Guest Lists: Julie Bienvenu’s Top 10 albums 2014

Julie Bienvenu is the drummer with Dublin band A Lazurus Soul. They have just released the best Irish album of 2014; Last of the Analogue Age is a passionate, stirring and eloquent collection of songs by a band right at the peak of their powers. In the third of a series of guest contributions, Julie selects ten albums that were highlights for her during 2014.

1.  No Deal – Melanie de Biasio  
I came across this album only about 2 months ago thanks to two brilliant music lovers and I thank them for this discovery. Melanie De Biasio’s new album, ‘No Deal’, is one of these rare albums that you cannot really describe with words or even put the finger on.

You might think it is Jazz but Melanie doesn’t go the easy way. With touches of Portishead’s melancholy to Talk Talk, even a wave of Pink Floyd at times and Nina Simone or Max Roach, Melanie’s style is one of a kind as well as managing to make all these worlds collide. Certainly the best album of 2014 in my opinion but also one of the finest music productions I’ve heard this year. Finally an album that breathes.


2. Dead – Young Fathers  
Complexity. Heartbeats. Fever. Wolves. Sonic jungle. These are what come to my mind when I listen to this album. Fantastic piece of work and well deserved Mercury Prize.


3.  This Is All Yours – Alt-J  
I think of Alt-J’s second album as a book where every song is a chapter. Incredible melodies, textures and tones.


4.  Jungle – Jungle
Music that has warmth and soul. The harmonies flow and sparkle through the speakers; this album makes you want to dance.


5. Violent Shiver – Benjamin Booker
An incredibly confident and strong album that makes you forget that it is only his first album. Raw and energetic, this album is exciting from start to finish.


6.  1988 – Lethal Dialect 
A shining, personal and creative album. You don’t need to be a Rap fan to appreciate these finely crafted songs and lyrics.


7.  Heal – Strand of Oaks  
One of the gems of 2014. Colourful and personal, each song on this album is a potential single.


8.  Piano Ombre – François and the Atlas Mountain
Piano Ombre feels like an alien in the French music landscape. I am generally really critical of French music but these guys know how to write songs. Psychedelic and seductive, this album shows a different colour of French music.


9.  DSU – Alex G 
Only 21 and already 5 fine albums under his belt. His new opus, DSU, is incredibly charming and intriguing, and reveals him to a more international audience as a fine songwriter and sound crafter.


10.  Vieux Frères – Partie 1 – Fauve 
Hypnotic beats and fascinating melodies with melancholic lyrics. A very interesting debut album that shakes up the French music scene and speaks to a generation that is tired of its political and economical surroundings.