2014 has been a year bustling with stand-out albums. From breakthrough debuts and daring sophomores to ambitious concepts pieces the Irish music scene has seen a myriad of records cover a broad spectrum of sounds and styles.

Now that the year is coming to a close read the Last Mixed Tape’s Top 20 Albums of 2014 and find out who takes the number one spot…

20. God Knows & mynameisjOhn – Rusangano / Family
A vivid blend of musical inspirations and sounds, Rusangano / Family is a pulsating piece of hip-hop meets glitching beats and syncopated rhythms. Simply infectious music.

19. Groom – Bread and Jam
Irish indie at it’s finest, Groom’s Bread and Jam album is a treasure trove of future indie-pop classic’s including the infectious hook-laden single ‘Colours’.

18. SlowPlaceLikeHome – Romola
A vastly textured album imbued with SlowPlaceLikeHome’s keen sense of depth and aspect, Romola is a powerful affirmation of the artist’s own style and sound.

17. I Hear the Monster Hero – Rhythm & Pals
Singular and undeniably inventive, Rhythm & Pals works as a vibrant collage of genres that introduces one of the Dublin music scene’s most unique acts, I Heart the Monster Hero.

16. The Mighty Stef – Year of the Horse
The Mighty Stef returned in 2014 with the broad rock sound of Year of the Horse. Finding the Dublin indie group expanding the scope of their music, the album is their most ambitious and cohesive to date.

15. Wonder Villains – Rocky
Indie-pop music at it’s most joyous and creative. Wonder Villains’ first album, Rocky, is a hook-laden, melody filled gem that simply moves from one stand-out track to the next.

14. The Number Ones – The Number Ones
Direct, upfront and succinct, Dublin power-pop band the Number Ones’ produced a debut that bustles its way from fast-paced garage-rock to punk influenced indie-pop in the blink of an eye.

13. Deaf Joe – From The Heights of a Dream
An album in the truest sense of the term, Deaf Joe’s atmospheric sophomore L.P. is a whole piece that needs to be experienced from start to finish.

12. Paddy Hanna – Leafy Stiletto
The first solo record from songwriter Paddy Hanna Leafy Stiletto is an album with a very definite sense of place and time, with Hanna conveying a great attention to detail throughout his expressionistic lyrics.

11. Women’s Christmas – Too Rich For Our Blood 
Irrepressibly raw and infectious, garage-rock act Women’s Christmas provided an uncompromising debut brimming with indie gems.

10. Adrian Crowley – Some Blue Morning 
As deftly crafted and written as always, songwriter Adrian Crowley provides a truly widescreen album with the deep-seated sound of Some Blue Morning.

9. We Cut Corners – Think Nothing
A dynamic and cutting alternative-rock record, Think Nothing found Dublin duo We Cut Corners explore more aggressive sounds and songwriting on their second record. Most prominently seen in ‘Best Friends’.

8. The Minutes – Live Well, Change Often
Recent months have seen Dublin trio the Minutes slightly distance themselves from their sophomore album Live Well, Change Often. However, with its urgent rock ‘n’ roll sound (seen in the brilliant ‘Cherry Bomb’ and ‘Supernatural’) there’s can be little doubt that the three-piece made a strong impression on 2014 with their second L.P.

7. The Revelator Orchestra – The Brotherhood of the Flood
Truly unique and imbued with a defined tone, the Revelator Orchestra create a rain-soaked environment populated with the intriguing and isolated characters who appear in the dramatic narrative of The Brotherhood of the Flood.

6. Rebecca Collins – Solar
A powerful and lyrically pointed record, Rebecca Collins calls to mind the intense songwriting of P.J Harvey with her album, Solar.

5. The Hot Sprockets – Brother Nature
The Hot Sprockets finally came into their own with this joyously up-tempo blues-rock tinged sophomore album. Featuring the brilliant ‘Homeslice’, Brother Nature saw the Dublin band producing some of their finest work to date.

4. Brigid Power-Ryce – I Told You The Truth 
With I Told You The Truth singer-songwriter Brigid Power-Ryce delivered one of the year’s most personal and strikingly intimate albums. A must listen for any music fan.

3. Buffalo Sunn – By The Ocean, By The Sea
Big, bold and full-scale in its production, Buffalo Sunn’s debut L.P. is astounding in its sheer size sonically. A strong and powerful indie-rock record.

2. September Girls – Cursing the Sea
The long-awaited debut album from September Girls, Cursing the Sea is a tonally and texturally weighty album that finds the five-piece melding the garage-pop/noise-pop genres into something more thematic and stylised. And while the group have since evolved their sound further with the brilliant E.P. Veneer, Cursing the Sea feels like a strong foundation from which the band’s sound will continue to build.

1. Sleep Thieves – You Want The Night 
The Last Mixed Tape’s pick for Album of the Year 2014, Sleep Thieves’ You Want The Night is a mood-driven synth-pop at it’s best. Featuring a breath-taking central vocal performance from Sorcha Brennan above a panoramic textural soundscape, the album grabs the listener from beginning to end. Stunning.

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Stephen White

The Last Mixed Tape: Irish-indie blog run by music critic Stephen White.

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