Best of 2014: Music

Following up on our little group piece, throwing around favorites, we present a more structured list of the favorites from some of the people here at Life As A Dagger. Eat it up, get some more.

ANDY WILCOX: It's that time of year again where I tell you about music you've probably never heard of but it's a tradition at this point so listen up:

10. Freddie Gibbs and Madlib - Pinata

Amazing production mixed with dark lyrics delivered by Gangsta Gibbs himself.

9. Idylls - Prayer for Terrene

Some of the most abrasive stuff I listened to this year. Definitely not an easy listen but still rewarding.

8. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

Perfect follow up from last year. Jam this when feeling extra snarky.

7. Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

Matured Joyce Manor sounds like...^^

6. United Nations - The Next Four Years

Best hardcore/screamo/whatever you wanna call it album that came out this year.

5. Ratking - So it Goes

Trap beats mixed with tongue-in-cheek delivery, sign me up.

4. Single Mothers - Negative Qualities

Sassy punk

3. Nothing - Guilty of Everything

This was a close call with number 2. Beautiful, immense, dreamy.

2. The Hotelier - Home, Like No Place Is There

"In Your Deep Rest" might just be the track of the year.

*drum roll please*

1. Every Time I Die - From Parts Unknown

The boys come back with their heaviest, craziest, angriest record yet. AND IT RULES


MORGAN LUTHER: The thing about year-end top lists is that they are subjective.  I always liked subjective.  That’s why I went to school for social sciences, the study of subjective objectivity.  That’s why my top albums list is better than yours; because it’s mine.

Here, in a very particular order, with absolutely no explanation, are my top 15 favorite albums from 2014:

The Holy Mess – Comfort in the Discord

Michael Christmas – Is This Art? Technically a mixtape but whatever

Joyce Manor – Never Hungover Again

Porter Robinson – Worlds
(also my music video of the year)

Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2

sloslylove – The Haunted

Ghostface Killah – 36 Seasons

Ratking – So It Goes

Praise – Lights Went Out

Taylor Swift – 1989

Sorority Noise – Forgettable

Flying Lotus – You’re Dead!

Death Grips – The Powers That B

Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – Cheek to Cheek

Top 5 Songs of the Year (that are not contained in the albums above):

Body Count – “Talk Shit, Get Shot”

Anamanaguchi – “Pop It (feat. meesh)

Stitches – “Brick in Yo Face”

Montana of 300 – “Chiraq (Remix)”

DJ Muscleboy – “Louder”


DANIEL COUGHLIN: I once went on a rant against Pitchfork. It lasted something like 5,000 words. I probably stand by it. Every year I get a little more detached from music in general, but it ends up a great thing because I’m so bored with a majority of it that the few things that come along each year that thrill me, generally do so totally.

Ratking – So It Goes

I don't have a lot to say about it. If you didn't get in on it, you probably need to give it a listen. Strong flows over solid beats that are refreshing and not overproduced. Yuh.

Martyn – The Air Between Words

I really like what Martyn did with this release though a lot of people left it off of their lists. There are albums that I enjoyed more and definitely a lot of albums that I listened to much more. This just hits my ears in a good way that nothing else managed in 2014.

D'Angelo and The Vanguard - Black Messiah

I was originally going to put Trash Talk here, but D'Angelo is back and insistent on blowing up the world with these wonderful arrangements and I'm going along with it.

Code Orange – I Am King

Speaking of Deathwish Inc. The only release from that superlabel that stayed in my ears in 2014 was the quirky heavy mosh turned grunge stylings of Code Orange. Bonus points for dropping "Kids" from their name.

True Love – New Young Gods

New blood producing sounds reminiscent of classic early-2000s hardcore like Carry On and American Nightmare. React! Records leading the way in hardcore in 2014, just like 2013, 2012...

GIVE – Electric Flower Circus

DC mega-granola vibes done up DC hardcore punk style. Fantastic release.

Wu-Tang Clan – A Better Tomorrow

The legends return - again. Wu-Tang made the world go round for the better part of a decade. This album doesn't compare, but there is progression to be found and just like they always have, they stand apart from the rest of the hip-hop crowd and maybe a head above.

TV On The Radio – Seeds

Seriously, why isn't anyone else talking about how good this is? Sophisticated song writing and infectious rhythms. TV On The Radio is yet another classic artist that reinvents themselves in 2014 and the results are enjoyable.

Dead Congregation – Promulgation of the Fall

The best album of 2014 in any genre hands down. Death metal isn't for everyone. This is death metal being played as perfectly as is possible.

Run The Jewels – RTJ2

This and Ratking are the only albums that we all agreed belongs in our "top albums" list for 2014. Every song is a hit and you never reach a point where it feels like it drags. If only every rap album could do this. Actually, no. Only RTJ please.

10 Tracks To Take With You:

A lot of music gets produced in the modern age, I can't possibly keep up with all of it. Here are 10 tracks to take with you to bookmark the year that was.

Smashing Pumpkins - Tiberius

Jacques Greene – After Life After Party

A$AP Rocky - Multiply

Duke Dumont - I Got U

Wildhoney - Seventeen

Crosses - The Epilogue

Future - Move That Dope

Chuck Inglish - Swervin

Avec Avec - Moon Prism

Bishops Green - Another Door