a friendzine of contemporary music
trent van alfen
the vaughn sisters
compiled and edited by kev nemelka | designed by peter olson and kev nemelka
top 20 songs of 2014 | new york city
Loves superhero movies, discovering
new music, occasionally performing
Shakespeare, and indulging in peanut
butter and Nutella sandwiches. He
currently lives and works in New
York City as a graphic designer.
20. Artifice - Sohn
Sohn was a great 2014 find for me, and “Artifice” is one
of several very catchy songs on his debut album.
19. Black Out Days - Phantogram
I really loved the latest album from Phantogram. “Black Out
Days” is a little dark but still gripping.
18. Electric Love - BØRNS
One of the few songs that’s NOT dark and sensual on my
list! This song is fun and energetic, and lead vocalist
Garrett Borns has a crazy range.
17. Yellow Flicker Beat - Lorde
I’m a big fan of Lorde and really love this song for the
Mockingjay Soundtrack. While it wasn’t my favorite film in
the franchise, I found Lorde’s song compelling and perfect
for the tone of the series.
16. Don’t Wait - Mapei
I first heard this song in a motion graphics class and fell
in love with it. I love Jacqueline Cumming’s voice, and her
blend of vintage textures with contemporary production is
15. Blank Space - Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift has really impressed me as an artist who has
evolved to stay relevant. 1989 is in my opinion her best
album to date, and “Blank Space” is one of the standouts.
14. Ultraviolence - Lana Del Rey
Ultraviolence was a bit of a disappointment for me overall,
but a solid album nonetheless. Her titular track from the
album was my favorite. Twisted but entrancing.
13. Two Weeks - FKA twigs
I find myself putting this one down reluctantly but it’s just
inescapable how addictive this track is. It’s fresh and very
innovative, and I look forward to watching where this artist
goes in the future.
12. Take Me to Church - Hozier
Another new favorite I discovered at the tail end of the
year. This single is visceral; the melody and haunting lyrics
floated in my head for a long while after my first listen.
11. Magic - Coldplay
I’ll admit, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Ghost Stories. Most
of the album felt kind of soulless to me with its lazy lyrics
and uninspired melodies. I say this, but I also found myself
listening to “Magic” over and over again. It grew on me to
the point where it became my most-played track of 2014
(according to Spotify at least). The lyrics don’t strike me
as anything glorious, but the production is well-crafted.
10. Don’t Believe You - Thief
Every song on the new EP is great, but “I Don’t Believe
You” is my favorite from his debut. Thief has a great
sound. It’s modern and infectious. His lyrics are fun too.
09. Blue Moon - Beck
I can’t believe I was completely unaware of Beck until this
year. How did I miss that boat? “Blue Moon” is a beautiful
song like the rest of the Morning Phase album.
08. Troubles ft. Lykke Li - U2
U2 has always held a special place in my heart, and while
I didn’t love Songs of Innocence, I pulled a few take-aways
from the album. “Troubles” provided a fresh sound for U2
and a unique collaboration with Lykke Li. The union of
Bono’s rasp and Lykke’s siren produced a beautifully eerie
and penetrating aria.
07. Digital Witness - St. Vincent
St. Vincent was an acquired taste for my musical palette.
“Digital Witness” was the song that kept me listening, and
now I love her! This song engendered a much-appreciated
experimental sound while still remaining socially relevant.
06. Sing - Ed Sheeran
Another song from 2014 that was catchy and immediately
memorable. Ed Sheeran has a knack for killer beats and
snarky lyrics. His sophomore album X is one of my favorite
albums from 2014.
05. Gooey - Glass Animals
The whole album is off the charts. I love this song because
it’s a sound I’ve never heard before. The beat is incredible
and the sound production is spot on. It’s not my favorite
from the debut album, but it is one released in 2014 ;)
04. Chandelier - Sia
Can we first talk about her voice? Gripping, passionate,
haunting, Sia’s “Chandelier” remains, in my mind, one of
the most memorable and captivating songs of the year.
03. Fall in Love - Phantogram
There’s something hypnotic about this song. I’ve had this
one on repeat on numerous occasions.
02. Beggin’ for Thread - Banks
Everything I wanted Ultraviolence to be was manifested in
Banks’ “Beggin for Thread.” Sleek, mysterious, and
01. Stay High (Habits) - Tove Lo
Tove Lo is one of my new favorite artists from 2014. This
single is undeniably addictive. Her raw emotion encapsulates
the plight and desperation of hopeless love. So basically the
story of my life.
top 20 songs of 2014 | portland
Hayden is a graphic designer
currently living in Portland, OR.
He likes music you can shake
your tail to, enjoys Mexican
food, staying up late, and
20. Ring Off - Beyoncé
After that secret album drop last year she went from
awards show to work tours and back again, i.e. she had
a good year, even with divorce rumors and the elevator
incident. “Ring Off” is an enjoyable song and explains
perfectly the new level of maturity she has reached over
the past few years.
19. Only Love Can Hurt Like This - Paloma Faith
Faith’s vocals are reminiscent of classical singers, and
she inevitably has that same draw. Her music is
additionally paired with a rich, aesthetic identity that is
18. Crying Game - Nicki Minaj
I didn’t know what to expect with The Pinkprint,
especially after the release of “Anaconda,” but the album
is surprisingly subdued and sincere. “Crying Game” was
a highlight for me.
17. Lemonade - Danity Kane
I don’t care what people say, I like this song. And props
to Danity Kane for trying so hard to still be a real group,
there is a lesson in that.
16. Don’t Believe You - Thief
Thief released a 4-song EP out of nowhere which
combined electronic beats and classic vocals into a really
15. Two Weeks - FKA twigs
I am almost more obsessed with Twigs’ look and
everyone‘s fascination with her persona than her actual
music. LP1 is revolutionary in its vision and it’s unlike
14. I’m Not the Only One - Sam Smith
We got enough of “Stay With Me” and “Latch,” but
Smith is still a formidable talent. Unparalleled vocals meet
lovesick lyrics, and everyone is happy.
13. Boom Clap - Charli XCX
Taking a gander at pop, Charli climbed the charts again
with this single. Her unique vocals remind me of the 90s
and everything good about that era.
12. Ultraviolence - Lana Del Rey
Lana returns with “Ultraviolence,” having shed the beats
to instead utilize nostalgic instrumentals with the classic
charm of 60s music, and her “lost girl” attitude of course.
11. I Wanna Get Better - Bleachers
Who doesn’t like fun., i.e. who wouldn’t like Bleachers?
The perfect pop/rock album that makes you want to shout
from your car window as you speed down the highway.
10. Wallace - Azealia Banks
Banks got a bad rap (pun intended) for her twitter rants
and general lack of time in the industry, but she quieted
some of those haters when her long awaited album
dropped this year, taking listeners to new places.
09. Don’t Wait - Mapei
Few songs catch my attention like this one. Mapei’s new
album is beautiful and experimental in all the right ways.
08. Say You Love Me - Jessie Ware
Another foreign import, Ware dazzles with ethereal vocals
and alternative beats. Tough Love is like few others, and
I always have to listen from beginning to end (and it‘s
so worth it).
07. Bang Bang ft. Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj Jessie J
I respect Jessie J a lot. I mean, she’s got pipes that
coul beat out even Queen Bey.
06. Come Get It Bae ft. Miley Cyrus - Pharrell
Not much needs to be said about this song. Pharrell does
what he does best, and Cyrus tags along for the fun.
05. Problem ft. Iggy Azalea - Ariana Grande
Although I love to hate Ariana Grande I was seduced by
her new album. “Problem” was a chart-topper for a
reason, and I definitely wasn’t complaining, considering
that I had it on repeat for most of the year.
04. Chandelier - Sia
At the beginning of the year I went back and listened
to Sia‘s older music from and was delighted to see her
return to performance this year.
03. Paradise - Tove Lo
Tove Lo was my favorite breakthrough artist this year.
Queen of the Clouds was one of my favorite albums of
02. Do It Again - Robyn & Röyskopp
I’ve been waiting for something from Robyn for a couple
years now, and when she finally returned she and
Röyskopp did not disappoint. The perfect marriage of two
European electronic artists. Everytime the song ended I
was ready to do it again.
