TVW’S TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2014 (10-6)

It’s the popular thing to do, so why not? Keep in mind that this is one person’s opinion, and I know there are many great albums I didn’t hear this year. Let me know what your favorite albums of 2014 were. Click the album titles to listen for yourself. Enjoy.

10. The Welzeins – The Welzeins welzeins

Orlando’s favorite dads kick off the list at number ten. The Welzeins animalistic debut is charged with gritty fuzz licks and tight, playful melodies. I’ll say it right now: “Zhark Attack” is one of the best songs by any Orlando band ever. This album feels like the grease burns you get while cooking bacon without a shirt. It hurts, and I love it. READ MY FULL REVIEW!

Favorite Tracks:

“Zhark Attack,” “Shit and Sugar,” “Cigarette Girls”

FKA_twigs_-_LP1 (1)9. FKA Twigs – LP 1 

FKA Twigs, the moniker of British songstress Tahliah Barnett, pulled through with the best debut of 2014. Every instrumental cascades into your ears, while Twigs voice – that emotive, emotive, voice – will shake your bones and simultaneously make you weep uncontrollably and become aroused.

Favorite Tracks:

“Two Weeks,” “Numbers,” “Kicks”

 

8. You Blew It! – Keep Doing What
You’re Doingyou blew it

You Blew It!’s second full-length cemented them as a band. Their sound is tighter, their licks fuller, their melodies brighter. Singer Tanner Jones’ lyrics are brutally honest and unforgiving. After repeat listeningsI started to feel like this album was made for me. Maybe not directly (duh), but I continuously connect with the melodramatic lyrics and sweaty group chants on KDWYD. I feel understood. I feel at home. READ MY FULL REVIEW!

Favorite Tracks:

“Award of the Year Award,” “House Address,” “Gray Matter,” “Better to Best”

Jack_White_-_Lazaretto7. Jack White – Lazaretto

2014, for me at least, was the year of Jack White. I FINALLY got to see him live at Bonnaroo, and it was an incredible three hour, career-spanning set. On his second solo record, White pulls out every one of his tricks from the gritty guitar of “High Ball Stepper” to the lovely harmonized vocal melodies on”Alone in My Home.” READ MY FULL REVIEW!

Favorite Tracks:

“Lazaretto,” “High Ball Stepper,” “Alone in My Home,” “Black Bat Licorice”

 

6. Flying Lotus – You’re DeadYou're_Dead!

Flylo is another artist who this year captivated me with a stellar live show. His walled projections are unlike anything I had ever experienced. Look it up if you want. But the audible journey of You’re Dead captivated me just as much. This album is a wild ride through jazz, hip hop, and electronic music.

Favorite Tracks:

“Never Catch Me,” “Coronus, the Terminator,” “The Boys Who Died in Their Sleep”

 

New Year/New Music: The Raveonettes

Today on The Vinyl Warhol, we have The Raveonettes. I’ve been a fan of The Raveonettes for about 2 years now, and I think they’re one of the most underrated bands in the indie rock scene. They’re the perfect soundtrack to the cold weather we’ve been having, so I’m here to share them with you. Enjoy.

Follow The Vinyl Warhol on Facebook and Twitter for more music updates.

If you missed Part 1 of New Year/New Music check it out!

Let’s Rave On.

Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo, the Danish duo who make up The Raveonettes, have been blending indie rock, post-punk, and garage rock since their 2002 EP Whip It On. The sounds on Whip It On meld together in a dark haze. This, along with a thick blanket of fuzz, make “Attack of the Ghost Riders” feel haunting. Picture the energy of The Cramps with the melodies of The Cure. The little sample that pops in during “Do You Believe Her?” is so satisfying. “HONEY!” Our introduction to the The Raveonettes’ was their most bombastic to date, and in 2003 they followed suit with Chain Gang of Love.

One of the biggest things that draws me to The Raveonettes is some of the bands they evoke. A decent chunk of their material reminds me of releases from the gritty 60’s New York bands. After all, they’ve worked with members of The Velvet Underground and Television. Working with artists that have been highly regarded in the underground music scene of the last 10 or so years, gives The Raveonettes some level of creditably as a band. One of band’s biggest triumphs is how they can sound so fresh while drawing heavily on their influences. Like The Kills, The Raveonettes take trick from today and update the music of yesteryear.

What I love about The Raveonettes is Sune Rose Wagner’s, who does all the song writing and composing, ear for melody. These songs have crazy hooks. Listen to “Love in a Trashcan” off Pretty in Black. The guitar riff pulls you in, the verses sit on top of the songs so nicely, this track is like a sockhop in a graveyard. Another solid moment on Pretty in Black is a cover of The Angels 1963 hit “My Boyfriend’s Back”. It again evokes the doo-wop Happy Days period, only staring the kids who hang out behind the bleachers and smoke. Sharin Foo’s vocals are so sweet, as with all of her vocals, they keep me coming back every time.

