The 50 Best Songs of 2014 So Far

06/24/2014 10:41 PM |

Fatima Al Qadiri – “Shanzhai”

Sung in Chinese, and titled with that language’s word for pirate goods, this cover of Sinead O’Connor’s cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares for U” is well-realized conceptual art about globally trickled-down capitalism, that’s lovely enough to be more than that, too.

Hundred Waters – “Cavity”

“Electronic folk” connotes a certain murmuring gentleness, and the latest work from these Floridians does have a light touch. But there’s a current of sadness and unease flowing through this song that makes it too unsettling to be tasteful background fare.

FKA Twigs – “Two Weeks”

The first single from the heavily hyped UK singer’s debut album has a fuller sound than the positively skeletal EPs that got her noticed. It’s an encouraging sign that she’s not content to coast on faint suggestion. It’s sexed-up to the point of being blush-inducing (“My thighs are apart for when you’re ready to breathe in”!) and kinda hooky even, despite her continued commitment to slow-motion high-drama.

Kate Tempest – “The Beigeness”

An fiercely intelligent, award-winning, but still baby-faced poet from the UK, who makes overwhelmingly British rap music that recalls the early 00s high point of The Streets.

Kimbra – “90s Music”

I hate to break it to her, but except for the beginning of Missy Elliott’s reign in the decade’s last few years, 90s pop wasn’t actually this batshit crazy. But OK, sure.