Andrew Stewart Poop 2014

Buy Ty Segall/Manipulator  New or Used via Amazon   Buy New or Used via Amazon     Rent via iTunes [?]
1. Ty Segall/Manipulator (Drop the needle, and commence the abuse. This relentless rush of punk rock hits hard, and hammers it home. He digs the power chord; he digs the shimmy-shake. He’s jacked up on the Who, Bowie and T. Rex, but he is his own best bro, and nobody tries harder. Man of the year Ty Segall is pulsing, electric, aflame.)

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2. Kevin Morby/Still Life (This downtown folk-rock acolyte is just hitting his stride on his second album after stints with Woods and The Babies. Chilling with Lou Reed and Cass McCombs on the bus out of town, face against fingerprint windows, he’s thinking of her, and of home.)

Buy Doug Paisley/Strong Feelings  New or Used via Amazon   Buy New or Used via Amazon     Rent via iTunes [?]
3. Doug Paisley/Strong Feelings (Something here recalls the simple pleasure of Clapton’s “Backless”: uncluttered, familiar, like a best friend you want to hang out with. Here it’s love and loyalty all day long, and a wonderful set of songs.)

Buy TV On The Radio/Seeds  New or Used via Amazon   Buy New or Used via Amazon     Rent via iTunes [?]
4. TV On The Radio/Seeds (TVoTR explode from their slumber with a set of vibrant, electric, exciting rock songs marked by big beats, brash horns, and brass balls. They’re back, and confidently kicking ass once again in the most enjoyable way.)

Buy Mac DeMarco/Salad Days  New or Used via Amazon   Buy New or Used via Amazon     Rent via iTunes [?]
5. Mac DeMarco/Salad Days (Watery, goofy guitar lines and warbly, off-key vocals evoke an urban Will Oldham, but somehow the hangdog confessional magic trick works. Like an old T-shirt, it might smell a little funny, but it fits just right.)

Buy  Tune-yArDs/Nikki Nack New or Used via Amazon   Buy New or Used via Amazon     Rent via iTunes [?]
6. Tune-yArDs/Nikki Nack (Extraterrestrial R&B, polyrhythmic and postmodern, peerless and unique. Despite an inexcusable deviation into spoken-word weirdness, this emotional crusader again finds true joy, expressing it in odd compositions and evocative lyrics.)

Buy Mike Adams at His Honest Weight/The Best of Boiler Room Classics, Vol. 1  New or Used via Amazon   Buy New or Used via Amazon     Rent via iTunes [?]
7. Mike Adams at His Honest Weight/Best of Boiler Room Classics (An earnest, homegrown, no-frills everyman with a sly humor and an ear for a killer hook, he’s a beach boy from the Indiana coast, driving his death cab like he’s Dale Jr., Jr.) (CD here)

Buy Angel Olsen/Burn Your Fire For No Witness  New or Used via Amazon   Buy New or Used via Amazon     Rent via iTunes [?]
8. Angel Olsen/Burn Your Fire For No Witness (Lauded and laudable breakout is not at all obvious at first listen, but eventually her charms and passion and total emotional commitment shine through. Once it clicks, it’s all there is, and all there should be.)

Buy Freeman/Freeman  New or Used via Amazon   Buy New or Used via Amazon     Rent via iTunes [?]
9. Aaron Freeman/Freeman (Weird, wonderful, awesome, annoying – and irresistible. This nutty album, to some degree an act of self-salvation, is egomanically egoless, full of joy and passion, and funny enough to make you laugh out loud. Plus, the dude can play.)

Buy The War On Drugs/Lost In The Dream  New or Used via Amazon   Buy New or Used via Amazon     Rent via iTunes [?]
10. The War On Drugs/Lost In The Dream (Psychedelic journeys from K. Vile’s old crew. Here they dial back the tempo and let the fire burn slow, finding moments of transcendence over and over. Oh, and also: fuck you, Mark Kozelek! Your mopey, mealy-mouthed album sucks.)

