Monday, August 18, 2014

My Top 10 Songs of 2014 (So Far...)

It seems like everyone has a Top 10 list of new songs these days.   And that is a wonderful thing. It sparks conversation and debate.  It shares information.  It challenges you to pay attention.  So you ask what have I been listening to this year?  I'm going to tell you on one condition.  You have to share your list with me.

Brill Bruisers / The New Pornographers - It has been quite some time since the last New Pornographers album.  But when you have a super group like this one it's always hard to get all of the pieces in one place to do it.  A.C. Newman promised us great things to come with this one and he wasn't kidding.  The whimsy of this song makes me feel like I am riding a carousel with the Beach Boys.  It's poppy and vibrant in all of the right places.  I challenge you to not sing along to this song.   I am proud to announce the I will be when I see the in concert this fall.

You Can't Outrun 'Em / Jenny Lewis - I was a little worried at the beginning of this album but the eclectic mix proved to be so great I had trouble picking just one song for this list.  The Ryan Adams produced 'The Voyager' puts many hats on Jenny Lewis.  This song conjures up the spirit of 70's am radio.  I couldn't be happier after her long hiatus.

Broken Bones & Pocket Change / St. Paul & The Broken Bones - I've already raved about the soul revival of St. Paul & The Broken Bones.  Even better than the 50's evoking album version is seeing Paul himself sweat out the lyrics live in concert.  This song is and audio shot of heartbreak.  It is soulful and sentimental all at once.

Verlaine Shot Rimbaud / Lydia Loveless - It still blows my mind that a 23 year old can write deep and meaning music as well as Lydia Loveless.  The maturity and sadness that she emulates is vast and endless.  I sometimes feel like a needle on her dusty grooves as her songs invade my ears.  This song equates a love to the classic affair of Tom Verlaine from Television and his love and content for the work of Arthur Rimbaud.

Bad Self Portraits - Lake Street Dive - Sometimes the 'Similar Artists' tab at the bottom of Google Play is a godsend.  I was looking for similar artists to St. Paul and the Broken Bones when along came this gem of a find.  I was immediately in love with their blend of Indie Jazz.  Later that day I was in my favorite record store and Randy at The Man Cave dialed up their slow, sultry version of 'I Want You Back' and I nearly went berserk. It doesn't hurt that Rachael Price is easy on the eyes.  This is their latest offering of ear candy from their album of the same name. 

Gimme Something Good / Ryan Adams - Dear Mr. Adams, Thank you for finally releasing a new offering.  I miss how prolific you can be!  After the wonderful Glyn Johns produced Ashes & Fire he is set to release a self titled LP.  An EP on 45 is on its way as well.  The new song is grittier than the folky, low key Ashes & Fire.  It reminds me of the dirtier side of Whiskeytown.  I hope this is a preview of the upcoming release.

Red Eyes / The War On Drugs - I still want to know why it took me so long for me to learn of this band.  Especially since they are from Philly which is right in my back yard.  This track is like a dreamlike Dylan on a opiate induced train ride.  I can almost see the images blur by me while I listen.  It puts me at peace and just flat out makes me happy.  There are not too many songs that make me feel that way.

Death of an Old Bike / The Rosebuds - When taking long road trips by myself I often create a collaborative playlist on Spotify and ask friends of mine to fill it with songs that I should hear.  That is how I first learned of the Rosebuds.  Their sound was so wonderful that I left the playlist and just listened to their albums.  'Death of an Old Bike' is now perhaps more The Shins than The Shins.  The rest of the album is just as perfect.

A Little God In My Hands / The Swans - It is almost like staring at a car crash.  It is uneasy and fascinating at the same time.  The Swans challenge you emotionally with each note.  I was extremely upset when I learned the when I first learned of this release the Swans had already played in Philly the night before.  I can't imagine what it would have been like to hear this revolution in person.

Fall In Love / Phantogram -  I was really excited for the new Phantogram album.  'Eyelid Movies' was another album that I learned about through my collaborative Spotify playlists for long car rides.  When I finally got my hand on the new release, 'Voices',  I was a little disappointed as a whole.  This track stood out on the first listen though.  The dreamy melody from Josh Carter and lush vocals from Sarah Barthel are everything I love about combining TripHop and Shoegaze.

Honorable Mention - Stolen Dance /  Milky Chance - I will be honest.  I know nothing of this band.  While driving back from an F.C. Bayern Munich Soccer Match my 14 year old son was trying to stump me while playing songs from the 80's.  Puh-lease.  But then he said he came across a song that he liked that he had never heard before and he played me this.  I don't know what it is about this song but I can not seem to get enough of it.  I must not be the only one though.  The song has over 53 million plays on Spotify.

There you have it.  Now as promised you must share your list.  I welcome any disagreement.  I will just talk about you behind your back.


I will see you when the needle drops!



  1. I'm with the Swans, 100%! Great picks :)!

    1. You are only with me on the Swans?????

    2. Eeeehh! Swans are my top pick. You know I'm in with all of those songs! :P

  2. Appreciate the beat you're keeping with the blog.

    I also stumbled upon Lake Street Dive via a YouTube suggestion. I heard a live version of a fantastic cover of Such Great Heights done by Joy Kills Sorrow and went to YT to relive it. It turns out that the LSD's bassist Bridget Kearney was in that band. Apparently, Google knows everything. Anyway, check it out:

    1. Thank you Unhillbilly! I appreciate the kind words and the fact that you are reading this blog!!!

      I will definitely check that out. I can't really seem to get enough of this band. And Google DOES seem to know EVERYTHING...especially about


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