As always, difficult to condense. I’ve mentioned time and again that this was a rough year for me (and a lot of people), thank goodness there’s always music to get through it. Here’s hoping for a more upbeat playlist next year.
20. All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
Discovered this early thanks to my roommate Sadie finding it and getting me hooked. I declared it the “Call Me Maybe of 2014” on June 23.
19. Make Me Change My Mind – Zoe Muth
A country heartache standout on an album that was just barely out of my top 10. “Who needs a long run / when you’ve got the short end / of everything you try to get a hold of” one of the lyrics summing up my 2014.
18. The One – The Sugar Stems
A Milwaukee band! The entire album is full of poppy gems and most will go with the title track, but this one also stood out for me.
17. Turtles All The Way Down – Sturgill Simpson
This song tricked me into listening to and liking a country album. Wonderful to hear a deep country voice singing about philosophy instead of NASCAR. “Love’s the only thing that ever saved my life” punches me in the gut after a rough year.
16. Just One of the Guys – Jenny Lewis
Speaking of gut punches, this song debuted the week I had someone very cruelly point out that I’m not having kids, whilst I was in the midst of reeling from a terrible breakup at 34. So even though I’m undecided on that still, I will admit to doubling over at “No matter how hard I try to have an open mind / There’s a little clock inside that keeps ticking / There’s only one difference between you and me / When I look at myself, all I can see / I’m just another lady without a baby”.
15. Red Eyes – The War on Drugs
This song drives deep into that Dire Straits-loving part of me. With added “Whoos”.
14. Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone – Lykke Li
Lykke Li’s break up added new, hauntingly beautiful music to my standard rotation of Amy Winehouse and Elliott Smith. This was one of the more hopeful songs on the record and it still makes me want to curl up and cry.
13. Don’t Want to Lose – Ex Hex
I did rock a bit this year, not just cry. This whole album is pure rock-pop gold.
12. Digital Witness – St. Vincent
Hard to pick just one song from Annie Clark. This one drew so much from her work with David Byrne though and is a delightful social commentary.
11. Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
“Haters gonna hate hate hate hate.” I think the shared love of this with Craig, Brooke & Becky bumped this delicious pop nugget up my list. And it should just be my motto moving past 2014. Dance parties always make everything better. (Although where’s my “fella over there with the hella good hair?”)
10. Coffee – Sylvan Esso
Just so pretty.
9. So Blonde – EMA
Half a life time ago I would’ve driven around blaring this song on Oregon backroads dreaming about running away to a city. Bought this album on vinyl at Amoeba, just to lay in my bedroom in the city and listen to this song on repeat.
8. Wine Lips – Lydia Loveless
Who hasn’t been there? Welcome back to being single. Mwah.
7. Pendulum – FKA Twigs
During a year where I constantly felt I just wasn’t good enough for people I thought cared about me despite all my efforts, a lyric like “So lonely trying to be yours”…Yeah, I identified with this track more than “Two Weeks.”
6. Talking Backwards – Real Estate
A song for a year where I felt Mercury was in retrograde for 365 days.
5. The Charade – D’Angelo and The Vanguard
Getting my head out of my personal pain and acknowledging it’s been a shitty one for America too. The country needs this song. I wish more people would actually listen to it.
4. Hey Girl – Tacocat
The most upbeat song about sexual harassment you’ll ever hear! And the video is fantastic. I pretty much listen to this every time I encounter I particularly bad catcall, so um, daily.
3. The Body Electric – Hurray For The Riff Raff
Staying political…America needs this song too. Stop shooting people!
2. I’m Not A Part of Me – Cloud Nothings
I guess this is the part where I admit to liking Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” and admit to how this song hooked me that way. It’s also a song about shedding your past personal failures and moving ahead…in the catchiest way possible.
1. Hi-Five – Angel Olsen
This song sounds to me like Patsy Cline in outer space. While I identified with and could’ve easily picked any of the songs on this album, the short story of “Hi-Five”, of latching on to any connection to emerge from loneliness…well high five, Angel, you nailed it.
On Spotify (minus T. Swizzle):