The 50 Best Songs of 2014 So Far

06/24/2014 10:41 PM |

Tune Yards – “Water Fountain”

Gleefully skipping through topical thornbushes as always, Merrill Garbus gives us maybe the first post-apocalyptic double-dutch jam ever?

Shamir – “If it Wasn’t True”

The 19-year-old Las Vegas prodigy overstuffs his first EP, Northtown, with the same abundant natural charisma he used to absolutely nail his live debut at the Northside Festival a couple weeks back.

Hercules and Love Affair – “I Try to Talk to You”

Andy Butler’s house-disco project has been defined second to second by his excellent taste in unexpected guest vocalists. Ex-Czars singer, John Grant, more commonly heard in the context of alt-folk records, lends a wounded gravity to this song, written about his own HIV diagnosis.

Todd Terje (f. Bryan Ferry) – “Johnny and Mary”

It’s always completely heart-wrenching to hear once-virile pop icons sound so frail. This song is like a dapper old gent at a bar mirror, fixing his ascot with focused effort, too dignified to let some version of past perfection slip away for good.

Lydia Ainsworth – “Malachite”

This new signee to Grimes’ label, Arbutus Records, attempts odd semi-classical flourishes just a little too big to be held in by her otherwise cramped music-box minimalism.