The Best Music of 2014

Background credit: DKNG

2014 is not quite over, but for all intents and purposes, the year in notable music releases is done. Music is a passion of mine that regular readers of this site will attest. Hell, I tone it down here, actually. If you really want to see my love of music, check out my music blog Highest Notes or my tech podcast Birch Bark, where each episode is themed after a different musical artist.

Below are two top 10 lists. These lists are my 20 favorite albums of the year and they’re separated into two camps. The first list is a collection of the albums that I think are safe bets most people would like. The second list is a collection of records I loved and I hope you love too, but honesty you might hate them.

The truth is that 2014 was a very, very good year for music. In past years, I’ve had to stretch to think of even 10 albums worth being on a list like this, but this year, even with twice as many slots open, I had to make some hard cuts. I feel great about the top 3 in each list, but the remaining albums are loosely ranked.

Music is extremely personal, and there’s no way I hit everyone’s favorite music. I want to know what I missed, so tweet at me if you think I missed something amazing!

Safe Bets

1. The Rural Alberta Advantage – Mended With Gold

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here

2. Spoon – They Want My Soul

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here

3. The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here

4. The Jazabels – The Brink

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here

5. Chromeo – White Women

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here

6. RAC – Strangers

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here

7. Stars – No One Is Lost

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here

8. Duck Sauce – Quack

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here

9. Hamilton Leithauser – Black Hours

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here

10. Tokyo Police Club – Forcefield

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here


Venturing Off the Beaten Path

1. Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here

2. ODESZA – In Return

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here

3. James Vincent McMorrow – Post Tropical

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here

4. Caribou – Our Love

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here

5. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Only Run

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here

6. Germany Germany – Reconnect

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here

7. Tycho – Awake

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here

8. TV on the Radio – Seeds

Buy it here

9. Chet Faker – Built on Glass

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here

10. Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World

Hear it on Spotify

Buy it here