2014 in review #1 : This year’s top releases – Staff picks

Yes, it’s that time of the year again! For this first episode of the series, we have put together a list of our personal favorite releases of the year, which isn’t an easy thing to do at all! What are yours?

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– THE EDITORS’ CHOICE- 

 

Architects

ARCHITECTS – Lost Forever // Lost Together

Architects are on their best form lately and it’s a real pleasure to witness. The band brought their A game when releasing ‘Daybreaker’, but now it almost feels  like it’s nothing compared to this one. A massively heavy record with engaged lyrics that makes you rethink everything that’s surrounding you. If we had to chose only one album this year, it would probably be this one! Now we can only wish Architects good luck with the next records, because we sincerely don’t know how on earth they could surpass ‘Lost Forever // Lost Together’ (but we know they will!)

.GEORGE EZRA – Wanted On Voyage

He is our little prince of the moment. The 21 year-old british boy with the voice far beyond his years has made him one of the most recognized artists of the year around the globe and ours as well. With ‘Wanted On Voyage’, this young man takes us, on a journey of amazing indie music and has made this debut album a masterpiece!

PAOLO NUTINI – Caustic Love

It was probably one of the best news of 2014 to hear that Paolo Nutini was back into the music scene, because we’ve been missing hearing his voice so much! And what a comeback! ‘Caustic love’ is really something beyond words, and just cosmic. You have to dig into those lyrics and forget your soul in there.

YOU ME AT SIX – Cavalier Youth

We thought You Me At Six couldn’t outdo ‘Sinners Never Sleep’, but we couldn’t be more wrong. ‘Cavalier Youth’ drove them to a slightly different path, but one that suits them perfectly. ‘Cavalier Youth’ is just made of songs that will grow on you with every listen until you get addicted.

MALLORY KNOX – Asymmetry

We’ve been waiting for this one for a while, and it absolutely did not disappoint. What a chef-d’oeuvre! For us, it’s safe say that Mallory Knox are probably one of the best bands around nowadays. With ‘Asymmetry’, they found the recipe to greatness, with a bit of softness and a lot of energy. She Took Him To The Lake is a standout track off this record and probably of their entire discography. | Asymmetry – Album Review|

POLAR – Shadowed By Vultures

Those of you who are familiar with Polar‘s earlier work must have noticed the change in the way the band sounded and we love it! It’s still ferocious and messy, of course (just go to a gig and see for yourself!), Polar remains faithful to its punk/hardcore roots, however, the band didn’t stick to the exact same formula and decided to evolve towards something more melodic. And the result is surprisingly beautiful! The songwriting is more mature and you’ll quickly find yourself  singing along to some choruses. ‘Shadowed By Vultures’ is also probably more accessible to a wider range of listeners, which isn’t bad in the end, because music is also about open mindedness!

SEAHAVEN – Reverie Lagoon (Music For Escapism Only)

This record is incredibly beautiful and addictive. As the title suggests it, it’s a typical soundtrack for evasion. Just close your eyes and enjoy. It will drive you through all kinds of emotions, thanks to the various musical environments. The songwriting here is absolutely incredible and yes, it is quite different from the band’s first two album that were a little bit more electrifying and eom-driven. However, it’s a great journey into the musical experiment the band seems to be heading towards; something unique and profound.

MOOSE BLOOD – I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time

Although it has been released only in this last third of the year, this record has been playing in my headphones on a daily basis since then. There’s nothing complex on this record, yet it’s extremely efficient. Through humble melodies and laid-back lyrics, Moose Blood manage to create something powerful and very touching, that you can never, ever get tired of. It’s relaxing at times, energetic at others, but the whole thing is completely harmonious and makes a beast of a debut album!

THE XCERTS – There Is Only You

Another release of these past few weeks and I’m so, so thankful for it! After a couple of years hiding form our radars, The Xcerts‘ return is one of the best things that could happen this year. Surely the Scottish are back, and in full force! Out of the 11 tracks on this record, there’s not even one to dislike. Listening to ‘There Is Only You’ is always an exhilarating experience, I remember playing this album several times in a row in the first days I’ve been listening to it and I’m still not tired of it. Just try and see for yourself!

LONELY THE BRAVE – The Day’s War

Remember this time last year, when we said Lonely The Brave are a band you MUST know in 2014? Well, They have released their marvelous debut album earlier this year, along with a new record deal, a few wonderful music videos. They did a lot of touring and conquered the masses. If you’re still not aware of the existence of this band, please go do yourself a favor and listen to this album. As someone said here already, ‘The Day’s War’ “is like a vivid dream”, that you would never want to stop living.
| The Day’s War – Album Review|

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– THE WORDSMITHS- 

 

LANA

Neck deepNECK DEEP – Wishful Thinking
I only really got to know this band recently and I fell in love. Some refreshing pop punk all the way!
| Wishful Thinking – Album Review|

TAKING BACK SUNDAY – Happiness Is
The first review I did for Plug-in was about ‘Happiness Is’. I guess that’s why I cherish this one so much. Great album, great band. Gotta love Taking Back Sunday.
| Happiness Is – Album Review|

ANGELS AND AIRWAVES -The Dream Walker
This is, in my opinion, the most vulnerable and creative album AVA ever made.