01. Fancy ft. Charli XCX - Iggy Azalea
I was shocked when I first saw the announcement of a
new song from an artist most had forgotten. “Fancy”
came and swept me off my feet. The perfect 2014 song.
top 20 songs of 2014 | provo
Callan isis aanGraphic
currently living in Portland, OR. He
Bigsley Event House. He loves
likes music you can shake your tail
lives in things.
Off - Long
(Lionel Richie Cover) After the secret drop of her latest album ‘Beyonce’ late last
year Beyonce went from awards show to work tours and
had aa good
the past few years.
19. Only Lovethrough
can truly express the hurt of a broken heart.
Sauceof classical singers and they
have the same draw, Faith’s music is also paired with a
is my favorite DJ (BARF), but seriousbeautifully rich visual identity that is uniquely faith’s.
18. Crying Game - Nicki Minaj
subdued and sincere. Crying game was a highlight for me.
I don’t care what people say, I like this song. And props to
trying so as
be a next
is a lesson in that.
but this is what rock-and-roll should be (for
16. Don’t Believe You - Thief
on his EP
bunch of guys live in a van and ski
15. Two Weeks - FKA Twigs
the country, which is my dream-life.
I am almost more obsessed with Twigs’ look and people‘s
Dukmusic. ‘LP1’ is revolutionary in
and its like
school with your best
14. I’m Not the Only One - Sam Smith
We got enough of ‘Stay With Me’ and ‘Latch’, but Sam
is still a formidable
and fullis happy.
14. I’m Callin’ - Tennis
Taking a gander at pop Charli XCX got on the charts with
She dress/dances like
released ‘SUCKER’. Charli’s unique
remind me ofgrandma.
the 90’s and everything good about
13. In These Arms of Love - Cut Copy
If I Ultraviolence
ever discover- Lana
Del Rey Returns with ‘Ultraviolence’ where she dropped he
a Flower -With
60‘s music and del Rey’s ‘lost girl’
- Mr Little Jeans
11. I Wanna Get Better - Bleachers
good song for a boy or a girl. Reminds me
Who doesn’t like Fun.? And so who wouldn’t like Bleachers?
perfect pop/rock album that is the kind of thing you
shout from ft.yourThe
down a highway.
auto-tuned vocals when
Azealia Banks got a bad rap for her twitter rants and genIeralfirst
listener to a variety of
Knocksand all around
was just a funky summer song. Sorry Dad.
09. Don’t Wait - Mapei
Shamir like this one. Mapei’s
in all bright
ways. the end. I really like this nerd and what
08. Say You Love Me - Jessie Ware
next? Ware dazzles with ethereal vocals and
is like Hudson
few others,- and
Always listen to it from beginning to end (and it‘s so worth
claps, piano, more bass. Neat.
07. Bang Bang - Jessie J
Jessie J a (Oliver
lot. I mean,
06. My Silver Lining - First Aid Kit in the
US) she intelligently released her single ‘Bang Bang’ with
my summertime adventure song.
Bea - Pharrell
needs to be said about this song. Pharrell does
what he does best and Cyrus tags along for the fun. Phar05.
Queen - Perfume Genius
rell’s album ‘GIRL’ is delightfully playful.
I love the
Although I love
Covering all her bases, she rehow
in the hook.
leased her first single ‘Problem’ which was a chart-topper for
Take Me Back - Paperwhite
a reason, and I wasn’t complaining as I put it on replay for
most aof sucker
the year. for space-aged relationship songs.
an idiot.- Sia
In the begging of the year I went back and listened to Sia‘s
03. Say Enough - Hooray For Earth
older music from ‘Some People Have Real Problems’ and
to performing in 2014.
idea of fame
but still -producing
Samuel Herring really spread himself all over
03. Paradise - Tove Lo
TOVE LO was my favorite breakthrough artist of 2014. With
I went back to her first EP Truth
I love this song. Maybe
late night drives when music sounds the best.
02. Do It Again - Robyn & Royskopp
for something from
for a couple of
years now and when she returned, she and Royskopp didn’t
disappoint. The perfect marriage of two European electronic
artists. Each time the song ended I wanted to do it again.
01. Fancy - Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX
I was shocked to see a notification of a new song from an
artist most had forgotten. Fancy came on swept me off my
feet. The perfect 2014 song.
top 20 (and some) songs of 2014 | salt lake city
Never one to be held down, I’ve
run the gamut of career paths
beginning in the music industry,
then modeling agencies and social
media engagement, and now on to
health care. One thing that remains
constant is my passion for music
and love for all the different people
in the world.
This was an interesting year in music for me. I had
fewer than normal stand-out tracks and albums, and a
decent last quarter with releases. It was a year of the
female crooners and pop guilty pleasures!
takes off running right when it begins.
10 If I Go - Ella Eyre
I love a good Brit, and this soulful voice with a fastpaced chorus takes the cake.
09. Break Free - Ariana Grande
Just a straight up guilty pleasure that I had on repeat.
I’m Not the Only One - Sam Smith
08. Taylor Swift - Out of the Woods
Octahate - Ryn Weaver
7.5. Closer - JMR
Cut Your Teeth (Kygo Remix) - Kyla La Grange
This is on the R&B crooner list because of the pulsing
All the Places - Made in Heights
beat and smooth vocals.
07. Only Love Can Hurt Like This (Ms MR Remix) 20. 2 On - Tinashe
This song, was just a sexy r&b track that I’ve sort
06. Gunshot - Lykke Li
of missed. It’s got enough beat to move and enough
Always been a Lykke fan, and this was the first stand
appeal to groove.
out track when I listened through I Never Learn.
19. Operate - ASTR
Something about the instrumentation in the chorus, not
I like that it’s a pop-r&b combo. The beats mixed with to mention the fact that this was one of my favorite
her voice, it gets me.
concerts of the year.
18. Good Mistake - Mr Little Jeans
05. Open - Cyril Hahn
Always a fan of Mr Little Jeans, but I like this solid
Been a fan of Cyril and waiting for some more music
up-tempo beat, a lot.
from him, and his EP from this year was good! I love
17. I Learned from the Best (Gryffin Remix) the minimal vocals with the fluid beats.
04. Simplethings - Miguel
This year the “tropical” remix was a big thing, and
Miguel doing what he does best - creating sexy tunes!
although they made a lot of songs sound the same, I
03. Do It Again - Röyksopp and Robyn
really was into this Whitney remix.
My girl Robyn, and throwing in the other best thing,
16. You & I (Forever) - Jessie Ware
Röyksopp - this was as close to a Robyn-esque song
The beat on the verses had me sold the moment the
as I’m going to get for a while, and I love it.
02. Begging for Thread - Banks
I really love the raw rhythm with a dynamic twist when
15. Open Season - Josef Salvat
she picks up the chorus. Just a great song!
A little electro-pop that’s more pop than electro.
01. Gold Coins / Need Ur Luv - Charli XCX
14. Change - Banks
This was a beautiful track, Goddess was a great album She made my top 5 two years in a row. I was highly
anticipating an album from her this year, then news
for me and one of my favorites of the year.
broke she was canning her already finished punk album
13. I Will Never Let You Down - Rita Ora
and starting new. It was worth the wait in my opinion,
This is the beginning of my guilty pop pleasures.
Mixing Rita with Calvin Harris was a bit reminiscent of after a couple buzz tracks (“SuperLove”) and to my
“We Found Love” (not in the same league) but when surprise of the massive hit “Boom Clap.” “Gold Coins”
has a solid, fresh beat that I really like, while “Need
you have a catchy tune, you have a catchy tune!
Ur Luv” has the cheery production that makes for a
12 I Luh Ya Papi - J. Lo
Not even embarrassed to have this on here, this
summer breezy song just has a chorus that was stuck
in my head for so long, so I had to include it. It’s
light and fun.
11. Lover - Chet Faker x Wknd
A bit more uptempo for Chet Faker, I liked how it
top 20 songs of 2014 | provo
Law student. Caucasian male. Books
and movies. Jokes. I rarely look for
music by release date. I’m never on
the cusp of any musical movement
(high school was 70s and 80s pop,
punk, and post-punk, freshman year
of college was post-rock and metal,
post-mission was balearic, beach pop,
chillwave, etc.). 2014 will definitely
go down in my own personal history
book as the year of techno.
