Romantically nostalgic (The War on Drugs, Future Islands, D’Angelo, Angel Olsen, Lust for Youth), complexly postmodernist (FKA Twigs, Jamie xx, Run the Jewels, Fatima el Qadiri, Flying Lotus), joyously experimental (Ben Frost, Arca, Clark, Luke Abbott), painfully intimate (Hundred Waters, Sharon van Etten, Damien Jurado, SOHN) and haloed by the ghosts of Beyonce and Aphex Twin’s cult followings: 2014 was a fulfilling year for both mainstream (except if you spent your year clapping endlessly so that Pharrell knows you’re as happy as he is) and independent (mainly thanks to the rise of nu-soul music and the extraordinary expansion of the electronica scene) music.

By Edwin Nasr


25. Angel Olsen – Forgiven/Forgotten

24. Damien Jurado – Silver Donna

23. Arca – Thievery 

22. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! (Feat. Matt Berninger) – Coming Down

21. Flying Lotus – Coronus, the Terminator

20. Actress – Gaze

19. Fatima Al Qadiri – Dragon Tattoo

18. Alt-J – The Gospel of John Hurt

17. SBTRKT (feat. Ezra Koenig) – New Drop. New York

16. Andy Stott – Violence

15. D’Angelo Feat. The Vanguard – Sugah Daddy

14. Perfume Genius – Queen

13. SOHN – Lessons

12. Run the Jewels – Close Your Eyes And Count to Fuck

11. Lust For Youth – New Boys

10. Hundred Waters – Murmurs

9. Jamie xx – Sleep Sounds 

8. The Acid – Creeper 

7. Sharon Van Etten – Your Love Is Killing Me

6. The War on Drugs – Red Eyes

5. Luke Abbott – Amphis

4. Fka Twigs – Two Weeks

3. Caribou – Our Love

2. Future Islands – Seasons (Waiting on You)

1. Ben Frost – Nolan