Another year is in the books which means sifting through yet another round of meaningless “Best of” lists…UNTIL NOW. I spent hours upon hours (that I will never get back) listening to the plethora of musical offerings 2014 had to offer. The end result; my personal take on the best songs of the year. Check them out below, but just remember I am right about everything. Enjoy!
Top 50 Songs:
50. Speedy Ortiz – American Horror – This came off of the excellent EP Speedy put out earlier this year. It harks back to some of the great guitar pop stuff that was coming out in the 90s.
49. Frazey Ford – September Fields – Imagine if Joni Mitchell hightailed it down to Memphis to record a soul album and you have Frazey Ford.
48. Strand of Oaks – Mirage Year – This is a distortion-heavy slowburner with some pretty poignant lyrics and an explosive finale.
47. Gazelle Twin – Belly of the Beast – Easily the most frightening song I listened to all year. The production on this track is impeccable and the creepiness is only accentuated by the hushed vocals.
46. Migos – Hit Em – There are people out there that still don’t take Migos seriously and that is just really dumb. These dudes have inspired an entire scene of imitators over the course of about 2 years. Luckily, there’s still only one Migos.
45. Frankie Cosmos – Birthday Song – Clocking in at just over 1 minute, this is a jaunty little pop gem about the pains of growing older.
44. The Juan Maclean – A Place Called Space – If I ever make a movie about a group of intergalactic explorers set in the 80s, this song will be playing in every scene.
43. Jeremih – Don’t Tell ‘Em feat. YG – DJ Mustard had an absolutely monster year, he finds ways to craft beats that perfectly suit whoever’s on the mic. Also, “I GOT A MISSED CALL FROM YOUR BITTCH”. That, too.
42. Mac Demarco – Goodbye Weekend – On an album full of hazy slacker guitar anthems, this was the haziest and slackeriest of them all. Lyrically, Macky has done a lot of growing up since his 2012 debut.
41. Doppelgangaz – Holla x2 – This is simply the Dop Gang spitting some fire verses over a brooding, west coast-influenced beat.
40. Nicole Atkins – It’s Only Chemistry – This is a just a fun, smart, great-sounding little pop song.
39. Shamir – If It Wasn’t True – Shamir’s introduction to the world came in the form of an infectious dancefloor-ready r&b banger.
38. Sia – Chandelier – This is my obligatory lady jam of 2014.
37. Spoon – They Want My Soul – Spoon still rocks, and this song is a perfect example of such rocking.
36. Elbow – New York Morning – Elbow is really good at making very beautiful, orchestral pop music. Also, one of my favorite music videos this year.
35. Erik Hassle – Pathetic – I have no idea who this dude is but man this was probably one of the smoothest musical offerings this year.
34. Todd Terje – Jonny and Mary feat. Bryan Ferry – This is a cover of a Robert Palmer ballad from 1980 and the Todd Terje/Bryan Ferry combo absolutely knock it out of the park. You can hear the heartbreak in Ferry’s voice and Terje’s production compliments it perfectly.
33. Future – Move That Dope feat. Pusha T, Pharrell, and Casino – Pusha T is the MVP of rap. There’s no one better. He makes any song better. Hi Haters.
32. White Lung – Drown With the Monster – Blows me away with the intensity every time I listen to it.
31. Meyhem Lauren and Buckwild – 100 MPH feat. Action Bronson – Meyhem and Action over a really theatrical beat. This song is just really great.
30. Chet Faker – 1998 – Perhaps 6+ minutes would be a tad too long but thankfully the production more than makes up for its length.
29. Schoolboy Q – Collard Greens feat. Kendrick Lamar – As much as I wanted to put “Man of the Year” on this list, Kendrick’s guest spot landed this track on the list.
28. Caribou – Silver – The last 2 minutes of this song is where it really just flourishes. The layered production slays me every time. So pretty.
27. EMA – Cthulu – The end of this song sounds like something off of the NIN classic “The Downward Spiral” and that’s high praise.
26. Mapei – Don’t Wait – A really fun song with some great production and neat little vocal effects. This was one of my most listened-to songs of the year.
25. Pusha T – Lunch Money – Kanye. King Push. Video games. What!?
24. Hiss Golden Messenger – Mahogany Dread – A pretty incredible piece of country songwriting from an equally impressive album. His storytelling in this song is remarkable.
23. Tinashe – 2 On feat. Schoolboy Q – DJ Mustard just killing it on production again. One of many songs from Tinashe’s excellent debut that could’ve made this list.
22. Luluc – Tangled Heart – Holy smokes this song is so pretty. That’s it, that’s all I have to say about it.
21. Run the Jewels – Lie, Cheat, Steal – An important song from the most important album of the year. “Who really run this? Who really run that man who say he run this?” We found our Public Enemy.
20. Tune-Yards – Water Fountain – I’d like to think Merrill was listening to nothing but Big Freedia when she wrote “Water Fountain”. Especially towards the end of the song, it sounds like her take on acoustic bounce music.
19. Temples – Shelter Song – Obligatory psych-rock pop offering. It’s pretty damn catchy as well.
18. The Soft Pink Truth – Ready to Fuck – I still have no idea what is going on in this song and I think that’s the beauty of it. I guess this entire album is composed of house music covers of black metal songs which has to be the coolest album idea of the year.
17. Phantogram – Fall in Love – I attribute this pick to the teaser ad of this song that was played before EVERY Youtube video from like January to March.
16. Freddie Gibbs, Young Thug, A$AP Ferg – Old English – Three of the most talented rappers in the game right now showcasing their very unique style over a pretty interesting beat. Also, America loves Young Thug.
15. Sylvan Esso – Hey Mami – An experimental pop jam deriding the practice of catcalling. Mmmm catchy and topical.
14. Slow Club – Tears of Joy – A silky smooth offering from the promising young indie pop duo.
13. Future Islands – Seasons (Waiting on You) – This is a fantastic song, but I don’t think it can truly be appreciated until you watch this.
12. FKA Twigs – Two Weeks – Boner Jam of 2014, hands down.
11. Sturgill Simpson – Turtles All the Way Down – What do you know about agnostic country music anthems? Sturgill’s got you covered.
10. Ages and Ages – Divisionary (Do the Right Thing) – If you don’t feel good about yourself after listening to this song, you’re most likely dead on the inside.
9. T.I. – About the Money feat. Young Thug – TI and Young Thug, ladies and gentlemen.
8. Hundred Waters – Murmurs – My heart absloutely breaks in half every time they get to the line “Yesterday was your birthday…happy birthday…” It kills me.
7. Perfume Genius – Queen – This song about “gay panic” has to be one of the most powerful musical moments of the year.
6. Alvvays – Archie, Marry Me – I have no idea who Archie is, but this song makes me want to marry him.
5. Flying Lotus – Never Catch Me feat. Kendrick Lamar – An absolute match made in heaven. Flying Lotus is just too good.
4. Odesza – Say My Name feat. Zyra – I love this song and there’s something very heartbreaking about the ” I wanna dance with YOU” line. It makes me weirdly uncomfortable every time she sings it.
3. Future – Benz Friendz feat. Andre 3000 – Andre is the best. Moving on…
2. Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardener – The story this song paints; trying to do something productive but ending up having a panic attack, is just great. Kinda like Mac Demarco, it’s really grown up, honest, slacker rock.
1. The War on Drugs – An Ocean Between the Waves – IDC IDC IDC this song is perfect and it renders me speechless every time I listen to it so…suck it Judd.