20. Quem Me Leva - Thievery Corporation
If bossanova’s not your thing, it should be. This album pays
tribute to a really awesome musical movement of the early to
mid-20th century. This song is sweet, sexy, and silky smooth.
The rest of the album is pretty good too, with lyrics in five
19. Arthure Iccon - Ryan James Ford
This track is both enchanting and frustrating. The tense
electronics build on each other up to the percussion in a way
that gets you thinking, “Oh shhh here it comes.” But it never
happens. This track would be much higher on my list if it
didn’t leave me craving more resolution.
18. See - Tycho
I’ll be honest - this track is mostly on here for the breakdown
at 2:03, that sugary dream pop guitar bridge is really to die
for. There’s an official music video but I’m not giving the link
to it because it’s REALLY stupid.
17. Heart Is A Drum - Beck
Beck’s lyrics are always intriguing, if not nonsensical. This
new album is a middle-ground of serious, but mostly optimistic
music. This track in particular has some amazing harmony with
some pretty beautiful guitar and piano work.
16. Blaff - Telephones
With tropical drums, gentle keyboard, and weird electronic
background noises, this is an instant balearic classic. Hearing
this track recently was like receiving a postcard from my
2013 self in Costa Rica.
15. Espheni - Francois X
My friend Dane and I used to put on the Mortal Combat
soundtrack and fight each other for hours, and this track
sounds like it’s right off that album. If you’re in my car and
we listen to this track don’t be surprised if I start punching
you or yelling, “Get over here!”
14. A Year Has Passed - Function & Vatican Shadow
Atmospheric, haunting, and beautiful. Also check out Vatican
Shadow’s “Remember Your Dark Day” for one of my most
listened-to tracks of 2014.
13. Rising - Francois X
Classic minimal techno, straightforward and simple. Chasing a
deadly animal through dark woods on b&w film.
12. Bejeweled Body - Function & Vatican Shadow
H*ck. Yes. Another amazing track from this collab project.
11. Day One Dark - Hans Zimmer
I can’t say how much I loved Interstellar because it’s probably
not legal. The soundtrack is groundbreaking, I would put the
whole album on here but it would take up too much space.
If you haven’t seen this movie, go see it right now on the
big screen if you can still find a place. It will just not be the
same experience on your laptop in the back of your dad’s car
10. Weaving - Jo Johnson
Jo Johnson’s is by far some of the most unique work I heard
this year. Put this on if you want to severely stimulate your
09. Unfurla - Clark
Here’s some techno that everyone can enjoy. Unfurla has a
pleasant melody, a fast tempo, and some interesting breakdowns. Like Objekt’s “Ganzfeld,” this track is very dynamic. It
refuses to hold still and will keep your attention through the
whole 5.5 minutes.
08. OX1 - Tommy Four Seven
This track is unapologetically aggressive and irrepressibly
haunting. Maybe don’t listen to it in the dark by yourself. It is
not for the faint of heart.
07. L - Tycho
Not only are Tycho’s melodies just heartbreakingly beautiful,
but that high synth keyboard and the guitar distortion somehow
reminds me of watching daytime television programs in the 90s.
Listen to this album while you’re on a drive in the mountains
and it will hit you right in the feels every time.
06. Transit 0.2 - Answer Code Request
This track from ACR is way more traditional techno than #5:
very straightforward, very repetitive, extremely catchy techno.
05. Thermal Capacity - Answer Code Request
“Modern techno” me and “post-mission chillwave” me would
enjoy this track equally. With the repetition and driving beach,
it’s definitely techno, but the soft synth and overall laid-back
approach invites you to just chill so hard.
04. Ganzfeld - Objekt
Objekt is highly praised in the techno community for putting
more effort into a single track than most musicians put into
an entire album. Suspenseful pauses, breakdowns, drops, etc.
Objekt is almost maniacal in the complexity of his beats, yet it
isn’t hard to listen to.
03. Sub Conscious - Erol Alkan
With Daft Punk-esque robot vocals and trance-like background
synth, Sub Conscious is a foot thumper like no other. The
beat sounds like something off Homework. The synth adds an
eerie, hypnotic vibe.
02. Amber Decay - Kangding Ray
Terrifying. Both in darkness and how unbelievably brilliant this
track is. Just hearing this track conjures up images of black
and white WWII footage. This track single-handedly birthed my
fascination with dark techno.
01. Love Never Felt So Good - Michael Jackson
Where has this been? Everything from the catchy, nostalgic
beat and instrumentality to the high production quality caught
me completely off guard, not to mention the fact that this
track even exists in the first place. It is straight out of his
“Rock With You” days, both in style and actual chronology.
This track for me far surpasses any other of 2014 in
importance, quality, and lovability.
top 20 songs of 2014 | dallas
Water resource engineer from
Vancouver, BC currently residing
in Dallas, TX. Completely talentless
musically, but sometimes wishes
he were a DJ. Enjoys reading,
basketball, and biking.
20. Oh Sailor ft. the Silverlake Conservatory of Music
Youth Chorale - Mr. Little Jeans
Great use of the children’s choir and sweet, simple lyrics.
19. Almost Home (Washed Out Remix) - Moby
This is a match made in chillwave heaven (a place that
is kind of fun to imagine). I love the little bridge section
at around 2:10, where it sounds like we are sitting in a
chillwave cathedral, about to ascend!
18. Say You’ll Be There (Spice Girls cover) - MØ
I didn’t know until recently that this was a Spice Girls
cover, but that kind of makes it even cooler. My memory
of this song will always be hearing MØ as we filed into
Zilker Park for ACL (even though we arrived too late to
really see any of her set).
17. Pray to God ft. Haim - Calvin Harris
A surprising/questionable collaboration when first announced,
this song was about the best outcome anyone could have
hoped for. I think CH showcased Haim pretty favorably in
this catchy tune.
16. Never Work For Free - Tennis
In their latest album they added a few instruments and
departed a little from their signature lo-fi sound, but
managed to keep the vintage feel of their music, which I
15. Coming Home - Leon Bridges
Speaking of vintage sound, no one this year captured that
as purely as Leon Bridges. This song comes fresh out of
a time machine from the 50s and wouldn’t sound out of
place in my grandparent’s record collection.
14. Stay WIth Me - Sam Smith
It would be a lie to not include a Sam Smith track on
this list. He had a bunch of popular songs this year, but
this was the real show stopper when we got to see him
13. Classic ft. Powers (RAC Remix) - The Knocks
RAC can do no wrong. His remixes seem so simple, but
he must have some kind of special touch because no one
can remake a song like Andre. I see on Soundcloud that
this song is now streaming on the Hollister Vibe 2015
playlist but that only makes me like it more.
12. Choreograph - Gilligan Moss
I’ve been on an “ewok” kick lately and this song sounds
like a jungle thumping Endor dance party with an all ewok
11. Ain’t Nobody ft. Jasmine Thompson - Felix Jaehn
Great summer jam - bouncy synth, catchy lyrics, that little
xylophone thing - when I listen to this song, I sometimes
pretend that I’m playing that xylophone in a “more
cowbell” type skit.
10. Fiona Coyne - Saint Pepsi
I have a pretty soft spot for joyous disco-pop and I love
that down-to-earth quality that his voice has.
09. Memories That You Call ft. Moonsiren - Odesza
Amazing mastering or arrangement or whatever... insert
random audio production words... the song just feel
spatially enormous, like it was performed in a giant white
room with glittery strobe lights pulsing and flashing.
08. Who We Are - Golden Coast
This song is just pure energy and joy. Kev mentioned that
they have an Imagine Dragons-type sound and I think
they will break out in 2016 - their other single, “Break
My Fall” was also excellent and has had some great
remixes made of it.
07. Dangerous ft. Sam Martin - David Guetta
One of Guetta’s first forays into funk, and I think he
06. Serbia - Tala
I love the unexpected rhythm of this song, it catches you
on the wrong foot, but in a good way. It has a some
moody drums, horn-like synths and great diva vocals. The
synth kind of bursts out of the haze, and reminds me a
lot of Jai Paul.
