2014 has been an interesting year for me. I've changed jobs, my wife joined me in living in Maryland, and my commute has gotten a few minutes longer. I've been listening to less music than usual, and more podcasts. That's not to say that there wasn't some great music that came out this year, far from it. Just that I don't know that I'd call myself an expert on the releases for this year.
With that said, here's what I've been listening to that came out this year, in no particular order.
1) Bongripper - "Miserable"
Heavy, and crushingly so. Four songs, each of them their own assault on your senses. I usually have to take a break and listen to nothing after listening to this album. Fantastic all around.
2) He Is Legend - "Heavy Fruit"
An excellent return album for one of my favorite bands after their hiatus. It's been like the last few He Is Legend albums, where it has taken a few listens to really grow on me, but it retains their charming weird lyrics and solid, groovy melodies.
3) Cymbals Eat Guitar - "Lose"
Joe said that this album would be a departure from "Lenses Alien", and he was right, but it was a fantastic new direction for them. This album has such incredibly varied songs, but it still maintains that CEG that I know and love.
4) Young Widows - "Easy Pain"
Young Widows have such a weird, almost oppressive sound to them, and they've become one of my favorite bands because of it. "Easy Pain" is their newest album, and it continues much in the vein of their other albums. It's full of heavy, distorted bass lines, weird, reverb drenched guitar, and haunting vocals.
It's been an incredible year for podcasting. Thanks to stuff like Serial, entirely new audiences are being exposed to a medium that is one of my favorites. I spent a lot of the year digging through podcasts trying to find some that really stuck out to me, and here are a few of them.
1) Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Podcast
Apparently this is the podcast for a site called Tested, but I've never checked out the site. Instead, I think this is one of the funniest podcasts that I listen to. Nerdy in the best way, but diving in to some great discussions of life, family, and all sorts of other things. Notable Episodes: "Camping", "On Bicycles", the "Jobs" series
A podcast about starting a podcasting company. It seems a little weird at first, but after listening to the first bungled pitch to an investor, I was hooked. Hearing about the challenges of starting a business, the discussions that usually happen behind closed doors, and the ups and downs of a startup wasn't something that I thought I would get invested in, but it's a fantastic show. Notable Episodes: Just start from the beginning. Seriously.
3) 99% Invisible
99% Invisible is a podcast all about those little things that you might see every day but don't think about. Wacky, waving, arm-flailing inflatable tube men? Yep. An entire episode dedicated to Wonderbread? Yep. I only started listening back in October, but this podcast has me hooked. So much fun, and I always feel like I'm learning something. Notable Episodes: "Vexillonaire", "Inflatable Men", "Octothorpe"
I feel like that's a decent little summation of some of the stuff I was listening to this year. I'm excited to see what the next year of podcasting brings, what new stuff pops up, and what new albums come out as well. I can't think of the last time I thought "X was a bad year for music", and I don't expect 2015 to break that trend.