My Top 30 Albums of 2014 :: 20-16

20. Transgender Dysphoria Blues :: Against Me!

Against Me!

My thoughts (from my review in January):
The album opens with an overwhelming feeling of celebration and freedom, and even where lyrically the challenges of singer’s Laura Jane Grace’s life-changing choices to live her authentic life, even in the lines that should be burdened with jaded stings and slings and scars, I still hear celebration. This is an uplifting album, one that fills me with a sonically driven, inspirational kick to follow my dreams. This will definitely be a go-to album when I need that push to keep going, to keep persisting in my own life and life challenges – this is a celebration kind of album. Editor’s Note: Laura is another one of my heroes this year.

Favorite songTransgender Dysphoria Blues

Transgender Dysphoria Blues :: Against Me!

19. And the War Came (live) :: Shakey Graves

Shakey Graves

My thoughts (from my review in October):
Oooh, where did Alejandro Rose-Garcia (a.k.a. Shakey Graves) come from, and why is this something I’ve just stumbled upon? Part Ryan Bingham, part Tom Odell, part July Talk, and all-around fantastic. Best songs are the ones where Rose-Garcia duets with Paper Town’s Esme Patterson, the two exuding flirtatious, melodic, perfectly matched vocals. This is one of those finds that I’ll be returning to often, and dying to see perform live.

Favorite song: Dearly Departed

Dearly Departed (live) :: Shakey Graves

18. Guns & Ammunition :: July Talk

July Talk

My thoughts (from my review in July – an excerpt from a longer review):
The only thing I don’t like about July Talk’s EP, Guns and Ammunition, is that it is only an EP. As I reach the last of the five songs I can’t help but want to scream out “this is not enough!” Imagine Nick Cave and Emily Haines joining a psycho-billy/rockabilly/indie rock band, and you might have an inkling of what July Talk sound like. There’s more to it than that though, something that kicks down the walls of what a lot of indie rock bands have offered up lately. Infusing 50’s sound and style, with a punk rock sensibility, incredible guitar and bass lines, and lyrics that singers Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay volley back-and-forth in dysfunctional relationship kind of way – this EP will have you clamoring for more, too.

Favorite song: Paper Girl

Paper Girl :: July Talk

17. Let It Go :: James Bay

James Bay

My thoughts (from my review in June – an excerpt of a longer review):
I’ve had my eyes, and ears, on James Bay’s music since I first heardWhen We Were On Fire, and his debut EP Dark Side of the Morning. James participated in the 10 Questions Project here at Lyriquediscorde and I was lucky to catch him play with ZZ Ward at the House of Blues last year. Ever since, I’ve been waiting to hear what he produced next. Let It Go is a new EP that is just as stunning as Dark Side of the Morningwas, full of post-love songs that peel back regrets and reexamine all the “what went wrongs” when you have not quite gotten over your ex-lover yet.

Favorite song: Let It Go

Let It Go :: James Bay

16. Rose Avenue :: You & Me

You And Me

My thoughts (from my review in October):
Delightfully unexpected, in that way where I keep thinking “I never knew I wanted to hear P!nk like this, but damn it, I do.” A passion project created by City & Colour and Alexisonfire’s Dallas Green and Alecia Moore (better known as P!nk) is gorgeous, intimate duets reminiscent of The Civil Wars and the pairing of Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. Green’s voice is light and lovely, and in the same lane as Bon Iver and Iron and Wine, and Alecia is restrained, but not held back, soulful and complex and beautiful – what a wonderful surprise this is.

Favorite song: You & Me

You and Me :: You + Me

2 thoughts on “My Top 30 Albums of 2014 :: 20-16

  1. I love, love, love July Talk. Fantastic live show as well, one if my top ten of the year. I keep hearing about You + Me. I’m not a serious fan of either Dallas Green or P!nk but you’ve got me curious…

    1. I need to see July Talk live – I’ve heard nothing but good things. They did a free show here in LA, but I had a work deadline and couldn’t make it…next time.

      I’m not a serious fan of Dallas nor P!nk either, but the album definitely earned its place on my list…I still listen to it often – it is earnest and lovely and beautiful, and unexpected of both artists.

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