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...
shabazz palaces - Page 2
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:
"Forerunner Foray" is the glowing, interstellar new single from Seattle's Shabazz Palaces: straight from the center of the the Phasing Shift, the Palaceer's distinctive visionary flow and cosmically palatial production bridge past and future, bolstered by the ill Hustler's Convention sample and spectral guest vocals from Cat of SP's Black Constellation comrades THEESatisfaction...
These are our favorite things from the first half (roughly) of 2014, complete with an incomplete soundcloud playlist:
01 SHABAZZ PALACES - Lese Majesty
02 DOSS - Doss EP
03 LEWIS - L'Amour (reissue)
04 FEAR OF MEN - Loom
05 FREDDIE GIBBS + MADLIB - Piñata
06 YUMI ZOUMA - Yumi Zouma EP
07 THE WAR ON DRUGS - Lost in the Dream
08 ANA CAPRIX - For Seven Nights This Island Is Ours
09 SCHOOLBOY Q - Oxymoron
10 JEROME LOL - Deleted / Fool EP
11 ANGEL OLSEN - Burn Your Fire For No Witness
12 MARK BARROTT - Sketches From An Island
13 CEO - Wonderland
01 SHABAZZ PALACES - Forerunner Foray
02 FUTURE - Benz Friendz (feat...
Here's the long-awaited first track to be unveiled from Shabazz Palaces' lush, dizzyingly brilliant new full-length, Lese Majesty. Not necessarily the most representative track on the new record, "They Come in Gold" kicks off with the kind of diamond-hard beat and ominous flow that made Black Up the best album of 2011, but the comparison with the last record ends there. When taken out of the context of the new album, only the song's brighter, prismatic second half begins to hint at the impossibly deep, singular astral landscape the group has created on Lese Majesty:
It's tough to remain objective when Shabazz Palaces visionary/Palaceer Ishmael Butler has been my favorite rapper since like '93, but it's pretty thrilling to hear him making some of the most vital sounds we've ever heard in any genre more than 20 years later. After countless hours spent driving around bumping the new record, we'd agree with those that heard it for the first time dodging lasers that Lese Majesty is the future of hip-hop, if we thought that anyone else was capable of doing something this revelatory. Lese Majesty is out July 29 on Sub Pop, but you can cop "They Come In Gold" now on iTunes. UPDATE: pre-order the limited 2xLP "Loser Edition" of the album on purple vinyl here.