It’s a wonderful world, isn’t it? We live in an age with so much accessibility to music, and despite fears of live music going bust, the night-life industry is still in tip-top form. My point is, as ever, there has been tonnes of music coming out for consumers in 2014. For that reason, I found it hard to cut down the highlights of my music-listening year to just 5, but nevertheless here they are.
1. Todd Terje – ‘Delorean Dynamite’
The Norwegian dance producer has been around for quite some time, churning out disco edits and synth-heavy club bangers. However, he decided it was time to make an album, or in other words, It’s Album Time. The quirkily named collection of tracks contained old hits like ‘Inspector Norse’ and recent releases like ‘Strandbar’, but one track that stood out for me was ‘Delorean Dynamite’, a song whose name references the era it captures with the driving bassline and uplifting synths.
2. Tensnake – ‘No Colour’
Another dance producer who was ready to release his début album was Germany’s very own Marco Niemerski, also known as Tensnake. Unlike his Scandinavian counterpart, Tensnake brought a pop atmosphere to his album Glow featuring collaborations with MNEK, Fiora, Jamie Lidell, and ex-Chic member Nile Rodgers. ‘No Colour’ is the one of the least radio friendly of the tunes on the record, but it was the glue that stuck the songs together, reminding listeners that Tensnake’s hits are not only due to the vocals of the collaborators, but the immaculate production and the atmosphere created by his signature sounds.
3. Caribou – ‘Our Love’
To combine two aspects of the previous albums reviewed, producer Dan Snaith seems to capture Todd Terje’s concept-album structure and experimentation of sounds while offering a pop atmosphere in the same way Tensnake did on his album with vocals. The Caribou songs evoke many different feelings, from heartbreak to psychedelia. ‘Our Love’ starts off calm but brooding, and at the bass-heavy climax turns into a beautiful chaos. It’s not easy to have such complexities in an electronic album, especially when producers come from dance-oriented club backgrounds. However, Caribou is successful in that aspect. It may seem disorienting at first, but this album grows on its listeners and leaves them coming back for more.
4. Dan Croll – ‘From Nowhere (Âme Remix)’
As 2014 draws to a close, another 12 successful months for Âme and the Innervisions crew too come to an end. One tragedy, however, was the failure to release this remix of British singer-songwriter Dan Croll. For some reason, Croll’s label opted out of releasing this edition, despite the fact that it seems to be his most popular remix. The only available audio clips of this remix exist as rips from DJ sets, the best being from a Tale Of Us show. This remix is so beloved that fans have made a petition to have it released. It is definitely one of the highlights of the year in terms of emotional house music.
5. Metronomy – ‘I’m Aquarius’
Metronomy are one of those bands that never fails to impress, and they don’t seem to need to follow the same agenda for every album. Their productions are always top notch and unique, and their frontman Joseph Mount’s soft and soulful vocals are always so fitting. ‘I’m Aquarius’ is just one of the many great songs on the album Love Letters.
Who would make the cut for your top 5 tracks of the year? Please let us know below, on Facebook or on Twitter.