50. Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk ft Bruno Mars
Here’s the history of my love for “Uptown Funk”. Saw Mark Ronson was dropping a song with Bruno Mars and an appearance on SNL was booked before the world even heard the song. Downloaded the song within the hour it came online and added it at the last minute to my November mixtape. Haven’t stopped listening to it/watching the music video since its release. By far one of the most fun songs of the 2014.
49. Duke Dumont – I Got U ft Jax Jones
2014 may have been the year I fully embraced deep house-inspired tracks like “I Got U” and listened to them outside of weekend hours. “I Got U” had the tropical percussion, ideal Whitney Houston-like vocalist and a pop glorious hook that I played more than my iTunes play count suggest.
48. Rural Alberta Advantage-On The Rocks
The rolling percussion of “On The Rocks” may have drew me in initially (seriously, what is happening with those cymbals?). However, the heartbreak, crashing piano and buzzy guitar kept me coming back for more.
47. Spoon – Inside Out
They Want My Soul’s hits were plentiful, but Inside Out was certainly my most played of the set. The glowing soundscape and metaphorical lyrics hit me in different ways depending on the listen, but were interesting each time. Britt Daniel’s narrative outlined the gravitational pull of a love just out of reach and repellent of religion made for compelling storytelling.
46. Curtis Harding – Keep On Shining
We all know I’m a sucker for nostalgic turns at soul and funk (see Cody Chesnutt, Mayer Hawthorne, “Uptown Funk”, among others), but Harding’s groove-filled cut “Keep On Shining” was as close to the real thing as it gets.
45. Holychild – Happy With Me
Holychild had a lot of competition in 2014, but they carried the torch as top new indie pop male/female duo in 2014. The sugary sweet hook and production of “Happy With Me” was the breakthrough, but the entirety of the Mindspeak EP was worthy of fanfare. That percussion sounds better than your average indie pop drum also.
44. Run The Jewels – Blockbuster Night Pt. 1
I feel like grad school kept me from touting Killer Mike & El P’s second opus as Run The Jewels as much as I’d liked. Just know that I’ll be making up for lost time on this list and the top albums countdown. Can’t you just imagine these two causing a ruckus with “Blockbuster Night Pt. 1” as the bruising soundtrack?
43. FKA Twigs- Pendulum
Oh to see inside the mind of FKA twigs. The song title for one of the young artist’s many great narratives aptly matches the storyline. She pines, reflects, cynically jests and eventually acknowledges her pained feelings throughout “Pendulum”, but lamentably swings right back to her troublesome lover over a sonically diverse production.
42. BANKS – Beggin For Thread
Much like FKA Twigs, Ms. Jillian Banks aka BANKS knows how to get sultry too. “Beggin For Thread” is more about embracing your own eccentricities than drooling over someone else’s though. Instead of the heartbreak BANKS often endures, the intoxicating track sews shredded memories with her own trusty needle.
41. The War On Drugs – Red Eyes
[Placeholder where I talk about how The War On Drugs do such an amazing job of ‘80’s inspired rock that I have to doublecheck that songs like “Red Eyes” aren’t actually from 1985] Seriously, “Red Eyes” made me wish I spent more time with Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen anthems from that era.