Monday, January 19, 2015

Best of 2014 - Songs

This list is much different from last year's. A bit more mature, perhaps. More electronic in general, for sure. The biggest difference, though, is the number of new artists. With my two favorite bands and others splitting this year, I knew I had to take a different direction in my search for good music and try out some new groups. Where 2013 was a battle of many returning favorites, 2014 is a new chapter made of up-and-comers with good timing. 36 of these 51 songs, including the top 3, are from artists you've never seen on my blog before. They've grown on me quickly and I hope you enjoy them as well.

Love and the struggle for it are clear themes among the group, often accompanied with a bittersweet sincerity and not-so-happy endings. Through the length of the list, a battle between high energy and relaxing composition persists. That's often the case among my favorites, but this time I feel emphasized extremes. It all comes down to a final dual where, ultimately, high energy seized the top spot. This list is still somewhat of a novelty to me, but I foresee many of these new finds becoming old favorites.

Here they are, the best 2014 had to offer for someone deeply in love with music:

51. In Harmony - Ásgeir
50. I Want You - Tina Dico
49. Tremors - Sohn
48. Insel - Juli
47. Wild and Wasted - Blondfire
46. Don't Leave - Seven Lions ft. Ellie Goulding
45. Green and Gold - Lanterns On The Lake 
44. The Wild Life - Vacationer
43. You Haunt Me - Sir Sly
42. Cannibal - Silversun Pickups
41. Midnight - Coldplay
40. This Love - Taylor Swift (copyright block)
39. Hold Me Tight - Berlinist
38. Sordid Affair - Röyksopp ft. Man Without Country
37. Muscle Memory - Lights
36. Eyes Off You - Bombay Bicycle Club
35. Stay With Me - Sam Smith
34. Wasting My Young Years - London Grammar
33. Going Down - The Cinema
32. Luna - Bombay Bicycle Club
31. Running With The Boys - Lights
30. Body - Niia
29. A Sky Full of Stars - Coldplay
28. Whispers - Passenger
27. Warm Foothills - Alt-J
26. Discoloration - Dawn Golden
25. Perfect World - Broken Bells
24. Ten Tonne Skeleton - Royal Blood
23. Atonement - Anberlin
22. We Are Giants - Lindsey Stirling ft. Dia Frampton
21. Long Long Way - Damien Rice
20. Wasteland - Needtobreathe
19. Background - Barcelona
18. Up We Go - Lights

17. Say Something - A Great Big World
"Anywhere, I would've followed you"

16. Fellow Feeling - Porter Robinson
"And now, I cry for all that is beautiful."

15. Always In My Head - Coldplay
"This, I guess, is to tell you you're chosen out from the rest."

14. The Brink - The Jezabels
"We all wanted something real."

13. Sad Machine - Porter Robinson
"We depend on you."

12. No Country - The Jezabels
"Gotta get made of make-believe."

11. Fire Escape - Foster the People
"All the young faces come and replace the dying ones."

10. Fall in Love - Barcelona
"If forever's gonna last then we'd better find the same direction."

9. All This Love - Angus & Julia Stone
"All of me is all for you."

8. Break the Cycle - You+Me
"Love is louder than all your pain."

7. Say My Name - Odesza
"I always fall for confidence and your compliments look good on me."

6.  Love Don't Go - The Family Crest
"We went off with a spark, but you were left out in the dark."

5. Back To Life - Wolf Gang
"I wouldn't be the man I am without your love."

4. Beat To Beat - The Jezabels
"Want a medal? Start a war."

3. Last Train - Dawn Golden
(*Language Warning*)
"I'll be right here when you call my name, waiting."

2. When the Lights Go Out - The Family Crest
"Know that I am with you here."

Something worth mentioning here... this is my sixth year doing this.
Best song of 2009 was solo piano
2010 was bass-led soft rock
2011 was pure-energy from a DJ 
2012 was solo piano
2013 was bass-led soft rock

Yeah, you guessed it.

1. Divinity - Porter Robinson ft. Amy Millan
"We will wait for this."

Best of 2014 - Albums

10. Love Me/Love You/Know Love - Barcelona

9. Insel - Juli

8. If You Wait - London Grammar

7. Still Life - Dawn Golden

6. Alveron - Wolf Gang

5. Ghost Stories - Coldplay

4. Whispers - Passenger

3. Beneath the Brine - The Family Crest

2. Worlds - Porter Robinson

1. The Brink - The Jezabels

Best of 2014 - Video Games

Lucky me got a hold of a cheap Xbox One from a cousin just before the year ended, which is where I played eight of my top ten games from the year. I still have dozens of hours left to go before I've completed them all, but here's where they stand based on what I've seen.

10. The Wolf Among Us

9. The Walking Dead: Season 2

8. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

7. Child of Light

6. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

5. Titanfall

4. Sunset Overdrive

3. Destiny

2. Dragon Age: Inquisition

1. Alien: Isolation

Best of 2014 - Movies

Regretfully, I didn't have the time to really explore the myriad of 2014 movies, but there were plenty of big releases that I got around to. Here are my favorite movies from the year.

10. I Origins

9. Unbroken

8. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

7. Imitation Game

6. Big Hero 6

5. Guardians of the Galaxy

4. Interstellar

3. The LEGO Movie

2. X-Men: Days of Future Past

1. Edge of Tomorrow

Friday, January 16, 2015

Best of 2014 Intro

2014 was a trial of patience for me. I spent the first ten months serving my mission in Germany without the luxury of enjoying the games, movies, and music upon its arrival. Then I spent the last two months wishing there was more time to experience it all. I fit in what I could and still managed a few excellent lists to spotlight my favorites from the year.

2014 a little more in-depth:

My first week of the year was in my favorite German city, Kassel. Sadly, I had to move on from there to a place called Leer near the Dutch border. I remained until May, when I moved to Hof in the northern tip of Bavaria. In September, I moved to Berlin, which is where I would live out the grand finale of my two years in Germany.

I got back home on October 29th. I missed Germany a whole lot, especially when the holidays hit, and I always will. On the plus side, I was incredibly anxious to dive into the wealth of new entertainment, much of which I hadn't even heard of. I was slow in getting to the movies, but my trusty dad had a set of games and albums ready for me, which made me high on life for the entirety of those two months home.