I love Adore. I actually love a significant amount of the Machina albums too. Zeitgeist was pretty soul-crushing. I had zero expectations for Oceania, and found it to be a really strong comeback that actually made me rediscover my love for this band (along with the amazing reissues), and two years later I’m still revisiting it often.
After a few listens, I’m super happy with Monuments. It feels lean, and immediate in a way no SP release has, and I’m really liking this side of them. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be an artist living in the shadow of a trifecta of albums of the likes of Gish/Siamese Dream/MCIS, and Billy has taken a ton of shit from fans and haters alike with regards to his post 90s output, but goddamn… he still puts out some great tunes. I’m kinda done defending my love for SP. Haters gonna hate and whatever and yeah SP aren’t going to top their godlike 90s albums but fucking hell they are still great in my book.
That 1st paragraph pretty much nails it; there’s so much good, diverse music out there. Pretty much anyone who pays attention to music outside of the mainstream could curate a list of top albums from their own personal taste and it would hard to argue. I’ve missed a lot of the commonly agreed upon top ‘indie’ releases, so i’m looking forward to digging into some of the albums on the list and from the comments.
Here are my top releases of the year, mostly from the electronic spectrum:
Royksopp & Robyn – Do It Again
Royksopp – The Inevitable End
Burial – Rival Dealer
Aphex Twin – Syro
Caribou – Our Love
Taylor Swift – 1989 (This album is pop perfection. The bonus tracks are better than most pop stars’ lead singles)
Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence
FKA twigs – LP1
Andy Stott – Faith in Strangers
Call Super – Suzi Ecto
Clark – Clark
Duck Sauce – Quack (easily the year’s most fun album)
Francis Harris – Minutes of Sleep
Frank & Tony – You Go Girl
Gesloten Cirkel – Submit X
Leon Vynehall – Music for the Uninvited
Head High – Megatrap
John Barera & Will Martin – Graceless
The Juan MacLean – In a Dream
Kalipo – Yaruto
Kiasmos – Kiasmos
Lone – Reality Testing
Manual Tur – Es Cub
Martyn – The Air Between Words
Max Cooper – Human
Moodymann – Moodymann
Mr. Twin Sister – Mr. Twin Sister
Objekt – Flatland
Second Storey – Double Divide
Simian Mobile Disco – Whorl
Smashing Pumpkins – Monuments to an Elegy (yep, it’s been out 5 minutes and I love it.)
Steffi – Power of Anonymity
Todd Terje – It’s Album Time
Thom Yorke – Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Gone Girl Soundtrack
Tycho – Awake
Wen – Signals
Danny Tenaglia – Balance
Move D – Fabric 74
Prins Thomas – Rainbow Disco Club
Ryan Elliott – Panorama Bar 06
Kolsch – Balance
Yes, This! I would add Tegan & Sara to this list. 1989 is giving me some serious Heartthrob vibes, which is a very good thing. Love this album, not sorry bout it.
I’m so glad I have Stereogum to inform me about popular Top 40 music… I have no idea how I would ever hear about it otherwise!
It’s a new Smashing Pumpkins song… Quick, whoever hates it first is the coolest guy in the room!
I know nothing about Sun Kil Moon, but I’m really fucking over this guy blowing up my newsfeed every goddamn day. Shut the fuck up Sun Kil Moon.
Love this… really can’t wait to hear this album!
I would definitely put Syro above Chosen Lords. It might even be #3 for me. And seeing that we’re including Chosen Lords, Caustic Window, and Polygon Window, I would’ve included Classics as well, probably around #5.
I would say that the lyrics are part of what makes it work so well. On one hand, they do feel vacuous and superficial, to the point where it feels like the song is a tongue-in-cheek parody of all the typical pop/dance songs with lyrics about having fun/dancing all night/ hands in the air like you just don’t care/ and other fill in the blank cliche crap. Then the killer bridge comes along and it changes the entire focus of the song. It works for me, but then again I also don’t put much value on pop song lyrics.
First things first: My vote is for Do It Again. In my opinion, it’s by far the go-to, hand-in-the-air, ecstatic electro pop jam of the summer. I’ve heard it every time I’ve gone out in the past month and a half, and it definitely has mainstream crossover appeal; I just heard it at the gym for the first time last week (which, considering what is usually played at the gym, is both awesome and terrifying). Also, it’s Royksopp and Robyn, and they are both cool as fuck.
Second, there seems to be a lot of bellyaching over the inclusions for voting, vs the songs that got lots of upvotes in the shortlist post. I’m not trying to knock anyone’s preferences, or defend for that matter some of the inclusions in the poll (bc yes, I think some are pretty terrible), but let’s just try to remember that we are picking the Song of the Summer, and not our Favorite Song of the Year So Far. The criteria for those are pretty different.
Like I said, I’m not trying to knock anyone’s taste, but just for example, how could Real Estate’s Talking Backwards be the Song of the Summer? Nothing about it (to me) says summertime. Sure, it’s a good song. But it’s not what I want to hear at a BBQ, or at the beach, or in a car with the windows down. It’s perfectly fine, but it’s not going to define summer 2014. I mean, to me it’s just a nice, if somewhat emotionally bland, indie pop song that kinda sounds like it could’ve been on the Garden State soundtrack from 10 years ago. I feel that same criticism can be applied to Future Islands as well. It’s a pretty good song. Nothing about it says Summer to me at all.
That said, there were some glaring exclusions on the poll though, like Caribou for example. But even it had been included, my vote is still Do It Again. Cuz it’s a fucking JAM.