Round 2. Continuing on with my favorite albums of 2014, the ones I keep returning to again and again. Of course, your mileage may vary. But for now, you’re riding shotgun. So sit back, relax, and let’s round ’em up.
Ostensibly a children’s album (but in the same way that Harry Potter is ostensibly a children’s book) about animals and innocence. Martin makes it mellow, imaginative, and magical.
Apropos of nothing, I once stood ten feet away from Walter Martin as he played organ for critical darlings Jonathan Fire*Eater at a concert 17 years ago. 60% of that band (including Martin) went on to form critical darlings The Walkmen. This is his first solo album — the first of many, one hopes.
Pharrell has utterly dominated radio for the past few years, as both a solo artist and a guest vocalist. “Get Lucky,” “Blurred Lines,” “Happy,” blah, blah, blah —
I got ants in my pants and I need to dance!!
A couple of months ago, I challenged New Zealand to step up their game in the face of two excellent albums from groups representing their neighbors to the west, that mass of sass known as Australia. Well, the Kiwis didn’t take my challenge lying down. Instead, they picked up the gauntlet and slapped me in the face with this album of simple beauty by the dreamy duo known as French For Rabbits.
They’re sort of in a folky vein, but I’m going to dub their style haunt-pop, because I need an exorcist to get it out of my brain.