For the brand new year, my New Years resolution is to spread great music to all kinds of people, thus the New West Press Playlist! The New West Press Playlist is run by yours truly and seeks to be a monthly playlist, often with an applicable theme. The playlist will have a diverse group of songs from different genres and hopefully help you out of listening to the same songs on repeat! The link to the Spotify playlist is here.
This month’s theme is the Best Songs of 2014. While I believe 2014 was not the best year for music overall, there were many standout songs and new artists that emerged last year. These songs all came out in 2014 and are not in a specific order. Here’s the Top 14 of 2014:
1. “From Eden”- Hozier. Irish singer/songwriter Hozier burst onto the scene with his hit single “Take Me To Church”, but “From Eden” is one of my favorites. The song meticulously couples his vocals with exciting guitar riffs and crafty lyrics.
2. “Pusher”- alt-J. There is no doubt I am a fan of alt-J (here and here), and “Pusher” is one of my favorite songs on the This Is All Yours album with it’s overlapping vocals and effortless guitar chords.
3. “New Dorp. New York”- SBTRKT (feat. Ezra Koenig). SBTRKT has gone all out with this new song, featuring Vampire Weekend vocalist Ezra Koenig. The song seems like a discordant mess of samples and beats, but SBTRKT adeptly combines each aspect to create an eclectic song.
4. “Chimes”- Hudson Mohawke. Hudson Mohawke, fairly unknown to most, emerged with the single “Chimes” in 2014. On the first listen, it was evident that this was a song I needed to listen to over and over (and over). HudMo (his nickname) manages to make create a lyric-less song great with well-chosen beats and a contagious bass line.
5. “It’s About Time”- Young the Giant. With a full 180 degree turn from their first album, Young the Giant brings their newfound rock genre to their sophomoric album. “It’s About Time” has intelligent lyricism with the backdrop of a loud-voiced, heavy-guitar rock song.
6. “You & Me (feat. Eliza Doolittle)”- Disclosure (remixed by Flume). Electronic poster boy Flume has been everywhere this year, from playing at Coachella to collaborating with to make What So Not (an electronic group) to remixing Disclosure’s music. “You & Me” adds Flume’s characteristic ease of listening and fantastic bass drops to create a remix arguably better than the original.
7. “Knicks”- Freddie Gibbs and Madlib. The entire Piñata album is a refreshing combination of rapper Freddie Gibbs and veteran mixer Madlib. The song combines Madlib’s expert mixing with the poignant lyrics of Freddie Gibbs.
8. “Jealous”- Chromeo. Pop hit “Jealous” is Chromeo’s dabble in pop, but the electrofunk roots remain prevalent. The upbeat and extremely catchy song is reminiscent of a late 70’s prom-dance, without the bell-bottoms.
9. “Yemeni Jade”- Allah-Las. I may have some bias towards this song because of its name, but this song by the LA based band shows their keen ability to make an interlude that still shows their beachy, Californian style of rock.
10. “Gooey”- Glass Animals. Glass Animals is uniquely different and “Gooey” is no exception. Glass Animals is able to achieve a balance between being eccentric and still sounding cohesive and beautiful.
11. “Heavenly Father”- Bon Iver. As soon as I heard this song before a concert, I immediately knew Bon Iver had churned out a new hit. Bon Iver can do no wrong and “Heavenly Father” keeps the band’s ethereal and heartfelt style.
12. “Killer Bangs”- Honeyblood. With other girl bands on a break, these Glasgow girls, Honeyblood, have shown the need for more girl bands. “Killer Bangs” is off of their self-titled debut album and shows a strong start for the band.
13. “Talk Is Cheap”- Chet Faker. This song is equal parts jazz and electronic, the mix of which represents Chet Faker so well. His artful mix of the song layered on top of his own vocals show just how talented the 28 year-old Australian artist is.
14. “Yasss Bish”- A song of the year list would not be complete without the addition of some Nicki Minaj! If not only for the hilarity, this song should be heard for the comeback of one hit wonder Soulja Boy (it’s worth looking up because only the instrumental is on Spotify).