A Best of 2014 on the Moon

As it is now actually quite near the end of the actual year here is the full A Best of 2014 from the Moon which follows on from A Best of 2014 part 1 from the summer. Part two adds another 46 tracks to the 36 on Part 1 and so altogether 82 tracks from 81 artists. As before not all the tracks are from 2014 but they are the newish stuff that has caught my attention in the last year and I have been very much playing catchup so this might the tipping point and next year might not be quite so extensive. 

Both full playlists are available via both Deezer and Spotify with just one artist missing - Ty Segall who's latest albums are not available on either in the UK  but thankfully you can check out a best of his last two releases on the Moon via Grooveshark. 

But Taylor Swift not being available is not really a problem but it is a shame that for some reason the new Martin Carr album is not on Deezer even though the single from it is. Deezer has in fact lost ground to Spotify in the last 6 months with issues re random tracks not syncing, albums being available with a free account but not with a mobile premium one and albums not appearing as quickly as on Spotify. The Deezer free account is also not as good as I thought on mobile as I thought that it would play playlists in the correct order, with an internet connection and with ads, but I think that was just an app glitch with my phone and now, since an update, I can only get artist radio which is no better than iRadio, Nokia Mix Radio, Last FM etc etc and so the Spotify shuffle is the best free offering. Also Deezer still have no date for a proper US release and so at present Spotify will continue to be embedded on the Moon apart from the odd occasion that an album is on Bandcamp or Soundcloud or for material only available via Grooveshark. So Spotify premium might well also return to my phone at this rate - when I come to upgrade in just over a year.

And so the Spotify version is embedded below and the Deezer version is here and below each is some guff on each track and for many links to more from the artist. It starts with Part 2 but Part 1 has been added from track 46 onwards. 

As before thanks must go to God Is In The TV, The VPME, BBC 6 Music, The AV Club and also Uncut Magazine.

Part 2 is as diverse as Part 1 kicking off with some Spectral Bluesgrass and some Top Pop but then getting pretty rock n' roll for a while before getting more folky/country to sexy soulelectonica.

Also ten of the artists and some of the tracks are also featured in a parallel Buzzfeed post - A Top 10 Non Hit Singles form 2014. So go and Buzz or whatever if yer like.

Part 2

1 Trampled by Turtles - Wild Animals

This is a bluegrass/folk-rock band which turns out to rather like a mixture of the Fleet Foxes and Wilco and their most folky but  which is obviously brilliant. It is in fact their 7th album but I only know their last one called Stars and Satellites which is great. This track is the title track of their latest and very well represents the lusher sound of the new album produced by Alan Sparrowhawk from the band Low who's equally lush and wonderful album of last year was brilliantly produced by none other than Jeff Tweedy of Wilco fame.

2 Slow Club - Complete Surrender

The song of the Summer and maybe year from one of the albums of the year from Gods very own County - check it out on the Moon.

3 Gulp -  Vast Space

Yet another cracking album involving a Super Furry Animal following on from Cian Ciarn from last year and Gruf Ryhs from earlier this year. One of many great tracks but this is the most rock n' roll track from a great summer record.

4 Big Deal - Always Boys

Their third album from last year was one I checked out and quite liked but it did not quite make A Best of 13. However, year they released a cracking 5 track EP of new tracks and a couple of new versions of old songs and from the LP and the EP you can cobble together a great little playlist. This track is , I think, a big step up and bodes very well for the future.

5 Blooper - Go Outside

A great slice of tuneful slacker rock 'n' roll brought to my attention unsurprisingly by A Finest Kiss. Just two rather good EPs released so far and I hope the album is as good.

6 The New Mendicants - Follow You Down

This is a band led by two of the finest songwriters of the last quarter of a century - Norman Blake from Teenage Fanclub and Joe Pernice of the Pernice Brothers and the Scud Mountain Boys.  This track is Joe Pernice at his most Scud Mountain Boy like since their demise and it is wonderful. On the album Mr Blake contributes song that would be top level Fanclub and last year they also released the Australia EP which contains a great cover of This Time from INXS as well as a great version of the Fanclub's I Don't Want Control of You.

