real sweet chord with its emotional blitz. Go see them live, and be ready to add this album to the rotation.

6. Roo Panes – Little Giant
Deep-voiced British folk rock that swells with strings in all the right spots. A cozy record that received a lot of air time for me. Check out “Indigo Home.”

7. Black English – No
These Echo Park indie rockers sound like a side project between Interpol and The National, and that isn’t a bad thing. The album has big drums, and it’s nice that they changed their name from “No” to “Black English” because it’s a hell of a lot easier to search for them now.

8. Jack White – Lazaretto
The piano alone is worth the listen. There’s a little something for everyone on this record. The lyrics are simple , the drums sincere, and whatever microphone White is using conjures up some vocal magic. This album makes me want to hop in an old Chevy pick-up truck and drive across the country.

9. Courtney Barnett – The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
I love Barnett’s talky, off-kilter vibe and lyrics. She is so plainly honest and it resonates through her vintage rock sound. She may be from down under, but this sounds like the epitome of Americana.

10. Line & Circle – Line & Circle EP
Line & Circle dropped an EP worthy of any top album list this year. It picks up where “Roman Ruins” left off, and delivers three solid tracks of melodic bliss.

Mackenzie’s List

1. Beck – Morning Phase
Flawless from start to finish. A truly perfect record.

2. Eagulls – Eagulls
Moody, shouty and dark. The best post-punk revival riffage I’ve heard in years.

3. The War On Drugs – Lost In A Dream
You can lose yourself in this record. And no matter how many times I’ve heard “Under the Pressure,” I’m not sick of it.

4. Courtney Barnett – Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
This Aussie gal show the boys how it’s done. One of the coolest surprises for me this year.

5. King Tuff – Black Moon Spell
Finally some balls to the wall psychedelic badassness that makes sense.

6. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Laura Jane Grace really put her heart out there, and with no apologies. That’s exactly how rock should be.

7. Caribou – Our Love
What can I say about Dan Snaith? Dude’s brilliant. Reinvention at its finest.

8. Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
He’s still got it. Still one of the greatest.

9. The Raveonettes – Pe’Ahi
Sonic ear crashing loveliness. If you don’t believe me, cue up “Killer In the Streets.”

10. Alvvays – Alvvays
Charming Canadian indie-pop that we so oh desperately needed.

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