AOTY Lists: Ashley Kuhn, Lauren Marquez

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Next up to list their favorite albums of the year are Ashley Kuhn and Lauren Marquez. Huge thanks to them for taking part in this. Check out some of their favorite albums from this year!

Ashley Kuhn:

War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream

Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams

Against Me – Transgender Dysphoria Blues

Mac DeMarco – Salad Days

Kitten – Kitten

Alvvays – Alvvays

Lauren Marquez:

Honorable Mention: MisterWives – Reflections EP

Rocking indie-pop group MisterWives proved that they’re one to watch over the next year with their Reflections EP. A unique voice and exciting horn arrangements add to already catchy rhythms and keep you hungry for more. Listen to: “Imagination Infatuation”

10. Lucius – Wildewoman

Two beautifully paired voices highlight Lucius’s debut album Wildewoman. With a healthy dose of Americana influence, the band offers a special brand of female-fronted country-tinged pop that both fans of soft ballads and brash guitars can agree on. Listen to: “Hey, Doreen”

9. Glass Animals – ZABA

Ambient, echoing vocals paired with hard hitting beats and jungle noises allow Glass Animals to carve out the perfect chill space with their debut Zaba. There’s an exotic air to it, adding to the mysterious and seductive vibe found throughout the record. It’s certainly a fresh and interesting style; here’s hoping these indie rockers stick around. Listen to: “Pools”

8. Chromeo – White Women

Sometimes you just gotta groove, and Chromeo knows this well. Each song from White Women will have you bobbing your head, tapping your toes, and singing along with  the group’s smooth vocals. Retro sounds and funky rhythms drive this remarkably fun album, so if you want to dance, Chromeo has you covered. Listen to: “Lost On The Way Home (ft. Solange)”

7. Jenny Lewis – The Voyager

Six years after her last solo album, Jenny Lewis came back stronger than ever with The Voyager. She manages to put out a seemingly cheery collection of storytelling and twangy guitar pop that, when you listen to the lyrics, shows that she’s still not afraid to speak her mind. With a good variety of styles throughout the album, it’s easy to listen to again and again. Listen to: “She’s Not Me”

6. Sam Smith – In The Lonely Hour

Despite probably being the saddest record of the year, Sam Smith’s debut produced mega-hits that managed to climb radio charts and reach the hearts of millions of people worldwide. His powerful vocals juxtaposed with soft instrumentation perfectly capture the heartache that’s so evident in these personal-yet-universally-relatable songs, making In The Lonely Hour one of the most successful and popular albums of the year. Listen to: “I’ve Told You Now”

5. Taylor Swift – 1989

This is what pop music should sound like. Longtime fans will welcome Taylor Swift’s love stories with open arms, but even newer listeners can appreciate 1989 and its endless catchiness. There’s a refreshing sense of maturity to the album that makes you realize that, hey, you really do love Taylor Swift, and maybe you don’t want those songs to get out of your head, and that’s okay. Clearly, she’s doing something right. Listen to: “Style”

4. How To Dress Well – “What Is This Heart?”

The latest project from How To Dress Well perfectly balances intricate production and layers with minimal instrumentation and silence, causing this album to hit you right when you least expect it, and in the best way possible. While no two songs on the album are too similar to each other, there’s something unifying about “What Is This Heart?” that pulls each track together as part of a single, beautiful story. Listen to: “What You Wanted”

3. Lake Street Dive – Bad Self Portraits

Lake Street Dive can do no wrong. With everything from multi-part vocal harmonies to distorted double bass, all four band members showcase their insanely impressive musicianship and songwriting skills on each track on Bad Self Portraits. Fantastic production only enhances the natural talent of this folk-tinted soul-pop quartet on their sophomore album. Listen to: “You Go Down Smooth”

2. St. Vincent – St. Vincent

Buzzing guitars and infectious beats are found throughout St. Vincent’s latest release, showing off a bit of a new sound compared to previous albums. Her eccentricities stand out more in terms of the music, lyrics, and presentation (check out her recent performances and music videos), but these only make her more lovable and make the eleven songs on St. Vincent even more intricate and interesting. Listen to: “Rattlesnake”

1. Clean Bandit – New Eyes

Adding classical and orchestral stylings to modern electronica, Clean Bandit has created a sound unlike any other artist out there on their amazingly fun debut album. With a talented ensemble of guest vocalists, New Eyes is probably the biggest party of 2014 and is definitely the most impressive and unique pop album of the year. Who would have thought that violins and cellos could make you want to dance so much? Listen to: “Extraordinary (ft. Sharna Bass)”

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