There is SO much music out there. Here is a short list of the music that I listened to the most over the course of 2014.
I listened to a lot of Jazz this year, both live and and through the ‘ol earbuds. These two albums were (by far) my favorite. Both releases are reflective of high quality contemporary jazz folks who are rooted in the past, yet blazing new trails. Brian Blade is from NYC and Ambrose Akinmusire is from Oakland, CA. Both possess enough talent to cover all the land in-between the coasts.
Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band – Landmarks
Ambrose Akinmusire – An Imagined Savior is Far Easier to Paint
I kept coming back to Beck’s Morning Phase. Such a consistent mood and solid production. Gets better with every listen.
Beck – Morning Phase
Bread and butter.
Spoon – They Want My Soul
Of course…this. My favorite contemporary music album of the year. Actually, this may have been released in 2013. I don’t care. It’s still my top listen.
Son Lux – Lanterns
Sturgill Simpson’s late 2014 release is revolutionary. It is exactly as the album title and artwork suggests.
Metamodernism reflects “…mediations between aspects of both modernism and postmodernism.” Simpson’s artistic vision suggests that the future of pop art is absolutely rooted in the traditions of the past, without unnecessary nostalgia and sentimentality. Rock solid, meta, non-cliche, and subversively hedonistic. Anyone with a soft spot for Waylon Jennings will drool over this album.
Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
Classical and Choral
My main playlist from the Lenten Season 2014. Arvo Part’s Kanon Pokajanen is a choral cycle of repentance. Stunning.
Arvo Part – Kanon Pokajanen
John Tavener – Icon of Eros
Contemporary Alternative Classical
yMusic play cutting edge contemporary classical compositions. Seeing them live in 2014 was a concert highlight for my wife and I.
yMusic – Balance Problems
Stream at yMusic Bandcamp page
My most listened to Spotify playlist.