This year was filled with more electro pop and post-hip-hop beats and sounds than I’m usually accostumed to but sometimes I have to work with what I have. I still love alternative rock but there just wasn’t that much out there that has really grabbed my attention. There was just a lot more disco infused music and much more compelling hip hop which I’m still not that into but I have given some interesting proposals a try.
Once again they’re in no particular order, just all the songs that impressed me the most this 2014:
Tove Lo – Habits (Stay High)
If you’ve never gone through a terrible breakup and coped through not so healthy ways, kudos to you. I however, was once not that lucky or smart, and it’s nice to know through this catchy electro-pop song that I haven’t been the only one. It’s a perfect companion to those lonely nights. Preferably not doing the things the songs says, but just dancing along to it.
FKA twigs – Two Weeks
I suspect that FKA twigs wrote this song for Robert Pattinson, if you’re familiar with his past love troubles. If not, either way this song is quite a magnificent post-trip-hop composition that evokes a little of that British melancholy reminiscent of Portishead and adds a little more sexy. Did I say a little? I meant a lot, it’s actually quite explicity and very NSFW.
Jack White – Would You Fight For My Love?
Mr. White continues to bring it. The album as a whole is not too impressive but this song is quite pleasant and the video is full of blue imagery so you can’t go wrong there. That’s entirely subjective and I’m ok with that.
Weezer – Back To The Shack
Rivers Cuomo is not done apologizing for “Beverly Hills” but this is a start. Weezer going to back to their glory sound is the least we can ask for this 2014 where rock seems to have gone to studio 54 (Black Keys anyone?).
Sia – Chandelier
I have to admit I was primarily impressed with the choreograpy in the video first before I paid attention to the song, but it’s a good pop composition nonetheless. Following Tove Lo’s confessional party girl diary entries, it makes a strong point about how alcoholism can take over you life, along with other suspect choices. It’s not about judging or morality, it’s about knowing yourself and finding the positive in the millions of negative things the world throws at you.
Lorde – Don’t tell ’em
I heard this version first and then I heard the original and I just didn’t care for it. While the original version makes me feel objectified, Lorde’s version makes me want to dance.
Lorde with Nirvana – All Apologies
Of all the recent pop stars my favorite by far is Lorde. She has a unique voice, unique performances and she’s a little weird. I like that. But this year, the songs I’ve enjoyed from her the most are the ones she covered, because she was able to give them her own spin. She did right by Kurt Cobain with her version of “All Apologies.”
Joan Jett with Nirvana – Smells like teen spirit
If that line-up went on tour it would be magical. Joan Jett is an amazing artist and she was able to bring the spirit of Kurt Cobain into her rendition. I shed a few tears with this performance. I’m truly grateful for it.
Ana Tijoux – Somos Sur (Feat. Shadia Mansour)
I said I gave hip hop a chance and Ana Tijoux is one of those artists who finally gave me something impressive enough to take notice. She’s socially conscious, having parents who were exiled to France under Pinochet’s regime in Chile. I had the opportunity to see her in concert at LA’s Supersonico and she was one of the strongest acts. (You can read my review of that show for the LA Times here).
Ceci Bastida – Por la Calle (live video)
This is a live video and doesn’t really give justice to this magnificent song from this magnificent artist. I’ve seen her since her days in Tijuana No and I couldn’t be more pleased with her trayectory as a musician and a trailblazer of alt music.