December 29, 2014

best of 2014

Tis the season for end-of-year lists! After finishing the fall 2k14 semester of hell, I was looking forward to spending two weeks at home full of sleeping far too much, reading for fun, and having the compilation of this list be the only stressor throughout my entire trip. It has been absolutely glorious. So without further ado, here is the best music of 2014, according to me: 

Top 20 Tracks of 2014:
(in no particular order because having to rank these proved to be impossible)

20. Beating Heart- Ellie Goulding
Would this list even be a list by me if I didn't start off with my #1 girl crush? The answer is no. I love Ellie and everything she releases is glorious. Remember when I saw her in May from the front row and we made eye contact and I died a little? Me too. 

19. Halmstad- Linnea Henriksson
I first discovered this Swedish pop star two years ago when she released "Lyckligare Nu" and I listened to it on repeat for a solid two weeks. Her music has an addicting quality to it that I just can't quit. I reacted about the same to "Halmstad" and listened to it until I had all the wrong Swedish lyrics memorized.

18. Somethin- Waterbed
Previously known as MVSCLES, Waterbed came out with a couple of truly great singles this past year. I first discovered them on Facebook a few months ago and I'm anxiously awaiting a full length album! 

17. Get Away- CHVRCHES
I was scratching my head when I heard about the re-release of the "Drive" soundtrack, because 1, that movie is only three years old and 2, it already has an awesome soundtrack. But when I learned it meant the making of this synthpop track from one of my favorite bands, I didn't complain. Fun fact: the CHVRCHES concert in April was the first show Drew and I attended together. Awww :)

16. Love Never Felt So Good- Michael Jackson ft. Justin Timberlake
The release of XSCAPE was such a happy surprise to the fans who are still mourning the loss of the King of Pop. Classic MJ, always making you envious of his dance moves when you try to sing and dance along. I personally like to pretend I'm one of Justin's back-up dancers on tour whenever I listen to it.

15. From The Night- Stars
This groovy jam warranted a written post from me on Provo Yacht Club a few months back. This is my shameless plug about the music blog Provo Yacht Club, created by Drew and Andy. I frequently contribute to the writing, and new music is released on the daily. Check it out so you can read more about not only this track, but oodles of other fresh tunes.

14. Stay With Me- Sam Smith
If this breakout star of 2014 didn't make your list, check yourself. I had a difficult time choosing just one of his many beautiful ballads, but I had to go with his most famous single. From the first three notes he just reels you in and gives you all the feels. So much heart and so much talent. Thank you Sam, you have the voice of an angel. Now pretty please come to Salt Lake City in the near future.

13. Let Go- RAC
Strangers Part 1 by RAC was full of some of the best remixes of the year. This track was no exception. It gives you a spring in your step and you can't help but bop your head to the beat.

12. Oh Sailor- Mr. Little Jeans ft. The Silverlake Conservatory of Music Youth Chorale
I'm a sucker for anything that features a children's choir in it. I think it adds such a beautiful and innocent touch to any song. This one was even more upbeat than what children's choirs normally contribute to, which made it that much more fun. 

11. Say You Love Me- Jessie Ware
This song spoke to the contemporary dancer in me. I just pictured a duo between a boy and girl with lots of lifts, lots of emotion, and lots of sexy chill vibes. 

10. Rollercoaster- Bleachers
I've always been a huge fan of FUN., so when I heard about Jack Antonoff's new side project, I was eager for some more happy-go-lucky beats. Bleachers did not disappoint and all of the tracks on the album were definitely tons of FUN. (sorry)

9. In the Future- Architecture in Helsinki
If I can dance to a song, no matter how dumb or poppy it may be, I will like it. People always make fun of the breathy quality of the voices in Architecture in Helsinki, but I love them and I love this song. So much spunk and sass. 

8. Beggin For Thread- Banks
Speaking of sexy chill vibes, this right here is the queen of them. I looove this chick and her concert in Salt Lake this past October was amazing. She's gorgeous, impossibly cool, and just the right amount of #dark.

7. New Romantics- Taylor Swift
I'm pretty sure my white girl card would be revoked if I didn't mention my girl Tay. Once she finally came to terms with the fact that she has actually been a pop singer for the majority of her career, she exploded even more than you thought she could. Taylor just knows what sells and how to sell it. As I've once heard, "life's too short to pretend you don't like catchy Taylor Swift songs." WHY this song is only on her deluxe edition still remains a mystery because it's my favorite on 1989. You can bet I'll be in the crowd screaming along with preteen girls when she takes this baby on tour. 

6. Shattered & Hollow- First Aid Kit
Oh where do I even begin with these soulful, sisterly, Swedish songbirds? Stay Gold was pure genius and these two are some of the best folk singers out there. Their concert this past November was definitely my favorite show I attended in 2014. It was a religious experience. Also they were so glam and I would kill for their tour wardrobe.

5. How Did It Get Dark So Fast?- Tall Tall Trees
I love me a talented banjo player. Mike Savino played for Kishi Bashi on his tour this past summer when I saw them in LA, and his banjo solos were spectacular. Just when I thought I had this list finalized, he dropped this phenomenal EP a few weeks ago. Thanks Mike, keep it up.

4. Chasing Kites- iamiamwhoami
I know I said these aren't in any particular ranking, but starting with this song (thus indicating my Top 4), they are. Despite the 40 second long intro, this song is perfect. This Scandinavian goddess's album Blue is all around amazing, but this song is by the far the best track. If you haven't noticed, this list is composed of a lot of synth-pop...sorry but Iamwhatiam (see what I did there?)

3. To The Top- Twin Shadow
Oh man. This song. I give Drew full credit for making me fall so hard for this song. It sounds so powerful it could be an anthem for a generation. I can't help but feel triumphant and joyous whenever I listen to it. Both Drew and I can't help but to belt out the lyrics any time it comes on either. Sadly, Drew was in London when Twin Shadow opened at the Twilight Concert Series in July, but I think I sang loud enough for us both.

2. Jealous (I Ain't With It) and Come Alive- Chromeo
Ok ok I know I broke the rules. But it was literally impossible to choose between these two fantastically fun tracks from Chromeo's White Women. I am all for the nüdisco craze that has recently swept the music scene. Many other songs of this genre receive honorable mentions from me. Both of these have been my go-to dance party songs this year, and I don't think I could ever tire of them.

1. The Battle of Mr. Steak- Kishi Bashi
According to my "Spotify 2014 Review," this is my most played song, Lighght is my most played album, and Kishi Bashi is my most played artist of the year. I previously deemed this the summer song of 2014, but I will go so far as to call it the song of the year. Well, my year at least. A lot of fond memories come to mind any time I listen to it. It takes me back to the happiest road trip to sunny California where me, Drew, and friends attended Kishi's incredible concert, soaked up the sun at Newport Beach, and I visited Disneyland for the first time. It is the ultimate song by the ultimate Japanese pop/classical violinist. 

Top 5 Albums of 2014:

5. Goddess- Banks
4. White Women- Chromeo
3. 1989- Taylor Swift
2. Stay Gold- First Aid Kid
1. Lighght- Kishi Bashi

 Congratulations if you've made it through this monstrosity of words and hardly any pictures. I really enjoy making these lists every year, so thank you for taking the time to gander at it. I would love to hear what your favorites are too! Here's to 2015 and hopefully another year of spectacular music!

For a complete list of my favorites from the year, check out my spotify playlist which includes all (32) of my honorable mentions.