As you read this, I'll still be lying near a pool, in my hotel, enjoying my last week of sun, before I have to come back home. Although, I am very tempted to extend my trip for even just a few days.
As the year is nearing it's end, I thought I'd do a round up of all my favourite albums of the year. There have been some pretty amazing bands and albums this year, and narrowing it to my Top 6 has been really hard and I even considered doing a top 12 list instead of Top 6 (yup, random numbers)! But, I thought I should cut them down, or the post really would have been too long, and sadly, some great band and albums have been left out (Emarosa, Funeral Party, Francesqa), but here are my top 6:
6: Ellie Goulding - Lights
This album is absolutely beautiful. My taste in music is usually slightly heavier, but I couldn't resist on this one. Ellie Goulding is very talented and has such an incredible voice. In this day and age, you see lots of female celebrities take off more and more clothes to gain recognition, so it's good and refeshing to see a female still appear modest as she become's famous.
The album itself is very relaxing to listen to. Starry Eyed was a summer anthem and gained her a lot of fans, as she toured around the festivals. The album has a very summery and relaxing feel to it, with songs like The Writer and Everytime You Go having a lot of emotional meaning behind them: Goulding had a rough upbringing, so she could really draw from her experience to produced real music. When I first got the album, I thought it'd be ok, just for a couple of listens, but it really exceeded my expectations and all the songs are beautifully sung. Salt Skin is another beautiful track, which really showcases Goulding's voice. You can tell that she's also a really nice person, and the album reflects her personality here.
Stand Out Track: Your Biggest Mistake
5: Kings of Leon: Come Around Sunshine
Caleb's voice is something that I could never get tired listening to and the songs are full of amazing lyrics. You can really tell of their Southern roots in this album as well. I wish I could say more, but I've only listened to it a few times!!
Stand Our Track: Mi Amigo
4: The Like - Release Me
I absolutely love their unique retro vibe: it's so different from anything else currently out there, and it's such a nice change to listen to.
Stand Out Track: Walk of Shame
3: The Gaslight Anthem - American Slang
The Gaslight Anthem are possibly one of my favourite bands ever, and their '59 Sound Album made me fall head over heels for them a few years ago. The band are from New Jersy, and even have a fan in Bruce Springstein (they preformed together last summer). Frontman, Brian Fallon, possibly has one of the best voices in music: it's really rough and rugged: completely unique. The band themselves are very talented when they're playing, with the music all fitting in really well together. They've got a really 70's American sound to them, but also have a lot of catchy songs. Songs such as The Diamond Church Street Choir and Boxer are catchy and will make you sing along, while American Slang is an amazing opener. The album is great if you want to listen to something different from all that mainstream music out there.
Stand Out Track: The Queen of Lower Chelsea
2: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up
As you know, I'm a huge Pretty Reckless fan. I've become such a huge fan of Taylor Momsen since she switched to singing and then absolutely fell in love with her when I went to see them live. I still don't like her as Jenny H, but her as a person has grown on me. I wasn't expecting the album to be as good as it was. It has the hardcore stuff (with the edgy lyrics) that initially made me like the band, such as My Medicine and Goin Down, but it also had a few tracks that I didn't expect. Songs, such as Just Tonight and Nothing Left To Lose absolutely blew my mind. They really made me wonder why Taylor went into acting at all because her talents clearly lie in singing. Those songs alone really show how talented she is and how amazing and strong her voice is. I was so surprised when I first heard the album: no lie. Some of those songs, I really did just sit there and think: 'wow, she's good'
This is definitely an album to buy. Get all your prejudices of Taylor Momsen out of your head and really appreciate just how much of a fantastic singer she is.
Stand Out Track: You
1: Young Guns - All Our Kings Are Dead
I will probably go as far and call this one of my favourite albums of all time, which I really wasn't expecting when I bought the album. The band made a name for themselves from their EP, 'Mirrors', and I went to see them live off the back of that. They were absolutely amazing live: the energy on stage and atmosphere at the show was absolutely fantastic! I bought the album the next day and, at first listen, I fell in love (which has never happened before).
The album is drawn from a lot of lead singer, Gus's, personal experiences, and in a world of manufactured pop and songs with little meaning, it's refreshing to hear such personal stuff. Songs such as Meter and Verse and At The Gates have some of the most beautiful lyrics I've ever heard. If I'm honest, I haven't had the best couple of months, and listening to this album has really helped me through a lot of things. Sons of Apathy and Crystal Clear, in particular, are songs to listen to when you really need a bit of a confidence boost.
This is one of the only albums where every single song is incredible and very strong: there isn't a single 'filler' track.
Stand Out Track: Weight of the World
So tell me: what have you been listening to this year?
Photo Credits: Ellie Goulding, Kings of Leon, The Like, The Gaslight Anthem, The Pretty Reckless, Young Guns