#30. “All About That Bass” – Meghan Trainor
I avoided this song at first because I just blindly assumed that “All About That Bass” was the latest in a long series of radio ready, bass heavy, dubstep influenced club tracks. With a name like this, can you blame me for the assumption? Whelp, I was wrong. Turns out “All About That Bass” is a delightfully catchy doo-wop number with a message about positive body image and when I finally bothered to actually listen to it, I was hooked.
#29. “Tolerated” – Girl Talk & Freeway ft. Waka Flocka Flame
Girl Talk tries his hand at not-mash-ups with rapper Freeway and the result is a top-shelf balls-to-the-wall certified banger.
#28. “Trouble” – TV On The Radio
This song got me. Days after the release of their 2011 album Nine Types of Light, TV on the Radio multi-instrumentalist Gerard Smith lost his battle with lung cancer and though I lack any proof, I think this song is about the band coping with the loss of one of their own and finding a way to keep going. There is a powerful optimism nestled in this sprawling track that is deeply compelling.
#27. “Inside Out” – Spoon
This band is incapable of making bad music. Album after album, year after year, Spoon continues to steadily produce some of indie rocks best material. I’ve been following them since their 2002 release Kill the Moonlight and their latest album They Want My Soul might be their best yet. I’ve outgrown a lot of bands since then but Spoon just keeps hanging around, pumping out great tunes like “Inside Out”.
#26. “Just One Of The Guys” – Jenny Lewis
2014 had a lot of comebacks but none warmed my heart like the return of Jenny Lewis. Rilo Kiley was one of my indie rock gateway drugs in the early 2000s and Jenny Lewis was one of my first real heavy celebrity crushes. Six years removed from her last proper solo album, her latest album The Voyager (produced by fellow 2014 comebacker Ryan Adams) feels like a crisp breathe of fresh air and sounds like a triumph of clean cut indie pop rock. “Just One Of The Guys” shows Lewis aging gracefully but not without doubts or some attitude and the video features Anne Hathaway and Kristen Stewart.
#25. “I’m Not Part of Me” – Cloud Nothings
Cloud Nothings are constantly balancing moments of scorching punk hooks with low-fi indie rock melodies. “I’m Not Part of Me” is as vulnerable as it is ferocious and its one of several exceptional tracks on the bands latest album Here and Nowhere Else. Read my review of Here and Nowhere Else right here…and nowhere else.
#24. “Giants” – Bear Hands
“Giants” is the crown jewel of experimental indie rock outfit Bear Hands latest album Distraction. Earlier in the year I thought this could have been the token indie crossover hit of 2014 in the vein of Gotye’s “Somebody I Used to Know” or Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks”. I guess I was wrong about that one, but its still a great track regardless.
#23. “Montana” – Tycho
Tycho’s unique brand of instrumental electro-prog rock is at its absolute finest on “Montana”. Sprawling guitar riffs and synth textures invoke images of vast star filled skylines, towering mountain peaks and other inspiring pretty stuff in Montana.
#22. “Two Weeks” – FKA Twigs
This powerful electro-R&B track comes from one of the most intriguing new artists of 2014. Bone rattling bass, synth stabs and FKA Twigs soft high voice combine for a fresh and compelling new sound.
#21. “Sexy Socialite” – Chromeo
Chrome does one hell of an LCD Soundsystem impression on “Sexy Socialite”. RIP LCD Soundsystem. Thank you Chromeo for channeling their spirit. I can’t get enough of the synth groove breakdown in the middle of this song.