The Young Folks’ Best Music of 2014


The Young Folks team has come together to list the very best in entertainment and pop culture for the year 2014!

From Taylor Swift’s 1989 to FKA Twigs, our tastes in music may slightly differ, but there’s no doubt that 2014 gave us some of the most interesting and entertaining songs and albums. Click through the slideshow to see each writer’s list, and sound off in the comments with your favorite albums and songs of 2014!

[tps_title]Maxwell Haddad’s Top 10 Albums of 2014[/tps_title]

  1. Lazaretto, by Jack White
  2. My Favourite Faded Fantasy, by Damien Rice
  3. 1989, by Taylor Swift
  4. In Conflict, by Owen Pallett
  5. St. Vincent, by St. Vincent
  6. Ultraviolence, by Lana Del Rey
  7. I Never Learn, by Lykkie Li
  8. Turn Blue, by The Black Keys
  9. X, by Ed Sheeran
  10. In the Lonely Hour, by Sam Smith

[tps_title]Ryan Gibbs’ Top 10 Albums of 2014[/tps_title]


  1. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
  2. Gerard Way – Hesitant Alien
  3. Tacocat – NVM
  4. Nothing – Guilty of Everything
  5. Iceage – Plowing into the Fields of Love
  6. Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels II
  7. Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott – What Have We Become
  8. Lake Street Dive – Bad Self Portraits
  9. Mean Creek – Local Losers
  10. Ex Hex – Rips

[tps_title]Cristina Moreano’s Top Music of 2014[/tps_title]


Top 10 Albums 

  1. El Pintor – Interpol
  2. Everything Will Be Alright In The End – Weezer
  3. They Want My Soul – Spoon
  4. Ghost Stories – Coldplay
  5. Morning Phase – Beck
  6. Concrete Love – The Courteeners
  7. Monuments to an Elegy – The Smashing Pumpkins
  8. Embrace – Embrace
  9. Luminous – The Horrors
  10. Education, Education, Education & War – Kaiser Chiefs

Top 10 Songs 

  1. All the Rage Back Home – Interpol
  2. Stay With Me – Sam Smith
  3. Do You – Spoon
  4. Summer – The Courteeners
  5. Blue Moon – Beck
  6. Cleopatra – Weezer
  7. Stuck in my teeth – Circa Waves
  8. In the Heat of the Moment – Noel Gallagher
  9. Misery Company – Kaiser Chiefs
  10. Follow You Home – Embrace

[tps_title]Gabrielle Bondi’s Top Music of 2014[/tps_title]


In no specific order…

Top 10 Albums

Pharrell – Girl

Nick Jonas – Nick Jonas

FKA Twigs – LP1

Lana del Rey – Ultraviolence

Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear

Young the Giant – Mind Over Matter

St. Vincent – St. Vincent

Lily Allen – Sheezus

Ed Sheeran – X

Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour

Top 10 Songs 

“Somewhere Only We Know” – Lily Allen

“Uptown Funk” – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars

“Jealous” – Nick Jonas

“***Flawless” – Beyonce

“Numb” – Nick Jonas ft. Angel Haze

“Love Me Harder” – Ariana Grande ft. The Weeknd

“Chandelier” – Sia

“Tenerife Sea” – Ed Sheeran

“Hard Out Here” – Lily Allen

“Kicks” – FKA Twigs

[tps_title]Luciana Villalba’s Top Albums/Songs of 2014[/tps_title]

  1. “Wrote A Song About You” – MNEK. My ultimate 2K14 jam which should have been this summer’s anthem, to be honest.
  2. The Rhythm” – MNEK. The 2K14 winter jam. Have I told you I’m a big fan of this guy?
  3. 2014 Forest Hills Drive – J. Cole – I like the whole retrospective album feel and has that good kid, mAAd city vibe about it.
  4. In The Lonely Hour – Sam Smith – Hopefully the winner of Best New Artist at the Grammys. Sam Smith is a blessing y’all, a blessing!
  5. i” – Kendrick Lamar – He appeared out of nowhere with a song about loving yourself. Seriously, what’s not to love?
  6. No Rest for the Wicked” – Lykke Li – One of the best songs released this year, even the remix with A$AP Rocky was great too.
  7.  “Jealous” – Nick Jonas – So you mean to tell me that I’m actually digging a Nick Jonas song? Oh okay. Okay.
  8. Not a Bad Thing” – Justin Timberlake – This song was too much, and then I found out about the extended version on the album and loved it even more.
  9. Anaconda” – Nicki Minaj – The video gave a lot to talk about, but the message went beyond the booty topic.
  10. Love Me Harder” – Ariana Grande ft The Weeknd – If anything, 2014 was the breakout year for Ariana Grande. From “Problem” to “Bang Bang” to “Break Free”, Ariana was constantly on the radio.

[tps_title]Allyson Johnson’s Top Ten Music Albums[/tps_title]

  1.    Banks – Goddess

I’ve seen some meandering opinions on this one, but mine stays directly in the “love it” territory. Her vocals are gorgeous, layered over yet another beautifully done production with very clear cut quality. The songs range from having dance vibes to having Adele-like soul, and it’s a variety that works rather than feeling discombobulated. It’s a personal sounding album and it’s one that welcomes all listeners in.

  1.    Broods – Evergreen

They’re one of the most pop-infused alternative rock bands I’ve heard in a while, and it’s one of the reasons they’re so infectious to listen to. “Coattails” is an absurdly catchy song, and much of the remainder of the album follows suit. It’s a strong showcase for any band, particularity one so fresh out of the gate. Bands can win me over with a confident sound from the get-go.

  1.    James Vincent McMorrow – Post Tropical

Similar to what I’ve said before, James Vincent McMorrow’s music just clicks with what I like. One part Bon Iver, the other part James Blake, McMorrow strikes just the right chord of the two while giving his music his own R&B, electronica vibe; yet another artist who’s departed from his folk roots. He easily has some of my favorite vocals of any artist today.

  1.    Taylor Swift – 1989

Okay… let’s just say I’m the last person who expected for this to happen and yet, here we are. I love a good pop album and 1989 had pop-anthems, pop-synth, and a singer who was very obviously having fun with her music rather than sticking to a genre to appease the music charts. Songs like “Out of the Woods” and “Style” showcase some wonderful studio production – check out the harmonizing layers on the former. And despite its obvious radio-grab sensibility, “Shake It Off” is a song that’s hard not to hum and groove to. The lyrics are simple but self-aware, the vocals serviceable and nothing special, but it’s the hook and structure of her songs that pull me in.  Easily my most replayed album of the year.

  1.    FKA Twigs – LP1

FKA Twigs has a very memorable album on her hands. There’s a crisp production quality to her music, some James Blake-like influence, and a style that’s as authentic as you can get in the music business. Stunning, atmospheric and dipped in unconventionality.

  1.    How to Dress Well – What is this Heart?

I really love a good album that utilizes harmonious vocals and electronica influences with soulful lyrics. It’s just about everything I need in an album to make it worth checking out for me. The final song on the album, “House Inside,” is just stunning musicianship.

  1.    Chet Faker – Built on Glass

I have a very particular vein of music that I love, but I’m not well versed enough in musical terminology to aptly describe it. I guess if I added it by its parts, it’s soul pop male vocals layered over some synthy, alternative rock instrumentals. Make sense? No?! Well then, listen to Built on Glass, which is essentially my taste in a nutshell. His album is super atmospheric and suitably moody when I’m in my hard introspective moods. His vocals are beautiful and haunting, full of emotion.

  1.    Braid – No Coast

This album was my summer anthem. I was working at a record store, I wasn’t dealing with real life problems, and I was ahem… coasting by. It was nice, and this album more than any other from this year marks the summer for me. With pop-punk inflections, some catchy hooks and upbeat lyrics, it was the album to drive with your windows down to: screw the AC.

  1.    The Hotelier – Home, Like Noplace is There

This one kind of snuck up on me. It wasn’t a band I had been all too familiar with, but was surrounded by for much of the year until I finally realized I was a fan. They’re true emo(tive) pop-punk with an album that’s a screaming, bleeding open wound of loss and grief. Their song “Dendron” is one of the year’s best, with a monumental build-up into the bridge and an excellent vocal showcase.

  1.  Ben Howard – I Forget Where We Were

I knew of Ben Howard for his folksy, singer-songwriter styling, and while I enjoy that genre of music, for some reason I was never compelled to listen to his first album. I Forget Where We Were adds a moody sensibility, a low rumbling thread of emotional poignancy that allows Ben Howard to escape the circular trap of what folk music can turn into.

HONORABLE MENTIONS TO: Bleachers – Strange Desire, Jessie Ware – Tough Love, Phantogram – Voices, and Tiger’s Jaw – Charmer.

[tps_title]Matt Rice’s Top Music of 2014[/tps_title]

Top 10 Albums:

  1. Lily Allen: Sheezus (Parlophone)
  2. Wussy: Attica! (Shake It)
  3. Miranda Lambert: Platinum (RCA Nashville)
  4. Leonard Cohen: Popular Problems (Columbia)
  5. Old 97’s: Most Messed Up (ATO)
  6. Young Thug & Bloody Jay: Black Portland (free download)
  7. The New Pornographers: Brill Bruisers (Matador)
  8. Yelle: Complètement Fou (Kemosabe)
  9. Azealia Banks: Broke with Expensive Taste (Prospect Park)
  10. D’Angelo and the Vanguard: Black Messiah (RCA)

Honorable mention: Parquet Courts: Sunbathing Animal (What’s Your Rupture?)

Top 10 Songs:

  1. Kira Isabella: “Quarterback” (Sony Music Canada)
  2. Sleater-Kinney: “Bury Our Friends” (Sub Pop)
  3. Skrillex (ft. Diplo, CL & G-Dragon): “Dirty Vibe” (Big Beat/OWSLA/Atlantic)
  4. Usher: “Good Kisser” (RCA)
  5. Mark Ronson (ft. Bruno Mars): “Uptown Funk” (RCA)
  6. Ariana Grande (ft. Iggy Azalea): “Problem” (Republic)
  7. Tinashe (ft. A$AP Rocky): “Pretend” (RCA)
  8. Wussy: “Halloween” (Shake It)
  9. Kiesza: “Hideaway” (Lokal Legend)
  10. Nicki Minaj: “Lookin Ass” (Young Money/Cash Money/Republic)

Honorable mention: Shamir: “On the Regular” (XL)

Check out more of Matt’s favorite music of 2014 on his blog:

[tps_title]James Gilbert’s Top Music of 2014[/tps_title]

Top Ten Songs of the Year

10. “Nate” by Vince Staples, featuring James Fauntlero

9. “Wet Dreamz” by J. Cole

8. “Shot You Down” by Isaiah Rashad, featuring Jay Rock & ScHoolboy Q

7. “Hero” by Frank Ocean + Mick Jones & Paul Simonon + Diplo

6. “Amethyst” by Jonny Greenwood

5. “Nara” by alt-J

4. “i” by Kendrick Lamar

3. “Never Catch Me” by Flying Lotus, featuring Kendrick Lamar

2. “Seasons (Waiting On You)” [BADBADNOTGOOD Reinterpretation] by Future Islands

1. “Untitled” by Kendrick Lamar, featuring Anna Wise, Bilal, Thundercat & Terrace Martin

Top Ten Albums of the Year

10. “Lazaretto” by Jack White

9. “Run the Jewels 2” by Run the Jewels

8. “2014 Forest Hills Drive” by J. Cole

7. “CLPPNG” by clipping.

6. “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix, Vol. 1” by Various Artists

5. “Morning Phase” by Beck

4. “Black Messiah” by D’Angelo and The Vanguard

3. “You’re Dead!” by Flying Lotus

2. “Inherent Vice” by Jonny Greenwood & Various Artists

1. “Piñata” by Freddie Gibbs & Madlib

[tps_title]Melissa Berne’s Top 10 Songs of 2014[/tps_title]

  1. ***Flawless – Beyonce
  2. All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
  3. Shake it Off – Taylor Swift
  4. Bang Bang – Ariana Grande, Jessie J, Nicki Minaj
  5. Animals – Maroon 5
  6. Stay With Me – Sam Smith
  7. Studio – Schoolboy Q
  8. Don’t Tell ‘Em – Jeremiah
  9. Jealous – Nick Jonas
  10. The Hanging Tree – James Newton Howard ft. Jennifer Lawrence

[tps_title]Jon Espino’s Top Music Albums[/tps_title]

1) Beyonce – “Beyonce”

2) Weird Al Yankovic – “Mandatory Fun”

3) Charli XCX – “Sucker”

4) Lykke Li – “I Never Learn”

5) Sam Smith – “In the Lonely Hour”

6) St. Vincent – “St. Vincent”

7) Pharrell – “GIRL”

8) Future – “Honest”

9) Conor Oberst – “Upside Down Mountain”

10) Beck – “Morning Phase”

[tps_title]Zenaida Gorbea’s Top 10 Songs of 2014[/tps_title]

1) DJ Snake Lil John – Turn Down For What

2) The Neighbourhood – #icanteven

3) Lovelife – Everybody Wants to be Someone Else

4) Royksopp & Robyn – Monument

5) Big Sean Ft E40 – I don’t F*** with you

6) Nick Jonas – Jealous

7) FKA Twigs – Two Weeks

8) Disclosure Ft. Sam Smith – Latch

9) Katy Perry – Dark Horse

10) Iggy Azalea Ft. Charli XCX – Fancy


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