Darin's Favorite Albums of 2014 (Part 3 of 3)

This is the third and final part of my favorite full-length albums of 2014. Be sure to check out my part one and two of the series as well as my favorite EPs of 2014.

St. Vincent - St. Vincent

If all pop music sounded like St. Vincent, I'd be a top 40 junkie. Following her collaborative album with David Byrne, Annie Clark put out her best album yet under the St. Vincent moniker. Complete with funky beats, synths galore, and killer fuzz guitar licks, Clark makes smart arty pop music that makes you want to move your feet and doesn't make you feel guilty for it.

Toby Driver, Timba Harris, Russell Greenberg - Ichneumonidae

In addition to putting out a new Kayo Dot album (see part 1 of this series) and appearing on a new Secret Chiefs 3 album in 2014, Toby Driver also released his compositions for a forthcoming dance film. With much of the music centering around guitar and violin, Ichneumonidae is slightly reminiscent of the first album by Tartar Lamb (another Driver-led collective) along with minimal quiet parts of Kayo Dot's classic debut Choirs Of The Eye. The overall stark and spacey vibe of album changes with the short final track, which almost sounds like Philip Glass composing for a black metal band.

Trans Am - Volume X

On their 10th album, Trans Am continues to create music that combines krautock, post-punk, classic rock, electronic and metal influences into diverse groups of songs. From the thrash metal burner "Backlash" to the vocoder-heavy ballad "I'll Never" and the psychedelic acoustic closer "Insufficiently Breathless," Trans Am has a knack for drawing on disparate influences while still sounding like themselves.

Trioscapes - Digital Dream Sequence

Featuring Between The Buried And Me's bassist Dan Briggs, Trioscapes offers a fresh take on jazz fusion music with aspects of metal, rock, and funk. On their second album, the trio opens up a bit more with slightly looser/free jazz feel, effected horns, and a variety of percussion (marimba, tabla, vibes). Read our review here.

The Unsemble - The Unsemble

Duane Denison's (The Jesus Lizard, Tomahawk) dark and dissonant take on bluesy rock music is an inspiration to me. In The Unsemble, Denison and company (Alexander Hacke from Einsturzende Neubaten, Brian Kotzur from Silver Jews) offer soundtrack-inspired songs and improvisions with a variety of stylist twists and turns. Read my review here.

A Winged Victory for the Sullen - Atomos

As a fan of film scores and ambient music, the second full length from A Winged Victory for the Sullen really hit my sweet spot for quiet music. Comprised of composer/pianist Dustin O'Halloran and Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid), A Winged Victory for the Sullen's music is truly epic with ambient textures, beautiful piano, and weeping strings. Listen to "Atomos XI" below as a sample and check an entire live performance here if you're ready for more!