Saturday, 27 December 2014

My Top Ten Albums of 2014 - #1

1. First Aid Kit - Stay Gold

So far in my Top Five, I've revealed the coolest record of the year (#5), the most beautifully crafted (#3), the most fun and feelgood (#2)... and the most Morrissey (#4). What's left? 

First Aid Kit's third album was a true treasure trove. It's a timeless album of sunshine and sadness: delicious harmonies, evocative imagery and achingly melancholic stories from a band displaying a wisdom beyond their years. It's a record about growing old, about happiness being fleeting, about not knowing what you've got till it's gone... and yes, Joni would approve.

Even if I wasn't already a fan from their last LP, the first single, My Silver Lining, would have sold it to me. 
I don't wanna wait any more
I'm tired of looking for answers
Take me some place where there's music and laughter
I don't know if I'm scared of dying
But I'm scared of living too fast, too slow
Regret, remorse, hold on - oh no, I've got to go
There's no starting over
No new beginnings
Time races on
And you've just gotta keep on keepin' on...
 Straight off the back of this came single #2, Master Pretender, the second best New York song of the year (any other year it would have taken the top slot)...
I always thought that you'd be here
But shit gets fucked up
And people just disappear
So honey now, don't be mad
Time has told me it can't be that bad
And if it is... well, I'll be goddamned
But I'll stick around...
They edited that for the radio, of course, but you've never heard cuss words sound so sweet... or so sad.

And then, just when you thought it couldn't get any better came single #3... the title track: pure gold. 
What if to love and be loved's not enough?
What if we fall and can't bear to get up?
Oh, I wish for once we could stay gold...
Don't we all?

Those first three singles were also the first three tracks on the album, and I can't think of a stronger opening to any album this year. But it didn't end there... there's only ten tracks on this LP, but every one is a masterpiece, and every one could have been a single. These two young women from Sweden (via LA) have produced the most mature, beguiling and emotionally affecting record of 2014. As long as there is still music such as this being recorded - and finding an audience - the music industry will survive just fine.

And that's it for 2014. How was it for you... did your Top Ten feature any of my selections? Do let me know.

Happy New Year to all My Top Ten readers. I'll be back on January 1st with a special Top Ten for a special person. Normal service will hopefully resume soon after that.


  1. Having listened to the video, will have to buy the album...and no I have none, not a single one, of the rest of the top ten....and I thought I knew good music :-(

  2. Ooh. Me like. You may have made another convert.


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