05. Delorean Dynamite - Todd Terje
This will be the theme song for the Mars remake of
Miami Vice. It’s a layered slow build, a perfect, subtle,
nudisco masterpiece. Terje’s whole album It’s Album Time
is fantastic, and one of my all-time fav live concert videos
is of another track (originally released in 2012, or it
would have been on this list) from the album.
04. Hymnals (RAC Remix) - Grizfolk
I find the harmonies and that dancing bass line in this
song just addictive. Another simple, subtle, phenomenal
remix from Andre.
03. Octahate - Ryn Weaver
Best debut single of the year. Seriously, she comes out
guns a blazin’ in this one, showcasing her great voice
and some pretty stellar production. I’m excited to hear
what Kev has to say about this one, he liked it as well
and is the best pop analyst I know.
02. Often (Kygo Remix) - The Weeknd
Holy smokes. What a remix. There is just nothing wrong
with this song. Nothing at all. Abel’s croon. Kygo’s snaps
and silky synth on the backbeats. Just brilliant.
01. Gooey (Gilligan Moss Remix) - Glass Animals
This song makes me wiiiild.
top 20 songs of 2014 | dallas
Personal stylist in Dallas, TX
but grew up in Pennsylvania.
Avid reader, fashion groupie,
and indie rock enthusiast.
20. Kingdom ft. Simon Le Bon - Charli XCX
Featured on the Mockingjay Soundtrack, this Charli track
is different than anything she’s ever done and has a
great whimsical quality to it.
19. Heaven Knows - First Aid Kit
These Swedish chicks are the real deal. I’m a little late
jumping on the First Aid Kit train, but I thoroughly
enjoyed their 2014 album, Stay Gold and this super
folksy song was my favorite track from it.
18. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (Neutral Milk Hotel
Cover) ft. Dragonette - Buffetlibre
I’m a sucker for covers, especially covers of all-time
favorite songs. This is a gorgeous rendition of Neutral
Milk Hotel’s original and if this song came out pre June
2013 and we didn’t already have special memories
to “First Day of My Life,” this would’ve been our first
17. Words (Glastrophobie Remix) - Anna Graceman
Fun piano infused pop.
16. Riptide (Vance Joy Cover) - Gossling
This song is 10x better than the original in my opinion,
and when I first discovered it I had it on repeat for
hours. It sounds like Joanna Newsom covering Vance Joy.
15. Ignition Remix (Viceroy Jet Life Remix) - R. Kelly
Oops, last cover I swear. I love R.Kelly’s “Ignition
Remix” and I’ve loved the Viceroy Jet Life remixes of
other popular hip hop songs. This one is a fun, hyper
version of R. Kelly’s smooth original.
14. New Bitch - Iggy Azalea
Iggy was one of my favorite acts at ACL last year and
this is my favorite song from New Classic.
13. I’m Not the Only One - Sam Smith
How could you not include this guy in a top 2014 list?
He has the voice of an angel and I had a hard time
choosing a favorite from his debut album, but this was it.
12. Classic ft. Powers (RAC Remix) - The Knocks
RAC always puts me in a good mood and makes me
wanna dance. This is a great summer jam to listen to
with the windows rolled down.
11. Sail - Noosa
Another favorite from summer. So happy and carefree.
10. Push Pull - Purity Ring
Hopefully the release of this track means a new album
is coming out in 2015. I love Purity Ring and their little
09. Empress - Morningsiders
Such a random find, but honestly easily another one of
my most played. This kind of reminds me of music I
liked in high school like Hellogoodbye, and definitely has
a juvenile vibe to it, but I love the chorus.
08. Uma - Panama Wedding
Preston said I like this song so much because it sounds
like Vampire Weekend and that’s 100% accurate.
07. Circles - Vanic x Machineheart
Another happy-go-lucky female pop number. I can never
06. Head Underwater - Jenny Lewis
Oh Jenny. The Voyager was tied with 1989 for most
played album of 2014. Jenny was my favorite act at
ACL and after seeing her live I developed a newfound
love and respect for her. She’s an incredibly gifted
musician and just is too cool for school, but nice
enough to want to be friends with her.
05. I Will Never Let You Down - Rita Ora
Great vocals, bubblegum pop lyrics. Another excessively
played jam during my summer.
04. Often (Kygo Remix) - The Weeknd
Best remix on this list. I love anything The Weeknd
does and this had the perfect amount of sexy and funk.
03. Shake It Off - Taylor Swift
I had a dilemma choosing which Taylor song I was
going to put on this list. 2014 was the year of T.Swift.
My very favorite song from 1989 is actually “How You
Get the Girl” but I think “Shake It Off” was such a
perfect single to release to get us excited for 1989. It’s
also one of the most unique tracks off the album and
has spawned so many great remixes. I always turn this
one up when it comes on. All hail baby T.
02. OctaHate - Ryn Weaver
What an incredible debut single from Ryn Weaver. She
has amazingly powerful vocals and this song has such
an addictive beat that makes me wanna move.
01. Completely Not Me - Jenny Lewis
This song was featured on GIRLS which makes me
love/hate it more, but I’m obsessed with this
quintessentially Jenny Lewis folk pop track. Everything
from the instrumentals to the quirky lyrics makes me
smile whenever I hear it. I’m such a fangirl for J and
this was my favorite song of the year.
top 14 (and some) songs of 2014 | provo
Jeffrey is an 85 year-old
grandpa in hiding. Dog lover
and former treat eater (but
still loves to eat treat). Once
he won $50 in a dance-off.
He currently works for Google.
Seasons (Waiting on You) - Future
The Heat - JUCE!
Classic ft. Powers - The Knocks
Monument - Robyn and Röyskopp
08. Yellow Flicker Beat - Lorde
Listen to it with loud bass. It is so good.
07. You and I (Forever) - Jessie Ware
ROMANTIC AND FUN.
06. Forgiveness - St Lucia
St Lucias album When the Night came
out in 2013, but they released a deluxe
edition this year on which this song was
Steal My Girl - One Direction
released. This fall they came to Salt Lake
Uptown Funk ft. Bruno Mars - Mark
and it was one of the funnest shows I
have been to in a long time. This song
was especially fun and Jean-Philip’s voice
14. Runaways - Betty Who
and energy is highlighted on this track.
Love this Aussie.
05. Busy Earnin’ - Jungle
13. Carolina - Kimbra
Song is great. Video is great. It just
I love all of the things going on in the
makes me want to dance. I was tempted
song. Semi-chaotic but good.
to put “The Heat” on my list as well.
12. Fiona Coyne - Saint Pepsi
04. Giving Up - HAERTS
This song brings so much nostalgia to my Nini, the vocalist, has the best voice and
high school years. Not entirely sure why
it’s just as good live.
but it makes me reminisce of my days
03. Ready For It ft. St. Lucia - RAC
when I ate too much Taco Bell.
RAC is basically the King Midas of music
11. From the Night - Stars
and turns everything he touches to gold.
It was good to hear a classic Stars song, 02. Luna - Bombay Bicycle Club
but with a twist of 2014 disco dance.
This was probably the first “new” song of
10. Chandelier - Sia
2014 that I heard this year. It’s beautiful.
I heard this song back in May and didn’t 01. Take Me Back - Paperwhite
really give it much thought. It’s not a
This song is magic.
song I generally would consider “my
genre,” but hearing it months later in a
different situation I was struck by how
strong her vocals were.
09. Go (ft. Blood Diamonds) - Grimes
A different sound than what we are used
to when it comes to Grimes. Still good.
top 20 songs of 2014 | provo
Studying art direction in
Currently lives and works in
20. Ivory - Movement
10. Time - Jungle
I saw Movement in NYC this year and really I wish I could see Jungle.
09. Why Do You Feel - Flight Facilities
19. Something About You - Hayden James Hip hop feel good.
18. Games for Girls - Say Lou Lou x
08. Who Do You Love? ft. Robyn Kindness
17. Hot Hands - Darius
Spotify has Darius mixed up with a Scottish
pop star called Darius Campbell.