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.ALEX

MaddenTHE MADDEN BROTHERS – Greetings From California
This album was a real surprise—when the Good Charlotte frontmen announced The Madden Brothers, I was curious to see a new direction, and they didn’t let fans down. Brilliant collection of classic, genre-ranging, pure genius songwriting.

YELLOWCARD – Lift A Sail
At times it’s hard to listen to because of the raw emotions in each song, but that’s the greatness of it—it will completely pull you in and make you feel that you’re capable of anything. Yellowcard are never a band to be written off—they just get better with age.

WE ARE THE IN CROWD – Weird Kids
I’ve always seen a lot of potential in this band, and this is where they’re finally realising it—‘Weird Kids’ is half an hour of non-stop highs. Can’t wait to see what this band do next.

 

 

 

 

MARLENE

AWAARON WEST AND THE ROARING TWENTIES – 
This is one of the saddest albums of all time. Dan Campbell from The Wonder Years is behind it and it’s more than awesome

MODERN BASEBALL – You’re Gonna Miss It All
I listen to this album on a daily basis. This is the record I listened to the most this year and I love it. I love to sing all the lyrics and I also love dancing to it. I wish I could thank the band personally for this gem.

REAL FRIENDS – Maybe This Place is the Same and We’re Just Changing
This is the first full lenght released by the band. We’ve been wanting it for a long time and now we have it. It’s great. It’s emotionnal, the songs are well-written, most of them deal with topics we all face at some point in our lives. Great job from real down to earth and lovely boys.
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ALMA

nodevotionNO DEVOTION – Stay/Eyeshadow
The Lostprophets guys are back, Geoff Rickly has joined, No Devotion was born. Even though their first release was only two songs, it succeeded to make me excited for what they have in store.

CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN- The Balcony
Released in September,the Welsh band’s debut album is all I’ve listened to lately, probably because it’s just the right mixture of Welshness, anger and sadness. Big things are coming their way in 2015!

BIFFY CLYRO – Similarities
Now, no one needs an introduction to Biffy Clyro, but this b-side album is proof (if you still need one) that they are one of Britain’s best bands. And with an album like ‘Opposites’ released in 2013,they could basically do no wrong releasing its B-sides.
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CHERIFA

marmozetsMARMOZETS -The Weird and Wonderful Marmozets
What a great album this is! With this debut record, Marmozets show us how talented they are. With their promising music, caught somewhere between pop-punk and metal, they can only have bright years ahead of them. ‘The Weird and Wonderful Marmozets’ is angry and powerful, it’s like a huge punch in the face that you WILL enjoy!

NEW FOUND GLORY – Resurrection
Do I still need to introduce New Found Glory, after all these years? What to say except that they have succeeded, once again, in proving us that they are without any doubt the masters of pop punk music. Even after 17 years.

BLITZ KIDS – The Good Youth

UK always provides us with some great bands, and Blitz Kids proves it. It’s easy to figure it out after listening to ‘The Good Youth’, where every song has it’s own place on the record. You’ll find some punchy rock songs but also emotional catchy ballads. One thing is sure, I can’t wait to listen to their new material after this album!
| The Good Youth – Album Review |

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ROXY

TayswiftTAYLOR SWIFT – 1989

How can anyone end this year without jamming to Taylor Swift? She is that one girl that makes you laugh about your ex-boyfriend (or girlfriend?), not feel guilty about being young and reckless, dance until you can’t feel your legs and makes you want to be stupidly in love. In other words, she made this cold end of year a bit more bearable. With tunes like “Shake It Off” or “Blank Space” every song on this album is so pop and catchy I have it on repeat since the day it came out. And the covers of her songs are also amazing which makes “1989” even more awesome. So yeah, Taylor Swift has done it again and it’s so good it makes you feel guilty! If you honestly don’t like it, the only reason could be that you are lying to yourself. So go grab a copy.

.YOU ME AT SIX – Cavalier Youth

After falling in love with the band back in 2011 ‘Cavalier Youth’ was one of my most expected albums of the year. With powerful singles to launch the album, ‘Cavalier Youth’ was meant to be a success, although a bit controverted at first because of You Me At Six new sound being a bit more rock and mature. With songs like Room To BreatheToo Young To Feel This OldCold Night or Lived A Lie the album is filled with little treasures. However what really got me into it was the dimension it took live, allowing the crowd to go wild on songs like Fresh Start Fever for instance. You Me At Six clearly has found its sound with this album and a year later it still remains one of my very own favorites of 2014.

STATE CHAMPS – The Acoustic Things

 Well, State Champs is one of my revelations this year. I already couldn’t get enough of their first album but their acoustic EP was even better than I thought. This band made me go back to my pop/punk roots and proudly defend the genre. To me, it’s one of these bands that are making pop/punk cool again and giving it a bright future, this album just being a living proof of that fact. The songs off their 2013 debut album were beautifully executed acoustically, giving them another dimension yet maintaining what defines their style. The two bonuses, beautiful love songs, highlighting Derek’s voice made this EP even more worth it. Acoustic EPs are not always simple for pop/punk bands but here State Champs managed to add another value to the original songs, making it hard for me to pick my favorite versions, which shows how good this EP actually is! Even if you’re not fan of the band or the genre, I think you should give it a listen; you may be surprised.
|The Acoustic Things – EP Review|

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