7 Alvvays - Archie Marry Me

A slice of indie heaven and a band trumpeted by many but this track is the highlight of a pretty good but quite short and sonically a bit unadventurous LP.

8 Fat White Family - Touch the Leather (Redux)

This could have been on part one but I was not overly impressed and thought it best to wait for a new album but the album is yet to be released and we have just had another single and a few demo's released with an extended version of their debut LP. It did not help that I did not think they were on Deezer but they were just listed as The Fat White Family rather than Fat White Family. Anyhow I find this version much better than the original and I hope that when new LP emerges it has more like it and also like the brilliant Garden of the Numb as featured on A Best of 2013 on the Moon.

9 Foxygen - Cosmic Vibrations

From an interesting album that is maybe a bit to cool for school but then it is 24 tracks long if not songs but beneath all the wackyness there are a number of fine songs including this one though it is very much inspired by a certain pop combo from Liverpool.

10 Wolf Alice - Bros

Yet another girl/Boy duo but this is a wonderful ode to female friendship and one of many great and quite diverse tracks from the few EPs and singles they have released.

11 GypsyFingers - You

And another girl/boy duo and album that mostly sounds like a more grown up and folky Lilly Allen and this track represents it well. The glorious Circus Elephant is also rather special and does reveal the full brilliance of Victoria Coghlan's voice and it would be great to hear more like it in the future. It is also brilliantly produced which is probably helped by the fact Luke Oldfield had use of his Dad's studio who is Mike Tubular Bells no less.

12 Martha - Dust, Juice, Bones and Hair

One of many great tracks from a fine new band. Quite a simple lyric for them but a cracking chorus inspired by none other than Terry Pratchet. Check out the album on the Moon and discover more on their Bandcamp page.

13 Farewell, Bastard Mountain - Something on your Mind

Another one of those great collaborative albums that the Scots are great at doing along with politics. It starts brilliantly with Meadow Ghosts but track two is a rather long instrumental which sounds lovely and has a great name but would have been better as a last track as beyond it you will find some great tracks like this one.

14 Jenny Lewis - Aloha and the 3 Johns

One of many brilliant tracks from another great LP from Miss Lewis. Like her last solo LP it kicks off with the weakest tracks -  a couple of Fleetwood Mac like numbers but then she does a better job than Haim and from Just One of the Guys onwards it is just top notch. Check out a best of her old band Rilo Kiley on the Moon

15 Honeyblood - Fortune Cookie

Like Royal Blood a very much American sounding UK act hyped up by the Blighty media except this duo have done a pretty fine album. I would like to see them try to be less White Stripe like and just do more Americana tinged great songs like this one though.

16 Got A Girl - Put Your Head Down

From a very fine album from actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Gorillaz collaborator  Dan the Automator. This is one of many great tracks but this one stands out as a duet with Mike Patton of Faith No More fame doing his best Barry White whilst Ms Winstead is at her most Lana Del Rey like.

17 The Vacant Lots - Mad Mary Jones

The cracking opener and single from a fine and varied if short album. It has more great rock n' roll as well as a bit of Joy Division like balladry and there is a 3 track single that does not feature on the album that you can combine to make a more extensive playlist.

18 King Creosote - Pauper's Dough

I could not manage to get into his acclaimed album with Jon Hopkins but this is a fine album that is a lot like his great contributions to the The Burnt Unit -  another great Scottish collaborative album from 2010.

19 Erland and the Carnival

A great track from another fine album from Shetlander Gawain Erland Cooper and this track features non other than the Modfather himself - Mr Paul Weller. Find out more and stream the album on the Moon

20 David Woodcock - Springtime in New York

One of many highlights from a fine debut from an Essex chap steeped in the finest traditions of a very English take on rock n' roll. Check it out on the Moon

21 Morton Valence - In Germany Before the War

A gorgeous track that highlights Anne Gilpin's beautiful voice and is a highlight from a fine if a bit underwhelming album compared to the brilliance of its predecessor Me and Home James. You can check out both on the Moon.

22 Girl One and the Grease Guns - Bashed, Beaten and Broken

Not as poptastic as their Jessica 6 single from last year but quite brilliant despite not really having a chorus but it does have some great lyrics very well pronounced and some fantastic synth sounds. Check out 12 other great tracks from the single and EP releases so far on the Moon and I am very much looking forward to an album.