The Raveonettes have six full-lengths and five EPs out so there’s a lot of material to dive into. In and Out of Control is a pretty decent release. It’s not my favorite, but tracks like “Bang!,” “Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed),” “Suicide,” and “D.R.U.G.S.” are incredible. They have some of the best choruses The Raveonettes have ever produce, but stick out in their catalog as having some of the darkest subject matter.

My favorite two releases from The Raveonettes are the two most recent: 2012’s Into the Night and Observator. Into the Night is my winner by small margin favorite, which might not be fair because of it’s short four track length, but the four songs that make up Into the Night are easily some of the band’s best output. The title-track is by far my favorite track ever by The Raveonettes. Don’t ask me why because it’s hard for me to convey why I love “Into the Night” so much. Simply put, it’s the essence of night. “Night Comes Out,” “Too Close to Heartbreak,” and “Bad Ghosts” are all great, listen to this EP!

The Raveonettes other release of 2013 Observator came out right when I was getting heavily into the band, and it marked some great additions to their sound. “Observations” is almost totally piano driven, and is one of The Raveonettes most somber tunes to date. On Observator, Wagner and Foo sing individually, which makes for an interesting distinction between melodies. The Raveonettes recorded the album in California, which  bleeds through on “Sinking with the Sun”. The track doused with these surf rock waves, but keeps it’s somber attitude.

More recently, the band is back in the studio recording a follow-up to Observator. I can only hope it’s released this year, and that they tour Florida soon. Stay gold everyone.

And look another playlist!

New Year/New Music: Crystal Castles

Hello all. It has been some time since we last spoke, and oh how I’ve missed you. Winter break was a crazy, and a well-deserved break. But now, schools back and so am I. With a new year, everyone seems to be trying new things. Whether it’s a new in your diet or attempting to go a year murder free, change is always present at the beginning of the year. So why not try out some new music? It’s a new year, and this week I’m going to introduce you to some bands that maybe you’ve never heard. These are bands that I’m trying to get into, bands I got into last year, or just bands I really want to talk about it. I hope everyone’s 2014 is going swimmingly so far, and be sure to drop in throughout the week to see which bands I decide to highlight. Enjoy.

Crystal Castles

It all started last April. My friend Ole dragged me to a show at The Beacham. I had never heard of the group, and going in I had my doubts. It turned out to be the best introduction to a band ever. The band was Crystal Castles, and I can honestly say that night was the most intense musical experience I have ever participated in. As soon as the lights went out, everyone pushed forward. I have never inadvertently touched that many people’s butts in my life, and hope never to do so again. I couldn’t control my body, and for most of the show I was at the mercy of the crowd. Everyone moved as one mass, ebbing and flowing with the music. The sounds that night were brutal. My ears could barely handle the thumbing bass, and gritty beats. Crystal Castles’ frontwoman Alice Glass was an animal, running about the stage, screaming sounds that brought both terror and sexual excitement, and throwing herself upon the crowd at least once each song.

Since then, I’ve had ongoing love affair with Crystal Castles’ music and Alice Glass’ face. Their three studio albums are full of experimental synthpop that varies from sampling video game effects to dark, ambient, evil club beats. All these fluid sounds are cloaked in Glass’ extreme-reverb vocals, if you can even call them vocals. Sometimes she’s sweet as sugar, and sometimes you want to cover your ears. If you can handle the brutality of a heavy metal band with the bliss of pop music, give Crystal Castles a listen. You’ll thank me.

Fans of music with traditional song structures should start with tracks like “Baptism,” “Plague,” and “Crimewave (Crystal Castles VS Health)”. These are the groups most well-known songs, each have catchy hooks that could be at home on radio. But, if you care for more hard-hitting experimental music with twisted vocals, give “Alice Practice,” “Doe Deer,” and “Love and Caring” a listen. On these tracks, Glass strains her vocal cords whilst releasing unhuman-like sounds. The beats are more aggressive, harsher on the ears, and kind of scary. While I’m mentioning scary, fans of darker sounds should listen to III. The whole album has a grey filter on it; it makes for great rainy day music. Lastly, if harsh vocals and sweaty beats don’t interest you, maybe you’re looking for something more sweet and floaty, try “Magic Spells,” “Celestica,” “Violent Dreams,” and “Not in Love”. Each one of these tracks shows the softer side of Crystal Castles. Glass’ voice is calmer, and the instrumentals are vast and open.

The moral of the story is no matter what kind of sound you’re looking for, Crystal Castles has something for you. And look! I made a playlist with all of the songs I mentioned in this blog, and others that I like. I’m so thoughtful. Have a great day everyone.