Without any doubt, 2014 was a great year for music. Pop music, I believe, ruled the year. My playlist of favorite songs included many radio bangers like Taylor Swift’s bouncy, tongue-in-cheek “Blank Space,” Ariana Grande’s darkly sensual duet with The Weeknd “Love Me Harder,” and iLoveMakonnen’s eccentric earworm “Tuesday” remixed by Drake. However, there were many excellent songs this year which failed to penetrate mainstream radio. Below, I’ll share three of my favorite songs which may have not been on your radar last year but definitely deserve a listen.
- FKA twigs- “Pendulum”
In my opinion, hands down, the best song of last year was the breathtakingly gorgeous “Pendulum” from English experimental R&B artist FKA twigs’ equally amazing debut album “LP1.” Twigs’ airy vocals take on many different incarnations as they layer over each other and combine with weirdly fascinating click-clacky percussion and atmospheric production. All of these elements beautifully combine at the climax during the last chorus when FKA Twigs’ forces out the song’s soul-crushingly infectious hook: “So lonely trying to be yours/When you’re looking for so much more.”
- Perfume Genius- “Queen”
The typically quiet Mike Hadreas of Perfume Genius followed up his touching, fragile first two albums with last year’s boldly confident “Too Bright,” which contained the remarkable lead single “Queen,” a sassy piece of social commentary featuring grimy production from Portishead’s Adrian Huxley. Aiming to describe the fear and discomfort Hadreas has noticed he elicits from straight people just by being gay, Hadreas proudly embraces that power he seems to have over people, proclaiming during the chorus, “No family is safe when I sashay.” “Queen” was my pick for “queer anthem” of the year.
- Tokyo Police Club- “Argentina (Parts I, II, III)”
When I first heard this song, the opener to Tokyo Police Club’s third LP “Forcefield” in early January, I just knew it would stick with me throughout the entirety of the year. It’s a great disservice to this wonderful song on my part by trying to describe it in such brevity, but basically, it’s a nine-minute-long alt-rock jam consisting of three movements, and it’s utterly awesome, maintaining momentum and interesting lyrics the whole way through. If guitar-driven, indie-rock love songs are up your alley — and you have 10 minutes to spare — this song is definitely a worthy investment of your time.