07. Lovra - Love Sensation
I just shake it all night w this one.
16. Listen Everybody - Tensnake
Short and neat.
15. Colourblind ft. Cybil - Les Loups
It’s interesting so many bands have FEAT
these days. I think it makes bands more
exciting, cuz you’re always getting a new
14. New Order ft. Holybrune - Dabeull
Dabeull’s music is really funky. Ya know I
love da funky.
06. Why ft. Nate Salman - Les Sins
I am a huge fan of Toro y Moi and, well,
as much as I didn’t love the whole Les Sins
album, this one I did okay.
05. Nobody Else - Full Crate x Mar
I think of my sis when I hear this.
04. First Impressions - Kele
Yasmin is the hottest in this one.
03. 1998 - Chet Faker
He’s also my favorite artist of the year.
13. Ananas - Bleu Toucan
02. Indecision - Shura
I don’t know much about this one, but I like I messaged Shura — and she messaged me
back. So I mean I like her. She has
released 3 tracks this year and I haven’t
12. Back Home - Caribou
disliked one. There’s something inspiring
The vocals and chord progression are really about music that feels like fantasy-land.
nice in this track.
01. Touch - Shura
11. Shady - Patrik Baker
This one is just s’fun.
top 20 songs of 2014 | salt lake city
Barret is an independent curator
and artist. He lives in Salt Lake
City with his wife, their dog, and
thousands of Prada savings bonds
locked in a Louis Vuitton steamer
trunk. Besides being completely ok,
Barret stays occupied with a variety
of podcasts and books. His favorite
short story is “The Tale of How
Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan
Nikiforovich” by Nikolai Gogol.
20. Desperado - Azealia Banks
10. Find A New Way - Tune-Yards
19. Pretty Girls - Little Dragon
09. Forgiven/Forgotten - Angel Olsen
18. No Type - Rae Sremmurd
08. White Freckles - Ariel Pink
17. Sanctified - Rick Ross x Kanye
07. Prince Johnny - St. Vincent
16. How Can You Really - Foxygen
15. This is Not About Us - Kindness
14. Tuesday ft. Drake - I LOVE
13. I’m Not The Only One (Remix)
ft. A$AP Rocky - Sam Smith
06. Never Wanna See That Look
Again - Christopher Owens
05. Lost On The Way Home ft.
Solange - Chromeo
04. Queen - Perfume Genius
03. Real Thing - Tune-Yards
02. Mr. Noah - Panda Bear
12. Words I Don’t Remember - How
To Dress Well
11. Ezra’s Interlude ft. Ezra Koenig Chromeo
01. Picture Me Gone - Ariel Pink
top 20 songs of 2014 | phoenix
Contemporary art curator in Phoenix,
AZ, music editor for The House That
Lars Built, freelance writer/designer,
graduate student. Constantly mistaken
as a divorced father with kids due to
the food stains, white socks/birks, and
frequent flyer miles at McDonald’s
Airlines. Getting married this summer,
notwithstanding the aforementioned.
Complete 2014 music review at
The Voyager - Jenny Lewis
U-Huh - Tkay Maidza
Happy - Marina & the Diamonds
In These Arms of Love - Cut Copy
Hero - Frank Ocean x Mick Jones x Paul Simonon x Diplo
Classic ft. Powers - The Knocks
Queen - Client Liaison
20. Needle and a Knife – Tennis
Vocalist Alaina Moore whispers nostalgic cha cha’s in the
foreground of a clever drum/tambourine arrangement and a
snappy guitar riff reminiscent of older Rilo Kiley tunes, i.e. it’s
the perfect windows-down autumn jam.
19. A Little Lost (Arthur Russell cover) – Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan keeps to Arthur Russell’s signature minimalism to an
impressive extent, even though the song is highly polished and
well crafted in his post-Adz fashion.
18. Calling Out – Penguin Prison
“Calling Out” is another one of Chris Glover’s ultra-catchy
bachelor-pop records that sticks like a Katy Perry banger.
17. Sick Beat – Kero Kero Bonito
The best thing about Kero Kero Bonito is the kid-friendly,
chav-friendly nature of their intriguing, low-budget sound. A new
beacon of DIY movement production, “Sick Beat” is a flawless
polyglot femme-gamer track en route to every college dance
party and/or every car commercial.
16. Real Love ft. Jess Glynne – Clean Bandit
I enjoyed this track because of its contemporary vogue-pop nod
to early 90s artists like Deelite, Robin S., and CeCe Peniston.
15. Crying For No Reason – Katy B
Katy B and producer Geeneus synthesize elements of old
Madonna and Mary J. Blige into a fresh new mid-tempo ballad
about the unexpected meltdowns of a twentysomething.
14. Make It Right ft. Betsy – Joe Goddard
The song begins with slightly askew chimes, layered next with
some classic Hot Chip production components - steady electro-drum beat, emotive synth, unobtrusive melody - that make for
the kind of pure, crisp electronica for which Goddard’s motherband
has been largely responsible in laying the foundations over the
13. I Will Never Let You Down – Rita Ora
A great summertime sing-along, and Ora was the perfect
personality and vocalist for this cheerful, charming-but-mature
Calvin Harris production.
12. Jealous (I Ain’t With It) – Chromeo
They’ve referenced Teenage Dream as one of the main influences
of this song, thus it’s no wonder it was one of my favorite dance
party hits this year.
11. Stay High (Habits) (Hippie Sabotage Remix) – Tove Lo
A rare, backwards moment when an American remix tops the
charts months before its Swedish original because a British pop
star rocketed the track to global popularity via Instagram. Hippie
Sabotage crafted a perfectly melancholic track from an already
superb song, and Tove Lo’s songwriting is as pensive and
uncluttered as the beat and echoic vocals.
10. One More ft. MØ – Elliphant
Another Scandi record with minimalist electrodrums, “One More”
is a normal conversation between bar-bound best friends, turning
cliché lyrics like “I got moneyyy” into benevolent expressions of
generosity toward a loyal wingman.
09. Stay With Me – Sam Smith
It was hard to choose which of his songs was my favorite, but
whenever this ballad comes on it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed
with a sort of reverence and retrospection.
08. You and I (Forever) – Jessie Ware
Songs about marriage really affected me this year, and when
Ware serenades in her soothing alto voice, “Can you see it?
It’s forever” atop M83-style yodels and a smooth bass-line, it
re-instills a beautiful hope in the idea of one day marrying the
one you love.
07. Octahate – Ryn Weaver
Ryn Weaver’s debut single is a vocal divastorm of heartbreak,
and with help from Benny Blanco, Charli XCX, and Passion Pit,
it’s hard for this track to go wrong. Also check out the remix by
06. Boom Clap / Kingdom ft. Simon LeBon – Charli XCX
“Boom Clap,” in all its onomatopoeic profundity, is a prime
example of why soundtrack queen Charli XCX is possibly my
favorite songwriter this year. On the other hand, “Kingdom” is
the lullaby we’ve never heard from her, and the last 30 seconds
really sink into your marrow.
05. Alone Again – Betty Who
Her sexy, Sporty Spice voice pairs seamlessly with simple, stable
beats like this r&b smoker.
04. Pendulum – FKA twigs
“So lonely trying to be yours | When you’re looking for so much
more” is despair at its most defeating, and her vocals reflect that
insecurity in a soft and beautiful way.
03. Fall Harder – Saint Pepsi
I’ve a soft spot in my heart for Saint Pepsi. “Fall Harder” is his
sweetest and catchiest, and like Charli, he writes nonchalantly
passé lines like “You’ve got me under your spell | Baby, I
couldn’t fall harder” with a similarly convincing level of sincerity.
02.URL Badman / Close Your Eyes – Lily Allen
Only Lily Allen can successfully construct an immaculate, ironic
lullaby from the rubble of the post-2010 dubstep wreckage. I
think “Close Your Eyes” is my most-played song of the year
though. It’s the sexiness of crazysexycool and the maturity of
an older but even more relevant Allen.
