I’m lucky to be blessed with awesome friends who have equally awesome taste in music. Over the last few weeks the chat about our top tracks, gigs and albums of the year has been filling our conversations, and Jamie has been kind enough to jot down some of his own thoughts on the songs that have made his ‘Best of 2014.’
Cloud Nothings – Pattern Walks
I could really insert any track from Here And Nowhere Else in this spot. All visceral gut punchers and heart kickers boasting colossal sounds with a kinetic spine.
ScHoolboy Q – Man Of The Year
Boast song of the year and a total celebration of hedonism. Really great work with the sample aswell.
Shabazz Palaces – Dawn In Luxor
Wondrous and unorthodox as ever. Must be a great feeling to be such a unique band in this current climate. What makes it work is that they’re not trying to be different and odd, it just feels so natural.
Real Estate – Talking Backwards
Soft and warming. The guitars float on a message most of us can relate to.
Wild Beasts – Palace
The juxtaposition of both old and new Wild Beasts really shines through. It tiptoes around with all elements in beautiful unison. You feel ties to previous album closer End Come To Soon, but this backs down from the rousing finale that had and yet doesn’t leave you cold.
The War On Drugs – Under The Pressure
The opening song from ‘Lost In The Dream’ sets the tone perfectly. You know what to expect and you get it. A blustery autumnal ride that makes you want to wrap up warm and go for a walk with no set destination.
Caribou – Can’t Do Without You
A lush tune filled with breeze and a great sense of escapism. Dan Snaith is such a safe pair of hands in any of his monikers.
Nao + AK Paul – So Good
In the absence of his brother Jai, AK aka Anup Paul teams up with new girl Nao and utilises the little production quirks that sets them apart. Chock-full of spritely life and buoyancy.
Ben Khan – Youth
In a similar vein the absence of Jai Paul has made space for admirers to step up. This is the best track from the bunch. My song of the summer and delivers such a strong feeling when it kicks in.
EMA – Satellites
Industrial fuzz that paints a bleak picture.
Jamie XX – Sleep Sound
Impossible for him not to conjure magic from his fingers. You can loose yourself in every single one of his songs and this is no different.
The Antlers – Palace
So delicate you think it could crumble in your ears at any moment. The brass adds a wonderfully different texture and the lyrics thick as ever with melancholy play their part and set the scene for what is to come.
Coldplay – Midnight
A fairly brave step at the time and a really interesting standalone piece that gets the right balance of ingredients. From what other new songs i’ve heard sadly this is the only time they get the recipe spot on.
Sylvan Esso – Coffee
Has a slight feel of a one hit wonder, but is perky, fun and sticks in your head.
iLoveMakonnen + Drake – Tuesday
Guilty pleasure and very much a leave your brain at the door (of the club) song. He’s not very good, but has an odd magnetism to him. Great story about how this all came together.
Metronomy – I’m Aquarius
Very poignant and considered. The layers are beautifully crafted and it all really stands out in a rather disappointing album.
Flying Lotus + Kendrick Lamar – Never Catch Me
FlyLo never stops and yet the quality of his output ever declines. The intricate bass play and ferocious sampling and beats are top notch once again. Plenty of mixed responses to Kendrick’s return this year, but this appearance holds out hope of a return to his peak.
Twilight Sad – There’s A Girl In The Corner
The thing that sets them apart from other standard bands is the power and delivery of the lyrics. They rattle inside your brain and form around your current situations.
SOHN – The Wheel
Yet to delve into the new album by How To Dress Well, but this will more than suffice until then. Evokes heavy feelings of wandering down dark city streets.
Hookworms – On Leaving
Modern psych that hits you full in the face with sheer sonic power. It takes you on a ride that goes up, down and through waves of drone and distortion.