2014: The Year in Music

December 31, 2014 — by The Social Clymer



2014: The Year in Music

December 31, 2014 — by The Social Clymer

The music list the world has been waiting for... the 2014 Social Clymer Year in Music!

What a great and surprising year for music.  I continued to try to scour the world for new music (Hozier, Bahamas, Bleachers, Hiss Golden Messenger and many more!) and found a lot of great stuff that first saw the light in 2014.  I also reconnected with my own distant musical past – an exercise that helped make me even hungrier to find new music.  It’s interesting how those two searches fed on themselves and made me a better listener.  I’ve put together my favorite 100 songs of 2014.  I tried the best I could to keep it to songs that were new in 2014, but a few from the end of 2013 and a few highlights from my Music DNA project made it, too.  Here’s a look at the recent past, the distant past and how they came together for me in 2014. (Note: I was just as caught up in Sam Smith and other amazing music this year, but wanted to focus here on some things that you may not have heard.)

Here is the rest of the top 100.  It’s dominated by my base of acoustic indie bands, but I think you’ll find something in there for just about everybody.

My favorite band of the year was The 1975.  They kind of surprised me with their catchy self-titled debut album.  A couple of the singles were released in mid 2013 and were a lot of fun, then they released the album in September of last year.  It got into the rotation and then eventually began to dominate the rotation as the year went on.  Much like Two Door Cinema Club did with Tourist History in 2010, The 1975 became 2014’s go to band for a catchy tune that would help pick up my mood or get sung too loudly in the car.  Take a listen to Girls below and I think you’ll see what I mean.

I love the the video makes fun of itself and is a nod to Robert Palmer’s great videos from the 80s.

When my musical year launched with a full on obsession with James Vincent McMorrow‘s moving Cavalier, I thought that it was going to be a pretty quiet and emotional year for music. Being familiar with his past as more of a folk-based artist, it was great to hear this other side of him as more of an R&B crooner with an unbelievable falsetto.  I never thought the song could be captured and performed this way live, but I was wrong.  It’s even more amazing.

Despite my love for dark, emotional music, there was plenty of room for fun.

One happy track that had me coming back every week was Bleacher’s Rollercoaster.  Take a listen and I think you’ll be addicted and ready to open the sun roof and sing at the top of your lungs.

Like I said at the top of this post, it was also a great year to reconnect with music from the past.  I didn’t fill the list with it, but there were a few standouts that dominated my playlist.  Whenever I Call You Friend is a song that I had all but forgotten, but it’s a great testament to the talent of Kenny Loggins (go ahead, throw cabbage at me if you want, but that dude can sing) and the best duet partner of the last 100 years Stevie Nicks. My favorite thing about looking back was a connection with R&B music.  It was a great year to look back on classics by Gladys Knight and the Pips (I still think I would have made a good Pip).  My favorite song from the past, though was Use Me by Bill Withers.  That dude is amazing.  Here is is singing the song live.

Beyond the incredible performance, my favorite thing about this video is the conversation about the drummer in the comments.  Is he Snoop Dogg’s father?  I can’t answer that, but I can certainly agree with this comment…

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 5.59.26 PM

Leave me a comment and let me know if you think I missed out on anything!  Be sure to check out We All Want Someone to Shout For’s Artists to Watch in 2015.  Will has an amazing ear and he’s usually right!




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