My favorite music of 2014

Best of 2014 Cover Art

I’m now really comfortable with the fact that it takes me until February to finalize my “best of” list for the previous year. I am at peace with the fact that I look at lots of other “best of 2014” compilations and borrow from them heavily. I realize my street cred is negatively impacted by these admissions, and I don’t mind. Here’s last year’s list. Download link at the bottom.

  1. Stronger Than That – Bahamas – Bahamas is Afie – Bahamas is my current favorite. Maybe that says something about my age or testosterone levels, but I just love the vibe of both of these records. Whole album is great, top to bottom. Perfect music for making dinner.
  2. Budapest – George Ezra – Wanted On Voyage – A little bit poppy, and kind of reminiscent of Bhi Bhimian off of my 2012 best of list.
  3. Dark Side of the Moon – Chris Staples – American Soft – Super chill, but I liked it more every time I listened to it.
  4. Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song) – Oscar Isaac & Marcus Mumford – Inside Llewyn Davis (Original Soundtrack Recording) – I do not consider myself a fan of Mumford and Sons. Maybe it’s because I’m not that big of a banjo fan, and I endorse the existence of this pedal. In any case, this song still found its way onto this playlist.
  5. 10,000 Emerald Pools – BØRNS – Candy EP – One of the many tracks I discovered from Paste. A little electronic-leaning for my normal tastes, but it still rocks.  Also, you can bet I copied and pasted this Ø in here.  I’ve got no idea how to type that.
  6. Carry Me Home – Hey Rosetta! – A Cup of Kindness Yet (EP) – Another paste find. Some of my tracks might have bad lyrics. I never really care unless they’re awful.
  7. Brother In the Night – The Weeks – Dear Bo Jackson – Kind of corny lyrics, these guys land somewhere between Kings of Leon (when they were good) and The Hold Steady.
  8. Awake – Tycho – Awake – I’m constantly building a playlist of instrumental music that I listen to while I work. I like the vibe and the mood of this one.
  9. Blank Space – Taylor Swift – 1989 – As much as I want to be a hater, I cannot. This is a pop masterpiece. “Shake it off” didn’t do it for me, but this track does.
  10. The Sticks – The Budos Band – Burnt Offering – At this point in my life, I do not like jam bands. I do not like the lazy over-reliance on that hammond organ tone (which this song starts out with). But I do love horns, and this jam just gets undeniably good pretty quickly.
  11. Call Me – St. Paul & The Broken Bones – Half the City – I saw these guys on David Letterman. The singer is white. Mind blown.
  12. Time Shows Fools – Justin Townes Earle – Single Mothers – I have a feeling if I went back and listened to this guys’ back catalog I would like a whole lot of it.
  13. Waitress Song – First Aid Kit – Stay Gold – I saw these Swedish whipper snappers in 2014. I expected a pleasant, mellow sit-down show. I was wrong – it was a very energetic crowd for a fantastic performance. The whole album is good, and I knew I’d include one of the songs off this album. Somehow I settled on this one.
  14. Language of the Dead – Delta Spirit – Into the Wide – I’ve liked this band for a while and this year’s list was running light on rock. This is a good rock song.
  15. Avant Gardener – Courtney Barnett – (Paste) The Best of 2014 – I found this track on Paste as well, and while I almost always go purchase the tracks that I like, the version available on iTunes isn’t the same (or as good) as this one.
  16. Shut In – Strand of Oaks – HEAL – No commentary, just give it a listen.
  17. Habits – Tove Lo – Queen of the Clouds – I was on the fence about this one. Seems like it might be a bit of an indie “flash in the pan,” but whenever the song starts I want to listen to the whole thing.
  18. Inside Out – Spoon – They Want My Soul – I haven’t even had a chance to listen to this whole Spoon album beginning to end, but this song has a good groove, and Spoon does grooves well.  And if you dig this song, you must check out the Song Exploder podcast episode which tells its story.
  19. Every Time the Sun Comes Up – Sharon Van Etten – Are We There – Relatively sparse backing track, heavy on the bass, lazy female vocal. Works for me almost every time.
  20. All I’ve Ever Known – Bahamas – Bahamas is Afie – The other piece of bread in this Bahamas sandwich, this seemed like a fitting closing track for the list and the year.


DOWNLOAD ZIP of all tracks HERE



One Response to “My favorite music of 2014”

  1. Peter S. says:

    Good post Whit. I had some of the same tunes on my list. Also liked tunes from Rural Alberta Advantage, Benjamin Booker, Blake Mills, Mike Doughty, Frazey Ford, Shovels & Rope, Luther Dickinson, Camper Van Beethoven, Tweedy and Conor Oberst — to name a few. Cheers.