Monday, December 22, 2014

Top Songs of 2014: 61-80


80. "Violently Wild" by Horse Feathers (from So It Is With Us) 
"The dirtiest deeds justified merely by the need / to seldom lay down alone"

A minor comeback. Horse Feather's 2006 debut was our #21 album of the last decade, but each successive album was a bit more forgettable. So It is With Us is a much more lively affair than their recent output, to the extent moody, string-heavy folk is ever lively.  
79. "All the Time" by Bahamas (from Bahamas is Afie)
"I had all the time in the world / you wanted none of that"

We are all for bands making making a few dollars on commercials, but when the song fits really well it makes it hard not to hear the track and immediately imagine James Franco falling off a building.

78. "Pressure" by My Brightest Diamond (from This is My Hand)
"Disperse the white light"

An individual giving themselves a band name is something many others have done (LCD Soundsystem, Iron & Wine, Say Hi, etc.) but Shara Worden is the first we know to write an origin story.

77. "Every Night" by Hannah Diamond (single)
"I like the way you like that I like how you look"

The PC Music collective provided such a sugar rush in 2014 that we could only stomach putting one song on this list (“Hey QT” probably could have slipped on here as well if we didn’t mind risking adult-onset diabetes).

76. "I Retired" by Hamilton Leithauser (from Black Hours)
"As long as I can keep the train rolling / uh huh'"

The Walkmen have never made this list, failing to rise much above simply being "listenable" for us. The lead single from their frontman's throwback solo album starts with more of the same, until about halfway through when the Rostam-produced track slows down and gets retro.

75. "Dangerous" by Big Data feat. Joywave (single)
"How could they know / what I've been thinking?"

Sometimes a big ass hook and some handclaps is enough, though it lags a bit at nearly 5 minutes. (some ambiguity as to whether this is a 2013 or 2014 track --- if necessary swap out with "Tongues" also from Joywave)

74. "Mercy" by Mr. Little Jeans (from Pocketknife)
"Beginner's luck ran out / one reason you're on your knees"

In a year cluttered with chart topping and critically acclaimed female pop albums, Mr. Little Jeans (Monica Birkenes) released
, for our money, one of the best and most consistent. Advance single "Oh Sailor" was in our top 20 last year. 

73. "The Man" by Aloe Blacc (from Lift Your Spirit)
"Be a king when kingdom comes"

Under normal circumstances, its classic soul vibe and Blacc's prior appearance on this list would drive a higher ranking -- but the song is a constant reminder of CK7 definitively not being The Man in the Pacific Northwest (or in general these days) despite his overpriced headphones

72. "Flashed Junk Mind" by Milky Chance (from Sadnecessary)
"And we were bound to the city life"

We've seen Milky Chance described as a mix of Gotye and Citizen Cope, which is pretty accurate (for better or worse).

71. "Beggin For Thread" by Banks (from Goddess)
"My words come out as a pistol / and I'm no good at aiming"

A lot of Lana Del Rey comparisons, but this song is a lot more active than anything on Ultraviolence 
70. "On&On&On&On" by Baio (single)

Chris Baio joins Rostam Batmanglij as Vampire Weekend members making the list with non-vocal solo efforts.  Wonderful, but let's not stray too far from the day job, boys. 

69. "Zigzagging Toward the Light" by Conor Oberst (from Upside Down Mountain)
"Home is a perjury / a parlor trick / an urban myth"

Conor Oberst has been at it for 20 years as Bright Eyes and under his own name. We know what to expect by now.  That's not always a bad thing.  

68. "3Jane" by EMA (from The Future's Void)
"Like an American superpower / turn on the spotlight and nobody cowers"

A song about how soulless and terrible the Internet is. Which we learned about from the Internet. 

67. "Severed Crossed Fingers" by St. Vincent (from St. Vincent)
"I got hope but my hope isn't helping you"

If this was a list for most insanely awesome hair, Annie Clark would be a lot higher on the list. 
66. "Attak" by Rustie w/ Danny Brown (from Green Language)
"Your ho look atrocious / my bitches look ferocious"

You will never have to work so hard trying to follow a lyric video.

65. "Thousand Eyes" by Lia Ices (from Ices)
"And we know that we go on"

Ices plays like a solid album to us, despite being quite poorly received overall.

64. "A Little Lost" by Sufjan Stevens (from Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell)
<Arthur Russell cover>

Sufjan topped the first installment of this list in 2005. What a strange career. 

63. "From Eden" by Hozier (from Hozier)
"Innocence died screaming / honey ask me I should know"

While we like this song, we are discomforted by the near certainty that it will appear over a closing montage of characters looking forlorn or hopeful or forlorn/hopeful on Grey's Anatomy or similar, if it hasn't already.
62. "Eyeballs" by Pillar Point (from Pillar Point)
"Open all your doors and be released"

It’s always a pleasant surprise after a band disappears to have the lead singer come back sounding just as good. In this case, Throw Me The Statue released two upbeat pop albums in 2008-2009 (including “Waving at the Shore” our #21 song of 2009) before simply going away until Scott Reitherman came back as Pillar Point this year. 

61. "Don’t Wait (Chance the Rapper + Social Experiment Remix)" by The Mapei (from Don't Wait EP)
"I'm only back for funerals / we should throw a wedding"

Guest verses will have to hold us over as we wait for Chance's follow-up to Acid Rap.

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