Here Are A Few Records That Gave Me A Lot Of Feelings In 2014

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2014 marked the beginning of a lot of things for myself. I’d started my fourth year in college, worked my first real job, got my first real paycheck, joined Under The Gun’s incredible team, and began to get a good sense of the “real world.” For the most part, I’d say 2014 would’ve beaten 2013 by a landslide in terms of music, had Fall Out Boy gotten back together this year instead of last. I saw a lot of up-and-coming bands at the start of the year; a lot of whom really got up and delivered.

A few of the bands that made it into my list are bands I didn’t know about a year ago. A lot of the others are bands I didn’t expect to love this much. As I try and go through anything that can possibly aide my terrible recall ability, I find that the DIY music scene dominated my iTunes library. I think that reflects fairly on this list. Here are a little over ten releases from this year that made me feel all sorts of ways.

10. Hozier – Hozier

Probably the most different among the records on my list is Hozier’s self-titled debut record. I’ve never been one to shun country/blues records, so to have that infused with good old indie rock, serves up a gem of a release. The attention he’s gotten for “Take Me to Church” will spark so many opportunities for 2015. Quite the diverse collection, Hozier provides something for everybody to get to know and come to love.

9. What Matters Most… – Forever Came Calling

Recognized by many in the industry as one of the most important pop-punk releases this year, Forever Came Calling comes to mind first in the “I didn’t think I’d like this” category. My library was deeply saturated with pop-punk over the past couple of years that I’d been totally okay with not adding any more onto it. I’m glad I checked this record out, though. It’s also good to note that a good portion of this record is reminiscent of The Early November in their prime. Track #6 says it all.

8. HOPE – Manchester Orchestra

It didn’t take a lot for me to decide that I liked HOPE better than its predecessor, COPE (which also came out this year.) I love Andy Hull’s vocals, especially when it is backed with light and raw instrumentals. I love seeing how they transformed COPE into something almost unrecognizable but equally, if not more, amazing. This record is probably the most different one in terms of sound on my list. This record represents those of its kind that didn’t make it to my list, like Copeland’s Ixora.

7. Cause + Effect – Let It Happen

This record was the last one to make it into my list. Having only recently heard of the band and the record itself, I found it very refreshing as I’ve found myself really jaded on the generic pop-punk thing. Pop-rock always saves the day. I’m not difficult to please. I like melody. I like grizzly/gang vocals. I like harmonies. This record has all of that. It has the right amount of kick and punch. This record reminds me of the edgier version the pop-rock I used to listen to in high school like Holiday Parade, Every Avenue, Cute Is What We Aim For, etc.

6. Cold Bones – Bad Luck

Just like Cause + Effect, Cold Bones is also a newcomer to my list. Only having heard of the band during this year’s CMJ marathon, Bad Luck’s music has accompanied me on every train ride I’ve ever taken since. It’s this type of music that I can listen to regardless of how I’m feeling. I can’t wait for this band to get the attention they deserve next year.

5. The Albatross – Foxing

Foxing is one of my favorite discoveries of 2014. I’ve seen them live a few times and their shows will always hold a special place in my heart. This record comes to you in all its lyrical sincerity. Sonically intrinsic and a beacon of hope to the under appreciated trumpet, The Albatross allows the listener to dwell on the music as its instrumental, no-vox portions run for about three quarters of the song. When the lyrics come in, however, you best hope your heart is ready to be ripped out of your chest.

4. Home, Like NoPlace Is There – The Hotelier

I found this record a few months after its release. This record, for me, changed how I looked at “emo” as a genre. Through this record, I’ve found bands like You Blew It!, Slingshot Dakota, Kittyhawk, etc. The lyricism in this record is unbeatable and although difficult to comprehend at times, serves as a go-to when I’m not at my best.

3. A Place Of Our Own – Have Mercy

Getting to hear about the process of making this record firsthand was one of my favorite moments of 2014. I had sat down with the band for an interview where they talked about it prior to its release. One of my favorite bands, The Maine, did not put out new music this year, and A Place Of Our Own made up for it because of all the sonic similarities. I needed this record. My year wouldn’t have been complete without it. Additionally, Ace Enders was also featured in this record. Who wouldn’t love that?

2. 1989 – Taylor Swift

This record is so incredibly important. Every song is significant of something special, whether I like it or not. Every song is symbolic of bits and pieces of my year thus far. We see Taylor Swift in her prime and in all her mid-twenties glory. This record makes me aspire to be as successful as people like her, regardless of what field I land on when I’m her age. This record makes dreaming and achieving look so easy; and that’s something we all need.
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1. You’re Gonna Miss It All – Modern Baseball

Anyone who’s ever met me wouldn’t be surprised that this record is my top release of the year. Hell, this band is probably my top anything of the year. Things went from 0 to 100 really quickly for these guys and I couldn’t be more proud. Seeing people my age so successful in the music industry makes my heart all warm and fuzzy. I’ve found myself knowing every single word to every single song on this record. I can sing along to every single guitar/bass riff and airdrum every fill. I didn’t try to get that acquainted. It all kind of just happened. One day, I’m buying this record on vinyl, the next day I’ve gone out and seen them live seven times. It’s scary how quickly they blew up, but hey, when you deserve it, you deserve it.

Extended Plays:

5. Brandy Of The Damned – Steady Hands

4. Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken – Beach Slang

3. Go Down In History – Four Year Strong

2. The Acoustic Things – State Champs

1. Soulmate Stuff – Antarctigo Vespucci

Honorable Mentions:

3. Growing In – I Can Make A Mess

2. We Don’t Have Each Other – Aaron West And The Roaring Twenties

1. Talking In Your Sleep – The Cinema

Dana Reandelar

If not hunched over her desk writing about music, Dana can be found binge-watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls or condensing long rants to 140 characters. She also writes for Idobi Radio, and is an Off The Record podcast contributor.
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