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The 14 best songs of 2014.

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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, 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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


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Some key things to think about when discussing this year in music. Happy by Pharrell Williams was Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 5 weeks. This is by no means a record but weirdly this was a bit of a theme this year. Any song that got to number one took over so completely and stayed for so long that there were only 11 number one single this year. Here to help us remember those top songs is the wonderfully adorable ‘Us the Duo” with their roundup of the year in music.

The songs I am about to list are not the 11 number ones in question but a selection of my favourite chart hits of 2014. For a song to qualify it music have made the billboard Hot 100 list at any number in 2014.

N.B. These songs are in my opinion, the 14 greatest songs that made it in to the billboard Hot 100 at any stage this year. This does not mean that I believe they are the best song released this year. That is next weeks blog.

Its going to be amazing.



  1. Bang Bang- Jessie J

From that clapping intro this song is a stomper. Anything that samples ‘Wham” is going to get my attention and with three of the biggest stars in pop howling it out together. This is the best pop collab since Lady Marmalade.

  1. Rather Be- Clean Bandit ft Jess Glynne

Though I was a bit irked by this song at first. Too polished, sounded strikingly familiar to the bridge of Emeli Sande’s Next To Me. The more I reviewed the yer in music for this post the more this song kept popping into my head. The layering is quality, the vocals are stunning and not autotuned to shit, which is a relief. All around uplifting, good track.

  1. All about That Bass- Meghan Trainor

Massive caveat: I do not agree with many of the lyrics in this song. Ok so on the surface this is a positive song which rails against standard ideas of beauty for women and obviously that it terrific. However there are a number of issue with the lyrics of this song, womens bodies are not ‘better’ because they have curves, or skinny or any particular. Womens bodies are brilliant regardless of how they look. A best implies a worst and that’s bullshit. Bodies are like snowflakes and everyone is a ride to someone.

Now: to the song. This is an incredible little pop song. Its tight, it has flow. It is bouncy and fun and I adore it,

  1. Shake It Off- Taylor Swift

I feel like this was Taylor Swifts year. I tried to avoid her for ages out of music snobbery but this new popstar fun loving Swift is brilliant. Her self awareness and confidence is so joyful. You do you Taylor.

  1. Fancy – Iggy Azalea

As my wonderful partner would say “There is nothing subversive about you being FANCY Iggy you are a privileged white girl from Australia”.

This is the most astute reading of this song I have ever hear and I cannot add anything more constructive to it. However, I will defend this unbelievable TUNE. From the intro of that synth line totally hooked.

  1. Happy – Pharrell

By now I am completely absolutely sick of this song, but considering its dominance of pop culture this year and also how much I liked it when I heard it first, it had to be included. It is also refreshing to see that there is another side to the man behind the most date-rapey misogynic piece of piss music from last year. Still would let him date my daughter, but in misogynist im going to ignore the underlying issues by being charming and encouraging women to smile.

I see through your shit Sir.

  1. Let it Go – Idina Menzel (Adele Dazem)

Idina Menzel was amazing in Wicked wasn’t she, do you think we could re-write the music from that but for kids? –some grown-up at Disney.

Yes, Lets do that, and make millions! Ta-dah!

That’s not a criticism. I love Wicked, I love Frozen, I love self actualization and empowerment and acceptance. It’s a winning formula.

  1. Everything is Awesome – Tegan and Sara.

Ok so the last few song choices have maybe been frustratingly positive, however I promise I am also currently writing a ‘total shit songs of 2014’ for all you cynics out there. But for the moment ‘EVERYTHING IS AWESOME”.

The verses here that Lonely Island provided are loads of funny and really silly and sure lets just embrace the madness.

  1. Magic- Coldplay.

I never really liked Coldplay but this song really caught me this year. I think if I was going through a break-up this would be the first song I would be playing on repeat. Its so gorgeous and pining. There is so much love in this.

  1. Do I Wanna Know? _Arctic Monkeys

Well look who grew up and still have their fingers on the pulse. Arctic Monkeys have always been so clever about the way they craft their sings and this is no different. The unusual rhythm and poetic pattern that made their first album so unique is back to life in this song, with run on lines and beats that stop you in your tracks.

  1. Boom Clap -Charli XCX

After writing “I Love IT” with Icona POP and featuring on “Fancy” by Iggy Azeala it was only a matter of time that Charli XCX punched her way into our heart. This song is destined to stick in many peoples mind long after 2014 as it was featured in the insanely popular emotional manipulation machine that is The Fault in our Stars. No doubt its legion of fans will keep this song on life support for many months to come.

  1. Take Me To Church – Hozier.

Re-appropriating someone else’s struggle for your own notoriety, who is this guy Macklemore?

As a big queer, I fairly obviously take issue with this. However, as a now lapsed Irish catholic homosexual I guess I empathize with the sense of this song and it’s a nice little fuck you that I can scream along to in the shower, so fuck it. Fire away there Hozier, though maybe chill out on the gay bashing in the video, it scares kids back into the closet and can be really detrimental to their emotional health. Best of luck with the career though sweetheart, you have a lovely auld voice on ya.

  1. The Hanging Tree- Jennifer Lawrence (written by Lumineers) 

This eerie little ditty is from the latest installment of the Hunger Games, a surprisingly watchable dystopian childrens movie. The song and lyrics are apparently in the book with music provided for the film by the Lumineers. This will no doubt be a hit (she says crossing her fingers and waiting for time to prove her wrong).

It is a creepy compelling tune. In the narrative of the book, from my understanding, it is a banned folk song. I like that it sound like that in execution. It sounds old and time warn and the tune is catchy and bleak. Congrats movie, you win at songs!

  1. Uptown Funk- Bruno Mars (Mark Ronson)

Do you remember in 2008 when Mark Ronson ruled everything. He had this crazy Pharell Williams-esque musicial Midas touch. Anyway, I really hope that this is the signal of his return to the top. This song (highly recommend by my awesome housemate Matt) is the bitches tits.

It bursts into action, I’m half expecting someone to scream BRICKHOUSE!

It sounds like the real deal some light but still rocking it Funk but with a little accessible pop buzz to get it in the door of 2014. I really enjoy this tune.

So that is it really. These are my favourite CHART songs of 2014. Soon to come are “the 14 Worst Chart songs of ‘14” and also ‘ the Best Songs of ‘14”.


Please follow me on twitter and spotify @greenissac.

Hope your year was fabulous and full of music.

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