Monday, January 12, 2015

Top Songs of 2014: 21-40

40. "Just One of the Guys" by Jenny Lewis (from The Voyager)
"I'm just another / lady without a baby"

Nice little jaunt of a song until you start listening to the depressing lyrics.
39. "No Tears" by Jeezy (from Seen It All: The Autobiography)
"They say you lose all your friends when you finally start winning"

Wait, Young Jeezy and Jeezy are the same person? This is also Future's second appearance on the list, which is not intentional. 
38. "Parade" by The Antlers (from Familiars)
"But then when the streets get flooded / we know what proximity's worth / 'cause where already here / in the same place when our phones don't work"

With apologies to the great John Darnielle, we don't know of anyone that writes lyrics more literary than Peter Silberman. 
37. "Black" by The-Dream (single)
"Enough pain can make a whole race bitter / they say the right amount of love can heal us"

This was released as a response to the Donald Sterling incident. If only that was the most divisive racial moment of the year. 

36. "All Ways, Always" by JJ (from V)
"'Cause I'm the one that made your boyfriend high / and now he made you cry"

After a stunning sophomore effort, expectations for JJ began to fall after a drab No 3 and the fading novelty of gently singing rap lyrics on subsequent singles.  But V is solid straight through. “Dynasti” is probably the strongest “classic” JJ song on the album, but the surprising electric guitar licks (their first?) that lead off closing track “All Ways, Always” signal a playfulness that has been missing and makes us excited for what comes next.. 

35. "Close Your Eyes (and Count to Fuck)" by Run the Jewels  (from Run the Jewels 2)
"We killin' them for freedom / 'cause they tortured us for boredom"

Killer Mike and El-P are excellent MCs, but this song is so reminiscent of Public Enemy that it hard not to imagine how amazing it would be with Chuck D behind the mic. 

34. "Queen" by Perfume Genius (from Too Bright)
"No family's safe / when I sashay"

Following two gorgeous albums of being the victim, Michael Hadreas sounds ready to fight back. 

33. "Real Thing" by tUnE-yArDs (from nikki nack)
"I come from the land of slaves / let's go Redskins / let's go Braves"

Hate writing that band name. 

32. "Beyond Illusion" by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (from Only Run)
"We were born to ride alone"

Somehow, only the fourth album in CYHSY's very strange career.

31. "Trippy Gum" by Deers (single)
"'Cause we were like ooo oooo ooooo oooo ooo"

It may not be best for their career, but we'd enjoy hearing more from these incredibly lo-fi Spaniards in their native language.
30. "On the Rocks" by The Rural Alberta Advantage (from Mended with Gold)
"Our hearts they were strong / never made a sound"

Among the more consistent bands out there, song to song, album to album.  
29. "Gunshot" by Lykke Li (from I Never Learn)
"I am longing for your poison"

After Li appeared on the Fleetwood Mac cover album a few years back it is hard not to hear a lot of Stevie Nicks in her voice. 
28. "To The Top" by Twin Shadow (single)
"Stay / life can be long"

Three appearances in three years, despite only releasing one album to date.  Never underestimate 80's nostalgia. 
27. "You Tell Me Where" by The New Pornographers (from Brill Bruisers)
"The joy's addictive / although restrictive"

The NPs typically have a relatively clear separation between singers on each song. This is probably the best interplay between Neko and A.C. since, ever? Too bad they couldn't work Dan in there. 
26. "Jennifer Kills the Giant (Once a Week)" by Evil Arrows (from EP 1)
"Papa is a government man / she isn't a fan"

S3's favorite song, probably because she enjoys imagining her mother as a (semi-semi-monthly) monster slayer. 
25. "Hard to Hold" by RAC w/ Tegan and Sara (from Strangers)
"If you don't want me / baby, you don't deserve me"

What is this, four straight pure pop songs in a row? Where is the angry dissafected youth? Let's fix this. 
24. "I'm Not a Part of Me" by Cloud Nothings (from Here and Nowhere Else)
"You're the thought that's haunting me" 

In a year where Paul Westerberg and the Replacements got back together, their driving punk-pop legacy lives on.
23. "Forever" by Painted Palms (from Forever)
"Oh my head feels like the weather"

Released almost exactly a year ago, this song christened our original 2014 folder in iTunes.  Very Beatles-ish. 
22. "Wonderful Unknown" by Ingrid Michaelson (from Lights Out)
"Oh, we make bread on Sundays and the little ones are climbing up the walls (up the walls) / oh, nothing lasts forever but the sound of love astounds me every time that it calls "

Pretty simple and maybe a bit saccharine, but lovely enough to pierce our candy shell of cynicism.
21. "Little Fang" by Avery Tare's Slasher Flicks (from Enter the Slasher House)
"If there are doubts then we will groove it out"

The song is weird. The video is fucking insane. 

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