It’s been a scarce couple of musical months, guys and dolls. Life has taken on a new kind of intensity after starting my new job– which I love– but unfortunately leaves me with little time for musical exploration or blogging. However, missing out on listing Snapshots and Needle Drops’ top ten drops and shots for 2014 was never an option… even if it is late.
Once again, I plan on posting last year’s photography on the Snapshots and Needle Drops facebook page for followers to vote on their favourite shots of the year– so look out for it!
I’ve spent the last couple hours going through all the songs that Emily and I have posted in the last 12 months. I loved rediscovering some favourites from 2014. I’m obviously a fan of every song that goes up on this blog, so narrowing them down to ten is always hard. In my process no song received a rating under 6.5 and all of the top ten earned an 8.5 or more.
So with out further ado, I give you….
10. “I Don’t Want to Change You” by Damien Rice
‘The “self-lacerating troubador” Damien Rice has, after an eight-year absence, released his newest album My Favourite Faded Fantasy. In expected form, the majority of the songs are slow, quiet and introspective– but with 30 seconds to spare he usually builds up to a screeching, voice-cracking desperation.’
“I Don’t Want to Change You” puts you in a contemplative mood. Nestled nicely in the album
‘The building, anthemic, Emeli Sandé-sounding “Like I Can.”
The song featured as my starting track on most of my running playlists this year. A somewhat guilty-pleasure that has made its way onto this top ten list.
8. “Step Out” by Jose Gonzales
‘An elated anthem for [the Secret Life of Walter Mitty]’
Another uplifting, running-soundtrack-featured tune. Life is better when this song is on.
7. “Every Other Freckle” by Alt-J
‘“Every Other Freckle” is hands-down my favourite track at the moment and is the current single from the album. It’s classic Alt-J style with echoing synths, a chorus of falsetto voices and weirdo, obsessive lyrics.’
6. “This Head That I Hold” (original and Rudi Zygadlo Remix) by Electric Guest
‘Today’s song reminds me of some sort of chase scene through Europe– like it belongs on Jason Bourne’s running mix. This is undoubtably because it reminds me of “Running Away” by G. Love a great piece used in the movie Cellular.’
Love it. The remix below featured on Beats on Repeat.
5. “September Fields” by Frazey Ford
‘Today’s track is by Canadian singer-songwriter Frazey Ford, who some of you may know as the founding member of the Vancouver-based folk music group The Be Good Tanyas. This uplifting track is from Frazey’s new solo album.’
Emily wrote this post in the wake of the shooting in Canada’s Parliamentary Building and National War Memorial. It was the most visited posting (by far) in Snapshots and Needle Drops history. September Fields has a timeless, beguiling, jazzy charm.
4. “Old Ash” by Maps & Atlases
‘Tonight’s selection is just a little ditty I came across last night and instantly loved. “Old Ash” by Maps & Atlases has the background islander beats of Vampire Weekend with the look and sound of Alexander from Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. Enjoy.’
This is a track I rediscovered this evening while creating this list. It was featured on SS&ND’s third anniversary post. I love the beats.
‘Sia’s smash-hit “Chandelier” and its incredible music video have infected the internet with a healthy dose of power vocals, phenomenal dancing and mainstream-busting unconventionality.’
As if this song needs any introduction or explanation. The track and the music video are simply awesome. I’ve also been really loving “Elastic Heart” both for its caged modern dance video, as well as the song.
‘I love this track, for its talk of changing seasons and constant movement. Anyone who has moved to a new city and/or started a new job knows that it’s all a dance, we know the moves, “sentiments the same, but the pair of feet change.’
Another Emily post, another track I rediscovered and loved tonight. I love it like I love “Concrete Wall” by Zee Avi (number 2 on Top Drops 2013)
1. “Take Me to Church” by Hozier
‘There is something about this song. Singer Andrew Hozier-Byrne’s voice starts out like red wine: rich and full bodied, luring us in with sounds that echo the sentiment of a Mississippi funeral procession. The smooth yet solemn funeral tone rips apart to a sound like open grieving. Hozier’s climatic passion breaks his smooth velvet voice into hoarse sandpaper.
Hozier could be someone to watch in 2014. So far, this single has reached number 2 in his native Ireland, and reached 19 on the Icelandic charts– and we all know those Icelanders have great musical intuition.’ (May 24, 2014)
HA! HAHA-HA-HA! I’ve listened to this track if not daily, weekly since before this post– and now it is everywhere! I’m so happy for Hozier. His entire album is darkly soulful and deeply beautiful. If you’ve only heard this song on the radio for the love of god, please plug in your headphones and blare this into your head immediately.
I knew this song was going to top this chart the minute I posted it. My friend Nicky over in Scotland even sent me to infinitelooper.com which we used to endlessly bask in this song’s mighty glory.
#tbt That time when he was surprised with a choir for an audience….