My Favorite Albums Of 2014 Surprised Me

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​Going into 2014, there was a handful of albums I was looking forward to. The bands are well-established and I figured their releases would end up being my favorite of the year. After the headache of sifting through 12 months worth of new releases I came to realize that was not the case. The albums that knocked me off my feet were unexpected, and I’m happy that I was wrong.

As any avid music listener would know, it can be difficult to pick just one favorite album. After painstakingly organizing this year’s albums I decided to list off a bunch that I really enjoyed, and instead of listing a top 10 (or more like top 30) I am breaking it down by genre in addition to listing my top album and EP for that genre, and why. I hope that you can find some enjoyment out of a few of these records as well!
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Post Hardcore/Metalcore

Albums

I knew I was going to enjoy Kingdom Of Giants’ new album, but I never thought that it would be my favorite above the rest. The band has dramatically changed their sound over the years and it just seems to keep getting better and better. Ground Culture is a more mature sound for the group, and it also happens to be the second release without their clean vocalist. Their frontman has taken on both roles, and the band’s sound is better off for it. If they keep this up they will certainly go places.

EPs

I have been listening to this band since high school. It’s hard to believe they’ve been together for ten years, and it seems like they have plenty of fight left in them. What I really enjoy about this EP is that is strays away from the trilogy they are working on. Not that I don’t love the trilogy – it’s great – but I’m happy to hear something that is coming straight from them. Even if you are not a fan of their full-lengths, it’s worth giving the EP the benefit of a doubt.

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Indie/Ambient/Rock

Albums

Before Bradley Walden came along, the future of post-Jonny Craig Emarosa was definitely in question. The band has a passionate fanbase that were willing to take a chance on a new vocalist. Our faith in the group has paid off, and what came out of it was a raw, emotional album that surprised everyone. Walden had a lot of expectations laid on him when the band announced him as the vocalist, but I feel that he has more than stepped up to the occasion. This has easily been one of my favorite albums to listen to on repeat this year.

EPs

I’m sure they hear this frequently – but they really do remind me of Band Of Horses. That’s not a bad thing. I thoroughly enjoy that group, and am happy to have found something that sounds similar, but is still entirely its own. My year was spent discovering various artists that were more on the ambient side, and I’ve loved every minute of it. If you need some mellow songs to chill out to, this EP must be added to your collection.

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Pop/Hip-Hop

Albums

If you haven’t listened to the New York-based musician yet, then you are missing out. He started off his career co-writing lyrics for songs like “The Monster” by Eminem, and when he realized that wasn’t what he wanted to do he set out to write his own music. What he has created so far has been some of my personal favorite songs over the last year. He is incredibly creative, and you can tell that he means every verse he writes.

EPs

I must say, I am a huge fan of Tilian. I first discovered him when my friends had me listen to Dreamhouse, from when he was in Tides Of Man. We bought it shortly after its release, and I was hooked. This EP is everything I had hoped for from him as a solo artist. It has similar energy to Material Me, but has its own sound. Tilian is a force to be reckoned with, and I am certain we will be hearing more music from him in 2015.

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