Kaitlyn's Top 5 Releases of 2014
Although The Wind and the Wave have song titles just as long as pop-punk songs, their music is anything but. Some of the songs on this album remind me of Meg & Dia's 2009 masterpiece, "Here, Here, and Here." That might be the best way to describe this music; a little bit of rock infused with country and just a pinch of folk music, and you have yourself The Wind and the Wave. The band did a great job on this record, which was produced in band member Dwight Baker's very own Matchbox Studios. If their first record is any indication, this band is definitely going places.
Standout tracks include "My Mama Said Be Careful Where You Lay Your Head," "With Your Two Hands," and "It's a Longer Road to California Than I Thought."
4. "Manhattan" -- SKATERS
I first heard SKATERS when they opened for the Orwells on their most recent US tour. Naturally, my best friend and I bought their debut album the day after their Philly show and we’ve been hooked ever since. This album is about as diverse as New York itself, including songs reminiscent of the reggae, garage rock, and new wave genres, just to name a few. With its vocal samples of conversations overheard in the subway, “Manhattan” provides the sort of anthems that New York needs.
Standout tracks include "Miss Teen Manhattan" and "Schemers."
3. "Cavalier Youth" -- You Me At Six
After their last album in 2011, You Me At Six is back, and Sixers all over the world rejoice. Although their previous release was a little heavier, this album definitely has more of a pop punk feel. The first lyrics we hear are “we’re not young anymore” and this certainly holds true given the lyrical content of the rest of the album. From love to loss to seizing the day, “Cavalier Youth” hits all of the bases. You Me At Six are forever maturing as a band, which is what makes this album one of my favorites of the year.
Standout tracks include "Fresh Start Fever" and "Cold Night."
2. "Disgraceland" -- The Orwells
This past June, my uncle sat me down and had me watch The Orwells’ performance on David Letterman (yes, I have a cool uncle). After Letterman’s stamp of approval, I knew that I had to listen to the rest of the album. And damn it, the Letterman, the Lettermyth, the Letterledgend was right. The Orwells have a garage punk type of sound that’s reminiscent of the bands before them, yet unique for the time of top 40 that we’re currently over-exposed to. This is precisely why they appeal to such a wide audience, which was evident by the 14 year olds moshing to my right and the balding men at the bar to my left at the concert that I attended. The Orwells take their influences and infuse them into their own music in an original way. The lyrics may seem a little heavy for a group of boys just out of high school, mostly because they always tell us to “write what we know,” but I think that we can make an exception for our friend Theo R. Wells.
Standout tracks include "Southern Comfort," "Dirty Sheets," and "Who Needs You."
1. "Ledges" -- Noah Gundersen
“Ledges” has been on repeat since July when my other cool uncle played the title track for us while we were on vacation. This album is one of those rare ones that you can listen to from the beginning to the end without skipping any songs. Noah’s vocals sound just as good live as they do on the record (I would compare him to the likes of James Taylor in this regard). His clever lyrics make me want to see the world the way that he sees it, and as far as I’m concerned, this is a rare quality for a lyricist to possess in this day and age. This album is a timeless one, and through one listen it is clear that an artist like this comes along once in a lifetime.
Standout tracks include "Ledges," "First Defeat," "Liberator," and "Cigarettes."