23 Martin Carr - Santa Faye Highway

A song I have known in demo for a few years already but only finally got a proper release this year. This studio version is probably the most poptactic track Mr Carr has produced since Wake Up Boo. There are a number of other great tracks on the album but for some reason only this single is available via Deezer but you can check out  A Best of Martin Carr on Spotify on the Moon.

24 The Vaselines - Single Spies

A highlight from their second mostly great LP since the recent return from the this legendary band. Check out a best of both on the Moon

25 The Coral - The Golden Bough

A track form an album that was recorded 8 years ago but has only just been released. It is a fine album and the last to feature the very talented Mr Bill Ryder-Jones but it would have been a little underwhelming if it had come out after the brilliant The  Invisible Invasion. Though it is great that in this day and age a band can self release so easily and this track would enrich any of their other albums.

26 Tweedy - Diamond Light Part 1

One of the more adventurous tracks on a fine 20 track LP from Mr Tweedy and son. Though my appreciation was somewhat stunted by 3 of the tracks not streaming via Deezer and all album versions of previously released tracks not syncing with album. I was able to sync 17 of the tracks by making a playlist but in order to listen to the whole album I had to turn to Spotify. When my issues were raised with Deezer they were ignored which was very disappointing.

Anyhow there is quality across all 20 tracks and it is one of the albums of the year due to sheer weight of numbers and  it would be quite hard to pick a favourite 10 or 12.

27 Hayley Bonar - No Sensitive Man

From The Last War  her 5th LP but so far I only know her rather good Americana tinged previous one called Golder. The Last War has lost most of the Americana sounds and is bolder and brighter indie rock like this great track which has one of the more direct and brilliant set of lyrics.

28 Ryan Adams - Jacksonville

Not from his very his fine M.O.R album but from the 2nd of his Paxam single releases which have livened things up a great deal. Though the 2 songs on this single see him doing what most of his fans probably prefer him to do -  which is great Americana/Alt Country or whatever. But is great that in this day and age he can pretty do what he like and self release it - check the moon mix of his year here.

29 Caroline Rose  - Re Bikini Waltz

A great lyric from a very Dylan inspired tune and from a fine "debut" album that is not really a debut - find out more on the Moon

30 Dark Horses -Saturn Returns

One of many cracking tracks for their second LP which is a bit better than their first but not quite as good as the playlist on the Moon of the best of the debut plus singles and EPs. If they could do a 3rd album that combines the best bits of the folky tinged and laid back debut with the more frantic rock n' roll from the latest LP then it would be very special indeed.

31 The Soundcarriers - Signal Blue

A great slice of psychedelic electro pop from an album that is full of great sounds but also some great songs, or at least till the penultimate tack which is 12 minutes of noodling.

32 FKA - Twigs - Closer

From possibly the  debut album of the year although my appreciation has been a bit restricted by it not being available on Deezer for Orange mobile premium subscribers despite the fact it can be streamed using a free Deezer account on a PC. I can also shuffle it with an internet connection on Spotify these days as well.  The music is electo but with a lot of soul and is also, for such and electo sound, very sexy. This track also highlights what a brilliant voice Miss Barnett has.

33 Cold Specks - Let Loose the Dogs

One of many great songs from a very interesting and fine album. This track is one of the most gettable but the album benefits from repeat listening. Definitely one of the more interesting albums of the month from Uncut magazine.

34  Spider Bags - Back with You Again in this World

Another cracking opener from an interesting if short album. Following this track are four more slices of punky rock n' roll and then comes a couple of folky/country tinged mainly acoustic slower numbers and then two tracks of swampy blues rock to finish off. It is their fourth album so there is plenty more to check out and it will be interesting to see what they come up with next.

35 Lilly and Madeleine - The Wolf is Free

From their second album following from last year’s debut and though it is not really a big step forward song wise it is a bit more interesting production wise as illustrated by this track. It would be great if they continued in this direction but also spent a bit of time to get more distinct and stand out songs.

