The Best of 2014 in Music

by Mar de Miguel Bonet

   Best Albums 2014

#1 Royal Blood - Royal Blood

Genre: Garage rock

Released: August 22th, 2014

Label: Warner Bros.

Producer: Tom Dalgety, Mike Kerr, Ben Thatcher


#3 The War on Drugs - Lost In the Dream

Genre: Indie rock

Released: March 18th, 2014

Label: Secretly Canadian

Producer: Adam Granduciel


#5 Benjamin Booker - Benjamin Booker

Genre: Singer-songwriter

Released: August 19th, 2014

Label: ATO Records

Producer: Andrija Tokic


#7 Damien Jurado - Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son

Genre: Singer-songwriter

Released: January 21st, 2014

Label: Secretly Canadian

Producer: Richard Swift


#9 Perfume Genius - Too Bright

Genre: Indie rock/pop

Released: September 23th, 2014

Label: Matador

Producer: Alan Wyffels


#2 Strand of Oaks - Heal

Genre: Folk rock

Released: June 24th, 2014

Label: Dead Oceans

Producer: Ben Vehorn, Steve Clements, John Congleton


#4  Tina Dico - Whispers

Genre: Singer-songwriter, folk

Released: August 25th, 2014

Label: Finest Gramophone

Producer: -


#6  St. Vincent - St. Vincent

Genre: Indie rock/pop

Released: February 24th, 2014

Label: Loma Vista/Republic

Producer: John Congleton


#8 Catfish and The Bottlemen - The Balcony

Genre: Indie rock

Released: September 14th, 2014

Label: Island

Producer: Jim Abbiss


#10 Ought - More Than Any Other Day

Genre: Indie rock/pop

Released: April 24th, 2014

Label: Constellation Records

Producer: Radwan Ghazi Moumneh


Best albums of 2014, long list in alphabetical order:

  • Adult Jazz - Gist Is 
  • Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues
  • Allo Darlin' - We Come from the Same Place
  • Alt-J - This Is All Yours
  • Andrew Bird - Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of
  • Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire for No Witness
  • Avi Buffalo - At Best Cuckold
  • BANKS - Goddess
  • Beck - Morning Phase 
  • Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were
  • Benjamin Booker - Benjamin Booker
  • Catfish and The Bottlemen - The Balcony
  • Coves - Soft Friday
  • Damien Jurado - Brothers & Sisters of the Eternal Son
  • Delay Trees - Readymade 
  • Eagulls - Eagulls
  • Fanfarlo - Let's Go Extinct 
  • Fear of Men - Loom
  • Field Report - Marigolden
  • First Aid Kit - Stay Gold
  • FKA Twigs - LP1 
  • Hauschka - Abandoned City
  • Horse Feathers - So It Is With Us 
  • I Am the Avalanche - Wolverines 
  • Interpol - El Pintor
  • J Mascis - Tied to a Star
  • James Vincent McMorrow - Post Tropical
  • Jungle - Jungle
  • Kelis - Food
  • King Creosote - From Scotland with Love 
  • La Roux - Trouble In Paradise
  • Lana Del Rey - Ultyraviolence
  • Luluc - Passerby 
  • Lykke Li - I Never Learn
  • Mac DeMarco - Salad Days
  • Marissa Nadler - July
  • Ought - More Than Any Other Day
  • Parquet Courts - Sunbathing Animal
  • Perfume Genius - Too Bright
  • Prawn - Kingfisher
  • Protomartyr - Under Color of Official Right
  • Real State - Atlas
  • Robert Plant - lullaby and... The Ceasless Roar
  • Rosanne Cash - The River & the Thread
  • Royal Blood - Royal Blood
  • Ryan Adams - Ryan Adams
  • Secret Colours - Positive Distractions
  • Sharon Van Etten - Are We There
  • Simone Felice - Strangers 
  • Sinkane - Mean Love
  • Spoon - They Want My Soul
  • St. Vincent - St. Vincent
  • Strand of Oaks - Heal
  • Swans - To Be Kind 
  • Sylvan Esso - Sylvan Esso
  • Taylor Swift - 1989
  • Temples - Sun Structures
  • The Horrors - Luminous
  • The New Basement Tapes - Lost on the River 
  • The Twilight Sad - No one wants to be here & no one wants to leave
  • The War on Drugs - Lost In the Dream
  • Timber Timbre - Hot Dreams
  • Tina Dico - Whispers
  • Warpaint - Warpaint
  • We Were Promised Jetpacks - Unravelling
  • Woods - With Light and With Love
  • Wye Oak - Shriek

   Best Album covers of 2014

   Best songs of 2014

#1 Tina Dico - Someone You Love

"Someone You Love" is the third cut from Tina Dico’s last album “Whispers”, released on August 25th via Finest Gramophone. An absolutely delightful work. The song was also included in the Soundtrack of the Danish film "En du elsker", meaning "Someone You Love". Video by Jónatan Grétarsson. 

#2 We Were Promised Jetpacks - Safety In Numbers

"Safety In Numbers" is the opening track of the third studio album by the Scottish indie rock band We Were Promised Jetpacks. “Unravelling” was released on FatCat Records on October 6th, 2014. Maybe it is not the best album of the band, but for sure that it is one of the songs to form part of the very best of their repertoire. The performance of this video was recorded for their live session at Little Elephant.

