The Best of 2014.

Holy shit what a great year for music. Seemed like every Tuesday morning was Christmas morning. So on this actual Christmas morning, I decided to put together two 2014 recaps. Below are my 5 favorite albums released in 2014. And below that are my top 20 songs of 2014.

Hope ya dig. Without further ado:

#5 — Sylvan Esso “Sylvan Esso”

Girl can sing. Guy can spin. And the debut album by these two was a special one. And when I say, “girl can sing,” she’s got major pipes. Like, for real. And the album leans into them. The entire album is stellar, starting off with one of my favorite tracks of the year (found on the top 20 below) Hey Mami. Here’s another one you might have heard:

#4 — Fryars “Power”

My introduction to Fryars’ sophomore release was irregular. He released his entire album as a short film. It’s an interesting little video thingie. Lots of old footage and dream dissection. And the music itself seems to alternate back and forth from happier upbeat tracks to slower, sadder ones. It’s a bit bipolar, but in a good way. That said, if you’ve got some time to kill, watch the video. Otherwise, check out the songs In My Arms and On Your Own.

#3 — Rain Dog “Two Words”

Rain Dog, who hails from the UK, released this record early in January of 2014. I was waiting for it. And if you like intricate percussion, deep and warm bass, and talented production without a lot of vocals, this is a disc you should certainly check out. This whole album does stuff to my brain. Weird, beautiful stuff. And it’s been living in my headphones all year long. Other tracks to check out aside from the one below include Like A Lame Man Stepping, Regolith and Once. Supposedly there’s another Rain Dog release on the horizon. I hope that’s true.

#2 — Run The Jewels “Run The Jewels 2"

The second release from Killer Mike and El-P, Run The Jewels 2 just doesn’t let up. At all. It’s such a solid record front to back — filled with aggression and anger but presented in a thoughtful and supremely well-spoken way. Seeing this album on this list should be no surprise, Pitchfork named it their best album of 2014, as have others. And it’s deserved. If for some reason this is your introduction to it, please have a listen:

#1 — TAPES “Finding”

I wish I knew more about TAPES. I really do. I know he’s from the states. And I know that 2014 was his coming out party. It began in mid-July with a release of his song Find Y.O.U. a dancey, deep bass-filled trap(ish?) jam. It’s firmly cemented in my top 20 songs of 2014, and that was before the rest of his album dropped.

Finding is a dancey masterpiece. The first two tracks — which include Find Y.O.U. — set the tone for the rest of the record. Which never relents. The last 4 songs are all insanely great. If you’re looking for music to test out a new subwoofer or to pace you on a long run, toss this in. Best of all, it’s a free download over at Bandcamp. Here’s a taste:

I’m super curious, what were your favorite albums/songs of the year?

But in addition to these fine albums, I also put together a mix of my favorite 20 songs from 2014. Have a listen:

Merry Xmas, ears.
Happy New Year, peeps.

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