WiAC’s Top 30-ish Songs of 2014

WiAC 2014 Songs HeaderWell 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:.


ArchieArchie, Marry Me

by Alvvays

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.

mp3: Alvvays – Archie, Marry Me


Ariel PinkPut Your Number In My Phone

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.

mp3: Ariel Pink – Put Your Number In My Phone


BeckTurn Away

by Beck

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


CataldoThe Beast

by Cataldo

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


SeasonsSeasons (Waiting On You)

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.

mp3: Future Islands – Seasons (Waiting On You)


Ballad of Mr SteakThe Ballad of Mr. Steak

by Kishi Bashi

Already included on our year end list, but we need to remember that this is incredible.

mp3: Kishi Bashi – The Ballad of Mr. Steak



Kishi BashiQ + A

by Kishi Bashi

So cute.



mp3: Kishi Bashi – Q&A


Liam BetsonPocket Knife

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.)

mp3: Liam Betson – Pocket Knife


No Rest For The WickedNo Rest For The Wicked

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.

mp3: Lykke Li – No Rest For The Wicked


Do It AgainDo It Again

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”.

mp3: Royksopp & Robyn – Do It Again


Rural Alberta AdvantageRunners In The Night

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.

mp3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – Runners in the Night


Gimme Something GoodGimme Something Good

by Ryan Adams

What an intro to an album. That guitar growls to me… grr.


mp3: Ryan Adams – Gimme Something Good


Ryan AdamsMy Wrecking Ball

by Ryan Adams

But this song. I love this song. Made this album for me.


mp3: Ryan Adams – My Wrecking Ball


Sharon Van EttenAfraid of Nothing

by Sharon Van Etten

Chris already said it all for this song.



mp3: Sharon Van Etten – Afraid of Nothing


SpoonInside Out

by Spoon

Why didn’t I include this album on my year end list?



mp3: Spoon – Inside Out


SpoonDo You

by Spoon

Seriously!? Why didn’t I include this album!!!???



mp3: Spoon – Do You


Hey MamiHey Mami

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.


mp3: Sylvan Esso – Hey Mami




.:Chris’s Favorite Songs of 2014:.


AlvvaysParty Police

by Alvvays

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.

mp3: Alvvays – Party Police


Blue MoonBlue Moon

by Beck

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


I Wanna Get BetterI Wanna Get Better

by Bleachers

When I feel like exuberant, passionate, fists to the heaven pop music, this is what I feel like.


mp3: Bleachers – I Wanna Get Better


Bruce SpringsteenDream Baby Dream (Suicide cover)

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.

mp3: Bruce Springsteen – Dream Baby Dream


Dark Side of the MoonDark Side of the Moon

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“.

mp3: Chris Staples – Dark Side of the Moon


Sky Full of StarsA Sky Full of Stars

by Coldplay

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.

mp3: Coldplay – A Sky Full Of Stars


Gem ClubHypericum

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


Completely Not MeCompletely Not Me

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.

mp3: Jenny Lewis – Completely Not Me



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


Talking BackwardsTalking Backwards

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.

mp3: Real Estate – Talking Backwards


Sean RoweMadman

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


Every Time The Sun Comes UpEvery Time The Sun Comes Up

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.

mp3: Sharon Van Etten – Every Time the Sun Comes Up


Digital WitnessDigital Witness

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.

mp3: St. Vincent – Digital Witness


A Little LostA Little Lost (Arthur Russell cover)

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.

mp3: Sufjan Stevens – A Little Lost



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.

mp3: Sun Kil Moon – Carissa


Shake It OffShake It Off

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??

mp3: Taylor Swift – Shake It Off


Under The PressureUnder The Pressure

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.

mp3: The War On Drugs – Under the Pressure


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