The Best Songs of 2014


It’s time! My fourth-annual Best Songs of the Year list. Listen on Spotify of Rdio. It’s funny, this year is about 10 songs less than the last two years, but when I went back to the first year, that list was 10 less than this year, so clearly I had a couple years of intense music listening. AKA freelancing and having a studio where silence can Never Be. It took me a bit to get into a new groove of seeking out new music when I took my job six months ago (yeah, six months – where does the time go?) but I’ve finally figured it out, and I’m forever grateful for KCRW on my drives to work and dinner time listening. This year I become a monthly member as I realized how in debt I was to them. We are so lucky here in LA to have it on the radio and I happily chip in to keep it so.

Anyway! I say every year that it was a great year for music, and it was, but I will admit I think last year was better. Some really great albums came out, but some really meh albums came out with a few great songs (was bummed by the St. Vincent album as a whole), so I’m glad this is just a best songs list and not a best albums list. If I had to name my favorite albums of the year, they’d go to:

Wye Oak – Shriek
Cookies – Music For Touching
Beck – Morning Phase
Jenny Lewis – The Voyager
Future Islands – Singles
The War On Drugs – Lost in The Dream
Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso
Caribou – Our Love

People I’m most excited about right now are Moses Sumney – what a talent, I can’t wait for a full-length album from him. I saw him in the crowd at 3 shows I went to this year so we’re also obviously supposed to be BFFs, right? I’m also so excited about Perfume Genius. I don’t know if I’d put his album at the top of my list, but “Queen” is definitely in my top five favorite songs this year, and I find him such a fascinating performer. My favorite live shows this year were Nick Cave (life changing), Ariel Pink (not 100% on board with the new album but WHAT a show), Sylvan Esso, and Billy Joel. Yes, Billy Joel! My mom was in town and my uncle took us to see him at the Hollywood Bowl and I was like, meh ok do I even know Billy Joel songs? Yes, duh. So this brings me to my next point that while there was new music this year, I also got deep into classics I either hadn’t touched before or needed to revisit. It was the year of Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Elton John, Ann Peebles, and Janet Jackson. I listened to the classic rock station so much I’m working on a playlist to submit for their guest DJ series because I’m a huge dork.

I know, it’s time to move on. In no particular order besides a good ass flow, the best songs of 2014:

  1. Inside Out Spoon
  2. Red Eyes The War On Drugs
  3. Klapp Klapp Little Dragon
  4. Can’t Do Without You Caribou
  5. Seasons (Waiting On You) Future Islands
  6. Queen Perfume Genius
  7. West Coast Lana Del Rey
  8. Taking Chances Sharon Van Etten
  9. Put Your Number In My Phone Ariel Pink
  10. Stay With Me Ryan Adams
  11. Could I Be Sylvan Esso
  12. All Or Nothin’ Nikki Lane
  13. Champions Of Red Wine The New Pornographers
  14. Warm Foothills alt-J
  15. Metallic Cloud Damien Jurado
  16. Worship The Sun Allah-Las
  17. Country Down Beck
  18. Title Of This Song Moses Sumney
  19. Everyday Robots Damon Albarn
  20. Leave It Alone Broken Bells
  21. Prince Johnny St. Vincent
  22. Dominos Gardens & Villa
  23. Drive TOKiMONSTA
  24. Monument (The Inevitable End Version) Röyksopp
  25. The Tower Wye Oak
  26. Two Weeks FKA twigs
  27. Go Back Cookies
  28. Whoacean Yesway

Music Mix: November

I’m really particularly excited about this music mix as I’ve just been compiling some jam gems lately. I think more than usual this one has an overall sound theme that it’s clear I’m into lately, or the universe is into lately… Listen on Spotify or Rdio

Go Back Cookies
This Is Not A Game The Chemical Brothers + Miguel
Silver Caribou
I Can’t Stand the Rain Ann Peebles
180db_ [130] Aphex Twin
Monument Röyksopp & Robyn
World Restart Kindness Feat. Kelela & Ade
Breathe This Air Jon Hopkins feat. Purity Ring
Nara alt-J
Let It Go James Bay
Any Time, Any Place Janet Jackson

Music Mix: September


A new mix for a new season. This started out as an August mix and then *poof*, somehow September rolled in. You know how it goes. Tomorrow is my little brother’s 27th birthday, so this one goes out to you, Matt.

As always, listen on Spotify or Rdio.

Inside Out Spoon
Head Underwater Jenny Lewis
From Eden Hozier
All Or Nothin’ Nikki Lane
Psychotic Girl The Black Keys
Stay With Me Ryan Adams
Atomic Bomb William Onyeabor
Title Of This Song Moses Sumney
That’s Alright Fleetwood Mac
Had It All Allah-Las
West Coast Lana Del Rey
Too Dry To Cry Willis Earl Beal