01. No One Ever Loved – Lykke Li
I Never Learn was my favorite album of 2014, and frankly any
of the songs from that album could’ve been my number one this
year, but of all her new material this b-side was probably the
most poignant for me. It’s a bottomless tragedy, a truly
heartbreaking work of staggering genius, and it’s sort of sad to
say that Li at her bluest is indisputably Li at her best. She is
my song of the year.
top 20 songs of 2014 | new york city
Studying art direction at Miami Ad
School in Brooklyn, NY. My hope
is to eventually work my way into
fashion advertising. Other than
this top 20 list of music, I have
a top 20 list of Britney Spears
dance gifs. JK.
20. Heavenly Father - Bon Iver
11. Noble Heart - PHOX
19. From Gold - Novo Amor
10. Coffee - Sylvan Esso
18. You’re Not the One (Cid Rim
Remix) - Sky Ferreira
09. Garden Grays - Wildcat! Wildcat!
08. Us - Haring
17. Hero - Frank Ocean x Mick Jones
x Paul Simonon x Diplo
07. Run (LCAW Remix) - Daughter
16. Don’t Wait (Smalltown DJ’s Edit)
15. Pendulum - FKA twigs
14. Someone New (New Mantra
Remix) - Banks
06. My Song 5 ft. A$AP Ferg - Haim
05. I Learned From the Best (Gryffin
Remix) - Whitney Houston
04. Younger - Seinabo Sey
03. Who Do You Love? - Lily Allen
13. Best Mistake ft. Big Sean - Ariana
02. Fall In Love Re-Imagination (Until
the Ribbon Breaks) - Phantogram
12. Look Out - James Vincent
01. Just Like A Dream - Lykke Li
top 20 songs of 2014 | salt lake city
Law student at the University of
Utah. Prior to entering law school,
she worked in the advertising
industry (Adobe, Friendemic) as
a writer for several years before
deciding to pursue her interest in
the judicial system. Her interests
include woodworking, design, and
baking. She lives in Salt Lake
City with her husband and best
20. I Don’t Want to Change You - Damien Rice
This might be a case of pure nostalgia, but I love Damien
Rice’s voice. Is his music ever progressive or new? No.
But I don’t care. The man is good at what he does.
19. This Is How We Walk on the Moon (Arthur Russel
cover) - Jose Gonzalez
Jose and Damien Rice are on the same playing field
for me. You always know what you’re going to get, and
it’s always solid music. Is it ground-breaking and lifechanging? Probably not, but it’s important just the same.
18. Don’t Go Home Without Me - LIGHTS
The lyrics to this are simple and sweet. I appreciate that.
17. Classic ft. Powers (RAC Remix) - The Knocks
RAC remixes always have a special place in my heart,
and my favorite ones that they do usually have a soft,
dreamy female voice. No surprise then, that this made
16. Birth in Reverse - St. Vincent
The lyrics to this song actually make uncomfortable, but
I have to say that every time St. Vincent releases music
I am continually impressed and while I try to repress my
angst 364 days a year, I can’t help but let it out for
15. No Rest for the Wicked - Lykke Li
I always feel like Lykke Li’s songs are performed by full
ensembles - they always just feel so… full to me. This
song has a heavy component that is complimented by
her cute little piano riffs and monotone (but nice) singing.
14. Wiggle ft. Snoop Dogg - Jason Derulo
One word for this song: LOL.
13. Kind of… Sometimes… Maybe - Jessie Ware
It’s rare that I hear a slow-jam performed by a woman,
and I like it. This is the kind of song I would play in a
movie while it’s raining. It has to be raining.
12. Don’t Just Sit There - Lucius
This reminds me of old Rilo Kiley, which makes my little
heart melt. Any sort of multiple harmony, guitar strumming
folk music is my cup of tea.
11. Take Me To Church - Hozier
I remember where I was when I heard it, thinking, “This
guy sounds like baby Elton John.” And thus was born
my obsession with this song, which is appeased now
every FIVE SECONDS on the radio.
10. Love U Forever - Jenny Lewis
Gotta be honest - I’ve never loved Jenny Lewis solo
as much as I love Rilo Kiley, but I really do enjoy the
whole Voyager album, and this is my favorite song.
Classic JL elements - talking about marriage (always),
electric guitar riffs, and her freaking beautiful voice.
09. Jealous - Nick Jonas
This ranks up there with Neyo’s music for me. I was
never much of a JoBro kind of girl (sorry Ynna), but
this song is undeniably catchy AND sexy. Do I feel weird
that it’s Nick Jonas? Not enough to stop me.
08. True Love - Coldplay
I was not impressed with this album, but I do really
enjoy this song. People were trying to give Coldplay all
of this credit for being more “honest” and whatever, but
I think this is one of the few songs on the album that
accomplishes that task.
07. Sleeping With A Friend - Neon Trees
Hate all you want, this song is catchy and I don’t
care. Although it is weird to hear 13 year-olds singing
06. All of You - Betty Who
I’m partial to this girl because she’s blonde and hot and
has a haircut that I envy… aside from that, sometimes
you just need a good girl anthem and this delivers.
05. Seasons - Future Islands
This song is great. Can’t say I loved seeing Future
Islands live (like why are you screaming so much?), but
the recording of this song is awesome, from the powerful
bridge to the cadence of his lyrical structure, to the
ever-present but just subtle enough electronic influence.
04. Classic - MKTO
I HOPE THEY MAKE 100 MORE SONGS JUST LIKE
THIS ONE. Tell me how great I am more please. I won’t
even care how cheesy you are.
03. Red Eyes - The War on Drugs
Another one of those songs for me that I remember
where I was when I heard it for the first time. I recall
thinking it sounded a little bit like a watered down Arcade
Fire, and I loved it.
02. Love Me Harder ft. The Weeknd - Ariana Grande
I love the Weeknd, so I’m glad to see him get the
recognition he deserves this year, albeit on the heels of
Ariana Grande, but who cares? He takes her talent to
the next level and showcases his own skill for vocals
and production in the process.
01. Uptown Funk ft. Bruno Mars - Mark Ronson
HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE THIS SONG?
top 20 songs of 2014 | provo
Writer, collaborator, and
purveyor of occasional wit.
Michael is currently living in
Provo, studying copywriting
20. Castigadas En El Granero – Deers 10. The Voyager – Jenny Lewis
19. Gold Silver Diamond – Generationals 09. Never Been In Love – Elliphant
18. Purple Light ft. Doja Cat – Elliphant 08. URL Badman – Lily Allen
17. Sick Beat – Kero Kero Bonito
07. Fiona Coyne – Saint Pepsi
16. Alone Again – Betty Who
06. Mother & Father – Broods
15. Speak My Piece – Common
05. Hey Mami – Sylvan Esso
14. No Rest for the Wicked – Lykke Li 04. Beggin For Thread – Banks
13. Warm Foothills – alt-J
03. Heartache Fetish – Young & Sick
12. I Forget Where We Were – Ben
02. Inside Out – Spoon
01. Close Your Eyes – Lily Allen
11. Harlem – Cathedrals
top 20 songs of 2014 | salt lake city
Alex is a graduate student at
the University of Utah studying
Occupational Health with an
emphasis in Industrial Hygiene.
He is currently working for an
environmental consulting company
in Salt Lake City. Alex likes to
spend his time outdoors, whether
camping or playing tennis. His
favorite author is Ray Bradbury.
20. Our Love - Caribou
10. Blockbuster Night Part 1 - Run
19. Phantoms - Young Galaxy
18. Close Your Eyes (And Count To
Fuck) - Run the Jewels
09. Gimme Something Good - Ryan
08. An Ocean In Between The Waves
17. Never Catch Me ft. Kendrick Lamar - The War on Drugs
- Flying Lotus
07. How Bout Now - Drake
16. Lazaretto - Jack White
06. Emmanuel - Basecamp
15. Queen - Perfume Genius
05. Keep It Healthy - Warpaint
14. Often - The Weeknd
04. Monument - Robyn and Röyksopp
13. Disco/Very - Warpaint
03. West Coast - Lana Del Rey
12. Turn Me Up - Twin Shadow
02. Disappearing - The War on Drugs
11. I Prefer Your Love - St. Vincent
01. Seasons (Waiting On You) Future Islands
top 18 songs of 2014 | salt lake city
Married, working student from Sandy,
Utah and have lived here my whole
life which is pretty exciting (or
boring). Hopefully I will be living
in another state within the next 2
years for grad school with all fingers
crossed. In my spare time I hike,
sew, watch a good movie, use my
imagination, and have recently gotten
into a little bit of rock climbing.
