Posted by: Jamie | December 2, 2014

Top 5 of 2014 – Jamie’s Favorite Music of the Year

Gather round children, take a knee and perk up your ear-balls. Uncle Jamie has some thoughts to share regarding recorded music from the year 2014. After careful thought, some applied science, basic math skills and a few shots of Fireball – I present to you my Best of list for the year in hopes that nothing comes out in the next month that will totally screw up this list.

1. Beck – Morning Phase 81coqLBpCWL._SL1400_

Pure California folk, this record was a balm i didn’t even know my soul needed until i dropped the needle. Not only is this my favorite album of the year, it might even be my favorite Beck record – and that’s saying a lot. Everybody likes “Party” Beck with his two turntables and a microphone, but sensitive-acoustic-guitar Beck is the guy I wanna hang out with on the regular. This album is just chocked full of beautiful melodies, spacious clean tones and a much more interesting palette of lyrical imagery than it’s often compared doppleganger “Sea Change”. Standout tracks include “Heart is A Drum”, “Don’t Let It Go”, “Blackbird Chain” and “Country Down”. Honestly, i put Side B on the turntable and let it stay there for days. A classic for the ages that i fervently believe will be praised 20 years from now. Staying power, baby.

2. The Twilight Sad – Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to LeaveThe_Twilight_Sad_-_Nobody_Wants_to_Be_Here_and_Nobody_Wants_to_Leave

This band wasn’t even on my radar until I walked into my local record shop on the day of its release and it was being blasted on their in store speakers. It sounded familiar, but still fresh. A lot like when I first stumbled onto Interpol’s debut many years ago. This Scottish band seems to pick up the torch of the post punk era of decades past, but forges on into new frontiers and attitudes. It’s stark, emotionally complex and sexy. How rock n’ roll should be. Standout tracks: “There’s a Girl in the Corner”, “Drown So I Can Watch” and “I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want”.

3. Rivulets – I Remember Everything

Rivulets-I_Remember_Everything1Nathan Amundson is indirectly responsible for a lot in my own music career. Through him I discovered Silber Records (who would sign me in 2002) and he graciously allowed me to cover one of his songs on my first record when i was but a wee pup. I’ve had the privilege of sharing the stage with him on numerous occasion. He also was the conduit to which i would be exposed to a slew of minimalistic artists that would help shape my creative approach. Naturally, I get excited when he puts out anything new. After a quietly consistent catalog of strong efforts, “I Remember Everything” might be his most ambitious, loudest but yet most brutally authentic yet. This record manages to balance the beam of self loathing and simple hope. It glides like a graceful hawk over a damn canyon, man. Not even trying to be cute. If you are looking for a piece of work that will help you transcend – you won’t need to go any further than two songs into this beauty. Standout tracks: “Into the Night”, “My Favorite Drug is Sleep” and “I Was Once a Handsome Man”.


4. The War on Drugs – Lost in The Dream

Thank God that someone is still making good guitar records. Needing some sleek and pretty six string tones in your life, then look no further than this release. Probably the best road trip album in the list, this one has both pays homage to great rock records of the past without sounding too much like it’s wearing its influences on the front of its lapel. Standout tracks: “Under the Pressure”, “Red Eyes” and “Suffering”. In promotion for the record, the bad recently scorched the faces of everyone that tuned into Letterman’s show. Check it out.

5. Warpaint – Warpaint


…and thank God there are still indie girl groups cranking it up. It seemed that long gone were the days of L7, The Breeders, Slant 6 and cool ladies punching out such volume and attitude. Then the Spice Girls thing happened, which led to Pussycat Dolls, blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda,  and somehow we ended up with seemingly a lot less girl rockers on the scene. Enter Warpaint who has been hacking it for over a decade now and giving us this self-titled gem that’s moody, bold and a ton of fun. I had the privilege of seeing them roll into my hometown in support of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – which is a tough crowd to please. The band seemed a bit detached ( in direct contrast to an in-your-face-Cave) but still effortlessly cool as they banged out tunes from this new offering. I dig it. A great after-party LP when most of the loud folks are passed out, the lights are dim and you’ve got your eye out for the perfect chill conversation to cap the night off with. Standout tracks: “Keep it Healthy”, “Love is To Die” and “Disco/Very”.  Check out this promo video which helps me hold on to the desperate belief the spirit of the 90’s is alive and well. Hit play and dance your face off.

5 Tracks of 2014 that demand an immediate download

(I’ve included links to promotional videos so you can test and see that i’m telling you the truth)

1. Damien Jurado – “Silver Timothy

2. Broncho – “Class Historian

3. Ariel Pink – “Put Your Number in My Phone

4. David Bowie – “Sue (Or In A Season of Crime)

5. Alt-J – “Every Other Freckle


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