2014 may not have been the best year for music, but it certainly was an eventful one. Reunions, breakups, an entire U2 album suddenly on our phones for no reason, more reunions, revivals, that same U2 album being called the best of the year by Rolling Stone…you get the idea. Nonetheless, there was lot to love about this past year, and this list below is the result of me doing my best to organize the things I loved the most. Enjoy.
Killer Mike and El-P have proven once again that their joint project is among the hip-hop elite, this time by putting out the genre’s best record of 2014. No-nonsense lyrics, in-your-face flows, and dazzlingly inventive production…what more could you want?
The Wonder Years’s Dan Campbell decides to pick up a guitar, and what does he do with it? He goes and writes a concept album about love, loss, depression, and finding oneself…while speaking from the perspective of a fictional character. Somehow, though, he made it all work, and managed to create something that we can all relate to on some level.
How does one describe Swans in just a few sentences? It seems almost impossible to put the pure sonic genius of Michael Gira and co. into words, so I’ll leave it at this: There’s just nothing else out there like it.
The Hotelier didn’t make the most abrasive or hard-hitting punk record of the year. Instead, they delivered what’s possibly the most transparent and brutally honest one of the decade so far. An emotional roller coaster from start to finish.
Atmospheric, simple, and just plain beautiful – Benji is without a doubt my favorite record of the year. Mark Kozelek, despite his questionable behavior towards the end of the year, just might be at the top of this game as both a musician and a lyricist. This is music to stare at the ceiling to.
Most Anticipated: Brand New