In 2013, I had a list as long as my arm of albums that I had fallen in love with. I really struggled to condense them down for Nelipott’s annual top 5 albums of the year. This year, however, I had a solid 5 straight in my mind with no questions asked. My top 5 records for 2014 were one of the easiest lists i’ve ever compiled, with my number 1 being an absolute no-brainer.
The Morning | Lewis Watson
It was a slightly impatient 2 year wait since the release of his first EP in 2012, and 5 solid EP’s later we were finally graced with Lewis Watson’s debut album this year. The Morning is a more polished collection of songs, yet still sits firmly within the same genre of his EP’s. The 22 year old Oxford born singer-songwriter started by pouring his heart out alongside a guitar in simple, yet beautifully constructed melodies, and now plays alongside a full-band to really bring these tracks to life. With personal favourites being cutesy love song ‘Halo‘, single ‘Stay‘, and album closer ‘Castle Street‘, Lewis creates the music that caters to anyones ears, and it was certainly worth the wait.
My Everything | Ariana Grande
Surprisingly the only Pop/R’n’B album to slither it’s way into my Top 5, but 21 year old Ariana Grande is certainly a worthy entry. The pint-sized pop princess this year released the follow up to her 2013 debut Yours Truly, and My Everything is a steady progression of the former Nickelodeon stars career. The 12 track album comes complete with a handful of features, including boyfriend Big Sean, Iggy Azalea, A$AP Ferg, Childish Gambino and Zedd. But, it’s the sexy-smooth vocals of The Weeknd plastered on current single ‘Love Me Harder’, that’s a definite stand out on the record. There’s no denying Ariana’s vocals are flawless, but she’s sure to use this album to explore her talents and try new sounds, and with all three singles (‘Problem‘, ‘Break Free‘ and ‘Love Me Harder‘) from My Everything flying their way into the top 10, I think it’s safe to say Miss Grande has done a good job.
#000000 & #FFFFFF | The Neighbourhood
Who loves free music? We all love free music! Especially when it comes in mixtape form from Californian band The Neighbourhood. Front man Jesse Rutherford was originally brought to my attention when alongside The 1975’s Matthew Healy in an interview, and from then on I was entranced by the sounds of ‘Sweater Weather‘, ‘Afraid‘ and ‘Let It Go‘ (all taken from the 2013 debut I Love You) and got straight on board with The NBHD. #000000 & #FFFFFF (otherwise known as black & white) features an array of collaborations including French Montana and Danny Brown, but it’s the unassisted efforts on tracks like ‘Lurk’ and ‘Unfair’ that really validate this album. “Everybody should put out free music, sell yourself, not music. The music is the vessel, the music is your truth, the music gives you a reason to be something.” says Jesse, and if the free music is going to be as good as this collection, please continue! Despite only being released a matter of weeks ago, this 18-track record swooped straight into my top 5 faster than you can say ‘Jesse Rutherford, get off Snapchat’.
Startup Cult | Allday
There’s a good chance that if you’re from my side of the pond, you won’t know the name Allday. Yet, cross over to his homeland of Australia, and the 23 year old rapper is hitting all kinds of success with his full-length debut Startup Cult, and it’s clear to see why. Influenced by the likes of Frank Ocean and TLC, Allday – real name Tom Gaynor – delivers a solid 16 track album, following up his massive 6 EP’s from 2011 – 2013. Want to know what all the fuss is about? Check out Wolves, God Starve The Queen, You Always Know The DJ, Wasting Time, and look, just trust me and get the album, okay?!
X | Ed Sheeran
If you told me this time last year that Ed Sheeran would’ve been number 1 in my annual top 5 albums I probably would’ve just laughed. Don’t get me wrong, I never disliked the guy, I just didn’t really see what all the fuss was about. Fast forward to October 7th 2014, and there I am with my jaw to the ground falling in love with Ed whilst he ballroom dances his way through ‘Thinking Out Loud‘. That was it, I was hooked, and although I liked ‘X’ before then, it was now my go-to album. Whether i’m dancing along to ‘Don’t‘ or holding back the tears to ‘Afire Love’, Ed Sheeran has undoubtably released the album of 2014.