Another half year list.

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Another half year list.

Month number 6 has just come to an end. If the calendar year was like a soccer game, we would now be at the break. And that is when we do statistics: about who is playing the best, which of the two teams has possessed the ball for the longest time, who scored and who has fouled the most and so on. In short, it’s time to sum up. So here is the list of the top 9 albums for this first half of 2014. And not 10, because it would be too cliché.

Damien Jurado_Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son

A folk album, from 2014. A bit too refined, with its acoustic sounds, falsetto vocals, important and psychedelic performs. If you know Bon Iver for his homonymous second album, then you might also like this one from the songwriter from Seattle. He has even played in Milan once. And I have missed it. My favorite song from his album is:

Elbow_The Take Off and Landing of Everything

Here there are, the sweetest English guys. This band from Salford came out in 2014 with its most complex album, with long and composite tracks. Among other things, they are written by each band member. Guy Garvey is as cute as usual. If while driving in the car with your dad, you have ever heard of something from Peter Gabriel, and you liked it, then I recommend listening to this album. Oh, and if you really like it, they are playing in Florence this August. Just so you know. My favorite song is:

Sharon Van Etten_Are We There

This one from Van Etten is quite a dark and flat album, but of a boredom that hides deep anxiety. The songwriter from Brooklyn complains a lot in her songs, sometimes she even despairs, as in “Your Love Is Killing Me.” It is not a summery album, although it was released in June. As Paolo Ziliani would say in his report cards: it is crepuscular. The song I like the most is:

Tinariwen_Emmaar

Here they are, they are Tuaregs. The nomads of the Sahara. They make a sort of Blues of the desert and they come from Mali. A few years ago the war broke out in Mali, and the leader of the group could not continue the tour because he was restrained in his country for political issues. For the same reasons the band had to record the disc in Joshua Tree, in the United States. From the African desert to that of California. This is a road trip album, to be listened to on the highway. My favorite song of the album is:

The War on Drugs_Lost in the Dream

This record wins, hands down, the award of best album of the year. A mixture of classic American rock music and motorik rhythmic as those of Neu!. This is the third album of this band from Philadelphia and it is their best, the most mature. If you like Springsteen, Dylan and Dire Straits, then listen to this album. I highly recommend it. They’ll play in Sestri Levante in July. My favorite song of the album is:

Amen Dunes_Love

The third album of Damon McMahon is a mixture of folk, blues and psychedelia in the Velvet Underground style. The sounds are dilated, the voice is distant and the rhythms are obsessive, with a very lo-fi look. An album to be listened to on a rainy day. My favorite song of the album is:

Beck_Morning Phase

Talking about lo-fi, Beck has come back in 2014 with his latest album. As in “Sea Change”, the atmosphere is acoustic, but in this case more matins and sunny. Very similar to the sound of “Fear Fun” by Father John Misty, an artist Beck has even played with during some TV show. My favorite song of the album is:

Sun Kil Moon_Benji

“Benji” is an acoustic album, a lot of singing and a bit heavy. This is an album to listened to well, because Mark Kozelek tells stories in his records. In “Benji” he tells his own stories. He sings about his cousin who died in a domestic accident. He sings about his mother and his father, about everyday life with his girlfriend. In short, he sings of his own business. And he does so very well. My favorite song of the album is:

Bruce Springsteen_High Hopes

Ok, I had to put this. I talked about him on here a lot of time ago. Bruce is always Bruce and if he comes out with a new album, it just can’t be left out of my top list of the year. By the way, unlike what I had predicted, he did not come to play in Italy. Very bad. Well, this is my favorite song of the album:

 

Translated by Chiara Mantovani