Guest Best Of: Starring Alexa Cabellon (Little Anchor)

It's time for another year to come to an end, and y'all know what that means...Best Of lists! In honor of the wrapping up of 2014, I'm collecting lists from friends for another year, and mine will be coming in the kinda sorta near future. In the meantime, check out what some pretty awesome folks had to say about some of the pretty awesome records that came out over the past 365 days.

If you like sweetly pastoral indie pop with pretty vocals (and some realism), you'll love Brooklyn's Little Anchor. She of the pretty vocals (among other things), Miss Alexa Cabellon, is next up to share her picks from the year that was 2014. Make sure you check out their most recent record, Floating Bridges. It's a lovely listen.

1) St. Vincent - S/T (Seven Four Entertainment/Republic Records/UMG)

I've been a big fan of St. Vincent from the beginning, and her evolution to this self-titled major label release has been quite a ride for listeners and fans. She continues to inspire me with each album, never ceasing to push the limits of her songwriting and sound. Looking back on her three prior releases, this album feels like the culmination of what they were building towards, but I'm sure this isn't the peak by any means. 

Favorite tracks: "Regret," "Prince Johnny"

2) Blake Mills - Heigh Ho (Verve/UMG)

I learned of Blake Mills' debut record, Break Mirrors (2010), maybe a year and a half or so after its initial release, and it was a near perfect album for me. Needless to say, there was a lot of expectation around the sophomore release, and though Heigh Ho didn't grab me by the heartstrings right off the bat, the album was a true slow burn for me, becoming the most played vinyl record in my collection this year. Mills' combination of evocative songwriting, a soulful voice, and masterful guitar playing truly convey the emotions that fueled each song and put me, as a listener, in the shotgun seat right next to him. 

Favorite tracks: "If I'm Unworthy," "Just Out of View"

3) Landlady - Upright Behavior (Hometapes)

Adam Schatz, the main man behind Landlady, is an old friend from NYU days and I'm happy to see him and the Landlady men take off with Farfisa in hand! A truly unique voice, no one can simply command an audience like Mr. Schatz to sing and repeat "always" into the ether. 

Favorite tracks: "Above My Ground," "Washington State is Important"

4) Phuey - Triumphant (Yesterday Once More)

Who knew the countryside of Nagasaki, Japan could propel beats like this? Well, of course it could when it's coming from my cousin, Phuey. Just be careful of where you play this record, because it is an instant dance party complete with 90s R&B vocals. 

Favorite tracks: "1 Chance," "All The Same // MJRLGZ.ABC.BBD"

5) Son Lux - Alternate Worlds (Joyful Noise Recordings)

Hands down the best show that I saw all year was Son Lux at Le Poisson Rouge (NYC) in May 2014. Son Lux's blend of classical elements meeting an ethereal electronic landscape with a groove makes even the most sparse parts of a song intense. Though this EP was something to tide fans over from Lanterns (2013) to the next full-length release, the alternate version of "Easy" featuring Lorde was a truly unexpected collaboration. 

Favorite track: "Easy (Switch Screens) [feat. Lorde]"

[posted 1.8.15]


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