This might be the only year I've adhered to the year-end list standards I put forth the previous year (although I don't want to go through the effort of finding out). Below, you'll find my 15 favorite albums of 2014, along with a song from each. And underneath that list, you'll find a playlist of my 50 favorite tracks of 2014 (technically 49, but Drag City doesn't share Ty Segall).
This year I had an easier time than usual selecting 15 albums (I own 11 of the 15 albums on vinyl), but since I try to listen to so many new tracks, culling a list down to 50 is extremely hard. To make my life a little easier, I limit myself to only one track per artist (which is why I paired alternate songs with my album list). To see a broader list of what got my attention in 2014, check out (almost) everything I shared on my blog here.
In 2015, I resolve to find a way to integrate hip-hop into the mix. I listen to a fair amount, but it occupies a different side of my brain than almost everything else I share, so I'd like to give it its own attention. And if you're curious, this pretty much sums up my year in hip-hop.
Thanks again to everyone who shared their favorite 2014 tunes with me. You can view their selections here and listen here. I'll be sharing some of my favorite discoveries from those lists soon.
Against Me! // Transgender Dysphoria Blues
If you ever need to work through frustration, I recommend cranking this record up to 11.
LISTEN: True Trans Soul Rebel
Angel Olsen // Burn Your Fire For No Witness
Its combination of tenderness and raucous energy kept me coming back for more.
BRONCHO // Just Enough Hip To Be A Woman
This record is full of absolutely infectious rock tunes that beg you sing and dance along.
LISTEN: Class Historian
Chad VanGaalen // Shrink Dust
The album art is still unsettling, but I've more than settled into its airy choruses.
Future Islands // Singles
They got everyone's attention this year on national TV, including mine, and provided one my my favorite Sioux Falls musical moments this summer.
Mac DeMarco // Salad Days
DeMarco's zest for life and meandering riffs make Salad Days a must-have for any record collector.
LISTEN: Salad Days
Mitski // Bury Me At Makeout Creek
This record came out of nowhere to rock my socks off.
LISTEN: Texas Reznikoff
Ought // More Than Any Other Day
If you listen to this record loud enough, it will make you a vibrating, interpretive dancer.
LISTEN: The Weather Song
Perfume Genius // Too Bright
Mike Hadreas writes and perfumes music like his soul insists on it.
Sondre Lerche // Please
I've always enjoyed Sondre Lerche, but watching him perform this album live cemented its case as one of my favorites this year.
St. Vincent // St. Vincent
Easily one of the most magnetic performers I've ever witnessed.
LISTEN: Severed Crossed Fingers
Strand Of Oaks // Heal
This was a sneaky pick. Every time I turned this record on, I liked it more and more.
LISTEN: Same Emotions
Twins Peaks // Wild Onion
All sixteen tracks are ready to party.
LISTEN: Strawberry Smoothie
Ty Segall // Manipulator
My only gripe with this record is that it's not on Spotify, because it means I can't hear "The Singer" on my favorite tracks list.
LISTEN: The Singer
Viet Cong // Cassette
Technically this is an EP, but its seven songs equal the amount of tracks on their forthcoming "debut" record. Keep an eye on Viet Cong in 2015.
LISTEN: Static Wall