lsoersand1. LOSERS & KINGS By: The Downtown Fiction.
They know how to keep everything upbeat and fun. The songs are simple to learn the lyrics easily and are so relative to your youth at many different emotional levels. The best song is Santa Cruz which is about escaping and riding a skateboard.

andrewm2. IN THE WILDERNESS By: Andrew McMahon
Andrew McMahon has finally put his name on a solo album. We have known him as lead vocalist of Something Corporate and the lead vocalist of Jack’s Mannequin. This time Andrew has taken all of those experiences and wrote songs around growing though those and has written a couple of personal songs as well. Andrew has mixed in a more upbeat to these tunes. Andrew added electronic keyboards and less guitars were used. There is more of a bounce feel as well. The songs are more pop and catchy.

flamev3. THE VIOLET FLAME By: Erasure
Coming off of recording one of the greatest Christmas albums to date (2013 release SNOW GLOBE), Erasure kept the same producer to make the Violet Flame. It’s another great dance album. It feels like the style of a vinyl album with an A side and a B side put together in this one cd. You feels that 1980’s throw back electronic drum pop dance beats throughout he album. It makes you feel that fun times are still here.

johnnyma4. PLAYLAND By: Johnny Marr
Johnny Marr has found a voice and has made an upbeat record. It has strong sensitivity and catchy melodies. The guitars show great melody and have fun hooks to them with small riffs. Johnny shows great abilities to write great pop songs.

arricar15. WAVEFUNCTION By: Arrica Rose
These days Arrica writes melody pop songs from a traveled heart torn back and forth through California. Her love of her life is in San Francisco but family needs are in the Southern California basin. This album shows truthfulness to both sides of her dedicated life equally.

potterso6. SO SUGAR By: Luke Potter
Crossing over the waves from Europe this young artist has a brilliant punk pop twist to what sugar coated is. Those yummy treats he gives us, music and lyric wise, this time around should start making the record industry start paying attention and so should radio.

betterbad7. THE BAD & THE BETTER By: The Ready Set
Dance radio friendly tunes are here to where you can’t stop moving around. This is what The Ready Set want you to be doing with this new record bounce bounce bounce around all over the place. Happy quirky but catchy melodies are found here with likeable lyrics that tickles the inner ear with a joyful feeling. The dance clubs would dig a lot of this and so would radio as well too.

dylangard8. ADVENTURES IN REAL TIME By: Dylan Gardner
Sensitive catchy pop tunes by this solo Los Angeles local artist who is just 17 are amazing. With his debut release he has already gotten the attention of Warner Brothers Records and is currently working with them. A young John Lennon you might say he is. The melodies are simple and the lyrics are pure. This is one bright star to catch early if you can.

jamesper9. LA PETITE MORT By: James
Women are figures that have strengthened Tim Booth’s lyric this time around. The band still has that charm of London and Irish backing guitar lush pop sound with tints of a horn now and then. The songs are up tempo and humming along, you will find, is easy to the new tunes.

songsonin110. SONGS OF INNOCENCE By: U2
Simplistic non harsh approach to this lively more pop than solid alternative rock albums to date from the bands past. It’s like a new spring awakening for the band. It’s a new reference of freshness being discovered by a new baby yet with a since of maturity of appreciation to it. This a great new direction the band is heading into.

Here are the Top Pics EP CD’s of 2014

61+tadFz52L._SS2801. GOLD By: Metro Station
They are ready to head out again after a long hiatus with this dance CD EP. The song Forever Young features The Ready Set on it. With the catchy She Likes Girls might get the LGBT community behind them easily as well too.

popund12. THE POP UNDEGROUND By: Andrew McMahon
Local artist from Dana Point has figured out how to make a catchy upbeat fun capture of the suns energy and has found a clever way of expressing it through his own new songs. Yup Andrew has come out with some solo material and is testing the waters with the more electronic bounce up tempo beat songs. Nice outing from these 4 songs. More to come I’m sure.

51xhfH0rK-L._SS2803. CELEBRITY EP By: The Ready Set
This EP CD is so caught up with fun excitement and energy you can’t help but to move and dance around to it.

51Vc+v6qQKL._SS2804. FOREVER HALLOWEEN EP (Deluxe) By: The Maine
This CD EP might have been left over songs from between albums but they sound fresh to stand on their own. The Phoenix Arizona band has learned to be positive and move forward with their infectious groove guitars and bouncy base lines with a steady back beat drums filling all the holes behind the band. Catchy melodies help lift the lyrics to a friendly voice of approval in strength in the writing of them. This Ep could be renamed and stand out all on it’s own.

orig-216211715. ACOUSTIC DREAMS By: Echosmith
Listening to these 5 songs, that their debut album could be released, at some point, as a deluxe addition. But here you find out that this band does write all of their songs from scratch acoustic wise first. This is a nice addition to grab for any ones collection. So if you like pop alternative or folk pop you should pick this item gem up quickly.

10294422_813430592034634_2549857235223141845_n6. ACOUSTIC SPLIT EP By; Lights In The Sky / Help Me Sleep
Usually known for playing alternative loud in bars and clubs around Los Angeles, this local band has released a four song EP CD. Find here acoustic versions of some of their best known songs as Let Go, Wonderlost, Everybody’s Something and Like Lovers.  Also featured is Help Me Sleep – up and coming band from Tucson.

somuch7. SUMMONER By: So Much Light
Electronic emotional melodies, in a modern tense, is what this four song EP CD sounds like. Innovative pushing the electric keyboards and computers to the test sound wise with a small arrangements of lush guitars thrown in as a light added bonus touch. Very interesting.

61aRqedkffL._SS2808. ADOLESCENTS By: WASI
This Los Angeles band I found at San Diego Vans Warped Tour 2014. Enthusiastic bouncy fun danceable energy songs they have. They are all recorded and well produced and this EP should be released as a CD single. Adolescents is a song about just that from a youthful female point of view. Electronic mostly in sound but great backing drum beats that keeps the pulsing going. Dance clubs should play this song as well. There has been one remix done by one dj for this song already.

51wwNcdt81L._SS2809. ROB LYRCH By: Rob Lyrch
I found this artist at San Diego Vans Warped Tour in the Acoustic Basement Tent. Rob comes from across the pond to us via London with a tad Irish accent at times. He is a simple writer who plays an acoustic guitar as if it is his only friend and lover. He expresses himself well with this instrument. The vibration from the strings plucking reminds you of his heart beating the same sensitive strumming as in unison. Souls and his other song Sleeping are inviting to partake in but step back and let them in easily before jumping right in with Rob. It’s kind of cool the way he makes you think with his songs and also feel such depth with them as well.

51XlaiwheiL._SS28010. HERE NOW By: Mike Naran
Mike is the guitarist for The Ready Set. Mike has made himself an independent pop writer for himself with this release. The four songs are radio friendly and should do good on the college market. There is a lot of usage of the guitar as the main instrument backing up mike’s vocals. A dash of alternative as strong rhythms guitar and little bit of keyboards riffs make up the rest of his sound. Catchy beats and compelling lyrics are a great way of showing off all of the rest of Mike’s strong songs. There is also an acoustic song on here, that’s a duet, that is really touching as well. This cd ep shows that Mike Naran is a talented rounded musician artist.

(List by Jonathan D. Wright)


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