Tuesday, January 6, 2015

preston's top 20 songs of 2014

Here are Preston's top song picks of 2014:

Great use of the children's choir and very sweet, simple lyrics.

This is a match made in chillwave heaven (a place that is kind of fun to imagine).  I love the little bridge section at around 2:10, where it sounds like we are sitting in a chillwave cathedral, about to ascend!

I didn't know until recently that this was a Spice Girls cover, but that kind of makes it even cooler. My memory of this song will always be hearing MO as we filed into Zilker Park for ACL (even though we arrived to late to really see any of MO's set).

A surprising/questionable collaboration when first announced, this song was about the best outcome anyone could have hoped for. I think CH showcased HAIM pretty favorably in this catchy tune.

In their latest album they added a few instruments and departed a little from their signature lo-fi sound, but managed to keep the vintage feel of their music, which I really enjoy.

Speaking of vintage sound, no one this year captured that as purely as Leon Bridges. This song comes fresh out of a time machine from the 50s and wouldn't sound out of place in my grandparent's record collection.

It would be a lie to not include a Sam Smith track on this list.  He had a bunch of popular songs this year, but this was the real show stopper when we got to see him in October. 

RAC can do no wrong. His remixes seem so simple, but he must have some kind of special touch because no one can remake a song like Andre.  I see on Soundcloud that this song is now streaming on the Hollister Vibe 2015 playlist but that only makes me like it more.  

I've been on an "ewok" kick lately and this song sounds like a jungle thumping Endor dance party with an all ewok percussion section.

Great summer jam - bouncy synth, catchy lyrics, that little xylophone thing - when I listen to this song, I sometimes pretend that I'm playing that xylophone in a "more cowbell" type skit.

I have a pretty soft spot for joyous disco-pop and I love that down-to-earth quality that his voice has.

Amazing mastering or arrangement or whatever...insert random audio production words...the song just feel spatially enormous, like it was performed in a giant white room with glittery strobe lights pulsing and flashing.  

This song is just pure energy and joy. Kev pointed out they have an Imagine Dragons-type sound and I think they will break out in 2016 - their other single, "Break My Fall" was also excellent and has had some great remixes made of it. 

One of Guetta's first forays into funk, and I think he nailed it.  

I love the unexpected rhythm of this song, it catches you on the wrong foot, but in a good way.  It has a some moody drums, horn-like synths and great diva vocals.  The synth kind of bursts out of the haze, and reminds me a lot of Jai Paul.

This will be the theme song for the Mars remake of Miami Vice.  It's a layered slow build, a perfect, subtle, nudisco masterpiece.  Terje's whole album "It's Album Time" is fantastic, and one of my all-time fav live concert videos is of another track (originally released in 2012, or it would have been on this list) from the album.

I find the harmonies and that dancing bass line in this song just addictive. Another simple, subtle, phenomenal remix from Andre.

Best debut single of the year. Seriously, she comes out guns a blazin' in this one, showcasing her great voice and some pretty stellar production. I'm excited to hear what Kev has to say about this one, he liked it as well and is the best pop analyst I know. 

Holy smokes. What a remix. There is just nothing wrong with this song. Nothing at all.  Abel's croon. Kygo's snaps and silky synth on the backbeats.  Just brilliant.

This song makes me wiiiild.

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