I thought there was something cute about doing the 14 best songs of 2014. However, after whittling my favourite 20 to 15 and back to 26 its been a bit of a Sophies Choice, you know if her choice had zero consequence except making her look like an asshole for undermining other peoples struggles through hyperbole.
This final line up has been on my spotify for two weeks (rather fittingly) until I did my own personal Year in Music and realized how many songs have become such classics in my mind that I had completely forgotten how new they are. So here is my final attempt at the 14 best songs that were released in 2014.
Obviously this is purely subjective and you may disagree, if that is the case please feel free to redirect me to your blog so I can see things from your perspective, judge you in return and create some sort of pseudo-intellectual music wanker twitterstorm, that servers only to make us both feel moderately popularly while destroying our genuine sense of self. Ah the Internet!. If you would like to share your opinion in a loving and inclusive way and broaden my horizons please do so in the comments.
Please find below a Spotify playlist of all songs mentioned so you can listen along as you read.
- Next of Kin – Alvvays
I have always found something intriguing about sounds which juxtapose heart breaking lyrics with an upbeat song, its been an obsession of mine since I first really listened to “A Town Called Malice”. It is probably for that reason that I am so attracted by this beautiful little song by Alvvays. This is a pretty little shoe-gazing pop song, but the subject matter, a loved one drowning clash so wonderfully, it is hard to know how to feel when listening. None the less it bounces along nicely with some beautiful sparse singing from Molly Rankin.
- Holy City – Joan As Policewoman
The joy that one feels either through love, music or religious fever is perfectly represented by this stomping Motown track. This feels glorious, from the moment I heard this track I wanted to throw up my hands and dance and let the music take me. To me this song is like finding the Holy City and falling in love. It has far more control over me that I do.
- Two Weeks – FKA Twigs
This song is pure filth and I adore it. The breathless falsetto, it compels you forward crotch first. I cant even tell if I am being pragmatic about this song because I know it is engaging my pants not my mind. I mean “ My thighs are apart when your ready to breath in” is probably the greatest lyrics this year.
Unfortunately the bridge sometimes sends my mind in this direction, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBMYow46LxQ which is a super buzzkill.
4. Queen – Perfume Genius
A fantastic fuck you to gay-panic. This grunt sampling queer empowerment ballad is a terrific accompaniment to any drag house stomping through an oppressive city as the dreary and normal cower from their fabulosity.
- Seasons (Waiting on You) – Future Islands
This song has me completely baffled. Like a Prefab Sprout song sung by Elton John. Which is a perfect combination of my favourite musical elements. Also they rise to the challenge. This is a wonderful pop song. It is uplifting and feels like this guy is letting go of limiting himself for love. It sounds to good to be true, it doesn’t feel like it should fit in this year but it does. It is a thousand times more genuine than Pharrelles Happy track we all so pathetically clung too. It was here all along.
6. Walk this Way- Mo
Strut your stuff to this break thru scandi-pop badass. Here with all the confidence of youth she talks of ‘walking to the rhythm of the drums inside her head’. It’s a bouncing little tune of learning and growing and listening to your mam that you can dance to when you are off your box. Sure what more could you want.
7.Transgender Dysphoria Blues – Against me!
Viseral punk song about being trans and the fucked up response society sometimes has to peoples gender identities. It is so fantastic just like ‘Queen” by “perfume genius” to see members of the LGBT community hold a mirror up to the stupidity of exclusion. Its also just a fucking cracker of a punk tune.
Stand out line “ You’ve got no cunt in your strut”. For Laura Jane Grace to throw that back into the audience is so powerful, the ultimate reclamation of societies shitty insults.
8.Water Fountain – Tuneyards.
I recently put this on a mixed tape for someone and he hated it. I was godsmacked, I cannot understand people not falling over themselves to hear this. Maybe it’s the influence of the video but it sounds like a childrens song sung by a thousand different children with a million different ideas. And yet they are all strung together with the same inherent knowing, Like a weird international childrens musical zeitgeist moment. Im afraid that’s the best attempt I can make at explaining it.
9.Prince Johnny – St. Vincent
A pining love song for a tragically misdirected friend. More than a little reminiscent of chiquitita by Abba in both theme and the entry to the bridge. The many layers to this narrative and the music that backs it, particularly the bass makes it feel so dense and heady.
- Brill Bruiser – The New Pornographers
On hello Brian Wilson, welcome to 2014, make yourself at home.
This it a bang out the door wonderful introduction to the New Pornographers latest album. Its sunny and just fucking great craic.
11.Habits (stay high) – Tevo Lo
I love this, probably because this is exactly how I would react if my girlfriend broke up with me. The pain in these vocals is also so telling, im mad for honest in music lads. I want to feel what the singer is feeling and really I am sold on this one. It does make a mockery of her song “I’m Not On Drugs” but to be fair, that song makes a fucking mockery of itself. I’m not saying the drugs are effecting her writing but if they were it might not be the worst thing.
- I – Kendrick Lamar
There have been some terrible ‘samples’ of classic songs used in hits this year. One of the least forgivable being Aloe Blacc’s bastardisation of ‘Your Song’ and to be honest I am a bit of a purist but Kendrick Lamar’s use of ‘The Isley Brothers” “ That Lady” is on point.
Apparently written during a particularly difficult time in the singers life this is as blue sky empowerment song you are ever going to get. All the way down to his little old man dance in the video. Surely we all relish the opportunity to scream out ‘ I love myself” every once in a while.
- Just one of the Guys – Jenny Lewis
Jenny Lewis’ fabulous swipe at the inequity of expectation between men and women in the music industry. The men get to have twentysomething girlfriends while the women are expected to have babies and families. Wonderfully sold through its star-studded video.
- Breakfast – Kelis
This was my surprise favourite song of the year. Now I knew there was potential there based on Millionaire but considering most of my Kelis knowledge was based on Milshake I cant say I ever though she was going to make one of my lists. But here you have it. Kelis’s Food album was a standout album for me in 2014. It has variety, soul and its great for cooking with friends. This is one of my favourite tracks on it. So soulful and warm. I adore it. Give it a whirl.
Anyway chaps that’s my SUBJECTIVE OPINION (thanks internet for making that a necessity) on the best tracks released in 2014. If you like what you read or want to know more about lists and music feel free to follow me on Spotify or Twitter @greenissac