While girl groups are trying to find their footing in America, the lasses across the pond have perfected the formula. Little Mix brought it hard in 2014 with the definitive girl power anthem to end all girl power anthems. With a hard hitting military beat, the girls belt their gorgeous four part harmonies, turned up to levels that will blow out your sound system. I happily salute to you, Little Mix!
Dami Im – Gladiator
After coming out as the victor in Australia’s X-Factor, Dami Im proved she had what it takes to become a global star. Gladiator was an explosive debut single that left one hell of an impression. Dami’s voice has both a sweet, intimate tone, as well as an impressive amount of power behind it. Matched by a huge, sweeping beat, and vivid lyrics about fighting for love “like a gladiator,” this song one power ballad that hits like a bomb. Other pop stars should be worried about the day that Dami Im decides to hop across the pond…
Liam Bailey – On My Mind
Liam Bailey made his official debut this year (in the US anyway), and quickly established himself as one of the top soul singers in the game! With a haunting sound that instantly grabs you, his smokey voice and deep blues sound will shake you to your core. Liam Bailey could very well be the second coming of Otis Reading or Sam Cook. If On My Mind is any testament, he will go down as one of the Blues greats.
Clean Bandit – Rather Be (featuring Jess Glynne)
Leave it to the Brits to change, literally, everything we known about what it takes to have an EDM hit. This band combines modern day house music with the added pleasure of classical instrumentals. The result is a surprisingly unexpected and refreshing sound! Add in the charming vocals of Jess Glynne, and you’ve got yourself one of the most unique radio hits of 2014!
Bring Me The Horizon – Drown
Some fans seem to be upset with the band’s less screamy direction. Regardless, its impossible to deny the impact that Drown has on its listeners. This song takes the dark and heavy nu-metal sound, but shows off a more melodic and emotional side of vocalist, Oliver Sykes. Rather than screaming, Oliver delivers some clean throated vocals that allow the full impact of the emotional lyrics to be felt. While it has yet to be seen if this sound will carry over to the band’s next album, Drown is able to stand alone based on its own merits.
Jessie J – You Don’t Really Know Me
Jessie J bounces between playing the “edgy popstar,” and the “introspective songwriter.” I’ve always felt that she’s at her best in a more introspective and vulnerable state, and this song is proof. Jessie goes acoustic on this track, with only a guitar to back her up. The result is a stripped down sound that allows her voice and her honest lyrics to really speak for themselves. It’s a chilling song that lets us into a very personal part of Jessie’s world.
Fall Out Boy – Immortals
I’ve always hated this band. Just throwing that out there. That’s why I was honestly shocked when I found myself jamming out to this song as the credits to Big Hero 6 rolled. With amped up energy and powerful vocals, this song is everything that a super hero theme song should be! Listening to it will make you want to don a mask and cape, and head out to fight the nearest wrong doer!
Iggy Azaelia – Fancy (featuring Charlie XCX)
And the award for 2014’s biggest guilty pleasure goes to Iggy! Look, I get that this song isn’t exactly what you would call…good. But at a point, you’ve got to just say “fuck it!” and jam out! With a cool synth beat, fierce rap verses, and Charlie’s sultry vocals, this song was just too much fun to resist! No, I don’t see Iggy as the savior of female rappers, but she doesn’t have to be. Let the haters hate, and Iggy can keep on being fancy.
Armin Van Buuren – Ping Pong
I’ve been a long time fan of this legendary DJ, but something about this song’s vibrant beat had me hooked. Its bouncy synths and floorfilling beat simply gave it a different flavor from most other EDM tracks. Good luck getting this one out of your head any time soon!
Yelawolf – Till Its Gone
Yelawolf has a style that is vastly different from most other rappers, and it makes his songs all the more unique. Over an acounstic guitar and a sparse beat, he delivers a well sung chorus and sharp pointed verses that weigh the pros and cons of the hip-hop lifestyle. Ultimately, he decides that his passion is worth all of the set backs and negative consequences. Hopefully this means we continue to get songs like this for many years to come!