Well we weren’t planning on doing a favorite songs post for 2014, but then Logan sent me an email with his favorite songs and some brief write-ups, then I couldn’t help doing the same, and before we knew it, we had a list that we both agreed should probably be shared. But we didn’t want to do too much more work, so we present to you our favorite 30-ish songs from 2014, un-ranked and accompanied by our first-draft non-proof-read write-ups!
Logan’s list is on top, Chris’s is on bottom, and both are in alphabetical order. Click on and enjoy!
.:Logan’s Favorite Songs of 2014:.
Seriously, how sweet is this song? I loved the idea of this whole album being the plot of a 90’s romantic comedy. Spot on Chris. Spot on.
by Ariel Pink
This song sounds so beautiful and innocent… though I’m afraid to look too deeply into this song for fear that it isn’t as innocent as I think. Any song with the lyrics “…call me your butterfly” deserves a spot on this list.
This song reminds me, in a good way, of an old daytime commercial for some Time/Life CD collection I used to see in between episodes of M.A.S.H. and The Cosby Show. It was some crap collection of new age music with a name like Relaxing Beats and featured Native American chants, Yanni, and garbage… all with videos of waves crashing on the beach. I loved that commercial.
mp3: Beck – Turn Away
This is the best song on Cataldo’s best album to date (though I think there are a few songs on other albums that are better than “The Beast”). (Big ol’ ‘motherf*cker’ in this song. NSFW!)
mp3: Cataldo – The Beast
by Future Islands
I’m one of the masses that was introduced to this song by Future Islands’ performance on David Letterman’s show. Great band, amazing song, transcendent dance moves.
by Kishi Bashi
Already included on our year end list, but we need to remember that this is incredible.
by Kishi Bashi
mp3: Kishi Bashi – Q&A
by Liam Betson
What’s possible? What’s possible? What’s possible? What’s possible? (Repeated ad infinitum.) (I could listen to that ad infinitum.)
by Lykke Li
I fell in and out of love with this record throughout the year and ultimately it didn’t appear on my (personal) year end list. “No Rest for the Wicked” is so powerful though. I’d really like to see this album performed.
by Royksopp & Robyn
I’ll be the first to admit I’m a fair-weather Robyn fan. I am obsessed with “Call Your Girlfriend” and “Dancing On My Own” but have never really been pulled in by other tracks… until “Do It Again”.
by The Rural Alberta Advantage
Not the craziest from RAA on their latest but one of my faves. I wish this song were as powerful recorded as when I saw them play it live. At about the 1:08 mark there is a great beat that destroyed me in person… and I get chills thinking about that when I hear this song.
by Ryan Adams
What an intro to an album. That guitar growls to me… grr.
by Ryan Adams
But this song. I love this song. Made this album for me.
by Sharon Van Etten
Chris already said it all for this song.
Why didn’t I include this album on my year end list?
mp3: Spoon – Inside Out
Seriously!? Why didn’t I include this album!!!???
mp3: Spoon – Do You
by Sylvan Esso
I never got into this album. Maybe this song is to blame cuz whenever I finished it I had to play it again and rarely got to track 2.
.:Chris’s Favorite Songs of 2014:.
Ties with “Archie” for my favorite song on Alvvay’s debut, and if I really had to choose, this one would probably just inch ahead. It’s so great, and something about it catches me off-guard every time I listen to it – maybe it’s Molly Rankin’s dewy voice over that sinister bass line, or maybe it’s her singing “we can find comfort in debauchery” like it’s a nursery rhyme. I don’t know. But when that guitar line mirrors her voice in the chorus, it just kills me every time.
I feel like Beck’s preoccupation with the Great American Songbook over the last few years has definitely rubbed off, because this song sounds like it’s existed forever. It’s ethereal, mysterious, perfect.
mp3: Beck – Blue Moon
When I feel like exuberant, passionate, fists to the heaven pop music, this is what I feel like.
by Bruce Springsteen
The Boss closed with this song, solo on the pump-organ, when we saw him earlier this year, and I just can’t think of anything cooler than a 60+ year-old man playing a Suicide cover on pump-organ in front of a few thousand people. I’ve listened to this song about 30K times more than the rest of High Hopes.
by Chris Staples
This song directly touched the part of me that was preparing to become a father this year. I don’t know if he’s talking about fatherhood explicitly, but that’s all I hear – “I want to love you / I want to pass it on / I want to give and give until it’s all gone / I want to know you / while we have the time / because that’s all I got to leave behind“.
