04/07/2014 07:53 BST | Updated 02/09/2014 06:59 BST

The Top 20 Albums of 2014... So Far


There are many things that frustrate me about Top 20 lists. Chief among them are those that suggest that there isn't any good new music. The quest for new music has always been an adventure. The ability to set aside pre-conceived notions and accept what you hear, is key to your success. I tire of those who claim that music is derivative. Trust me, people wrote off REM as a Byrds rip-off, Interpol as a Joy Division ripoff and yet those bands became the standard for their generation.

I also cringe when I look at a Top 20 list that is essentially a capsulation of my inbox for the past six months. The PR machine drives the music press as much as it ever did. A quick scan of your favorite websites and magazines will reveal little variation and each has their PR contact prominently displayed on their Facebook page. To be fair, there are some familiar names on this list. This isn't a list intended for a music snob. All of this is easily accesible music that should engage and reward with repeated listenings. You don't have to read a biography to understand the "message" of the band. All I ask is that you explore the bands that you love on this list. Buy their record. See them live. Stalk them on Facebook.... Wait. Save that for me.

Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire For No Witness

Bedroom: Grow

Beverly: Careers

Bleeding Rainbow: Interrupt

Cloud Nothings: Here and Nowhere Else

Drowners: Drowners

Human Hair: My Life As A Beast & Lowly Form

Johnny Foreigner: You Can Do Better

Katie The Pest: other cities, other girls

La Sera: Hour of the Dawn

McCafferty: Beach Boy

Ought: More Than Any Other Day

Parquet Courts: Sunbathing Animal

Protomartyr: Under Color of Official Right

Sleep Party People: Floating

Sylvan Esso: Sylvan Esso

Teebs: E S T A R A

Trick Mammoth: Floristry

Twin Oaks: The Lion's Den

Vibragun: Vibragun

To read my full list of forty albums, visit

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