We’ve come to that time of year again where we list our favourite 15 albums of the past 3 months, spanning from July 1 to September 30. We previously listed our favourite albums from the first (January to March) and second quarters (April to June), and the list included a who’s who in indie music (e.g., Damien Jurado, Sharon Van Etten, St. Vincent, The War on Drugs), and some up-and-coming artists (e.g., Christopher Wild, Tiny Ruins, Young Fathers).
As usual, our apologies to the many artists who released some fabulous albums, but they just missed the cut. Among the honorable mentions include:
- Bear in Heaven
- Benjamin Booker
- Christopher Denny
- J Mascis
- Karen O
- Kind Cousin
- Mozart’s Sister
- The Raveonettes
- White Fence
DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979, “THE PHYSICAL WORLD”
The long, long, long awaited follow up to their first record, Death From Above 1979 come back with more of the same loud rock and roll sound that they’re famous for. A lot of songs on The Physical World sound like they could be off of You’re A Woman, I’m a Machine, but that’s not a bad thing, they picked up right where they left off ten years ago.
DREAM BOAT, “THE ROSE EXPLODES”
Athens, Georgia duo Dream Boat fittingly has produced arguably the dreamiest album of the year. It is entrancing from start to finish, taking you to places never imagined. It is part synth, part folk, and just completely a gorgeous album, arguably the best that partners Page Campbell and Dan Donahue have released.
ELECTRIC YOUTH, “INNERWORLD”
Another partner duo is Electronic Youth, which comprises of Bronwyn Griffin and Austin Garrick who are a living example of grade-school sweethearts. Their debut album, Innerworld, takes us on a journey back to our childhood and adolescence, where innocence reigned and the belief that even the impossible was possible.
FLOATING ACTION, “BODY QUESTIONS”
North Carolina’s Seth Kauffman is the creative force behind Floating Action. Their newest record, Body Questions is more of what we love from a band that’s seems to perform wayyy outside the box. Kauffman builds from the foundation he’s laid down over a decade, and has created one of his best records yet.
HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER, “LATENESS OF DANCERS”
The North Carolina based Hiss Golden Messenger has been mostly the work of singer/songwriter M.C. Taylor and Scott Hirsch. On their latest record they’re joined by Phil Cook of Megafaun, Alexandra Sausser-Monnig, and other friends. They created something special with Lateness of Dancers, which is one hell of a folk/country/rock & roll record.
JESSE MARCHANT, “JESSE MARCHANT”
Montreal-born, NYC-based singer-songwriter Jesse Marchant‘s self-titled album is this quarter’s answer to the superb LPs by Damien Jurado and Chad VanGaalen. While the album at times verges on dreamy indie-folk, it finds its beauty in its understated and humble melodies and Marchant’s brilliant lyricism.
JOE FLETCHER, “YOU’VE GOT THE WRONG MAN”
Rhode Island/Nashville songwriter Joe Fletcher is one of the finest storytellers in music today. He’s released two amazing records with his band, Joe Fletcher and The Wrong Reasons, and he went solo for You’ve Got The Wrong Man. This album is definitive folk and outlaw country. And while this is a solo album, he’s not truly alone, he’s joined by friends including Deer Tick’s John McCauley on some tracks.
You’ve Got The Wrong Man can be purchased at indieGoGo
JOHANNA SAMUELS, “DOUBLE BIND”
New York based singer-songwriter Johanna Samuels released her stunner of a debut record, Double Bind in July. This seems to be the year of female singer-songwriters, Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten, Tiny Ruins, and many others have released some amazing break-through records, and Samuels’ Double Bind shows she deserves to be right in the conversation with them.
JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE, “SINGLE MOTHERS”
Justin Townes Earle is one incredibly talented songwriter. He’s matured quite a bit from Harlem River Blues and Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now, and that makes Single Mothers feel quite fresh. It’s like a mature look back, and proves that Justin Townes Earle is one of the most talented songwriters out there.
INTERPOL, “EL PINTOR”
Interpol was one of the defining bands of the 00’s, their debut album Turn On The Bright Lights is a prime example of Indie Rock excellence. They took a hiatus following the release of their last album, Interpol, and the departure of their bassist, Carlos D. The hiatus may have been the best thing for them, as their triumphant return, El Pintor, may be the best Interpol record since their debut.
PERFUME GENIUS, “TOO BRIGHT”
On his third album as Perfume Genius, Mike Hadreas has crafted a complex yet stunning album with Too Bright. From the more rapturous tracks (“Queen”, “Grid”) to the subtle, piano-focused tunes (“I Decline”), every track is captivating. The brilliance of the album, however, is that is both an introspection of Hadreas himself and an examination of the world we live in, where the two rarely work in harmony.
SHE KEEPS BEES, “EIGHT HOUSES”
Eight Houses by She Keeps Bees is one hell of an album. Jessica Larrabee’s voice is unbelievable, and the raw power she and drummer Andy LaPlant bring to Eight Houses is almost indescribable. Their earlier albums were amazing, and with Eight Houses, She Keeps Bees brings an expanded use of electronics, and also some guest vocals supplied by Sharon Van Etten.
SINKANE, “MEAN LOVE”
Spanning indie rock, indie pop, ’60s pop, and even a touch of indie-folk and Americana with heavy doses of Afro beat and African jazz is Sinkane‘s exquisite Mean Love. It the album of 2014 that best evokes the possibilities and potential of our planet – that different cultures, different eras, and different interests can harmoniously coexist and create something spectacular.
TY SEGALL, “MANIPULATOR”
Ty Segall is only 26 years old and he’s released 18 albums, either as a solo artist or part of the many bands he’s played in. This doesn’t include the handful of albums where he’s acted as the producer. His latest album, Manipulator, might be his masterpiece, where he’s refined his craft without compromising the rawness and ferocity that fans have come to love.
THE WILD REEDS
California’s The Wild Reeds is slowly emerging out of the shadows of fellow indie bands Local Natives and Lord Huron to carve out a niche of their own. Their combination of traditional three-part harmony folk and lush, dreamy indie folk, which has dashes with the LA music scene of the ’70s, is breathtaking and stirring. But underneath the beauty of the music is the storytelling of the band, who depict ordinary life not as normal or mundane but as something truly extraordinary and something to behold.
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