Best of 2014
Since we are only 6 days into the new year, I thought I would recap my favorite music findings of 2014. Keep in mind, these might not all be 2014 releasees (although most of them are), but music the I personally got into this year. I hope you enjoy. To kick things off, we have the lovely and multitalented Pentatonix. If you haven't heard of them, I suggest you get on the bandwagon. The a cappella group consists of 5 members: Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kristie Maldonado, Avi Kaplan, and Kevin Olusola. [Mitch and Scott host "the best show on the internet" called Superfruit, which is how I found PTX originally.] They are going to be very famous. [I feel it in my bones.] They just recently got a Grammy nom, so you can see where their career will probably be headed. They basically do pop in a cappella which as we all know is amazing from the movie Pitch Perfect.
I got very into them at the start of 2014 from my many adventures into the world of YouTube. I immediate became very attached to their Daft Punk mash up [which, not surprisingly, is the song for which they received the Grammy nomination- for best arrangement]. It is in my top 10 most played tracks last year for sure. Anyway, I recently got excited about them again within the past few months because they released a Christmas album called It's Christmas To Me. It is to die for. I have christened it my favorite Christmas album of all time. [Check out the Daft Punk mashup and Christmas album below.]
Next up, we have The Griswolds. I admittedly don't know as much about their band as I do other artists included in this list, but the music is good [and that's good enough for me]. They are a "four-piece indie rock band from Sydney" as Wikipedia tells me, so there you go. I find the music similar to like the rockiness and vocals of Grouplove and Ghost Beach. Like, I would include their music in a playlist that also had Empty Streets by Ghost Beach or Ways to Go by Grouplove. Good stuff. It's basically just really dancy, fun rock music as you can see in the video for Heart of a Lion below. That song technically came out in 2013, but it is the song that originally interested. However, they did have a 2014 release in the form of a full length album called Be Impressive. It's getting a lot of attention on Spotify. Check it out below.
I was actually introduced to the next band I want to mention on an airplane ride from Florida back home to Virginia. I was taking the trip solo and to pass the time, I mindlessly flipped through options on one of those headrest TV screens. I found a short documentary-type thing about a band that, solely by looks, seemed like one I would be into. I guess you can judge books by their covers because Young Rising Sons became one of my favorite 2014 bands.
They are a four-piece indie/alternative band out of New Jersey [of all places]. They apparently formed in 2010, but have only released two short EPs, both last year. So they are basically like babies in this whole music industry thing, but I wish them the best of luck. They have gotten the most noteriety for their song High [see below], which was a track that got Caught In My Head [see what I did there?? If not, check the top of this page] for the remaining 2 hours of that flight. I found it sort of painful waiting until the plane landed to download it to my phone. Once again, like many of the bands I spotlight, their music is fun and addictive rock music. I would compare them to Youngblood Hawke and The Drums [Check out Youngblood Hawke's We Come Running and The Drums' Money to see what I mean].
The next band I enjoyed last year actually composed the theme music for an MTV show called Finding Carter. MTV is criticized for airing too many reality shows and dramas, but you can't deny that they work hard to include new and interesting music in these shows. MisterWive's song Vagabond was in like a billion commercials for Finding Carter before it debuted this year and then ended up being the theme song as well. It turns out that this track was off their first full length album called Reflections released January of last year. Not so bad for a debut release!
The music is actually pretty similar to the two other bands I just mentioned - Young Rising Sons and The Griswolds. The difference is that it's just a 3-piece and has a female vocal lead [both positive facts, in my opinion]. The vocals kind of sound like a mix between Alex Winston and Regina Spector, but with more of a fuller sound. The music however more closely resembles a cross between Oh Land and Los Campesinos! [I'm thinking along the lines of White Night [Oh Land] and You! Me! Dancing! [Los Campesinos!].]
I have to give this band a nod for lyricism, too. Check out the video for Vagabond below [which conveniently has the lyrics on screen]. You gotta really appreciate a good lyrics, nowadays.
And I'll end this post with one of my favorite artists, Ed Sheeran. He of course was not a new finding of 2014, as I have been a fan of his for years. I would just feel too guilty not to include is multiplatinum album X. He included every bit as much soul as was in his debut album +. So if you were a fan of that, give this one a shot too. [Although you probably have because several singles from the album charted in the top ten.]
Here Ed Sheeran is being as daper as ever in his video for Thinking Out Loud. Enjoy. :]
I could have probably made this Best Of list a whole lot longer, but I figured I'd just pick the faves. So, I hope you enjoyed it and here's to another year of new music discoveries! Stay tuned for posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Thanks for reading!
Until next time, happy listening!