When I first heard this song, I was pretty ticked. Martin & co. have collaborated extensively with Jon Hopkins, one of today’s most brilliant electronic musicians – but here they decide to work with, with, Avicii?? I mean, WHAT??? But then this song was played over the World Cup’s end-of-day clip montage every night for almost the whole tournament, and now I can’t hear it without feeling like the world is a beautiful place and I love everybody and anything can happen, and, and… dang it. I guess I really like this song.
by Gem Club
Everything that hypnotized me about In Roses is summed up in this 4 minutes of glacial elegance. It’s intoxicating.
mp3: Gem Club – Hypericum
by Jenny Lewis
The appetizer for Lewis’s remarkable solo record, “Completely Not Me” (produced by Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij) was released in February on the soundtrack to HBO’s Girls. It was so incredibly good that as I played it incessantly, I got more and more scared that her imminent solo record couldn’t possibly live up to it. The fact that Lewis’s The Voyager ended up being so incredible just sweetens this song even more.
by Jens Lekman
The opening cut to Lekman’s WWJD mixtape that he released to stream on Soundcloud. It’s exactly what you want from a Jens Lekman song – funny, self-deprecating, wistful, infinitely re-playable. The fact that we might be getting one of these a week for the next year is almost more than I can bear.
mp3: Jens Lekman – WWJD
by Real Estate
Probably the best example of what I love about this album so much. It’s so completely without pretense. It’s just a really earnest sentiment over really beautiful accompaniment, played totally straight. And it just speaks to me. Also, that hook is so understated, but oh so catchy.
by Sean Rowe
Rowe’s baritone takes this woozy, back-porch lament to celestial places. When the finger-snaps and organ swoop in, and the brass bubbles up, and everything seems to flow up and around that voice, I just get tingles.
mp3: Sean Rowe – Madman
by Sharon Van Etten
I called this “hung-over girl-group doo-wop” in my review, and I think that sums it up pretty well. It’s a brilliant middle-finger to something, maybe only Sharon knows what. The fact that it closes out such an incredible record is just a bonus.
by St. Vincent
I listened to this song so so so much this year. It’s like she summed up everything I feel about social media, but said it more effectively with horn-bleats and guitar-shrieks than I ever have with words. Also, when she says “yeah” I’m convinced that Annie Clark is the coolest human being on the planet.
by Sufjan Stevens
I didn’t check out Red Hot’s most recent compilation until super recently, and honestly, about half the songs on that thing could be on this list. But I’m just going to put this one because, holy crap, does everything this man touch turn to gold? The original song is heartbreaking as it is, but Stevens takes it to a whole new level for me.
by Sun Kil Moon
Probably the most important song anyone wrote all year, at least to me. Written for his second cousin who died unexpectedly, he wrestles with grief and what it means to witness and bear witness to grief… “She was my second cousin / I didn’t know her well at all / but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t / meant to find some poetry to make some sense of this, to find a deeper meaning / in this senseless tragedy, oh Carissa I’ll sing your name across every sea“. This is what writing songs is meant to be about.
by Taylor Swift
This song single-handedly re-calibrated my opinion on Taylor Swift. Actually, to be honest, the video for this song probably did most of the heavy lifting in winning me over. I really like that video! I won’t defend the spoken word interlude, but somehow the rest of the song is so impressive I don’t even care about it. How did she do that??
by The War On Drugs
I didn’t fall head over heels for Lost In The Dream like so many other people did. But this song? This song is hands-down the best album opener of the year. No question.
Tags: Alvvays, Ariel Pink, Beck, Bleachers, Bruce Springsteen, Cataldo, Chris Staples, Coldplay, Future Islands, Gem Club, Jenny Lewis, Jens Lekman, Kishi Bashi, Liam Betson, Real Estate, Royksopp & Robyn, Ryan Adams, Sean Rowe, Sharon Van Etten, Spoon, St. Vincent, Sufjan Stevens, Sun Kil Moon, Sylvan Esso, Taylor Swift, The Rural Alberta Advantage, The War On Drugs