End o’ the Year Playlist

It’s gotten to the point where my temptation for end of the year lists almost outweighs my longing for Christmas. Not because I ever agree with those of major publications (really, Rolling Stone? U2 and their invasive album is the best of the year?), but because these lists ramp up my argumentative nature and prepare me for the “no, this album’s better!” battles I’m sure to be having with friends and family this time of year.

That’s why I’m ecstatic to be releasing my very own Best Albums of 2014 list later this week, as well as today’s playlist, which features all the songs I couldn’t shake this year.

The irony is that a few of these songs were widely popular, and played almost to death on the radio. Usually that kind of music turns me off instantaneously, but the indie connotations and creativity of songs like Vance Joy’s “Riptide” and Milky Chance’s “Stolen Dance” made their popularity very okay by my standards.

There was also the impressive solo debut from Hamilton Leithauser, former frontman for The Walkmen, who showed with songs such as “Alexandra” his unique vocals will always sell albums, be they backed by a band or not.

A ton of good rap came out this year, and while nothing from Run The Jewels made my fave songs list (Spoiler alert! You’ll see them in my Best Of albums list later this week, of course.), some excellent others did. The combination of Future, Pusha T, Casino and Pharrell Williams (who is nicely out of his element on this track – this ain’t no Robin Thicke jam) for “Move That Dope” is genius, leaning heavy on old school formula with the injection of just the right amount of modernized beats.

DJ Snake and Lil Jon also crushed it with “Turn Down for What”, as did Big Sean and E-40 for “I Don’t Fuck With You”. The latter just makes me laugh, and I don’t see it as offensive, it’s just a guy stating his fed up feelings for his needy ex, loud and clear.

Maybe my #1 for the year was Angel Olsen’s “High Five”, though – girl released a terrific solo full-length debut with Burn Your Fire for No Witness, and don’t be surprised if she ends up here to stay.

There were also a slew of top drawer videos this year, but major props belong to Queen Bey and her fantastic linked-to-the-lyrics choreography of “7/11”. Enjoy:

So with that, congrats, 2014 – you left a lot of good tunes ringing in my ear. What did I forget, though? What other songs rocked your year, sweet blog followers?


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