Murfie’s Year-End List: Favorite Albums of 2014

Time for us to give you some real information about the most impressive albums that came out this year. This is an eclectic list of the music that genuinely stands out to us for all kinds of reasons. If you don’t know, there are many musicians, music buffs, and music lovers that work here at Murfie, and our recommendations are not influenced from outside sources—they’re coming straight from the heart!

Here are the albums that we consider the absolute best of 2014.

Damien Rice – My Favourite Faded Fantasy

This is only his third album, and it’s been eight years since his last. The album was produced by Rick Rubin and it pretty much continues where he left off. – Pete

Eric Hutchinson – Pure Fiction

Great vocals and feel-good instrumentals are present on just about every track on this album. Play Pure Fiction anytime you want to put a smile on your face. – Matt

Fartbarf – Dirty Power

I first learned of Fartbarf putting together a list of preorders earlier this year. With a stupid name like that, I had to know what was going on. Listening to Dirty Power, I was shocked to learn Fartbarf was an impressive, dirty analog vocoder synth rock band, and not a terrible metal or punk band of some sort. This album was the biggest surprise of 2014 for me. – John

The Flaming Lips – With a Little Help From My Fwends

Come on, who doesn’t love the original Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band? The Flaming Lips have given us a new twist on the classic, full of their signature (and awesome) sonic extravagance. – Brandon

FKA Twigs – LP1

This was the year I really got into FKA Twigs and a lot of her contemporaries. There was a huge influx of creative production and sound design in 2014, and FKA Twigs was a solid part of that. While I enjoyed her two previous EPs a bit more than LP1, I still really looked forward to this album. I was not disappointed. – John

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad – Steady

Check out GPGDS if you haven’t already—for real! Their music blends elements of roots reggae with totally fun, bouncy jam rock. Most importantly, their lyrics are socially conscious. The energy at their shows is amazing, along with their ability to give you an uplifting and psychedelic experience caused by their dubby vibrations alone. This studio album is equally awesome to their live persona, and listening to it makes you feel like you’ve teleported to a venue where they’re playing. – Kayla

John Frusciante – Enclosure

John Frusciante shows again he can do so much more than we expected. A bold departure from the sweeping melodies of 2009’s The Empyrean. – Brandon

John Luther Adams – Become Ocean

If you want to know more about Become Ocean, check out my full review. As I mention in the review, I learned about John Luther Adams’ work via the excellent podcast Radiolab. I’ve been listening to Become Ocean regularly since. It’s an astonishing feat of orchestration, and it’s hard to recommend anything this year over it. – John

Phantogram – Voices

Phantogram has definitely expanded their horizons. Eleven tracks with distinct voices, all uniquely groovy. – Brandon

tUnE-yArDs – Nikki-Nack

There is probably nothing I’ve listened to as much this year as tUnE-yArDs’ newest album Nikki-Nack. I’ve been a fan of Merrill Garbus’ completely unique songwriting and structure for years, but I think Nikki-Nack is really the album that has cemented her in the public eye as a master of her craft. Seeing tUnE-yArDs play live on King Street was also one of my most memorable shows of the year. – John

Thanks to all our members for making this a great 2014. We’re excited for what’s to come in 2015! Have a happy and safe New Year everyone!

xoxo
The crew at Murfie

New Cool Collection: Podcast Guests

In the Murfie marketplace, we’ve hand-picked collections of albums for you to shop, which we call Cool Collections. They’re over on the left sidebar of the shop for you to browse.

But hey, you know that already—so it’s time to introduce our newest collection, Podcast Guests!

Man, I can’t believe it’s been over two years since the Murfie Podcast started! Our first ever Murfie Podcast featured Josh Harty, which we published on January 10th, 2012. Since then, we’ve continually been amazed at the awesome interviews we’ve landed, and have been more than happy to introduce to you some musicians and bands who are on their way to the top.

Hit up the Podcast section of our blog to take a trip down memory lane. Then, stock up on the musical goodness we’ve gathered together—albums by artists from Everest to Eric Hutchinson, from Amy Ray to Pure Prairie League, and most recently Zoë Keating, who have all been taken the time to record an interview with us.

Every album you buy is ready to stream not only on the web, but on iPhones, iPads, and Android phones and tablets with our app, as well as Sonos and VOCO devices. At Murfie, you’re streaming 320kbps mp3, which is excellent quality. Check out our new lossless streaming service too (released on Sonos last week!). You can also download any album in your Murfie collection in mp3, aac, FLAC and ALAC, and have it shipped to your door.

Shop our Cool Collection: Podcast Guests
Listen to the Murfie Podcast on Soundcloud

Happy Thanksgiving 2013!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner…and it’s a perfect time to remember to be grateful for all the good things in life. (And to eat!). Here are some albums that our Murfie staffers are grateful for as the holiday approaches.

Name: John
Thanksgiving plans: I think I’m going to go chill with my grandma. Not entirely sure yet.
Album I’m thankful for: I’m thankful for Ambient 1 by Brian Eno. This was one of the first albums that introduced me to ambient, experimental and avant-garde music, and it really introduced me to a ton of amazing and artistically satisfying music and people in my life.

Name: Daniella
Thanksgiving plans: Every year my family drives Up North and we have a big bonfire, eat tons of food, and take lots of naps.
Album I’m thankful for: Teaser and the Firecat by Cat Stevens.

Name: Marc
Thanksgiving plans: None in particular, although I imagine I’ll cook food :)
Album I’m thankful for: My Early Burglary Years by Morrissey – Not necessarily the best collection of his you can buy, but it does pack in several of my favorite Morrissey tracks.

