Feature Article, List, Music

As with 2013, it is apparent that our music industry is bursting apart with creativity (although it would nice if it was bursting with $$$ as well to support our artists). While not quite the monster year that we saw in 2013, there is more than enough great music to keep us listening 24/7 without being disappointed.

Thinking about overall trends in music of 2014, it’s hard to pinpoint an exact correlating theme or motif. If I had to guess, I would suggest anxiety seemed to be a common thread in the lyrics and mood of this year’s music. Our relationship with technology and existentialism also seemed to recur a bit. It makes sense to me – it seems that we are in an anxious state of living, a constant tension and push-pull that may not always be in front of our faces but man, is it always felt. The 1960’s and 1970’s were partially remembered for the state of paranoia the masses felt thanks to war, assassinations and crooked politics. Now, while the world is still at war in certain parts, the paranoia may be partially self inflicted thanks to technology and shattered expectations. It is natural for our art to reflect that.

Where we go from here is anyone’s guess. Will the “newness” of technology completely wear off? There has been a resurgence of the D.I.Y aesthetic (sometimes going a bit too far) and a general sense of “back to basics” – perhaps 2015 will be the year when the scales tip more in that direction. Maybe streaming will start paying more and the industry will rebound a bit monetarily. Hell, maybe these cheap gas prices will hold and the masses will have more entertainment dollars to spend. Either way, we are at the point where more great music is made today and is as easily obtainable as it’s ever been. We may always have anxiety and issues to work through, but we will always have music to help make things just a tad bit better.

Here are my top 50 albums of 2014

50.) Wild Beasts – Present Tense
49.) Owl John – Owl John
48.) Fucked Up – Glass Boys
47.) Carla Bozulich – Boy
46.) Chromeo – White Women
45.) Dry the River – Alarms in the Heart
44.) The Ghost of a Saber tooth Tiger – Midnight Sun
43.) Arca – Xen
42.) Real Estate – Atlas
41.) Ingrid Michaelson – Lights Out
40.) The Black Keys – Turn Blue
39.) Foxygen – …And Star Power
38.) Wye Oak – Shriek
37.) Nothing – Guilty of Everything
36.) Swans – To Be Kind
35.) Mac DeMarco – Salad Days
34.) Twin Peaks – Wild Onion
33.) Sunny Day in Glasgow – Sea When Absent
32.) Royksopp & Robyn – Do it Again
31.) Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear
30.) Future Islands – Singles
29.) Shabazz Palaces – Lese Majesty
28.) Caribou – Our Love
27.) J Mascis – Tied to a Star
26.) St. Vincent – St. Vincent
25.) Lykke Li – I Never Learn
24.) Trey Songz – Trigga
23.) Death from Above 1979 – The Physical World
22.) Bahamas – Bahamas is Alfie
21.) Spoon – They Want My Soul
20.) Woods – With Light With Love
19.) Sally Seltmann – Hey Daydreamer
18.) Ariel Pink – pom pom
17.) La Roux – Trouble in Paradise
16.) White Lung – Deep Fantasy
15.) La Sera – Hour of the Dawn
14.) Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2
13.) Perfect Pussy – Say Yes to Love
12.) EMA – The Future’s Void
11.) Mr. Twin Sister – Mr. Twin Sister
10.) The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers
9.) Flying Lotus – You’re Dead!
8.) Panopticon – Roads to the North
7.) Morgan Delt – Morgan Delt
6.) Ben Frost – A U R O R A
5.) Interpol – El Pintor
4.) Jenny Lewis – Voyager
3.) Todd Terje – It’s Album Time
2.) Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks – Enter the Slasher House
1.) War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream

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