Best Of 2014: Tracks... So Far
We're exactly halfway through the year. Here's our selection of the best tracks... So far
July 1st marks the exact halfway mark of 2014. We know, how time flies, etc etc. Given the pace that new music hits the pages nowadays, it's more than likely that there's a few things you may have missed. And so, in no particular order, here's our pick of the 12 best tracks of the year so far. Feel free to disagree with us on in the comments below, or over on Twitter, here.
Blessa - Unfurl
It's really just been a matter of time for Blessa - ever since they unveiled debut track "Between Times" which is one of the most glorious debuts we've heard in a long time. "Unfurl" builds on said track, minimising fuzz and adopting a more light a breezy feel - and if you heard "Between Times", you'll be wondering how that's even possible. 2014 is a big year for Blessa.
Nothing - Endlessly
Nothing are probably one of the most under-rated bands around at the minute - not really sure why, but it's true. The band's post-grunge shoegaze blend is stunning to say the least and although the band unveiled around four or five tracks this year, "Endlessly" stand out as one of the most stunning. Stirring and heavily emotive, none of this namby-pamby pop-rock.
Wolf Alice - Moaning Lisa Smile
Much like Blessa, Wolf Alice have been poised for greatness ever since debut track "Fluffy" and probably felt a slight weight of expectation coming into the promotional cycle for this latest EP. They didn't disappoint with more than one exceptional track, though "Moaning Lisa Smile" takes the biscuit and proves that UK guitar music or whatever, is far from dead.
All We Are - Feel Safe
Liverpool's All We Are have to be up there for breakthrough artist of 2014 and listening to debut track "Feel Safe" there's absolutely no question. Obviously taking influences from across the pond (think Twin Shadow, Toro Y Moi) and from the UK (think Metronomy) also, the band produce a funked up take on "that old chestnut" chillwave.
Azekel - New Romance
On his latest single, London producer Azekel produced conjured up one of the best tracks we've heard this year. A pulsating and vibrant number that quite simply has it all - from the falsetto-like vocals to the intriguing stop start beat and other-worldly sound effects. It's a perfect concoction that provides a refreshing listen, every single time.
Francis Lung - A Selfish Man
Naturally, the WU LYF affiliations may take some time to truly shake, but Francis Lung, aka Tom McGlung, clearly knows how to craft a pop-hit on his own. "A Selfish Man" is infectious from start to finish, with sun soaked melodies and funky stabs that help make this debut rather special indeed.
Posse - Shut Up
There is a distinct lack of tracks nowadays that dare tread over the standard three and a half minute mark. It's testament to Posse's perfect nonchalance and undoubted ability, then, that they manage to pull off songs like "Shut Up" in such emphatic style. The track is taken from their equally as good mini album Soft Opening, which you might just want to check out also.
Eagulls - Possessed
Taken from the coldest depths of January, it's been quite the year for Leeds' noisy bastards Eagulls. Ultimately, "Possessed" is a track that the one often tunnel visioned music industry needs sometimes. It's go the kind of visceral energy that provides you with enough sense to make it through the troves of endless drivel that some 'bands' seem to enjoy putting out, over and over again.
YOUTHCULT - Bored
YOUTHCULT made a pretty good first impression on us back in April, as we were left stunned with the purity and general awesome ambience of "Bored". This track takes us back to the early excitement surrounding WU LYF and is a dead-cert to feature as one of our highlights of the year so far.
Black Honey - Sleep Forever
This Black Honey track has just snuck into our list given that it was only last week the track dropped. However, it's undoubtedly a track of the year with its awesome cinematic aura and overall class. Black Honey are currently faceless and keen to keep their identities shrouded. That's fine by us; just keep churning out tracks like "Sleep Forever" and we're happy.
Pell - Dollar Store
Pell impressed with his latest project Floating While Dreaming and "Dollar Store" was one of our favourites. Hip-Hop/Rap is slowly but surely working its way back to a respectable standard, and Pell is certainly doing his bit for the cause. "Dollar Store" is an energetic, yet stylish piece of work and therefore comes in as one of the best we've heard this year.
Home School - She'll Move On
"She'll Move On" was released back in March on a compilation by Leeds DIY label Beech Coma, and was the first we'd heard from Home School since 2013. The track's melodic, reverb heavy surf-pop with some lovely hooks and a big chorus. More of the same please, Home School.