08 January 2015


I'm truly excited to share this collection of sounds that captured my ear, heart and mind in 2014. Really dig SoundCloud these days -- easily my go-to for discovering new music. Also continue to find new stuff on Noisetrade, the ISO50 blog and SiriusXM's AltNation and XMU. Another source of new music finds comes to me through Twitter. I finally got into Spotify a bit, but only as a "free-listener," so I'm really only listening to artists I know on there. I purchased a couple CDs, a handful of vinyl and the rest through iTunes, bandcamp or directly from an artist. Below are my song and album of the year, followed by a bunch of my favorite sounds from 2014, including my video of the year. Enjoy!

Tycho - Awake
The lead single from Tycho's album of the same name, Awake, captured my ear early in the year and held it's place for the duration of 2014 to take its place as my co-song of the year, despite stiff competition from the likes of Missio, Loud Harp and Duologue.
     Tycho - Montana
Another standout track from Awake, my album of the year. More good vibes here on this one!

The Liturgists - Vapor
I've shed a lot of tears (of every nature) this past year while listening to this co-song of the year. It means more to me on so many levels then I could ever hope to explain in words. Meaningless. Meaningless. Everything is meaningless. We are but vapor. He is holy; set apart. Yet we are loved so dearly.

Loud Harp - (73) Nearness of You
Asaph, the album on which this track is found, is an epic soundtrack to a life lived for a greater purpose than the advancement of oneself. The songs are about Truth. And Asher Seevinck (aka Seafinch) sings his heart out on this track from the most unique album of 2014 -- each song written as a direct response to the old poems of the Psalms. (77) Take Heart is another favorite from this album.

Missio - I Run to You
Sparse, yet dense. Sonic, yet grounded. Minimal, yet beautifully layered. Every listen draws you further in.

Duologue - Operator
This song plays over the speakers in a noisy, hipster coffee shop and you turn to your bearded friend and ask if Thom York released new music. His answer, of course, is yes, that whole BitTorrent experiment; but this is not that, this is an obscure British band named Duologue. Your friend knows this because he uses Noisetrade, who says of the London five-piece, "Their [music] is an immersive experience intended to be absorbed and cherished with repeated listens, not to be heard once on laptop speakers and disregarded. Much like a great novel, this one is hard to put down and will stay with you forever." Well said.

Beck - Wave
The lush, minimal, sonic landscape draws you in deeply...just in time for the song to end. This track could have been 7 minutes long, and would have been that much better for it.

Crowder - Come As You Are
At some point in the last few years, David Crowder stopped shaving; but he never stopped making great music. His new solo album, Neon Steeple, is a continuation of the heartfelt, down-to-earth songwriting that made the now-defunct David Crowder Band one of my favorites. He also puts on a pretty good live show/rave/hoedown as he seamlessly blends genres.

Future Islands - Seasons (Waiting On You)
This band is what present-day Elton John would sound like if he made another Yellow Brick Road.

Knox Hamilton - Work It Out
Upbeat, indie/alt rock tune that'll be stuck in your head for hours...and that's a good thing!

Air Review - Young
Light and airy, sing-along, indie-pop that just so happens to hold video-of-the-year honors for one of the most visually stunning and creative videos I have seen in a long time.

alt-J - Hunger of the Pine
This track sets you up like its all chill and soul. And then the beat drops with that signature sample that will run circles around your head for a while. And the layers just build from there before the Gregorian-esq chants kick in to bring us some final closure.
  MMOTHS - Santo
Wide-open, expansive soundscape that gets serious just before the three-minute mark. This song would work well as a modern choral piece (with electronic accompaniment) inside a Gothic cathedral.

Rival Consoles - 3 Chords
Massive distorted bass lines drive this dark, slow-building banger; but don't miss the subtle rays of light that seem to break through near the end.

Com Truise - Wave 1
More of that lo-fi chill wave from one of our favorite labels, Ghostly International, which also happens to be the musical home of Tycho.

Sam Sure - Hunger
Intelligent pop all mellowed out with that smooth electronic production and those British vocals, which just a touch of the auto-tune, but for effect, not voice correction. And the end is all glitched-up. First class stuff here.

VÉRITÉ - Strange Enough
Indie-pop that brings the perfect energy.

First Aid Kit - My Silver Lining
I have to admit that this pick is highly influenced by the use of this song in the short film, AFTERGLOW -- the pairing of that indie/wild-west-country sound with the deep, powdery snow and acrobatics of the skiers is just oddly perfect. But the song definitely has independent staying power.

Shipman - Ship
Simple, feel-good singer-songwriter pop. This is just so clean and refreshing!

Stephen Santos - Handle
A Spirit-breathed, emotionally raw song that speaks of a love that defies earthly definition.

The Native Sibling - Darkest Of Night Skies
As the name implies, this brother and sister duo deliver unique harmonies on an indie singer-songwriter gem.

Twin Forks - Back To You
Everyone's favorite emo frontman, Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional fame, returns with a new band and a new, slightly less emo sound, although his signature vocals are still recognizable. And their self-titled, debut album is solid and will appeal to former(?) emo fans and the current indie-folk crowd, alike!

Previously: 2013 IN SOUND . 2012 IN SOUND . 11 IN SOUND . twenty-ten in sound . 08 IN SOUND . 2007 In Song . Six for '06

1 comment:

Tim Beck said...

that's a solid list of great music.