Written and curated by Abby Bischoff. You can follow Abby on Instagram and Twitter. You can also follow Abby's "Abandoned: South Dakota" series on Facebook and the Abandoned website.
Abby's Favorite Songs of 2014
alt-J // Every Other Freckle
Sometimes I think I don’t really like a band that much. alt-J was one such band, but by this fall, anytime I heard the opening bits of this track, I’d crank my radio. Well played guys, well played.
Alvvays // Archie, Marry Me
Give me sunny, female surf rock or give me death.
Black Lips // Boys in the Wood
2014 saw some of my favorite acts release new stuff. What the new Black Keys album lacked in grit and attitude, the Black Lips made up for it and then some.
Damien Rice // I Don’t Want to Change You
I love sad music. Any of my friends can confirm this. So, while my boy Ray Lamontagne got all cheerful (NO THANK YOU), Damien Rice came back after 8 years as grumpy and lonesome and beautiful as ever.
Father John Misty // Bored in the USA
This song is beautiful and weird and political and amazing.
Jenny Lewis // Just One of The Guys
My jam. Still.
Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj // Bang Bang
I could pretend to be cool and act like I don’t like well crafted pop music but then I’d be a big liar. This tune anchored by Jessie J (who could sing the phone book) was everything a fun, summer pop song should be. And I don’t even need to be carried like a baby to listen to it.
Jessie Ware // Say You Love Me
Living somewhere between Robyn and Adele, Jessie Ware’s effortless, electronic-tinged album was a 4th quarter delight for me. I love me a British songstress.
Sam Smith // Not In That Way
Let’s just get all those pop songs out of the way now. If you don’t like Sam Smith you don’t have a soul or ears. This sad song is the saddest of songs and the best. Almost as good as his cover of Whitney Houston’s "How Will I Know".
Johnnyswim // Falling for Me
Following in the footsteps of folk-pop groups like The Civil Wars, Lone Bellow and Shovels & Rope, Johnnyswim made me fall in love with them as soon as I saw their NPR Tiny Desk set. This husband & wife duo are just the cutest.
L.C. Cooke // Put Me Down Easy
Easily my favorite music story of 2014. 50 years after the planned release of his first album, L.C. Cooke (Sam Cooke’s brother) put his music into the world. Held back because of his brother’s death, L.C.’s new/old material filled the need I’ve always felt for additional Sam Cooke music.
Nickel Creek // Where Is Love Now
When Nickel Creek split up nearly a decade a go, I cried. Like, really cried. Their album Why Should the Fire Die? is easily one of my favorite albums ever (it’s dark and sad and perfect) and they split soon after. I worried I’d never get to hear my favorite alt-bluegrass act again. When I saw them on their reunion tour in Minneapolis this spring, Sara Watkins (who sings lead on the track) was a revelation for me. The time apart gave her voice a depth and texture I’d never noticed before.
Ought // Habit
Easily my favorite song of 2014. It’s a little loose and a little pissed off and a little melancholy. It’s perfect in it’s imperfections.
PHOX // In Due Time
I loved PHOX’s album and this slower tune from the group. I can’t really describe what I love about it, but I dig it (and it’s got one of the higher play counts on this list).
Saint Pepsi // Fiona Coyne
#1 summer jam material right here, folks. Undeniably catchy tune that makes any sort of household chore enjoyable.
Shakey Graves // Dearly Departed
You might know him as the reason Matt & Julie broke up the first time on Friday Night Lights, but then you’d be weird. Harder to find a catchier tune than this one by the Austin, TX act.
Sharon Van Etten // Every Time the Sun Comes Up
Are We There was probably my favorite album of 2014 and narrowing it down to one track from Sharon was nearly impossible. But, as I listened to the album again and those first driving beats come in, I knew this was the tune. The album artwork shows a woman hanging her head out a car window and is most likely the most appropriate album artwork ever.
Sisyphus // Rhythm of Devotion
Sufjan Stevens isn’t just for Christmas music anymore! I kid. But, this tune was another one of my favorite SUMMER JAMS!
Sun Kil Moon // Ben’s My Friend
Another one of those weird, rambling tunes that just delights the crap out of me. An ordinary day wrapped up in an extraordinary song.
Twin Shadow // To The Top
An '80s power ballad in every way, this song off of the OH MY GOD IS IT OUT YET album from Twin Shadow has me hungry for this album to finally drop this coming spring nearly a full year from when this single was released.