2014: High Notes
I covered a lot of ground in 2014 – from Rio to Wan Chai, Monaco to Niigata, and Salt Spring Island to Playa del Carmen. The best music of the year kept me moving and kept me from asking, “Are we there?” Here’s to enjoying the journey as much as the destination in 2015!
1. Sharon Van Etten: Are We There
The best thing I heard all year was this stately meditation on the follies of the heart. Song of the year for me – “Every Time the Sun Comes Up.”
2. Thee Silver Mount Zion: Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything
Bono recently wrote, “Capitalism is not immoral, but it is amoral. It gets its instructions from us.” Clearly, arse-head hasn’t reckoned with the force of “Austerity Blues.” If “us” includes SMZ, he and his Davos privateers best watch their backs.
3. Real Estate: Atlas
First saw them at Coachella in 2012 and was summarily seduced by their sweet, summery pop. Earworm – “Talking Backwards.”
4. Katerine: Magnum
5. Mac DeMarco: Salad Days
Man-o-man, Mac is such a wingnut. And from Edmonton, oi!
6. Spoon: They Want My Soul
7. War on Drugs: Lost In the Dream
8. Sun Kil Moon: Benji
9. Ariel Pink: Pom Pom
A sincere provocateur…anyone who can conjure a performance like this for “Picture Me Gone” deserves high praise.
10. Sinead O’Connor: I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss
11. Perfume Genius: Too Bright
A grand, emancipatory gesture from a golden “Queen.”
12. Wussy: Attica!
13. Leonard Cohen: Popular Problems
We all got ’em, and the doctor knows the cure – keep it slow, make it last.
14. Lucinda Williams: Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone
Expansive and raw, signs of compassion.
15: D’Angelo: Black Messiah
Well worth the wait. Bring on the apocalypse.