I’d sooner roll around in a pile of ticks that are covered in influenza-tainted bat guano than waste my spare time scouring the Internet for the next big thing in music. The albums I listened to most in 2014 were George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, Nas’s Illmatic, and Sarah Koenig’s Serial. Two of those came out a while ago and the other isn’t an album. So I consulted with a veritable who’s who of Vancouver DJs, promoters, and musicians, and, most importantly, the guy who plays MP3s at lululemon’s hot-yoga meets. While they hit me with acts as far-ranging as FKA twigs, Flying Lotus, Grouper, Jenny Lewis, Angel Olsen, the Raveonettes, and SBTRKT, not one of them had a solid theory about who killed Hae, so how could their opinions matter? I promptly ignored their suggestions and came up with these.
You had a tough year, ladies. There was Gamergate, Ghomeshigate, Cosbygate, Time-readers-voting-to-eliminate-the-word-feminismgate, and, well, basically every other news headline in 2014. For what it’s worth, I’m really sorry about all that. But, hey, this album from Bey sorta made up for it, right?
Lana Del Rey
Okay, Lana, you say you fucked your way up to the top, but I think your sultry, sad-girl torch songs had a little something to do with your success. I’ll be waiting here if you need someone to eat takeout and watch Netflix with for the ride back down.
Even though this lengthy, electronic headfuck wasn’t announced via Tor or blimp or stencil graffiti or Pitchfork, it got more spins from me than Syro. It’s the second-best thing I bought out of the trunk of a car on Main Street this year.
The bombastic debut album of this upstart EDM artist shows a lot of promise, and is true testament that the full-length isn’t laughably irrelevant.
I am not one to deny millions of Swifties or the marketplace. Tay sold the most albums in 2014, so this is the best one of the year.
Look, I can’t sing, dance, or play an instrument—all I have going for me is my looks. But I’m confident I could release an album and sell more copies than #THICKE did with his dreadful yet fascinating attempt to win back his ex-wife. It’s the musical equivalent of that excruciating scene from Swingers where Jon Favreau keeps calling the girl.
You know how you can tell you’re at a shitty show? Someone comped you tickets to an energy-drink DJ battle and you see me there looking dejected because none of the competitors are dropping @JODYHiGHROLLER tracks and I’m scribbling down that the theme from DuckTales is getting the crowd “turnt up”.
A few people I talked to name-checked Temples, but that was old news to me because Vicki “Neptoon Records” Frith recommended them back in the summer. Subsequently, “Keep in the Dark” came close to ending the 25-year reign of “Batdance” as the most played song in my iTunes. By the way, do you know how you can tell you’re about to see an amazing show? It’s if you spot Ben, Rob, and Vicki Frith in attendance. Fact!
The Guest OST
So you couldn’t find a copy of Sinoia Caves’ Beyond the Black Rainbow soundtrack in stores or on Pirate Bay. Well, this one for Adam Wingard’s throwback ’80s thriller about an insane shitkicker who rolls into a farm town populated by kids who listen to Annie, Clan of Xymox, Gatekeeper, Love and Rockets, and the Sisters of Mercy is pretty great too.
Native North America, Vol. 1
Who needs new music when phenomenal First Nations rock, folk, and country you’ve never heard was waiting to be unearthed by Kevin “Sipreano” Howes? This compilation is so great I can’t bring myself to make a smart-ass remark about it.