18. World Restart — Kindness
09. NYC Time (Betablock3rs Remix)
– Petite Meller
17. Being It – The Cults
08. No One is Lost - Stars
16. How About Now — Drake
07. Fall in Love – Phantogram
15. Bridges – Broods
06. I Need You – M83
14. Once Upon a Dream – Lana Del
05. Go ft. Blood Diamonds – Grimes
13. Hero – Wildcat! Wildcat!
04. Two Weeks – FKA twigs
12. Rattlesnake – St. Vincent
03. Wings – HAERTS
11. Picture Me Gone – Ariel Pink
02. Sober – Childish Gambino
10. Shriek – Wye Oak
01. Busy Earnin’ – Jungle
top 10 songs of 2014 | los angeles
Hi I’m TJ. I live in Los Angeles,
CA and i mostly listen to the
Brian Jonestown Massacre. It’s
just the band I keep coming
back to and they keep making
more music. Let me know if
you like them too or anything
10. Lilac - Eno & Hyde
Had to put something by Eno in this year. He just
releases so much music and u gotta respect.
09. Music for Steamed Rocks - Oneohtrix Point
I mostly only listen to sincere music but if you’re
gonna listen to vaporwave this is pretty f-in good.
08. Goodbye (Butterfly) - The Brian Jonestown
A great album closer with pastiche of the stones,
revival bjm, and early 2000s electro
07. Encrypted Bounce (A Queer Song) - Thee
I really appreciate everything that Thee Oh Sees is
doing for music and for that matter Ty Segall as
well. I just wanted to keep my list to 10 and he
didn’t fit. I probably would have included Segall’s
“The Singer,” that song is pretty killer.
06. Nightbird - The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Showing diversity in the album. An acoustic lullaby
that could have been sung by McCartney and no
one would have known the difference. Actually it
sounds more like The Verve would have sung this.
05. Nuba Noutou - Alsarah and the Nubatones
The only show at Santa Monica’s Twilight Concert
Series that rivaled Salt Lake’s was Omar Souleyman. I shazamed this number in between sets and
it’s a diamond in the rough.
04. Timadrit in Sahara - Tinariwen
Everything that Tinariwen does is so good, it
makes me happy to be alive.
03. Memorymix - The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Nothing in 2014 is as mind expanding as BJM.
This one does the trick!
02. Vad Hande Med Dem? - The Brian
Anton Newcombe is still a genius and as long as
you listen to BJM in big doses you will be ok!
01. Mr. Noah - Panda Bear
I just really like the video and I like everything
he does. Anton newcombe is on another level but
Panda Bear maintains that broader appeal while
still being mind-expansive.
top 20 songs of 2014 | washington, d.c.
Just a chill bro studying in
20. Windows - Angel Olsen
Almost didn’t put this one on, but it’s too
beautiful not to. Dark too. Watch the video if
you’re into Vaseline!
19. Low Key - Tweedy
Good song. Jeff Tweedy is the man and
now he’s playing with his son on drums.
18. Hunter - Pharrell Williams
Groovy grooves with groovy falsetto.
17. Red Eyes - The War on Drugs
Good song. Solid pump up shout at 1:48.
16. Endless Sleeper - The Raveonettes
I couldn’t leave this one off. I love the
samba(?) beat it starts with (same beat
from the Doors’ “Break on Through”).
15. Shelter Song - Temples
Some catchy Brit psych-pop!
14. Over Your Shoulder - Chromeo
I like the groove and the message of this
song and the space vibes of the synth.
13. Ben’s My Friend - Sun Kil Moon
Love that sax solo at 1:54!
12. Our Love - Sharon Van Etten
11. Birth in Reverse - St. Vincent
Just a mega babe that rips hard on the
10. Love Never Felt So Good ft. Justin
Timberlake - Michael Jackson
This song just feels really good all over. A
lot of hard loud breaths when they break it
down at 2:19.
09. Passing Out Pieces - Mac Demarco
This song makes me feel like I’m eating
something really good in slow motion.
08. Paris - Little Dragon
This song makes me feel like I’m doing
07. Connection Man - Ty Segall
This song makes me feel like I’m skydiving
through a lightning storm!
06. Food for Clouds - The Brian Jonestown
My favorite band still playing. This album
is Anton Newcombe’s best work in the last
decade, and this is one of their best and
05. Killer in the Streets - The Raveonettes
One of the best Raveonettes albums. One of
the most consistently good bands around, in
my opinion. I love when Sharin comes in
04. Demon From Hell - King Tuff
This is one of the most fun albums of
2k14. I think it’s the best modern take on
70s glam rock.
3. Klapp Klapp - Little Dragon
Probably my favorite album of 2k14. All
elements of this song weave together so
tightly and her voice fits right in.
2. How Can You Really - Foxygen
This song makes me wanna hug-dance
around a really big room!
1. Way to Be Loved - TOPS
This song makes me wanna boogie hard.
Very fresh, unique guitar riff. Look for Mac
Demarco in the video, BUT DON’T LOOK
top 20 songs of 2014 | new york city, las vegas, provo
Chaunté resides in Brooklyn and
works as a photographer, assistant,
painter, and retoucher. A mini
dachshund named Dakota can be
found accompanying her most of the
time. Holly is an artist and prop
builder in LV, and her polly pocket
collection is out of this world. Alex
lives in Provo, is a graphic designer,
and a weapons master in training.
She loves sleeping on living room
couches and being tall.
20. Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene / Take Me to
Church - Hozier
Holly: Even if “Take Me to Church” might be played out, we
can’t ignore this album. He understands true romance. It’s like
simple 90s love, the way Dave Mathew’s Band did it. I’m aware
that’s a very weird analogy.
Alex: “Ok hear me out. This song for sure belongs on some
top lists, but for some reason I both love it and hate it. It has
great lyrics, a great voice attached to it, and I’ve listened to it
over and over but I keep fighting it. I’ll try to figure out what my
problem is... but in the meantime take a listen.
19. Chandelier - Sia
H: While “Chandelier” is heartbreaking and beautiful, it wouldn’t
be complete without the video that accompanies it. The perfectly
bizarre choreography that ties to the music is what makes this
song really striking.
18. Talking Backwards - Real Estate
Chaunté: This song reminds me of the early 2000s, another one
good for driving and listening to alone to feel nostalgic. Watch
out though, it might remind you of past boyfriends.
17. Classic ft. Powers - The Knocks
C: Girls danced in football jerseys and skirts wearing black wigs.
The band danced when they played, and so did the audience.
We went backstage and watched from the balcony above.
16. A Little Lost (Arthur Russel cover) - Sufjan Stevens
A: I have a huge soft spot for anything Sufjan, so I of course
want to include this single. I do however want to see more from
him because I think if this were attached to an album there
would be even better gems on it. So let’s stay tuned for what
he’s got coming next!
15. Warm Foothills / Every Other Freckle - Alt-J
A: There are many songs on this album I like, but I chose this
one because it’s a pretty different side of Alt-J that maybe most
people haven’t heard.
H: I would have to choose the song “Every Other Freckle” from
this album, just for the lyrics - “I want to turn you inside out
and lick you like a crisp packet” because, what?! I don’t know
what he’s saying but damn, I want it.
14. My Silver Lining - First Aid Kit
H: Theres just something so fresh about this sound. And I find
their twang pretty endearing, because they found this beauty in
country music that I haven’t always had the patience for.
A: These girls have come a long way since they exploded on
YouTube from a Fleet Foxes cover. I agree with Holly that
perhaps their Swedish roots give their twang something a little
unexpected & good good good.
13. Give Me Your Love - Gateway Drugs
H: Ok ok, so I’m a sucker for these 80s worship bands, I can’t
help it. If you want to hear a good drum machine/synth combo
and you feel like falling in love just give this a listen.
