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Ear Influxion’s Best Albums of 2014

It’s a bit late compared to most year-end music lists, but I like to take my time to listen to year-end releases and see what grabs me. Since most of what I love musically ends up making an appearance on this blog, I’ve added a link to each write-up (where available) which usually includes at least one or two audio and/or video samples, and links to download/purchase.

I always am surprised when I hear people complain about how “this wasn’t a good year for music” because there is more music around us and more easily (often freely) accessible than ever before… so while there’s certainly way more noise, there is also plenty of quality music surfacing. Sometimes that is in service to a genre’s tenets and underpinnings, like the tightly wound electro-IDM hybrid of Anodyne, while at others it presents something wholly and wildly new, like Vessel’s singular Punish, Honey, released on Tri Angle this fall. In any case, that I was hard pressed to narrow it to 40 is a sign that at least to my ears, there were plenty of great and creative releases to enjoy, and I look forward to more in 2015.

  1. Plaid: Reachy Prints (Warp)
  2. Aphex Twin: Syro (Warp)
  3. Caribou: Our Love (Domino)
  4. Vessel: Punish, Honey (Tri Angle)
  5. Young Magic: Breathing Statues (Domino)
  6. Efdemin: Decay (Dial)
  7. Lamb: Backspace Unwind (Strata)
  8. Dead Fader: Blood Forest (Robot Elephant)
  9. Leon Vynehall: Music for the Uninvited (3024)
  10. Further Reductions: Woodwork (Cititrax)
  11. Black Swan: Tone Poetry (Bandcamp)
  12. Lorenzo Senni: Superimpositions (Boomkat Direct)
  13. A Winged Victory For the Sullen: Atomos (Kranky)
  14. Marsen Jules: Live at GRM (Oktaf)
  15. Tumido: Nomads (Interstellar)
  16. Cassegrain: Centres of Distraction (Prologue) 
  17. Clap! Clap!: Tayi Bebba (Black Acre)
  18. Royksopp: The Inevitable End (Dog Triumph)
  19. Mr. Oizo: The Church (Brainfeeder)
  20. Andy Stott: Faith in Strangers (Modern Love)
  21. Echaskech: Origin (Just Music)
  22. Ben Frost: A U R O R A (Mute)
  23. Throwing Snow: Mosaic (Houndstooth)
  24. Sons of Magdalene: Move to Pain (Audraglint)
  25. Imprints: Data Trails (Serein)
  26. Lee Gamble: Koch (Pan)
  27. Anodyne: IV (Offshoot)
  28. Birds of Passage: This Kindly Slumber (Denovali) 
  29. Millie & Andrea: Drop the Vowels (Modern Love)
  30. Colin Vallon Trio: Le Vent (ECM)
  31. Rvnes: Rest/Relief (Jehu & Chinaman)
  32. Clark: Clark (Warp)
  33. The Soft Pink Truth: Why Do The Heathens Rage? (Thrill Jockey)
  34. Neel: Phobos (Spectrum Spools) 
  35. The Bug: Angels & Devils (Warp) 
  36. Ital: Endgame (Planet µ)
  37. Luke Abbott: Wysing Forest (Border Community) 
  38. Inigo Kennedy: Vaudeville (Token)
  39. Fennesz: Becs (Editions Mego)
  40. Otto A. Totland: Piño (Sonic Pieces)