Flowers In My Hands: 2014 In Song

What an age we live in. New vinyl records are pouring forth from an ever-expanding roster of Indie record labels. New Indie bands are drowsily springing up in the green fields like wildflowers. Thorny old major labels are waking up to smell the spring-sweet breeze of change, realizing they too can bud anew, reissuing long-missed classics, because we want them. We need them. And why put limit to what you desire? These are just a few of the LPs that have inspired, this discovering year, that have drawn me out of myself, to walk beside crystalline lakes and streams of the mind, into a new, bright sphere of long-playing dreams. As I reflected on the many kinds of lists I might prepare in this fast-fading final month near, I realized how few singles caught my eye in Twenty Fourteen, as forty-five. I wanted pure flame in Fourteen, I wanted my music pastoral and sweeping, I wanted my hands overflowing with bounty from my keeping. So I went for roads measureless, and spent my days dear… side by side, song by song, heart by heart, taking my time to discover and to savor wandering song. As I compiled this list I decided to stick to records that any might buy. Easy it is to love the hidden and the scarce, but it’s vexing indeed to know of beauty one cannot possess. Mine is an accessible bouquet (almost all on vinyl, if one does not delay). You know you miss the romance, the poetry of vinyl. Go on, make Twenty Fifteen the year of your triumphant arrival at what’s real, what’s elemental, what’s personal; what’s haunted, what’s holy, what’s you. Walk into the green, green hills and fields, in self-trusting yield, follow your heart, and find your own dream-plucked flowers new.

Rowland S. Howard: POP CRIMES (Liberation, reissued 2014)

Rowland S. Howard

Bob Dylan & The Band: THE BASEMENT TAPES COMPLETE (Columbia, 2014)

Bob Dylan

Jack White: LAZARETTO (Third Man, 2014)

Jack White

Jimi Hendrix: BLUES (Sony, reissued 2011)

Jimi Hendrix

The Shivers: MORE (Silence Breaks, 2011)

The Shivers

The Shivers: CHARADES (Keeled Scales, reissued 2014)

Charades

The Mastersons: GOOD LUCK CHARM (New West, 2014)

The Mastersons

Fear of Men: LOOM (Kanine, 2014)

Fear of Men

La Sera: HOUR OF THE DAWN (Hardly Art, 2014)

La Sera

Will Johnson: SCORPION (Undertow, 2012)

Will Johnson

Sleater-Kinney: THE WOODS (Sub Pop, reissued 2014)

Sleater-Kinney

Owl John: OWL JOHN (Atlantic, 2014)

Owl John

David Gray: MUTINEERS (iht, 2014)

David Gray

Maximo Park: TOO MUCH INFORMATION (V2, 2014)

Maximo Park

Various Artists: WHILE NO ONE WAS LOOKING: TOASTING 20 YEARS OF BLOODSHOT RECORDS (Bloodshot, 2014)

Various Artists