36 Mark Lanegan Band - I am the Wolf

Continuing the wolf theme here is a great track from one of the albums of the year, in deluxe form at least. Check it out on the Moon

37 The Cosines - Misguide Me

Another girl/boy duo who met on the London tube but the singer obviously hails from God's Own County. There was a couple of singles before the album that did not quite float my boat but they did not appear on the album which is overall a great slice of Pulptastic like pop.

38 David Thomas Broughton and the Juice Vocal Ensemble - A Man to Call My Own

More from God's Own County but this is spook folk that would fit well into the Dark Britannia series. This track also has one of the lines of the year "But me heart is muddied like the Thames in London".

39 James Cook - Arts and Sciences

Sadly his new album is not yet on Deezer or Spotify so here is the title track from his debut solo LP that is quoted in my Moon post where you can stream his excellent new LP via Bandcamp. This track harks back to his time in the electro band Nemo but in general he is now producing great orchestral pop.

40 Wooden Arms - False Start

Some more orchestral pop from a new band who have just released two EPs with six songs and this track was on both. Sadly the first EP has been taken off both Deezer and Spotify and especially as I slightly prefer the original version. Hopefully the couple of tracks now not available will turn up on the debut album and if the standard of the EPs is maintained then it will be a highlight of next year.

41  King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Am I in Heaven

A highlight from their second LP of the year and so the only artist in parts 1 and 2. Neither album would make my top 10 ten but no other artist has released more great material in the last 18 months and they are my find of the year. I just wish they would stop releasing some of their weakest tracks as lead singles...check out both Moon posts.

42 The Luxenbourg Signal - Let it Go

No not from Frozen but from one of the albums of the year and the most obvious single from an album that was not a single. You never know it might be picked up for an advert and we might all get a bit sick of it but for now just enjoy its pop perfection and check out the album on the Moon

43 Bell Gardens - She Does

The Spectral Country I am the Walrus from a great new album. This is the most spectral and least county track from the new record and in more like what you will find on their debut which you can stream via Bandcamp. See more on the Moon

44 Mazes - Salford

The single and a highlight from a fine album that is rather like The Charlatans trying to be Pavement at their melodic best -  which is of course great.

45 Gemma Hayes - lona

I have to thank Deezer for alerting me to this Kickstarter funded album which is a first. It is understandable that funders should get exclusive material but it is annoying when they are also extra iTunes tracks but are not available to download or stream elsewhere. The album is great until near the end where there are a couple of tracks that are just a bit too M.O.R. But this track come close to matching Gotta Low - my favourite track of hers and one of my favourite tracks of all time. You can listen to that and more on the Moon.

46 Of Arrowe Hill - Isn't it Grand Boys

A late but very appropriate addition to end this part of the playlist for the centenary year of the start of the First World War. From great new album of Beatles influenced scouse psyc folk.

Part 1

1 Lindi Ortega - This is not Surreal

As promised in a Best of 13 a track from her Tin Star album released in December last year. Not quite as brilliant as her 2012 album but still very very good. Opener Hard as This is lyrical genius and this track is just gorgeous. She does skirt with naffness quite a bit but does pull is off most of the time such as with Voodoo Man and I Want You. On just one track Gypsy Child it does go a bit too honky tonk though Lived and Died Alone is hilarious. All but Gypsy Child has now been added to Lindi Ortega on the Moon.

2 Mutado Pintado -The Tick

Last years Fat White Family album sounded like Julian Cope and Graham Coxon making an album together but trying to be a bit too cool for school whereas this band sound like Julian Cope and Damon Albarn making music together and not trying to be cool at all  - which is of course brilliant. No album yet but hopefully one will appear after in the year and it will be as good as the singles.

3 Deltron 3030 - Do You Remember?

Back to 2013 - rather like Gorillaz but that bloke from Blur only sings on one track...but it is only one of many great tracks from a great LP and this one features none other than Jamie Cullum.

4 Courtney Barnett - History Eraser

The first of a few great rock n' roll tracks from Australia. A great chorus and one of many highlights from her 2013 EPs which you can check out on the MoonAlso check her out performing the whole if Kick by INXS live on Ubend

5 Hare and the Moon- Three Ravens

Spook Folk from 2009 with a song that was first published back in 1611. One of only two tracks on Deezer and Spotify but this playlist has to have a spook folk representative even if this is The Hare and the Moon at their most uspooky -  with a song about Ravens hoping to eat a dead knight.  More recent but just as ancient material can be found on The Hare and the Moon on the Moon.

