The Best 35 Releases of 2014. (5-1)

2014 will always be the year that was 2014.
Here is a rundown of The Best 35 Releases of 2014. 

(10-6 available here)

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The Best 35 Releases of 2014

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5. Nina Nesbitt – Peroxide.

In the run up to ‘Peroxide’, everything about Nina Nesbitt seemed to fit into neat little boxes. Folk infused pop from a girl and her guitar. Songs about growing up and breaking down as she stumbles, but never falls. And while those charming grins do make an appearance on Nina Nesbitt’s debut, the box they came packaged in lays tattered and burning in the gutter, along with those assumptions.

From the fiery stomp of the title track, through the dizzying vocal skip at the close of ‘Align’ up until the indie ditty of ‘We’ll Be Back For More’ Nina Nesbitt toys with style and direction before launching herself across her musical pallet for the next big adventure. It sounds messy, and at times it is, but by gifting her debut a sense of genuine excitement, Nina Nesbitt shows not only her willingness to follow her artistic muse but a vision that is befitting her talent and passion. Bold, bright and without apology, ‘Peroxide’ is the burning masterpiece of an artist who’s just getting into their stride.

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4. Marmozets – The Weird and Wonderful Marmozets.

‘The Weird and Wonderful Marmozets.’ Has an album ever title ever been quite so fitting?

That reckless fire of youth burns bright as Marmozets have not only put out a record that sits proudly in a bustling UK scene, but lays down the gauntlet for ever other band in their peripherals to face. Bratty, brash and on so brilliant, ‘The Weird and Wonderful Marmozets’ bounces on the balls of its feet as it darts this way and that, constantly in sight but just out of reach as the five-piece daintily craft a head on collision of crunch and quaint. The nimble vocal display from Becca is a tour de force of passion and range as she elbows her way to the forefront of young British superstars while the rest of the band each carve their own path of personality and poise. More than simply an impressive debut, ‘The Weird and Wonderful Marmozets’ is the sound of a band kicking down the doors, expectation trampled and a generation taking note. It’s a breathtaking listening experience, so do try and keep up.

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3. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues.

Laura Jane Grace made her narrative concerning Gender Dysphoria a very public one. But, within minutes of listening to the bedroom confessional whir of ‘Transgender Dysphoria Blues’ her struggles, fears and dreams became yours. Written from an extremely private place but delivered with the inclusive, call to arms brevity that only the best storytellers can muster, Against Me! have not only created one of the most vital records of recent memory, but they’ve done it with style. ‘Two Coffins’ cradles a flickering candle of hope in the face of assured doom while the fight music climb of ‘Osama Bin Laden As The Crucified Christ’ is as confrontational as it is tender. ‘Transgender Dysphoria Blues’ is a brave album of balance and composure in a world that’s done all it can to throw Against Me! to the wolves.

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2. Candy Hearts – All The Ways You Let Me Down.

On first glance, Candy Heart’s ‘All The Ways You Let Me Down’ is a perfect slice of glittering pop-punk. All button badges and sideways glances, the New York three-piece looked to have taken the sugary nature of their name and found a vein. But nestling just under that crisp outer shell lies a gorgeous world of upfront hurt and open wounds. Once you’ve stumbled upon this shady netherworld, the vibrant delivery will endear you to explore each of the eleven tracks that make up ‘All The Ways You Let Me Down’ with such fervent care that Mariel’s open-ended stories will fit into your life like those of your best friend.

Jubilant couplets will giddily tell you off “I’m not your video game/I’m sick of always being played,” while the colourful shimmy of pop doused punk will take you dancing. ‘All The Ways You Let Me Down’ is a shimmering ball of energy that wrestles light and shade into a fabulous maze of betrayal, optimism and honesty. You could spend hours finding your way out, but when there’s so much more to explore, why would you?

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1. Perfect Pussy – Say Yes To Love.

‘Say Yes To Love’ by Perfect Pussy is a caustic masterpiece. The distorted chaos entwines you in a web of melody and repulsion before dragging you into an ethereal world of wonder on brutality. It’s an album that needs to be breathed in, held and rolled across your tongue while simultaneously held up to the light to try and find clues to its mastery. The screeched/cried/sing-song delivery of Meredith Graves’ vocals are absorbed in the ever tightening threads that struggle to hold ‘Say Yes To Love’ together, but the words find strength in one another and soon find a home within.

Say Yes To Love vocalised thoughts and feelings that had been eating away at me while the bands constant battle with injustice on every field has made me open my eyes, question institutions and generally try to be a better person. Perfect Pussy are the most brilliant and important band of 2014 and ‘Say Yes To Love’ is powerful beyond conventional musical impact.

You can read my interview with Meredith Graves at DIY and a review of their London show here.

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~ by justdip on 07/01/2015.

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