Name: Leah
Thanksgiving plans: Headed home to a cozy family Thanksgiving at my aunt and uncle’s place in Chicago (fireplace, comfy couch, great conversation) and spending quality time together at our family’s restaurant.
Album I’m thankful for: The Life Pursuit by Belle & Sebastian – this album was my first foray into the always-fun Belle & Sebastian, and as I dug back through their earlier stuff I found many of what are now my go-to tunes when I’m feeling down or stressed-out.

Name: Adam
Thanksgiving plans: Spending quality time with my beloved family in Minnesota. Eating ridiculous amounts of food and watching football. Maybe looking through Black Friday ads.
Album I’m thankful for: Classics by Ratatat. It’s one of the first albums I can remember that made me think, “Hmmmm, music doesn’t always need lyrics to paint a picture.” And for that I’m thankful.

Name: Gao
Thanksgiving plans: Watching the Packers destroy the Lions with my boyfriend’s family.
Album I’m thankful for: Backstreet Boys’ self-titled album. The sappy love songs always cheer me up. Plus, I’ve perfected the reach and grab move.

Name: Zach
Thanksgiving plans: Going up north to my grandparents house for good food and spirits.
Album I’m thankful for: Amelie (Soundtrack) by Yann Tiersen.

Name: Elsa
Thanksgiving plans: Going to a family friend’s farm in Monroe, WI for a big potluck dinner.
Album I’m thankful for: #1 Record by Big Star (1972). The quintessential power pop album, from a band that only became semi-known decades after their demise. This one is particularly special because it has the original lineup of the band, with the songwriting team of Alex Chilton & Chris Bell, both truly gifted singer/guitarists who deserved a lot more recognition than they received. You can hear the album’s influence in a lot of indie rock groups that came out of the ’80s and ’90s.

Name: Matt
Thanksgiving plans: Thanksgiving day for football watching and turkey #1 with the in-laws, and Thanksgiving night for turkey #2 with my family. I’ll have to pace myself :)
Album I’m thankful for: Moving Up, Living Down by Eric Hutchinson. I’m thankful for having discovered Eric during his live show in Madison over the summer. He’s a terrific performer, and every track on his latest album is terrific, fun listening.

Name: Tyler
Thanksgiving plans: Eat, eat…and eat! And of course, watch the Packers. Go Pack Go!
Album I’m thankful for: I’m really digging the new Avicii album True. I’ll have a fun time listening to it with my brothers when they are in town for Thanksgiving.

Name: Kayla
Thanksgiving plans: Visiting my friends in Milwaukee and eating at my parents’ house (word on the street is my mom’s making gluten free pumpkin cheesecake…yummm).
Album I’m thankful for: Is This It by the Strokes. For some reason I feel like my life would not be the same if I never discovered this album in particular. The lyrics, melodies, hooks, and layered instruments really speak to me. And I luuurrve Julian Casablancas :)

What album are you thankful for this year? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Thanksgiving from the crew at Murfie!

Get to Know a Murfie Staffer!

At Murfie, we have about 35 employees working to keep the site awesome. We have a small staff, so our accounting department is pretty small too—one person, actually! Whenever you request a check with your Murfie balance, and whenever it’s time to balance books and pay the staffers (woo hoo!), this gal handles it all.

SUSIE YOUNKLE

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Where are you from? > Milwaukee. I went to school at UW-Madison, then lived in Chicago and overseas before returning to Madison long-term.

How long have you been working at Murfie? What is your role? > My husband, Matt, is one of the co-founders of Murfie, so I’ve been involved since day one. I handle all accounting for the business.

What do you like about working at Murfie? > I enjoy the energy and excitement of a start-up—especially one with a cool product/service. Plus, my fellow Murfie staffers are really passionate about music and way more knowledgeable than I am, so it’s been a great learning experience for me.

41723-largeWhat kind of music can be found in your collection?  > Classic rock, reggae, jazz, and a bit of kids music.

Who are your favorite artists/bands of all time? > Frank Sinatra, Stan Getz, Tito Puente, The Rolling Stones, Thievery Corporation, Lucky Dube, and anyone with “Marley” in his name (Bob, Damian, Stephen, Ziggy….)

If you could have coffee with any musician, from any time, who would it be and why? > My late grandfather, Gene Heier. He was a beloved music teacher and band leader who played 8 instruments. In fact, for decades his band was one of the best known polka bands in the northeastern part of Wisconsin.

85936-largeAre you a Beyoncé fan? > Yes. I love dance music!

What album are you really digging right now? > Eric Hutchinson‘s Moving Up Living Down. I was introduced to this album through a podcast done by Murfie staffer Kayla.

What is your favorite food? >  Cheesecake, especially from Simma’s Bakery in Wauwatosa, WI.

What can people find you doing when you’re not at Murfie? > Chasing after my 3 year-old daughter, doing yoga, volunteering, and cooking and baking. My homemade cookies are particularly popular with my Murfie colleagues :)

That’s true about the cookies! Now you know more about Susie, someone who does a lot for Murfie. Keep a lookout for more behind-the-scenes info about our staff next week!

Interview with Eric Hutchinson [PODCAST]

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Singer-songwriter Eric Hutchinson’s new album Moving Up Living Down is out now.

Who: Eric Hutchinson; interviewed by Kayla Liederbach
What: Get to know Eric Hutchinson: it’s all about soul
Where: Madison, WI (Call-in)
When: Thursday, March 22, 2012
How: Recorded by Kayla Liederbach
File: mp3 version


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Check out more of Eric at www.erichutchinson.com.

Find albums by Eric Hutchinson in our shop.

Into RSS? Follow our podcast feed via: https://blog.murfie.com/category/podcasts/feed/

*Photo credit to Jeff Lipsky