A few days ago, I saw yet another malcontented article about how 2014 wasn’t a great year for music, and how there were “good” albums but no “great” albums. I can’t remember where I saw it, and I’m not going to bother trying to find a link, because it’s crap. I’ll give you three reasons why:
- One person’s good is another person’s great.
- The way an album is perceived can and will change over time, so good now can be great later.
- This was a great year for Richmond music.
That last one warrants its own list, so here are 10 reasons we should join Tina Belcher in raising a glass and toasting RVA music’s 2014. Consider it an alphabetically ordered top 10 that doubles as a drinking game.
Avers — Empty Light
Reason We Should Raise Our Glasses: Because Avers shows how, in a tightly knit community full of talented people, the lineup possibilities are endless and endlessly rewarding.
Avers — “The Only One” [Spotify/iTunes]
Black Girls — Claire Sinclaire
Reason We Should Raise Our Glasses: Because the snuff rock sound took a giant leap in terms of realization and articulation.
Black Girls — “Buyin’ Time” [Spotify/iTunes]
Butcher Brown — All Purpose Music
Reason We Should Raise Our Glasses: Because truly groovy music — songs that find a pocket, set up shop and explore all the space it has to offer — can be enjoyed over and over, and in any situation.
Butcher Brown (ft. Nicholas Payton) — “Jellowstone Room” [Spotify/iTunes]
Dead Fame — Vicious Design EP
Reason We Should Raise Our Glasses: Because you don’t have to choose between intensity and danceability.
Dead Fame — “Joan Crawford” [Spotify/iTunes]
Everyone Dies in the End — All Things Lead to This
Reason We Should Raise Our Glasses: Because the cycle of creation and destruction is a powerful thing to witness.
Everyone Dies in the End — “We Bears Are A Proud Race” [Spotify/iTunes]
Lightfields — Junior
Reason We Should Raise Our Glasses: Because the chorus of “Junior” feels like an invitation — the kind of singalong that makes you feel like a part of something.
Lightfields — “Junior” [Spotify/iTunes]
Sleepwalkers — Greenwood Shade
Reason We Should Raise Our Glasses: Because every track being dynamite and not being able to pick a favorite is a wonderful problem to have.
Sleepwalkers — “Breaking My Heart” [Spotify/iTunes]
Sundials — Kick EP
Reason We Should Raise Our Glasses: Because Sundials’ Kick EP packed a full-length album’s punch into six tightly crafted songs that can be enjoyed over and over without losing an ounce of their emotional impact.
Sundials — “Gained A Grip” [Spotify/iTunes]
Trio of Justice — Pookie’s March
Reason We Should Raise Our Glasses: Because the roomy, thoughtful mastery of Pookie’s March tells us that Jellowstone’s success will be varied and fun to follow.
Trio of Justice — “Motherland” [Spotify/iTunes]
White Laces — Trance
Reason We Should Raise Our Glasses: Because the word is getting out about White Laces, so Richmonders and non-Richmonders alike can cozy up to the many-splendored warmth of TRANCE.
White Laces — “Nothing Clicks” [Soundcloud]