12. Waterfall - Ex Hex
C: I just like these girls, I want to be in their band and wear a
shiny dress while playing a guitar.
11. Archie Marry Me - Alvvays
C: I loooooove the guitar, and her voice. Imperfectly perfect.
Another Best Coast band, but who cares, it’s good.
10. One Summer Night - Ariel Pink
C: Let’s listen to this on vinyl in LA at a house party okay?
09. Fool - Perfume Genius
A: I think I’ll always just love Mike Hadreas. His first album won
me over with it’s purity. He sings from the soul.
H: I have to agree with Alex, he completely won me over with
his last two albums and this latest installment is no exception.
Your heart breaks right along with him as he sings.
08. God’s Whisper - Raury
A: Up-and-coming artist with a new sound I dig. I don’t think
he’s fully settled on his style yet but this song is great!
07. Sweat - RY X
A: Sometimes you just need a slow soulful song. This was mine
this year. I’m interested to see what else this artist cooks up. I
think he’s just starting to bloom and he’s got some great pipes
06. Harlem - Cathedrals
H: This song reminds me of singing a cappella in rounds with
my sisters when we were kids, and this song turns that style
into this really powerful endless wave that just keeps coming.
05. Night Vision - Tennis
H: This song has such a sexy and sultry introduction, with just
this great melody and simple drums. Then by the end it’s a
beautiful and maybe desperate exclamation of “I knew all the
love songs” which she just repeats over and over, until you
finally believe her.
04. Busy Earnin’ - Jungle
C: I really really wish I knew the dance to this song. The video
is great. Oh and the song makes you feel coooooool.
H: Chaunté just introduced me to this song, and I’m hooked. I
wish I was busy earnin!
03. Two Weeks - FKA twigs
H: I’m so excited about this artist, she’s the sexiest weirdest
creature on the scene right now and everything she does with
her music, fashion, videos, everything is on point. I’m choosing “Two Weeks” as my favorite song from her LP1. Now that’s
some baby makin’ music.
02. The War on Drugs | Red Eyes
H: This was one of my top albums of the year, with just the
right mix of Bruce Springsteen and 80s romantic nostalgia, it’s
everything I crave.
A: Listen to this with friends and feel a sense of comradery.
01. Lykke Li | Just Like a Dream
A: Honestly this was probably my album of the year. I could list
a number of songs, but I settled on this one because there’s a
sound at 2:25 that makes me smile. It’s the type of song you
should play on a Provo summer drive while wearing a wet swim
suit, because you’ve just gone swimming.
H: I’m really impressed at how Lykki Li has grown as an
artist, this is a beautiful album, and I can’t wait to see where
she takes us next.
top 20 songs of 2014 | austin
26 year-old female born and raised
in the UK, now living in Austin TX.
Graduated with an MSc in Immunology
and Microbiology and am currently
working as a microbiologist. I’ve also
been freelancing as a videographer,
editor, and photographer on the side.
I like reading about astronomy (and
science in general), eating breakfast
tacos (for every meal), and taking
long walks on the beach.
20. West Coast - Lana Del Rey
I’m reluctantly putting this one on, because I reluctantly like
it. This track (and album) doesn’t sound quite like her other
material. She has a sort of Stevie Nicks sadness appeal which
was a big theme for me this year (see playlist below).
19. Clap Your Hands - Whlik & Misky
I used this for a video I edited, which meant I had to listen
to it for 8 hours straight, literally. It drove me insane, but now
it’s lodged deep in my grey matter and I can’t tell if I actually
like this song, or if I’ve just conditioned myself to liking this
song. Either way, I put it above Del Rey so that’s got to
18. Every Time the Sun Comes Up - Sharon Van Etten
I love Van Etten’s heady mix of melodies and thick sounding
vocals, especially on this track.
17. Repeat Pleasures - How to Dress Well
The lyrics sound honest and pair well with the light angelic
voices and airy melodies. It sounds hopeful and soulful.
16. Call You Out - JUCE!
I wouldn’t argue that lyrically or melodically there’s much to
this one. It’s a great reminiscent track for me of getting ready
for school listening to TLC at 7am struggling to tie my tie
and pull my tights on while my awkwardly sized limbs (I’m
6ft tall) bounce to the rhythm in an attempt to dance.
15. Flamingo - Kero Kero Bonito
This one’s sugary sweet, cheesy, borderline tacky but it works.
I hope we see a lot more J-pop and K-pop on this list next
14. Shake It Off - Taylor Swift
Even as an unapologetic fan of most mainstream pop, I tried
to keep this one off the list but looky at where it ended up! I
genuinely admire her confidence and while her quirkiness initially
irritated and seemed staged, I think she’s just comfortable with
who she is. I like that this has no pretence or mystery in the
lyrics, and the melodies are just textbook catchy pop.
13. Busy Earnin’ - Jungle
The first single I ever bought was Jamiroquai on tape. I wore
it out from listening to it too many times. I did and do love
him, for his lazy laid back funk (and enviable hat collection)
and I love this song because of it’s familiar, easy listening,
4/4 beat, one key funk.
12. Mr. Tembo - Damon Albarn
This song was written for a baby elephant that Mr. Albarn,
the same man that brought us “On Melancholy Hill” and
“Clover Over Dover,” wrote.
11. On the Regular - Shamir
This kid is going places, he’s so comfortable with his talent
and it shows. From his falsetto vocals to his bouncy, chipper
melodies, it all sounds so natural and un-forced.
10. Digital Whatever - St. Vincent
I once got mistaken for St Vincent, if you’ve ever seen me
you’ll be just as confused as I was, but that small fact aside
I’ve loved St. Vincent from the beginning of her career. While
I don’t think this is her best work it’s good and deserves a
spot on this list. Plus, she looks fantastic with grey hair!
09. TXT (MSGS) - MNDSGN
The instrumentals have a pleasant 80s feel to me. He was a
newer artist I was listening to this year. It’s the kind of song
you’d do work to and find yourself humming later that day.
08. Innocent - Hundred Waters
I really loved the airy sounds of the vocals on this, and there’s
something sort of sinister but hopeful about the melodies.
07. Gold - Chet Faker
I first heard this song because the director (Hiro Murai) for
the video is someone’s work I really admire. I like the drawl
of Chet’s voice; it’s slow and dragging. The lyrics, coupled
with the simili of Gold, are pretty cheesy, almost tacky but I
think that’s what I love about it.
06. Queen - Perfume Genius
This song shows a stronger Mike Hadreas, as he should be.
He gets his point across in a few words and I’m glad this
song has a stronger sense of his art and voice.
05. Chandelier - Sia
Another pop selection but it’s so catchy and soulful and sad.
I read the story of how her boyfriend got killed and “we were
all devastated, so we got shit-faced on drugs and special
brew. Unfortunately, that bender lasted six years for me.” It’s
good to know some pop artists pull from real experiences and
not from Dr. Luke’s treasure trove of empty lyrics: Katy Perry,
Kesha - here’s looking at you, sweethearts!
04. Touch That Leather - Fat White Family
Another song that’s reminiscent of my youth and plays to my
fancy of UK artists. These guys look just like they sound, and
they sound weathered: a history of drink, drugs and unprotected
sex with strangers. The song has this uncomfortable but
charming feel to it; like I don’t quite know what he’s talking
about but I’m certain it’s gross, but I can’t turn it off.
03. I Know It’s A Good Thing - Shamir
Another Shamir song! I really love this kid. Again, his naturally, non forced falsetto that sounds so delicate but solid, hit’s
me right in the aural sweet spot.
02. Real Time - Silk Rhodes
I like the ups and downs of this melody and that it delivers
with a calmness too, and the casual, off-the-cuff feel to the
compliments he’s paying in his lyrics. Also worth a note, the
song Pains on the same album is another great listen.
01. Never Catch Me ft. Kendrick Lamar - Flying Lotus
Firstly, the video for this is amazing, it’s another one by Hiro
Murai. There’s a frustration that comes across in the melodies,
lyrics and vocals which I think is apt for the subject. There’s
a hopefulness and playfulness in the tune and a philosophy by
the ever so eloquent Lamar.