So that was 2014

Time for my annual round-up of all things music related in my life, the soundtrack to what was a good year for me personally…

Ultimate Painting

Without doubt my personal favourite album of the year was Ultimate Painting’s debut. 10 tracks of sheer perfection if you are looking for music that sounds like a cross between the Velvet Underground and Teenage Fanclub with a dash of Arthur Lee & Love.

Do I have to give you the usual blurb about them being members of Veronica Falls and Mazes, etc… Seriously just buy this album if you like this kind of thing…

Slowdive

My love for Slowdive’s ‘Souvlaki’ had grown and grown over the last 15 years so it was a real pleasure to see them reap the rewards of their forgotten classic this year, starting off at Hoxton (where I spun a few tunes) and ending up with two nights at The Forum in London. In between that was a sold-out US tour playing huge venues and massive festivals slots. Now I sound like I’m writing a press release here but this was quite a sight for those of us who who’ve followed their careers since the first time round…

Below is my set from their Hoxton date.

Sonic Cathedral 10 set by Mr_Stew on Mixcloud

Pete Fij & Terry Bickers

I was so pleased to not only see this album finally released but it was so warmly received, unsurprising really as it’s a great album. Nice to see Pete finally getting some respect too as he’s always been a great singer/songwriter.

At one point in the year they came to play a sold-out show for me in Norwich which I’m sure they’re regretting as my ugly mug is now in their film ‘Various Songs’. I always knew there was a career in Hollywood waiting for me…

Hookworms

It seems strange how quickly this appeared as Pearl Mystic was such a classic that you’d expect them to take ages to follow it up, not Hookworms. One of the few really great bands around at the moment came up trumps with their second full length album flowing nicely from their debut. You should definitely buy this one too…

Dean Wareham

The self titled album by the man with more musical history than I could possibly list in a blog post was a real surprise, this was played on a daily basis for the first half of my year. Some of the songs make your heart melt they are so beautiful.

Daniel Avery

His 2013 ‘Drone Logic’ album was easily the album of the year for me and I still listen to it every few days, this year saw no new releases other than remixes from Daniel Avery. Normally that’d be a disappointment but not in his case as the remix EPs were so good they were almost like new recordings. Below is a remix he did of Factory Floor’s ‘How You Say’ which surpassed the original.

The Vacant Lots

The debut album from The Vacant Lots was an album I got into almost immediately, taking much of the drone of Spacemen 3 and combining it with electronics. A definite step up from their earlier singles. I saw them a couple of times when they visited the UK and toured with the Brian Jonestown Massacre this year and they were fantastic.

Temples

Beyond The Wizards Sleeve took an already good pop album and remixed (or reanimated) it making it a far more interesting proposition. This remix album is like a journey, and a pretty ace one too.

Richard Fearless

Ex-Death In Vegas man released two slabs of electronic loveliness, let’s hope we get more of the same this year.

Ride

Finally, Ride are back together and as expected I’m going to as many dates as I can. Fingers crossed we get plenty of noise in amongst all the tunes, just like those early days.

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