11. Bahamas/Bahamas Is Afie (Another platter of upbeat acoustic-plus folk songs from this Finnish-Canadian Jack Jöhnson, now with a bit more edge. It’ll hook you, for real.)
12. Sharon Van Etten/Are We There (Making a move for radio play, she abandons some of the riskier operatic compositions that made her so interesting, but she’s still amazing.)
13. Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes/Kid Tiger (Heart-and-soul dance-rock with shades of Jack White and the Kinks. He risks it all with a big epic sound, and pulls it off.)
14. Spoon/They Want My Soul (Overrated and derivative of their earlier work; but even a rehash of brilliance is still insanely good. There’s nothing they can do that ain’t great.)
15. John Fullbright/Songs (Simple, beautifully-written and handsomely-performed country-folk songs from this young up-and-coming small-Townes Oklahoman. Sounds like truth.)
16. First Aid Kit/Stay Gold (Bright and sweetly melodic folk songs from these Swedish sisters burrow in and bubble up again and again. The best of a crowded crew of imitators.)
17. Real Estate/Atlas (Like a latter-day Steely Dan, flannelled and benzodiazepened, their shimmering, mellow guitar work and laid-back vocals blunt a smart, sharp lyrical bent.)
18. Old 97’s/Most Messed Up (This arresting rock set is plugged in and turned up, live, loose and ragged. Amazingly they’re back to form, if maybe a bit too self-referential.)
19. New Pornographers/Brill Bruisers (What can you say? They’ve done it again, and this time in the most stylish way. Brash, loud, confident, and Technicolor-bold. Great.)
20. Hamilton Leithauser/Black Hours (Beautiful, elegant compositions with that old familiar rasp. Not a Walkmen album, but not far off. Super-soulful, and better than expected.)
21. Robert Ellis/The Lights From The Chemical Plant (His voice reads as country, but his arrangements tread through jazz, country and rock and roll. A hidden gem.)
22. Hiss Golden Messenger/Lateness of Dancers (Bluesy, soulful, organic vibe is a hybrid of JJ Cale, the Band, and Mother Hips; but sounds big and bold, and satisfies.)
23. together PANGEA/Badillac (Ignore the worst band name ever: this set of punishing 2-minute punk songs booms, blooms, and explodes. Underrated.)
24. Bear Hands/Distraction (Metronomic rock beats full of great melodies and laser-line lyrics, this sounds like Robert Smith on Adderall, and it’s curiously addictive.)
25. Kishi Bashi/Lighght (Looping violin, beat boxing, and a voice like a siren. Criticize the car-commercial approach all you want, but this guy can write, sing and play a song. Inspiring.)


Allah-Las/Worship The Sun (more retro-desert rock sounds, solid)
Alvvays/Alvvvays (took a while to warm up to this one, but it’s got real pop appeal)
Amen Dunes/Love (one or two songs away from a top ten slot, unique and mysterious)
The Antlers/Familiars (moody, quiet, crystalline psychedelia)
Axxa/Abraxas/Axxa/Abraxas (brash debut from this Atlanta crew filters classic rock sounds)
Courtney Barnett/The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas (a country-rock hootenanny, via Melbourne)
Beck/Morning Phase (almost perfect, if a little too quiet to inspire adoration; beautifully restrained)
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy/Singer’s Grave a Sea of Tongues (covering his own songs, he’s shimmering)
Cloud Nothings/Here and Nowhere Else (filling the void left by Japandroids’ year off)
Dan Croll/Sweet Disarray (a sweet, sugary guilty pop pleasure)
Easton Stagger Phillips/Resolution Road (crowd-funded LP shines bright with amazing songs)
EDJ/EDJ (Fruit Bats’ Eric Johnson can do no wrong; more minor-chord humor and heartbreak)
Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band/Intensity Ghost (an inspiring instrumental showcase)
Steve Gunn/Way Out Weather (his short set at BSP this year blew Kurt Vile off the stage)
Hospitality/Trouble (as cool as the other side of the cucumber sandwich)
King Tuff/Black Moon Spell (disappointingly muddy follow-up to his last, but still amped)
Lake Street Dive/Bad Self Portraits (impossibly appealing, but just a little too juicy to score)
Jenny Lewis/The Voyager (with that delivery, she can’t miss; but here she bores just a bit)
Lydia Loveless/Somewhere Else (one to watch; hard-edged confessional country-rock)
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks/Wigout at Jagbags (another winner, this time a little too loose)
David Mayfield/Strangers (another talent poised to break through, solid country tunes)
James Vincent McMorrow/Post Tropical (melding Bon Iver and James Blake into something new)
Conor Oberst/Upside Down Mountain (far better than expected, despite a recent fatigue)
Christopher Owens/A New Testament (honestly, I don’t know what to think; but I liked Girls)
Parquet Courts/Sunbathing Animal (still pounding the Pavement, they’re overrated here)
Chuck Prophet/Night Surfer (aging Frisco rocker still has some turns of phrase to share)
Purling Hiss/Weirdon (face-melting punk-pop that is, at times, just. fucking. awesome.)
Matthew Ryan/Boxers (gritty rock songs; his voice recalls Collin Herring; produced by Kevin Salem)
St. Vincent/St. Vincent (knotty, harsh, implacable; but the moments of brilliance are unreal)
William Tyler/Lost Colony EP & Blue Ash Montgomery EP (more chordal landscapes, in guitar)
Warpaint/Warpaint (epic-sounding LA rock, kind of a distaff My Morning Jacket)
Jack White/Lazaretto (he’s finally trying too hard, and is too far afield; but the energy is big)
Woods/With Light & With Love (they may be treading water, but their hippie thing still grooves)


MISSED in ‘13

Ariel Pink/pom pom DARKSIDE/Psychic
Lana Del Rey/Ultraviolence Chris Forsyth/Solar Motel
FKA Twigs/LP1 Steve Gunn/Time Off
Perfume Genius/Too Bright Jason Isbell/Southeastern
Sun Kil Moon/Benji Kevin Morby/Harlem River
Swans/To Be Kind San Fermin/San Fermin
Todd Terje/It’s Album Time Jonathan Wilson/Fanfare

Andrew Stewart
Rhinebeck, NY