We’re busy. You’re busy. We probably missed some of your favorite records this year. Here are a few of our under-the-radar favorites from 2014. Tell us yours!
The #1s: The Number Ones [Deranged Records]
The guff of these Irishmen! If you name your band AND your debut album “The #1s,” you’d best deliver. (See: Big Star’s “#1 Record.”) Guess what: they deliver. Ten punky power-popsicles with rowdy anthemic gang vocals and heartbroken lyrics that trace a strong lineage from The Undertones to The Figgs.
Warm Soda: Young Reckless Hearts [Castle Face Records]
The second album in as many years from the Austin-via-Oakland quartet fronted by Matthew Meltion [Bare Wires], Young Reckless Hearts is chock full of infectious power-pop odes to young love that rival anything in The Shoes’s classic discography. Get your swoon on just in time for Valentine’s Day. You can stream the entire thing via Noisey.
Haley Bonar: Last War [Graveface Records & Curiosities]
As NPR noted, this Midwestern US singer-songwriter’s fifth album is “so breezy and brief, so bright and agreeable” that it takes a few listens to absorb the “deeply ambivalent” lyrics. The songs are jangly cool, quietly anthemic, and smartly bittersweet. Bonus: her voice reminds us of Sam Phillips (the lady, not the Sun Records guy).