6 Temples - A Question isn't Answered

Back to 2014 though they released some cracking singles and B sides in 2013 as featured on A Best of 13. When the album came it was a bit of an anti climax. Though it was encouraging that they did not think they needed to include the magnificent Ankh on the album but not a lot of the new tracks matched it or the likes of Mesmerise. This one is not far off though and if you do include the B sides not on the album it is all together very impressive stuff. I just hope the follow up is a bit more diverse and they let it all hang out a bit more whilst also producing some more great potential A sides like Mesmerise and Shelter Song.

7 Rotifer - From Now on There is Only Love

A great track form an album full of them, one of the albums of the year and most definitely the lyrics of the year. Check it out on the Moon.

8 Angel Olsen -Hi-Five

Kind of a combination of the country tinged indie rock 'n' roll of Courtney Barnett and the country tinged cinematic folk of Marissa Nadler but not quite as great either. It is very good though and she does have a great voice that can go wonderfully Roy Orbison like. Probably the best album I have heard from this year that did not get its very own Moon post - there is also a great non album single from last year.

9 Withered Hand - Heart Heart

One of a few highlights from a fine new album. This track was a single a while back but it does give this playlist a kick up the bum. The rest of the album is much more reflective.

10 Real Estate - Talking Backwards

This a classic which came out as a single last year. The rest of the album does not quite match it but the likes of Crime come close. An essential album for any Teenage Fanclub fan and a band recommended not only by A Finest Kiss but also God Is In The TV and Rocksucker.

11 Flyying Colours - Wavy Gravy

From an EP recommended by God Is In The TV and A Finest Kiss. A great title and a track that reminds me of the Boo Radleys from around 1992. The rest of the the 5 track EP they released is more like Ride which is no bad thing but I hops the album is more varied and has more Bootastic moments.

12 Ezra Furman - My Zero

A cracking track from a cracking album check it out on the Moon and I really ought to get round to checking out his earlier records with his band.

13 Marissa Nadler - Holiday In

This track is more May Jailer than Lana Del Rey and more like her previous albums but it is a wonderful song from an utterly gorgeous album on which her sound has developed to become more dark and cinematic and so be compared with Lana Del Rey. Check it out on the Moon.

14 Sisyphus - Alcohol

The last track and a stand out from a very interesting but very good album that is generally more laid back than this track - check it out on the Moon.

15 The Wreaths - Coke Straw

A great opener to a great rock n' roll record. Like with Flyying Colours it is very much the sound of 92/93 but at a very high standard. Check out the album on the Moon.

16 EMA - When She Comes

A song that would not be out of place on Nivarna unplugged but from a very diverse and interesting album. It kicks off with So Blonde which is like Courtney Love at her poptastic best and then comes 3Jane which would not be out of place on a Lana Del Rey record but then it goes all bit unfortunately Muse like on Cthulu and then Neomancer sound like PJ Harvey and her most grungy.... So pretty un-categorizable which is always welcomed on the Moon.

17 Black Realm - Falling Down the Stairs

The first of three more great rock n' roll tracks from Australia. The rest of the album is pretty similar and this is one of quite a few highlights.

18 Quilt - Arctic Shark

The opener from a great album from 2013. I saved either the God Is In The TV track of the day post or the Finest Kiss live review but despite the double recommendation I did not get round to listening to till early this year. If I had got into the album earlier it may well have had its own Moon post. On most of the rest of the album a chap takes lead vocals and it is rather similar to:

19 King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Sleepwalker

My discovery of the year though this is one of only a few great tracks from their album from this year. Thankfully late last year they released a brilliant mini album which contains the amazing Head On/Pill but at 16 minutes it would be a bit much for this playlist and so instead check it out on a brilliant playlist of the best of both on the Moon.

20 Damon Albarn - The Selfish Giant

A great track from a great album but also one of the few that he has not done a better live version of with his brilliant band. I do hope a live album is being considered that could include some of the great versions of tunes from Mr Albarn's previous incarnations.

