Loved these albums the most in 2014, in some particular order:
Dum Dum Girls
Shoegaze meets goth in 2014, with luscious results. Every track on this album is a treat.
The New Pornographers
Sixteen years on and this Canadian supergroup (still featuring Neko Case!) keeps putting out amazing pop hits. The title track here starts with a relentless hook and never lets up. (Different song, favorite album lyric: "They say we can't make this stuff up. But what else can we make?")
Keltic Voodoo Boogaloo
My favorite album of 2014. Welsh band featuring rock guitar, big bass sound, tasteful electronic keyboards, and wonderfully soulful vocals. Every song's a winner. Here are my two favorites, one creepy and one lighter:
Beauty & Ruin
Ex-Hüsker Dü and Sugar frontman Bob Mould releases another strong album, and this one rocks mightily. Bonus points on this video for the humorous two-minute intro featuring Colin Meloy (Decemberists), filmed in my hometown of Portland.
Nice how Aaron's last name forms the title of his second solo album. Now in recovery (from alcohol excess) and freeing himself of his Ween legacy, this album covers much stylistic ground and features both rave-up rockers and delicately personal songs, sometimes in one song.
Milking the Stars: A Re-Imagining of Last Patrol
Heavy and psychedelic, this "reimagining" of last year's good album "Last Patrol" makes it even better. Great music to get lost in. And this is one heavy, bad-ass video to accompany the release (featuring Fugazi's Ian MacKaye as The Scientist!)...
Another great album by a veteran artist. His voice is strong and the music is powerful. Murphy has written some of the best goth music, then and now.
Reverend Horton Heat
Another veteran act, rockabilly genre. Great album, uptempo and lots of fun.
Hard to believe this is the Pretenders frontwoman's first solo album, as she's been in the game for about 35 years now. I liked this as much as any Pretenders proper album of the last 30 years.
Debut album, and it rocks. This is the kind of music that showed up just under the radar in the late 80's and early 90's that I was really digging. Keep it up! Looking forward to more from this band.
Boy Cried Wolf
What a wonderful band. Powerful but vulnerable, cinematic music. Just the way I like it.