Best Albums of 2014
selected by Frans Robert from The Baltic Scene

Kamanių Šilelis <BR>“Viskas Teka”

Kamanių Šilelis
“Viskas Teka”

The spectrum of the Lithuanian band Kamanių Šilelis reaches from folklore to electronica, in which they mingle Lithuanian poetry. Their debut album “Viskas Teka” (Everything Flows), released in 2014, is full of references to Lithuanian poetry. “Karvedys Pavargo Nugalėti”, for example, is inspired by a poem of Donaldas Kajokas.

On “Viskas Teka” Kamilė Gudmonaitė and Mantas Zemleckas explore the borders of their sound, which resulted in 15 not very consistent, yet honestly beautiful songs. The experimental combination of neofolk and electronica represents a new, refreshing breeze in the Lithuanian music scene.

♪♫ Listen: “Karvedys Pavargo Nugalėti

Kamanių šilelis on Facebook.

Kurak <BR>“Surface” EP

“Surface” EP

After his 2012 debut EP, “Notes”, Vygintas Kisevičius made another intelligent, well composed and smartly arranged EP in 2014. Every track on “Surface” sounds like a completely different journey, while still being tied by one main idea. Kurak’s distinctive sound digs deep, settles into you and never lets you go.

♪♫ Listen: “Retention” + album stream

Kurak on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, YouTube, Facebook.

Ministry of Echology <BR>“Notes & Quotes”

Ministry of Echology
“Notes & Quotes”

Baltic’s best reggae band pleasured the audience with a wonderful reggae and dub album “Notes & Quotes”. Having worked long on this album, Ministry of Echology showed that they are a ripe band which has brought reggae into the picture in Lithuania and the Baltics. They bring a whole scene with them, a fresh breeze throughout the Baltic music scene.

♪♫ Listen: “Laikas Meilei” feat. Eazystyle MC + album stream

Ministry of Echology on www, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook.

Napo <BR>“Improving Ourselves” EP

“Improving Ourselves” EP

In late 2014, Napo surprised us with his EP “Improving Ourselves”. The album is about the movement of two, the exploration of each other’s inner vibrations. How to step beyond yourself and improve yourself? Plus, some beats to stay hot in the winter days.

♪♫ Listen: “Ressurect Me” + album stream

Napo on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook.

Sheep Got Waxed <BR>“Sheep Got Waxed”

Sheep Got Waxed
“Sheep Got Waxed”

Sheep Got Waxed – spontaneously born musical organism, whose main driving force – improvisation. With just three members, Simonas Šipavičius (sax), Adas Gecevičius (drums) and Paulius Vaškas (guitar), the band’s music is full of freedom, power, modern and often unexpected, sometimes awkward outbursts of sound.

♪♫ Listen: “Choose Shoes

Sheep Got Waxed on Soundcloud, Facebook, YouTube.

The Bus <BR>“Redirected” OST

The Bus
“Redirected” OST

The Bus is a Lithuanian music duo composed of Paulius Kilbauskas and Domas Strupinskas, both of whom have a history of producing successful projects. To name a few: Empti, Dublicate, MIR project, Bango Collective, No Dog Barking, Overtone, Dykumos, Snapsounds, etc. Currently, this creative collaboration is involved in making movie & game soundtracks.

And that’s what they’ve done this year by making the soundtrack of the Lithuanian movie “Redirected”. A musical cinematographic experience performed by a truly wonderful band of which we will hear a lot more in the upcoming years. Their sound is recognizable by heavily distorted reverberant guitars, complex rhythms, deep warm analog synth lines and huge organic soundscapes.

♪♫ Listen: “The Grave, The Cop & Holy Teresa” + album stream

The Bus on www, Bandcamp, Facebook.

Umiko (Little Bird) <BR>“Secret Cave”

Umiko (Little Bird)
“Secret Cave”

Umiko (Little Bird) is the Lithuanian music producer, singer and artist Elena Neniškytė. Her sound has shifted from acoustic (on the first album, “Wave”) to electronic (on her newest record, “Secret Cave”).

Whereas she spent half a year in nature for the debut LP, “Secret Cave” was created in city. It was inspired by relations between women and men, man and the city, by animal instincts and intellectual well-being. It’s about finding a shelter from everything happening in life and throwing your own party there.

♪♫ Listen: “Heard” + album stream

Umiko on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook.

Without Letters <BR>“Self-titled” EP

Without Letters
“Self-titled” EP

Without Letters make music that encompasses and goes beyond different genres with krautrock and techno just starting points. Wild and adventurous, “Self-titled” lingers between unhinged, absorbing and psychedelic in one place, yet strict and self-efficient guitar work in another. Without Letters have found the way to unite these unpredictable compositions in a new, holistic experience.

♪♫ Listen: “Arch” + album stream

Without Letters on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, YouTube, Facebook.