Here are our favorite records of 2014. The general consensus seems to be that this was probably not the most amazing year of all-time for new music, and further, we just weren’t feeling that many of the unanimously lauded critic/indie blog favorites this time around (many of which we wanted to love, but it just didn’t work out, with a few notable and very obvious exceptions). But as always, if you looked beyond the basic jams that everyone else insists are great, there were some serious jewels to be uncovered just below the surface. And we only had to cheat a few times this year, that I’m aware of (sup Lewis, Burial, & Johnny Jewel). Check the full list + an essential/beautiful spotify playlist after the jump, and as always, we’d genuinely like to hear your picks too. Thanks for sticking with us for another year, look for our perennially more interesting Songs of 2014 list in the coming days…
As we’ve already mentioned, Katie Gately is creating playful and occasionally unsettling next-level vocal “pop” music that sounds like nothing else we’ve ever heard. Her mind-warping new 14-minute epic “Pivot” is one of the most incredible things to be released all year (also check the sound design she did on this stunning “interacting with autism” video), so we’re psyched to premiere the otherworldly, beautifully vibrant official video for this excerpt of the track. Oddly moving animation by Louis Morton. Get Katie’s Pivot split 12″ here.
New Zealand’s Princess Chelsea channels some heavy retrofuturistic vibes in the wonderfully surreal, Simon Ward-directed, “nerdy acid trip” of a video for her dreamily poignant new single, “No Church on Sunday“. Princess Chelsea says of the vid:
“Simon Ward has a unique style of filmaking which often involves a mixture of modern CGI filtered through 70s tube camera effects. He’s definitely influenced by a lot of shit I have never heard of like stuff like Sapphire & Steel and some buzzy parts of Excalibur. The overall effect is some kind of nerdy acid trip which works well with my music in my opinion.
You can definitely see this on display in the No Church on Sunday video as well as a nod to Shakespeares Sister in the wardrobe department.
Theres also a slight undercurrent of humour in all of his stuff which I like. It seems like people are quite serious these days.”
Toronto/Montreal minimalist synth-pop duo Talvi Faustmann + Josh McIntyre, aka Prince Innocence, follow up their excellent single from this summer with another icy gem: Faustmann’s glowing, ethereal vocals float high over a skittering beat, until it all glides into a straight up late-night club jam about halfway through. “I Don’t Care” is taken from Prince Innocence’s forthcoming Easy Life EP, which the group will self-release digitally in February 2015:
In other SP news, the Seattle duo shouts out hometown hero Richard Sherman after a dominant performance in his squad’s beatdown of the Niners last night: