Best Songs of 2014

As a follow-up to my favorite albums post, here are my 30 favorite songs of the year, with commentary about a few:

  1. Walkabout by Augustines. No song has been played more often in my iTunes this year. I absolutely love this song about doubt, introspection, brokenness, and the power of returning home. An imaginative, honest, and hopeful hymn. Easily my favorite song of the year.
  2. The Promise by Sturgill Simpson. I first heard Simpson when he opened for Jason Isbell at the Ryman in October. His vocal style is reminiscent of Waylon and the outlaw country of the 70s. His latest album has generated a lot of buzz and my favorite track is this cover of a 1988 hit by When In Rome. I wish Nashville would take notice and produce more of this kind of material…”real” country music.
  3. An Ocean In Between The Waves by The War on Drugs. My favorite song from my favorite album of the year.
  4. Blue Moon by Beck. I mentioned in my album post that Beck really does this genre well. If I were him, I’d consider staying in this lane for a little longer.
  5. Weary Eyes by Augustines.
  6. Burning by The War on Drugs.
  7. Blackbird Song by Lee Dwyze.
    From The Walking Dead soundtrack. (Yes, there’s apparently a soundtrack. No, I don’t own the whole thing. Yes, Lee Dwyze performs on the soundtrack.) This haunting record was featured on an episode back in the spring.
  8. Katie Queen of Tennessee by The Apache Relay. This song will always remind me of our summer family vacation across the Midwest.
  9. Jackie and Wilson by Hozier. Everybody knows “Take Me To Church.” But this is a far catchier song.
  10. Red Eyes by The War on Drugs.
  11. Because I Love You by Doug Paisley.
  12. She Used To Love Me A Lot by Johnny Cash. Cash’s most recent posthumous album features a couple of great songs mingled among quite a bit of filler. This happens to be one of the great songs.
  13. Hold Me by Matthew Barber.
  14. Kansas City by The New Basement Tapes. Fans of Mumford & Sons will immediately recognize Marcus’s vocals on this track. While the band is on hiatus, this sort of thing will have to suffice.
  15. Don’t You Look Back by Augustines. 
  16. Left Hand Free by alt-J. I don’t LOVE a lot of what these guys have put out, but this song is fantastic.
  17. How Can You Really by Foxygen.
  18. Gimme Something Good by Ryan Adams. Back in the old days, Ryan Adams would put out, like, 18 albums a year. Thankfully, he’s figured out that less is more.
  19. My Beloved by Crowder.
  20. Don’t You Think It’s Come Our Time by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. I’m hoping that there’s a whole box full of recordings like this tucked away somewhere in a closet in Cash Manor. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why it took us 30 years to hear this great song.
  21. True Love by Coldplay.
  22. Nothing To It by The New Basement Tapes. Jim James jamming out to old Dylan lyrics. Works for me.
  23. The Devil Is All Around by Shovels & Rope.
  24. Perfect To Me by Marc Broussard.
  25. Around Town by The Kooks.
  26. Palisades Park by Counting Crows. Easily the best thing they’ve put out in 10 years.
  27. Every Breaking Wave by U2. I’ve already written about my disappointment with the new U2 record. Too much of it just comes across as desperate, like old guys trying too hard to be “hip” or whatever. But this song actually sounds like a U2 song.
  28. Sweet Amarillo by Old Crow Medicine Show.
  29. Hollow by Trampled By Turtles.
  30. My Silver Lining by First Aid Kit.

There’s the list. I’d love to hear what you’ve been listening to this year.

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