#1. Singles – Future Islands
If we’ve talked in person about music over the past year there is pretty much a 100% chance I mentioned Future Islands’ breathtaking album Singles. I’ve spent hours gushing about this album in the real world and online but for good reason. This is one of the most captivating and entertaining collections of songs I’ve ever heard. Lead singer Samuel T. Herring goes all out on this record. I mean absolutely nothing is held back. It’s a perfect confluence timing, effort, desire and execution. Future Islands have been recording albums for the past decade out of their living room and Singles feels like a last ditch effort to strike gold. Everything is left on the table and each time I finish listening to the album I am overcome with a profound sense of exhaustion and joy. It’s rare, even in music, to hear such a visceral outpouring of emotion and that kind of honesty and vulnerability combined with unforgettable melodies makes Singles a truly special experience. From my first listen last spring to my final run through while writing this review, I have never doubted that Singles is the Best Album of 2014.