Yuna – Come Back
This Malaysian singer-songwriter is known for her touching and emotional sound, but we rarely think of her for making upbeat pop tunes. With a lively xylophone, perky hand claps and a colorful beat, Come Back shows off a more playful side of the artist. Her voice is just as angelic as ever, making the song a joy to listen to! With a creative and unique video, this song is a perfect way to introduce yourself to Yuna if you haven’t had the pleasure already.
Mr. Probz – Waves (Robin Schultz Remix)
Once this rather dreary song got a more uptempo remix courtesy of Robin Schultz, Waves became a world wide hit! Probz soulful voice and melancholy lyrics are left in tact, giving the song a somber feeling. However, with the added kick of a spacey dance beat, the song takes on a new life. It gives off an atmospheric vibe that you can easily lose yourself in. The original is well worth a listen, but the teaming of Mr. Probz’s singing and Robin Scultz’s production is a winning combo.
Death From Above 1979 – Government Trash
This was definitely a good year for rock duos! Death From Above 1979 might sound like a garage full of hyped up rockers shredding away, but the act consists of only a drummer and a bassist. And yet, their sound hits like an atomic bomb. The group previously broke up, but announced a reunion which subsequently turned out this aggressive little thrasher. With its gritty, lo-fi sound and snarling vocals, this is definitely something that’s going to keep the neighbors up.
The Griswolds – Beware the Dog
This Sydney based indie group can be counted on for one hell of a good time! Their bubbly, synth heavy sound will have you bouncing along in no time. With an energetic beat, a catchy chorus, and pleanty of sing along moments, Beware the Dog is an instant crowd pleaser. Its even better when you play the song while watching a werewolf mercilessly slaughter tons of people through some terribly cheesy special effects. Just watch the music video!
Magic! – Rude
Who would have thought that a group of Canadians would have a reggae hit? With a light and breezy sound, and haplessly romantic lyrics, this was a song that had all the ladies swooning. It was a song that was almost so novel that it suffered from its own camp. And yet, something about it was endearing. Charming, even! Its catchy chorus and funky sound will be on summer time playlists forever more.
Chromeo – Jealous (I Ain’t With It)
I’m not saying that Nick Jonas copied Chromeo’s concept with his song of the same name, but the similarities are more than apparent. Catchy pop tune about jealousy with a disco and funk influence? Hmmm….either way, Chromeo’s take on it if far superior! Swanky, tongue in cheek lyrics about being “too cool to admit it,” vibrant synths, and a catchy beat make this one of 2014’s biggest ear worms.
Hoodie Allen – Movie
He might not look like one of the best rappers in the game, but Hoodie Allen is not to be under rated. Keeping a low profile, Hoodie does his own thing, and doesn’t really give a fuck about what the standards of the industry are. The result is some of the most unique and clever hip-hop to come out in awhile. With mile a minute verses and a well sung chorus over a jazzy hip-hop beat, Hoodie makes a strong case for himself. I think I’ve officially joined the Hoodie Mob!
Selena Gomez – The Heart Wants What It Wants
Sad Selena is sad. Apparently, all it takes is a little heartache to get Selena to step outside of her electro-pop bubble and experiment a little. Her experiment with trippy beats, introspective lyrics, and darker tones really worked, creating her most interesting work yet. Selena might just be Disney’s most reliable hit maker, and she’s well on her way to a graceful ascent to the top.
Johnnyswim – Diamonds
Folk duos are pretty trendy right now, but few can compare to this duo. Diamonds is the title track from their 2014 album, and was by far my favorite track. Its an uplifting song that features some powerful lyrics and rustic sounds, brought to life by the soulful blend of Amanda and Abner’s voices. If this song doesn’t put you in a good mood, you might as well turn in your membership card to the human race.
The Weeknd – Often
The Weeknd has created a sound that simply cannot be replicated. While many are trying to make “futuristic RnB” a movement, Abel Tsfaye will always be the pack leader. His murky, distorted beats contrast his smooth and nuanced vocal delivery…contrasted even further with the explicit lyrical content. Although he’s changed little about his style and composition over the years, Often remains one of the most unique tracks of the year.