#4 Sam Smith - Stay With Me

The first time I listened to Sam Smith was in the video of the band Disclosure on Later with Jools Holland (June 4th, 2013), and the first impact that I got from this artist was given by his voice, his talent as a singer. But then when you pay attention on the singer-songwriter and not just the singer, you find an excellent author. His debut album "In the Lonely Hour" includes more than one gem, like this one, "Stay With Me", written by Smith and Jimmy Napier. 

#3 Ryan Adams - Gimme Something Good

Ryan Adams is back this year with a new work. Very different sound to what we were used to in the last years, but really good as all what he does. I had once the opportunity to see him playing live, in LA at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and I can say that Adams is one of those few artists that could work on any genre and he will sound great. Ryan Adams’ self-titled album was released on September 9th via Pax-Am. 

 #5 Catfish And The Bottlemen - Kathleen

"Kathleen" is my favorite song by the indie rock band from North Wales (UK), Catfish and The Bottlemen. The band has debuted for Communion/Island Records with their album "The Balcony", produced by Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, Editors, Adele). "Kathleen" was the fourth single of their debut album and I include it in this list because of its strength, its charm and because I sing it every day when I wake up, and that put them directly in my top 5. 

   Best Music Videos of 2014

#1 Woodkid - The Golden Age (feat. Max Richter “Embers”)

The video for “The Golden Age”, the track that gives its name to Woodkid’s first album. Once again, Yoann Lemoine, Woodkid, brings us a mini film with excellent photography and a fantastic crew. The introduction based on a human 3D model reconstruction, rendered with those serial transversal cuts, is impressive. And the over exposition of another body, it is something that you don’t expect. Then it passes to the story and the drama of the music and the images. The Golden Age is a video of textures, in which the sense of touch is always present. It is a video in which you can have a personal flash-back to your own childhood and rediscover the 

calm of the summer afternoons, the reflection of a glass with water, the feeling of walking on shoes without socks, the smell of the rain. The Golden Age is a master piece directed by Yoann Lemoine, Woodkid. Full list of credits

#2 James Vincent McMorrow - Cavalier

From the album Post Tropical, released January 13, 2014. The Cavalier video is the first in a trilogy of short films directed by Aoife Mcardl. Perhaps due to its repressed tension, or just by the wave of McMorrow's lyrics as a moan, Cavalier is the story of something that can't end well. A full film in three parts.

#4 Various Artists - God Only Knows (Beach Boys)

The BBC has launched "BBC Music" and to celebrate it, they released the single "God Only Knows" (a cover of the Beach Boys' song), featuring a dazzling array of musical stars, to raise money for BBC Children in Need. The video could result "too sweet" for some people's taste, but it has a great production and it was made for a good cause. Read the full list of participant in order of appearance here

#3 Keaton Henson - Healah Dancing

From Keaton Henson’s last album “Romantic Works”, a great album which release was almost unnoticed, probably because of its music genre, chamber music. But its video was not. The actors' performance and their dancing dialogue on a mute conversation is something that can't be missed.

#5 Die Antwoord - Pitbull Terrier

The video by South African duo Die Antwoord for their single Pitbull Terrier, was included in their new album “Donker Mag" (Zef Recordz, June 3, 2014). Die Antwoord: or you hate them or you love them. I love them. And I love Yo-Landi. You won’t see her until the second half of the video. A video that is violent as hell this time, but a good production as always and directed by NINJA.

Best music videos of 2014, long list in alphabetical order:

   Best Live Performance

I have not been able to attend too many concerts this year but I have seen some great performances and our collaborators attended some festivals as well. From all of us, we can make this small list.

#1 Royal Blood. DCODE Festival, Madrid. September, 2014 (Photo: Mar, Jungle Indie Rock)

#2 Beck. DCODE Festival, Madrid. September, 2014.

(Photo: Mar, Jungle Indie Rock)

#4 Jack White. Bonaroo Festival, Tennessee. June, 2014. (Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic.

With permission of Bonnaroo)

#3 Disclosure. Bonaroo, Tennessee. June 2014 (Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic. With permission of Bonnaroo)

#5 Boys Of The Hills & Kevin Conneff of The Chieftains.  Whelan's, Madrid. June, 2014.

(Photo: JL FRias for Jungle IR)

   Best Gig Poster 2014

This is a selection from the best posters published in 2014. All the posters have been posted in our Tumblr blog here

Parquet Courts gig poster by Lurk & Destroy
Parquet Courts gig poster by Lurk & Destroy

   Breakthrough Artists 2014

Best New Artists 2014

Artists that released their debut album this year, in alphabetical order:

  • Benjamin Booker
  • Catfish and The Bottlemen
  • FKA twigs
  • Ought
  • Royal Blood
  • Sam Smith
  • Sylvan Esso

Jungle Bands 2014

In May 2014 we opened an application process to select 12 bands to form part of the Jungle Bands Project, a non-profit project for the free promotion of unsigned bands in our website. These are the 12 bands that we have selected in 2014 from more than 200 applications:

Best Introducing Bands 2014


Spanish (other countries)

   Artists to watch in 2015

Leon Bridges, Sunflower Bean, Thula Borah, Veyu, Hinds, Mourn, Soak, The Dark Colurs Since 1685.