List Week: Top 30 Albums Of 2014 | Exploding Head Syndrome

Heyyyyy! We’re back as Exploding Head Syndrome after taking a lot of November and December off! Yes we know the breaks are just as bad as Elusive Little Comments’ but to remove all fourth wallness, I am just one guy. I speak in third person because not everything is about me and it’s all about spreading music as far and as wide as possible like the most sonically fulfilling STD possible. My real life job that pays me money unlike this site got super busy which meant that when I wasn’t working I was sleeping. Sleeping genuinely became a hobby of mine during that period I think. Anyway, it’s LIST WEEK! Our last week of content for 2014 where we list the best EPs, Tracks and Albums which we either reviewed or checked out over the last twelve months!
Thursday means our Top 30 Albums Of 2014! Why 30? Why 50? Why even bother doing a list? Who knows. But what we know is that we love you, and want to recommend as much new music as possible before Santa comes along and steals our spotlight. Below will be a list from 30 to 1 possibly with a line or two detailing why we love that specific album so much. We hope you enjoy, and spread this list on to your friends, who then spread it on to their friends, who then spread it on to their friends, and then everybody gets sick of it. Love you.
  1. SCHOOLBOY Q – OXYMORON | Superb hip hop album which set the standard for the year. Seeing him perform at Reading 2014 was immense.
  1. SPRINGTIME CARNIVORE – SPRINGTIME CARNIVORE | Short, sweet pop album with a slight dark tinge to it makes for some fun and enjoyable listening.
  1. SILVER MT. ZION – FUCK OFF GET FREE WE POUR LIGHT ON EVERYTHING | Album title alone should suggest why it gets on our list.
  1. TUNE-YARDS – NIKKI–NACK | Undeniably one of the funnest listens of the year, tremendously original pop music done right.
  1. HYPOCRITE IN A HIPPY CRYPT – SMILE FOR ME | We’re suckers for this guy’s work, voice, hooks, instrumentals. Another great addition to his already swollen discography.
  1. PERFUME GENIUS – TOO BRIGHT | A little glitter added to a sound that continues to manipulate emotions in the most wonderful way.
  1. TOWNS – GET BY | Superb psychedelic debut from Towns quickly left us upset as the band announced their retirement not long after.
  1. SUBMOTION ORCHESTRA – ALIUM | Great, great record full of excellent material and superb atmospheres.
  1. SPOON – THEY WANT MY SOUL | One of the earliest album contenders this year. Spoon return with a very concise effort that envelopes everything great about a solid rock record.
  1. JEEN – TOURIST | Excellent catchy, gritty record makes for many, many repeated moments.
  1. DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 – THE PHYSICAL WORLD | A worthy follow up to one of the greatest debut records ever.
  1. CHROMEO – WHITE WOMEN | Unbelievably catchy, sexy material from a duo who can do no wrong.
  1. THE WAR ON DRUGS – LOST IN THE DREAM | Superb psychedelic rock album.
  1. TEENANGER – E P L P | Excellent punk/garage rock record complete with intensity, grittiness, and hooks which punch you in the balls in the best way possible.
  1. ST.VINCENT – ST.VINCENT | Highly anticipated record succeeds at creating a niche side of pop rock via Annie Clarke’s incredibly talented mind.
  1. LA ROUX – TROUBLE IN PARADISE | Immense pop/dance record that’s catchy from start to finish.
  1. ROYAL BLOOD – ROYAL BLOOD | One of the biggest breakthroughs of the year. Royal Blood fly the flag for new mainstream acts by bringing forth their heavy bass-sounding-electric-guitar riffs in a big, big way.
  1. VLMA – VLMA | Another brilliant garage rock album that takes turns at showcasing many genres in punk, rock, and blues to create one hell of a fantastic product.
  1. FREDDIE GIBBS & MADLIB – PINATA | Another sterling hip hop record from one of the genre’s lesser known veterans.
  1. RUN THE JEWELS – RUN THE JEWELS 2 | This exciting duo continue to build on their reputation with another hard hitting record.
  1. CHAMPION LOVER – CHAMPION LOVER | A touch of nostalgia makes this new record sound even better as this aspiring band deliver some of the best punk songs of the year.
  1. FILM – ECLIPSE | If you want something that sounds like Daft Punk without the name then this is the record for you. Superb expansive electronic music with character.
  1. TIMBER TIMBRE – HOT DREAMS | A brilliant change in tempo for Timber Timbre allows them to take on a whole new personality instrumentally while still enabled to deliver some creepy lyricism.
  1. METRONOMY – LOVE LETTERS | Metronomy continue to get better and better with their records as Love Letters delivers a heartfelt message via the means of some extremely good hooks and electronic dance music that will last a lifetime.
  1. BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB – SO LONG, SEE YOU TOMORROW | Indie veterans continue to prove they can make any genre work as this organic sounding record easily becomes their best yet.
  1. FOX AND THE LAW – STONED TO DEATH | A sound that could make Led Zeppelin proud, Fox And The Law burst onto the scene earlier this year with one sublime record that continues to get better with every listen.
  1. LIARS – MESS | A shift into electronic music for Liars succeeds at being their most colourful and best yet. Excellent intensity thrown behind some of the most original sounds made this year.
  1. CO-PILGRIM – PLUMES | Co-Pilgrim’s latest effort is one that is as heartbreaking as it is catchy. The band really create the perfect constrast between summery acoustic instrumentation and lyrics talking about love, loss, and growing as a person. A lot of Co-Pilgrim’s best material is featured on Plumes, and it’s so good that we want to pay homage to the impact it’s had on us by tattooing it on ourselves. Sublime, beautiful record that deserves a lot more attention.
  1. ICEAGE – PLOWING INTO THE FIELD OF LOVE | Iceage continue to prove themselves as one of the best new bands around by delivering with a new record every year since their existance. Third album Plowing Into The Field Of Love sees the Danish band shake things up by adding more instruments and less punk to their sound, creating something that is as lush with instrumentation while also retaining a lot of their grittiness and passion to effortless results. We have no idea how Iceage works, but it just…works. Easily one of the most surprising and greatest records of 2014, it was hard to stick it at number 2 but it did have to lose out to…
  1. SWANS – TO BE KIND | It had to be this for number one. Swans continue to take their sound to the extreme depths of hell as To Be Kind could be their most unforgiving effort yet. What’s particularly great about this tortured soul is how easy it is to get wrapped up in trying to listen all the way through. It’s almost like a challenge sitting there and not going crazy after the first half hour, and then there’s the rest of the album to listen to. There’s elements of hooks thrown in somewhere, but they will definitely be used to draw you in and sink into your back as the band proceed to throw something convoluted and downright disgusting in your face. Despite all of the adjectives wanting people to leave this record alone you cannot help but admire it, it’s a masterpiece in the worst possible way. It’s perfect at what it does, and that’s why it is Exploding Head Syndrome’s Best Album Of 2014.
So there we have it folks! Swans take the top spot with the sensational To Be Kind. 2014 has been a great year for music, whether or not it tops last year in music is a other debate, but there has been some really good material released over the last twelve months. We cannot wait to hear what comes our way in 2015, and who breaks through into the spotlight. Personally we’re hoping for a new Queens Of The Stone Age record, and anything from Kendrick too.
We hope you have enjoyed our list, and if you wish to leave your opinion or any feelings on it or any of our other lists then either leave a comment below or come to us on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Tomorrow is Friday which means our final list of List Week! We will be recommending 10 artists we believe will make a splash next year, so it’d be nice if you get on that hype ASAP so you can look super cool infront of your friends. See you tomorrow. Love you.

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