21 Gruff Rhys - American Interior

Another 90's song writer still doing stuff as great as back in the day. If you compare what he and the likes of Mr Albarn are doing now with what various 60's legends were doing in the 80's there is no comparison but maybe it was just the 80's.... Also I rather like the Super Furries not being together - what with Cian Ciaran's excellent album from last year, this album and the forthcoming one from Guto Pryce's new band called Gulp.

22 We Are Catchers - Richer Man

From album full of great songs but this one probably has the best lyric. Check out the album on the Moon

23 Kelis - Rumble

The single but one of many great tracks from a great album which is represents well and also fits well into this playlist. Check out the album on the Moon

24 Joan As Policewoman

The second most epic track on a very fine record and with brilliant brass and some great keyboard action. Check out the album on the Moon.

25 My Autumn Empire - Summer Sound

The most Boo Radley like track on the album and therefore brilliant but is it is an understated little masterpiece of an album - check it out on the Moon

26 Emma Ruth Rundle - Arms I Know So Well

A highlight from an album that has a few but is also pretty short though it is a compelling listen - check it out on the Moon.

27 Horse Party - Back to Mono

Also a highlight from a short debut album that shows a lot of promise. Generally sounds like a rawer version of KT Tunstall apart from the last track which could fit well into Ms Tunstall's last LP and the second to last track where a chap takes lead vocals and it sounds very Elvis Costello like.

28 Stanley Brinks and the Wave Pictures - Parking Lots

Hot on the heals of their brilliant album from last year the Wave Pictures team up for a second time with Stanley Brinks  who has a back catalogue as productive and extensive. Not quite as great as the last two Wave Pictures albums but it is very good with lots of great guitar and freaky sax.

29 The Wind-Up Birds - Two Ambulance Day

One of many fine tracks from their last album and one of my favourite discoveries of the year so far, thanks as ever to God Is In The TV. Check out this unrelentingly brilliant playlist of my favourite tunes of theirs on Spotify.

30 The Last Battle - You & Me or The Art of Saying Nothing

Great tracks from an almost great album. Track 3 and 4 just sound a bit demoish and not as strong song wise as the other 7. For once I would like a bit more production - I could imagine them being more Lanterns in the Lake like in sound and if so they could do something very special indeed. The Art of Saying Nothing is the single from last year which is on the album but is the only song from it available on the Spotify. You & Me is not any better, just the most catchy song on the album, and fits a bit better into the playlist.

31 First Aid Kit - Ceder Lane

I am a bit disappointed with this album as some of the charm of their last one has been produced out of them though it is quite ambitious and this track is the high point of that ambition and it is pretty Gram Parson like. The rest of the songs are all very fine as well and still very impressive for ones so young.

32 Jake Bugg- The Odds

And another scarily talented young artist and a B side from the Messed Up Kids EP which had 3 new tracks and is something that should be encouraged, especially when they are this good. A great lyric that brings to mind of Woody Guthrie and the track would fit well as a Wilco contribution to the Mermaid Avenue series. He was, once he got going, a highlight of what I saw on the telly from Glastonbury and it was pretty strange that a 20 year old was playing a mix of rock n' roll, folk and country that late middle aged chaps generally like whilst over on the main stage some late middle age men were banging out music that is generally the choice of a certain type of teenage boy...

33 James - All in My Mind

30 years in and they come out with a bold new upbeat album all about death. It is not all great as they are trying a bit too hard to be up with the kids, though their attempt to sound rather like Avicii is better than Coldplay produced by Avicii....But there are quite a few gems especially later on though I do wish that now they are back to the 7 strong line up they could just become the best folk band the world has ever known - as they are on Live Acoustic on the Moon.

34 Sharon Van Etten - Every Time the Sun Comes Up

One of the albums of the year so far. Check in out on the Moon. Every track is brilliant but this is the one that is most instantly getable.

35 Coves -Beatings

An instantly classic track from a great debut album - check it out on the Moon

36 Lana Del Rey - Brooklyn Baby

A pretty funny track on a generally more serious album and one of quite a few really great tracks such as West Coast and Cruel World, a great studio version of Black Beauty from the deluxe version and Flipside from Spotify and iTunes versions. It is just annoying that there is so many different versions of the album and the track order could be a lot better and so for the best version of ULTRAVIOLENCE check out the Moon Mix


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