To continue our end of the year lists, we give you LxL’s favorite songs of 2014:
20. “Interference Fits” – Perfect Pussy
“Fuzzy” and “Driving” are just two adjectives to describe the perfect track off Perfect Pussy’s debut album. Watching this band evolve should be fun.
19. “Do You” – Spoon
Would it even be possible for pop-magic-machine Spoon to release an album without having at least a couple songs in the running for our top 20 list? No, your answer is no.
18. “Blockbuster Night Part 1” – Run The Jewels
The best song on the best rap album of 2014. “Blockbuster” further cements El-P as a producer without rival, and both MC’s deliver killer contributions.
17. “Tall Man, Skinny Lady” – Ty Segall
A grungy, bluesy bit of pop coming from an always under-appreciated Ty Segall. This song is instantly reminiscent of great times from your past, even from before the track came out.
16. “Everytime the Sun Comes Up” – Sharon Van Etten
Van Etten has turned consistent critical success into being a downright darling while also gaining more than a modest fan base with her latest record. The moody “Everytime” encapsulates her method and madness to this success.
15. “Look Ahead” – Future
This track JUST WON’T QUIT. Once Future starts in, inertia carries him furiously towards the checkered flag. Take this man very seriously.
14. “Hot Dreams” – Timber Timbre
One thing I am sure of is that this is definitely a song. And a good one.
13. “Uptown Funk” – Marc Ronson (Ft. Bruno Mars)
Mark Ronson’s Bruno Mars vehicle is a delicious throwback. Do I like Bruno Mars now? God, I hope not, but his just-jagged-enough vocal performance is pure joy.
12. “The Charade” – D’Angelo
Black Messiah‘s production is overall flawless, but “Charade” is in our opinion the tent pole track we will look back on in 15 years….when D’Angelo’s next album comes out.
11. “Slippery Slopes” – Jenny Lewis
Austin’s favorite track of the year reminded him of “Drunk Nirvana”. Like if the band Nirvana was drunk (or drunker?) and had the indie female voice of a generation carrying the vocals.
10. “Under the Pressure” – The War on Drugs
During a festival this year, Mark Kozelek basically used his stage as a soap box to preach against these guys. Sorry Mark, we chose sides.
9. “Little Fang” – Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks
A fun, happy little ditty that is sung to the hearts of all those gad-dern millennial out there who think they are special. Although the rest of the album was not exactly something special, this songs shines through.
8. “Two Weeks” – FKA Twigs
FKA Twigs came on in a big way this year. If “Two Weeks” is any indication, her take on alt-electronic music will be a theme here on LxL in the coming years.
7. “Blue Moon” – Beck
It has been a long time since Beck has captured us in such a personal way, but Morning Phase does it on almost every track, with “Blue Moon” being the most irresistible.
6. “Never Catch Me – Flying Lotus (Ft. Kendrick Lamar)
After Q-Tip, Kendrick may be the perfect complement to jazzy instrumentation. I think it’s because he works with the music rather than against it, as showcased on “Never Catch Me”.
5. “Careful You” – TV On The Radio
TVOTR still has it. At least in spurts. “Careful You” demonstrates the pop sensibility they have always been known for.
4. “Prince Johnny” – St. Vincent
St. Vincent’s latest album was not quite as accessible as her last, but still quite stunning. “Prince Johnny” is maybe the strongest contribution to music as art.
3. “High Ball Stepper” – Jack White
We don’t often go so bonkers over instrumental tracks, but let’s be honest, this track is worthy of high marks, vocals or not.
2. “Avant Gardener” – Courtney Barnett
One of the few tracks to make it on all three of our individual lists, “Avant Gardener” is the perfect introduction to Barnett’s charming, rambling style.
1. “Queen” – Perfume Genius
The best song on the best album of the year is also the best song of the year. Doesn’t usually work out that way, but Perfume Genius’ “Queen” is so singularly moving musically and lyrically, we couldn’t resist.
The “Just Missed Our List” list:
Austin: “Shake It Off” – Taylor Swift
Austin has a lot of haters that he is shakin’ off for 2015. All thanks to his leading inspiration, Taylor.
Wes: “The Body Electric” – Hurray for the Riff Raff
This is a really good song, just didn’t have the oomph to put it over the top. Simple folk country just never quite gets it’s due.
Todd: “Coffee” – Sylvan Esso
Leave it to Todd to pick a song with the title of the most hipster drink ever. Typical.