It’s Julia Ward’s best of 2014 list! Check out all of our 2014 year-end lists here.
- Todd Terje – It’s Album Time
I love Todd Terje because Todd Terje is goofy. Terje is in firm command of his craft, along with the past half-century of electronic music, but good lord, this man has never let a cheeseball synth effect pass him by. This quantifiably silly album works because it is well-constructed, full of joy, and 100% danceable. Bonus: Earlier this year, Terje posted his mix from the 2009 Big Chill festival in the UK. It is also goofy.
- Moodymann – Moodymann
He’s been Detroit’s hero of house for more than 20 years. His Soul Skate events rank high on my bucket list, and if the last song I hear before shuffling off this mortal coil is “I Can’t Kick This Feeling When It Hits,” I’d be cool with that. In 2014, Moodymann returned with a self-titled album chock-full of cosmic funk, dirty soul, and roll-bounce.
- Bridget Everett Live
There is only one way to experience Bridget Everett, and that’s live. An East Village alt-cabaret hero with the “voice of an angel and a body of note,” she’s dirty, she’s divine, and she will sit on your face.
- Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire for No Witness
Loneliness isn’t so bad when there’s a voice in the dark like Angel Olsen’s.
- Rick Ross – “Sanctified”
Chaka Khan. Nina Simone. Now, Betty Wright. Kanye West knows how to treat the voice of a legend.
- Let’s Talk About Love (Reprint)
Carl Wilson’s acclaimed 2007 entry into the 33 1/3 book series, Let’s Talk About Love, got a fancy reprinting this year. Using Céline Dion’s album of the same name as a starting point for a conversation about taste, the 2014 edition includes a dozen new essays by such writers and musicians as Shelia Heti, Nick Hornby, and Owen Pallett—all issuing forth on just why it is that “hell is other people’s music.”
- Caribou – “Can’t Do Without You” (Extended Mix)
Like Archie said, Mr. Snaith has a “pronounced R&B and disco thing” going on this round, and well, that’s all I needed to hear.
- We Are The Best! A 2013 Swedish film that received its U.S. release this year, We Are The Best! is here to testify that punk will never die, so long as there are 13-year-old girls around to rock and retaliate against sports, crap parenting, and whatever the Swedish equivalent of haters are.