2014 was a big year for music. We saw a lot of brand new artists topping the charts while old favourites made comebacks to a lukewarm response. 2014 was also a big year for album releases with Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, U2, The Veronicas and Taylor Swift unleashing brilliant albums to the world but who made my top 5?
5. “Calm Down” – Lolawolf
Newcomers Lolawolf exploded onto the scene this year with their unique collision of RNB and electronica. Fronted by Zoe Kravitz (Yes, that’s Lenny Kravitz daughter and Christina from Divergent) she brings sultry vocals and pure attitude that make these songs so rebellious. Their debut album “Calm Down” was intriguing introduction to the unique style that Lolawolf offers. Highlights included the fiery “Dirty Feeling”, the reggae influenced “Skipping Days” and the abrupt “Bitch”. I couldn’t stop listening to this album for a long time with the infectious hooks making you want to interpretive dance like there was no tomorrow. If you haven’t heard of Lolawolf and want to discover a new act to fall in love with then look no further than this dynamic trio.
4. “1000 Forms Of Fear” – Sia
Sia is a musical genius. I have no other words to describe that woman and her latest album “1000 Forms Of Fear” was a genuine masterpiece. One of my personal favourite tracks was the unique “Free The Animal” that really defined this album with its impressive vocals, hitting lyrics and captivating beat. “Eye Of The Needle” was vocally her best performance while “Big Girls Cry”, “Dressed In Black and “Fire Meets Gasoline” were other standout favourites. Every track was different to the one before and brought a new edge to her untamable sound. This album has been critically acclaimed and raved about everywhere but if you haven’t heard it for yourself yet then you need to before the year is over.
3. “In The Lonely Hour” – Sam Smith
Sam Smith was one of my favourite discoveries of 2014 and his debut album “In The Lonely Hour” left me speechless after I first heard it in its entirety. He’s been labelled the male Adele and I honestly reckon this album could give her album “21” a run for its money. The majority of the album is inspired by an unrequited love and with his haunting voice he delivers raw and honest lyrics that will leave you with goosebumps. The only negative comment I had about it was that it was too short and I wanted to hear more. Highlights included “Good Thing”, “Money On My Mind”, “I’m Not The Only One”, “Life Support” and the addictive “Like I Can”.. He is one of the most impressive male vocalists of right now and his daring songs and heartfelt lyrics will move you.
2. “1989” – Taylor Swift
Reinventing her sound and evolving as an artist Taylor Swift released the album of her career and one of the best albums of the year. She indulged into her love life exposing bad exes and ones she had to let go but also shot fires at her friendship with Katy Perry. Every single song could be a potential single with infectious hooks and intriguing melodies continuing to make this album unpredictable. Some of my personal favourites include “Style, “I Wish You Would”, ”Wildest Dreams”, “I Know Places” and the absolute jam “Wonderland”. Taylor Swift will continue to dominate in 2015 so make sure you prepare yourself.
1. “Queen Of The Clouds” – Tove Lo
I think a lot of people will find this choice quite surprising but if you’ve actually listened to it I think you will completely agree with me. Tove Lo was my favourite breakthrough artists of the year with her captivating vocals and unique pop fueled tracks that spoke pure honesty. The album was portioned into three segments; The Sex, The Love and The Pain and perfectly narrated the rise and fall of a relationship. Her brutally honest lyrics can be at times confronting but she comes across so confident with what she’s delivering. “Moments” is a song you will never forget with the explosive lyrics “I’m not the prettiest you’ve ever seen but I have my moments” and “I can get a little drunk, I get into all the don’ts. But on good days I’m charming as fuck”. Other highlights include “Talking Body”, “My Gun”, “The Way That I Am”, “This Time Around”, Run On Love” and the future hit “Got Love”. “Queen Of The Clouds” is an album that grows on you and becomes a therapeutic look at your life and relationships because she says exactly what you’re thinking in these fifteen gems.