2014: The Sound of Suck

As 2014 wraps up, I’m just going to go ahead and say what I’ve been thinking all year long: this year was the worst. I mean, it was seriously really awful. My 2014 was filled with everything I hate, which includes, but is not limited to, the death of my bulldog, a car accident and the dropping of coyote guts in a hot dog shop’s parking lot, a trip to the hospital, a lot of heartache, stress that gave me an ulcer and made my hair turn super gray, some more heartache, angst that couldn’t be taken out on the roller derby track, the flu (twice), and even more really devastating heartache. I mean, up until two weeks ago, I wasn’t even sure I’d still have roller derby in my life anymore — ever. But really, that’s not what this post is about. It’s about the music that got me through 12 months of craptastic crap.

Each year, I anxiously await end of year lists to see what I’ve missed or what I agree with. I usually wait for my friend Herman to talk about his favorites, but he was barely even motivated to make his list. But I eventually convinced him to share his list with me, and fortunately it’s filled with things I haven’t heard. So I’m including his list mostly for me — and honestly, so I can share it with my dear friend Brian, who I’m still working on convincing we should start a Kills-like band together — and so I can go back and think about 2014 with fresh music that will keep my mind off of how much I hated this year. With that said, here’s what I was into:

MY LEADING LADIES

It’s true that 2014 was a year for many of the ladies in my life. FOUR of my eight girl crushes released new albums that year (!!!). And let’s be honest: much more than this and my head would have exploded clean off of my neck. What’s particularly sad about this awesome thing, though, is that now these songs are associated with some really wretched moments in my life. My very worst truth in life right now is that Karen O’s solo album is forever ruined. Probably, anyway. I may just hang that record on my wall and pretend I never opened it. Still, this is what was, without a doubt, in heaviest rotation in 2014:

St. Vincent, St. Vincent

Jenny Lewis, The Voyager

My Brightest Diamond, This is My Hand

The Dum Dum Girls, Too True

Karen O, Crush Songs

EVERYONE ELSE

I was starting to forget what else came out, or maybe I just shoved them to the back of my head because, well, Jack White makes my stomach churn right now and to be honest, I didn’t listen much to the Black Keys or Beck or really much beyond the albums I’ve already listed.

Fortunately I’m wrapping my arms around alt-J’s This is All Yours. And TV on the Radio’s Seeds? Ooh. That was worth the $30 vinyl sticker price and extra two week wait.

As we venture into 2015, I’ll leave you with the sexy sounds one of Herman’s and my favorite discoveries of 2014: Mothxr, featuring Penn Badgley and sexy sax. Nom.

***

HERMAN’S LIST

compiled for Melody. I search for “2014” on my drive and these are the ones that stood out.
* = for utter love.
Actress // Ghettoville *

Alvvays // Alvvays

Angel Olsen // Burn Your Fire For No Witness

autumna // man-made concepts *

Beck // Morning Phase

The Black Dog // Sounds Of Sheffiield Vol 3 EP

Bonobo // Ten Tigers single, cuz of that Maya Jane Cole remix of First Fires

Burnt Friedman w/ Daniel Dodd-Ellis // Cease To Matter

Chad VanGaalen // Shrink Dust

Chet Faker // Built On Glass

Clark // Clark *

Cub // CU (re-issue)

Deru // 1979 *

Goat // Commune

Hundred Waters // The Moon Rang Like A Bell

Jennifer Castle // Pink City

Jon Hopkins // Sleep Version EP

Kina Grannis // Elements

Kyle Bobby Dunn // Kyle Bobby Dunn & The Infinite Sadness

Liars // Mess

Marissa Nadler // July *

Mike Dehnert // Lichtbedingt

Neneh Cherry // Blank Project

The Notwist // Cose To The Grass *

Pete Richardson // Image Of Weaknes *

Piiptsjilling // Molkedrippen

Pixies // Indie Cindy

Prince // Art Official Age

Röyksopp & Robyn // Do It Again EP *

Shabazz Palaces // Lese Majesty *

St. Vincent // St. Vincent *

Sun Kill Moon // Benji *

Thee Oh Sees // Drop

To Rococo Rot // Instrument *

Drvg Cvltvre // American Psychosis EP

Banks // Goddess

Ty Segall // Manipulator *

Damien Rice // My Favourite Faded Fantasy

Ray LaMontagne // Supernova

King Creosote // From Scotland With Love

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