We’re counting down the best dance/electronica albums of 2014. (Nos. 20-16 are here.) Let’s pick up the countdown at Number 15.
15) SBTRKT – Wonder Where We Land
Largely abandoning the future-garage sound that dominated his zeitgeist-shaping debut, Wonder Where We Land proved once again that SBTRKT’s intrigue lies far beyond his signature tribal mask thanks to an eclectic mix of electro-soul, hip-hop and new wave pop, not to mention inspired guest appearances from Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig and A$AP Ferg.
14) Clean Bandit – New Eyes
Continuing to pursue the self-described culture clash of “bass, beats and soaring strings” that they perfected on their ubiquitous chart smash, “Rather Be,” dance music’s most studious quartet broke down the boundaries between classical and electro with this vibrant and intelligent antidote to the EDM scene.
13) Hercules & Love Affair – The Feast of the Broken Heart
Inspired by the draining final eight months of a crumbling relationship, Hercules & Love Affair utilised the talents of Colorado troubadour John Grant, jazz-soul chanteuse Krystle Warren and even noted feminist Germaine Greer on a triumphant love letter to classic house which perfectly extolled the virtues of “dancing your troubles away.”
12) SOHN – Tremors
Described as Justin-Timberlake-meets-Thom-Yorke, Austrian-based London producer Christopher Taylor combined piercing falsetto melodies with glitchy electro-soul on eleven poignant tales of unrequited love which were nothing short of engrossing.
11) Phantogram – Voices
Having graced everything from the MTV reboot of Teen Wolf to Big Boi’s solo debut to the Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack, New York duo Phantogram capitalised on their new-found high-profile exposure with a hypnotic wave of dream pop, shoegaze and electronica, drawing favorable comparisons with the likes of Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine and Purity Ring.