2014’s six best albums bring chill vibes and dance-worthy beats

By Managing Editor

As 2014 draws to a close, the time has come to reflect on the year’s many album releases.

This year will go down in history as the one in which Obamacare went into effect, same-sex marriage was legal in Illinois and pop star Taylor Swift made a big move to New York. 

As the nation saw many changes and periods of both widespread disappointment and growth, so did the music industry.

The following are some of the best albums that I—and hopefully some of my peers—listened to along the ride to celebrate, de-stress and at times curl up and cry next to a mountain of the semester’s final projects.

1. St. Vincent, St. Vincent: Annie Clark’s fourth full-length solo album delivered a bold confidence and at times a sound that has been called “otherworldly.” The album still doesn’t trump my nostalgia and fondness for her earlier releases. However,  it is a solid, cohesive album that showcases Clark’s growth as an artist and her ability to sing with the beauty and authority of royalty.

2. Manchester Orchestra, Cope: The band’s fourth full-length album was long in the making, and promised to be louder and heavier than Manchester Orchestra’s previous releases. While some critics wish the band went a little harder, the album starts with a punch on “Top Notch,” emphasizing the band’s love for rock music, despite the ease with which the lyrics and tempo soften on “Cope”

and “Indentions.”

3. FKA Twigs, LP1: This synth-heavy album offers a healthy blend of pop, EDM and R&B as FKA Twigs’ full-length debut. Twigs has been described as The Weeknd’s female counterpart. But on LP1 it is clear that Twigs has a fully realized vision for her music, with a strong feminist vibe and raw self-awareness. 

4. Tove Lo, Queen of the Clouds: The Swedish pop singer clearly has a story to tell, and on Queen of the Clouds, she details the highs and lows of a failed relationship. Songs like her hit, “Habits (Stay High)” and “Not on Drugs,” reveal just how much she is still hurting from her break up, as well as her ability to nail a great hook while she attempts to “stay high” and grieve.

5. Mac DeMarco, Salad Days: As his second full-length album, Mac DeMarco’s Salad Days brings the same nonchalance and chill vibes as his previous album, 2, but with added maturity and insightful lyrics on tracks like, “Passing Out Pieces” and “Go Easy.” 

6. Taylor Swift, 1989: The proud New York transplant’s latest album, which dropped Oct. 27, seems to have declared her transition from the country genre to full-fledged pop. While I am not the biggest fan of Swift, the result of her pop debut is a glossy, ‘80s-inspired album that can get just about anyone dancing their worries away.