So, another year has come and past. This blog seems to be my annual posting for music in the past year. I will truly attempt to write more this year, as it has been some time. Luckily, all the old stuff is still here and hopefully people find enough there to assist them. 2014 was another year of transition, leaving Force by Design (a great company that swallowed up xLerate three years ago) and now I call Cloud for Good my day home as the VP of Services. Great bunch of people, and working in the nonprofit vertical is quite interesting. And I still listen to music throughout the day, some old, some new. Here’s my picks for this year’s top 10 songs – links to their YouTube video included!
10. Sigur Ros: The Rains of Castamere: So yes, this is from a TV show – and an awesome one at that – but it’s extremely haunting and inspiring all at the same time. Don’t mind at all when this comes on my Spotify playlist.
9. Speedy Ortiz: American Horror: It’s been a while since the indie boom of Boston hit in the late 80s and 90s (think Lemonheads, Blake Babies, Pixies, etc). Speedy Ortiz, from Northampton, seems to bringing back this sound in spades, and in a wonderful wonderful way. This song is just fun to dance around to!
8. Buck 65: Super Pretty Naughty: OK, Buck 65 is a Canadian icon, and is known for very thoughtful raps through his music, and even sometimes the weird and absurd, such as with Zombie Delight. He’s also absolutely amazing live, and I truly hope he makes his way to Bluesfest this year (as I was out of town in November when he slid through Ottawa last time). But Super Pretty Naughty shocked me. At first I thought maybe he had been hit in the head, or decided to make a song in homage to LMFAO or such. But then there’s his lyrics to remind you it’s still him.
7. Mother Mother: Get Out The Way: I’m still on the fence about this band. When they first came out I liked them, then saw them live and hated them, then they put out a new album and the metronome between enjoy and abhor continued on. On this song though, the needle is all the way towards love. Just love love love this song.
6. Girl Talk: Summer Dress: Continuing with a Canadian flavour (I am sure the CRTC will love me…) is Girl Talk. I missed them when they opened for Billy Talent last year, but looked them up. Figured I was in for another typical girl/boy duo, but gave it a whirl. To say I was very wrong would be wrong in itself. Between the old school rock, Tom Waits growls, and just absolute joy coming from the airwaves, Girl Talk is now on my must see live list.
5. Slipknot: The Negative One: Yup, Slipknot is still around. And yes, Slipknot is starting to sound more and more like Stone Sour, which isn’t one of my favourite bands. But their last two albums still have gems of metal in there, and the new album has this track, reminding me that they still know how to rock out at times. Try this in the morning with espresso. If it doesn’t kick you up and at them, check for a pulse.
4. Interpol: All The Rage Back Home: So, Interpol is back, as a trio. And hopefully, the previous, self titled album can be thought of as some bad dream that we can all just believe did not exist. And this release from the new LP gets stuck in your head and just won’t get out. Which isn’t a bad thing in this case, as the song pretty well rocks!
3. St. Vincent: Birth in Reverse: I’m not quite sure what to make of St. Vincent. A former member of the Polyphonic Spree, she has definitely brought back performance art to the live show. And her show at Bluesfest 2014 was certainly interesting – although I must admit I found that some of the performance took away from the music. Her album is one of the best of 2014 though, and this song is one that stands out to me.
2. Cage The Elephant: Come A Little Closer: So, I’ve been waiting for Cage to break out and become one of the biggest bands in rock. Hasn’t happened yet, and not sure if it will. And I am not sure why. What I do know is that when they opened for the Black Keys here in Ottawa this year, they put the headliners to shame with their opening set. To Shame. Love this track.
1. USS – Yin Tang: And this year’s top track for me? Canada’s own USS, or Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker if you feel like typing out the full name. I dare you not to be singing this song eight hours after listening to it. Cause I can’t. And their set at Bluesfest 2014 was one of the marquee shows for the year. The amount of energy and fun they have is unbelievable!
Well, there you go folks. Everyone keep bright and safe in 2015!