released in June 2014 via Wolf Tone (UK)/Harvest Records (US)
It’s quite surreal how damn crisp Glass Animals can make rich layers of worldly instruments sound. Even spine-tingling at times, as the diverse and powerful percussion hijacks your skeletal frame and forces rhythmical movement. I found it quite easy to give into the primordial spirit of things and indulge in the finer offerings of this British quartet. Gooey will win you over instantly with its rich and sweet textures that melt upon arrival to your cranium. Satisfying to quite a few of the senses and truly remarkable, it is beyond me how this song did not become a huge hit in the United States.
It’s hard to believe in a post Alt-J world that Glass Animals can not find a nice comfy audience. These guys are dripping in too much sincere talent and musical merit for us to turn the other check. I personally have found ZABA to make more sense and be more cohesive than any Alt-J record I’ve ever listen to. Maybe that’s just me, but I would really like to see the people who went bonkers for other the British oddities take a chance on these guys. They more than deserve the exposure and praise for such a smashing debut.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/glassanimals
Spotify: Glass Animals
released in July 2014 via XL Recordings
Deciding to take a chance on British electronic funksters Jungle turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made in 2014. In the realm of online music buzz these guys were being held up as a bright and creative beam of light, in what early on might have seemed like a slow beginning for our year in music. So after much avoidance (Because honestly I don’t usually care much for psychedelic dance music) I finally took a gamble and oh my did it ever pay off. Jump right into Busy Earnin’ and you will have trouble denying that there is something special going on here.
Jungle’s self-title debut contains a gorgeous cascade of many sounds, but with some that are most likely not made by any instrument that you or I posses any familiarity with. I highly suggest you go into this album open minded and ready for anything, because it will get weird. Not the uncomfortable kind of weird where you’ll want to leave the situation, but that certain kind that might spark a unknown curiosity inside you. There are some true gems on this album that stand out, but I highly recommend giving the whole record a spin before nitpicking.
Twitter Handle: n/a
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/jungle4eva
released in April 2014 via Capital Records
Dan Croll’s overwhelmingly strong debut album Sweet Disarray is exactly just that.
It’s delicious, daring, dandy and disorienting!
It’s fresh, fly, friendly, and fascinating!
It’s gregarious, gracious, grand, and gravitating!
It’s simply sweet disarray!
In just under 40 minutes, Dan Croll manages to compact together what takes many musicians a lifetime to achieve. Mr. Croll created an indie pop album where almost every single song has the capability of holding its own. Each one crafted with an individual majesticness that only it may boast. It’s not as if Dan Croll reinvented the wheel or anything, but damn did he create one that I will keep on spinning until the end of my time.
Quite cleverly, he has channeled the style of many indie popsters and rockers that have come before him, but at the same time forged a sound that can now only be attributed to him. In due time the world will catch up to the all the glory and pop prowess of Dan Croll.
In Sifting Pan terminology, Sweet Disarray is what we call a big ol’ fat bag of indie gems.
Compliment Your Soul
Can You Hear Me
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dancroll
Spotify: Dan Croll
released in February 2014 via Liberation
It’s hard to have a care in the world once you find yourself lost in the vibrant world of Real Feel. 2014 direly needed an album with endless feel-good riffs, and The Holidays came forth with an extraordinary solution. Real Feel is a musical journey through a tropical paradise that feels all too real. Track by track, the album takes you on a grand tour of the most remote and gorgeous parts of Oceania.
Yes, this brilliant composition of tunes will literally make you feel like you’re in a whole other hemisphere. The Holidays have indeed created a rich and textured world through their laid back indie rock finesse. Never has something so chill also been this damn exhilarating. It’s a damn shame that these Australian gentlemen don’t get more exposure in the States. Their latest album deserves some serious commemoration for the ten tracks of true sun-soaked bliss contained within.
So whenever you might need an escape from this dreary world…
You can always apparate there in a moments notice with Real Feel!
All Time High
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/theholidaysband
Spotify: The Holidays
released in August 2014 via Young Turks
Nothing in the world could have prepared me for the intensity this album evoked from within. The magic of LP1 creeps over you slowly as it strangles your senses one by one. FKA twigs will envelop you in this living breathing monster she has created in a fashion similar to Dr. Frakenstien, grafting together various alternative genres that suit the situation. Like a surgeon makes exceptionally precise cuts and intelligent decisions with her tools, so does FKA twigs with all the artistic choices she exercises.
Enticing, exciting, and addicting… LP1 can be quite dangerous to fool around with if one does not prepare themselves properly. Try to remember these simple facts and stay calm:
1. This album is “for real”.
2. FKA twigs is of the human species and not some sort of ultra powerful angelic being.
3. Space-time is indeed still in tact and all this genre bending has not broken the universe.
4. FKA twigs is still criminally underrated, but you can help to change that!
I guarantee 2015 is going to be chalk full of FKA twigs wannabees just trying to channel even sliver of the enriching sound she has birthed. Without any acknowledgment to their true influence, there will also be a grand shift in style by artists of all walks of life. A dissemination, if you will, of freedom to tear down boundaries in music that have no obligation of being there.
So for the massive creative bombshell that is coming our way…
I’m truly thankful to FKA twigs.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/fkatwigs
Spotify: FKA twigs