[sic] Magazine

Paul Lockett’s – Albums of 2014

1. ColdplayGhost Stories

I’m either going to be lynched for this one – or applauded (depending on your view of Coldplay!). The first half of my Top 10 is (mainly) far more commercial than I would have imagined when I sat down to put this list together, but I’ve literally chosen the records which I’ve found myself returning to this year more than any others – and Coldplay beats the others hands down with its beautiful production, song writing and introspection. The album’s not without its issues – I’ve always felt that ‘A Sky Full Of Stars’ seems incredibly out of place here and should have been replaced by the track ‘Ghost Story’ which appears on the US Special Edition, but it’s a minor grumble as the rest of the album is simply sensational and pulls me back time after time. Look at it this way – most of the artists in the singles chart aren’t worth the shit on Coldplay’s shoes – who else produces songs of this quality on their sixth album?

2. Young The GiantMind Over Matter

Firstly – get over the name, it’s just a name! I had high expectations for Young The Giant’s sophomore album after their 2010 debut was so punchy and energetic but initial omens were not good – it didn’t really shine for me during the first few listens but ever so slowly it began to weave its web and I found myself falling in love with Mind Over Matter. It’s definitely more mature than its predecessor, and it feels all the better for it. Fans of The Killers are sure to love it – and the tracks ‘Anagram’ and ‘Camera’ really stand out.

3. The HorrorsLuminous

Apart from Ocean Colour Scene, The Soup Dragons and The Horrors, have there ever been any other bands who have morphed into sounding like a completely different band? In fact, is this even the same band who released ‘Sheena Is A Parasite’ all those years ago? If I wasn’t already previously a fan of The Horrors (I was!), this album would surely have been the one to convert me. First things first – it sounds amazing – there’s a beautiful production with deep layers of instrumentation. The songs cross musical boundaries (think early Simple Minds, Echo & The Bunnymen) and yet manage to sound new and exciting. You couldn’t have failed to hear ‘So Now You Know’ earlier this year unless you were maybe serving time in a remote village in Namibia – but ‘Change Your Mind’ describes a different side of the band and ‘I See You’ sounds simply delicious. Oh – their live show earlier this year in Manchester deserves a big thumbs-up for their use of lasers, strobes and all kinds of magical shenanigans.

4. Olan Mill & Keung MandelbrotSeismology

I was extremely fortunate to see Olan Mill playing a rare live show in Bradford in the Summer. He didn’t disappoint. Seismology had been released just days before the gig and it blew me away with just how different it is to some of his earlier work. Instead of starting the show with some of his more experimental, ambient work and progressing into the hard-hitting material from Seismology, he actually decided to play it the other way round – i.e. hitting you hard and then bringing you down gently. It worked. Wonderfully.

5. BANKSGoddess
6. Snoqualmie Falls Dream Sequence
7. Wil BoltonBokeh
8. ElbowThe Take Off And Landing Of Everything
9. SPC ECOSirens And Satellites
10. Linear BellsThe Stars Will Shine

Reissues Of The Year

1. Epic45Against The Pull Of Autumn (10th Anniversary Double Vinyl Collectors Set)
2. The ChameleonsJohn Peel Sessions (2014 Remaster Double Heavyweight LP)