We Were Promised Jetpacks – Unravelling

Fatcat, 2014

Their most diverse and experimental album yet. While WWPJ’s giant-sized guitars and emotional singing are still among the best out there today, their third album expands on their dark post-punk with haunting keys, more sophisticated atmospheres and a morphing into Mogwai-influenced post-rock. Most bands in this genre essentially record the same album repeatedly. Not WWPJ, and the proof is this career highlight.

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Red Space Cyrod – Lazytown

Self-released, 2014

The duo of Jay Echeverria and Cyrille Poumerie never do anything halfway, and here the pair mix their Euro influences with creative sounds of indie-rock from the States into two discs of varied sounds that seldom repeat the same patterns. It would almost be easier to say what Red Space Cyrod aren’t than what they are, but for the sake of brevity expect experimental, New Wave, post-everything unusualness that combines both Eastern and Western sounds with vocal oddities.

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Ani DiFranco – Allergic To Water

Righteous Babe, 2014

Now in her 40s and married, DiFranco finds a calm, groove-friendly place where her blues and jazz influences are at the forefront of some very soulful songs. An introspective album that is consumed with different aspects of the relationships closest to her, the music follows suit with moody, nearly cathartic folk sensibilities. Now 20 albums deep, DiFranco proves she still has plenty of spirit we can all embrace.

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Pompeii – Loom

Red Transit, 2014

Let me introduce you to the best album of 2014 (so far). Following a 5-year recording hiatus, Austin’s Pompeii regroup with atmospheric post-rock that builds, swirls and soars in the most important ways, from agile indie-rock to ambient keys, and with a mesmerising mix of blurry melody and driving, fuzzed out rock. If you aren’t fully immersed by track 3, I can only conclude you don’t like music.

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Sunken Monkey – Party Scars

Bumface, 2014

Gruff, extremely melodic pop-punk from England that tips its hat to the best days of Fat Wreck Chords as well injecting old school punk flavor, Sunken Monkey might have penned the party album of the year. Chocked full of memorable riffs, universally relatable lyrics and the high energy this genre is known for, if outfits like Rise Against, Face To Face, or The Menzingers are your cup of tea, you’ll be able to sip on Party Scars adoringly. The acoustic closer is a great deviation, too.

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Rush Midnight – Rush Midnight

Last Gang, 2014

Also known as the bassist for Twin Shadow, Russ Manning (Rush Midnight) restyles his experience with electro-pop into a rugged exploration of R&B, neo-funk and New Wave synth rock. Focusing on strong beats and striking guitar work, Manning offers a more gritty and sometimes forceful look at post-disco influenced indie-rock from a more lush angle. The deluxe version of this new album includes a Lykke Li cover and a Tokyo Police Club remix, both of which warrant picking it up.

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