There was one particular album, released in September, that came to my ears in October and punched me square in the temple. It kicked in my teeth and proceeded to slide down my throat and take residence, frenetically, violently, yet doused in serenity, in my heart, or at least the space in my body that used to contain the organ. (That album has my heart now, and frankly, as much as I liked having it, it’s in a better place.)
Which album did this to me? Scroll down to number 1 if you’d like to see the several songs that enveloped my aural attention, or read the list in order. Whatever’s clever Trevor.
Make no mistake, my favourite songs of the month reach beyond that one stunning record — the month was rife with a number of spectacular songs. Here are my favourite twenty (give or take) songs of October 2014.
Not from 2014, but still one of my favourite songs of the past 5 years, and the best song ever called “October”.
20. A.G. Cook – Beautiful
A distant relative of Happy Hardcore, with a nod to Grimes, Sophie, and other electro pop mainstays.
19. Jose Gonzalez – Heartbeats (Filous and Mount Remix)
Terrific remix of a magnificent cover of an incredible song. That’s a lot of awesome.
18. Kongos – I’m Only Joking
I’m not kidding, this song is a menace.
17. Guster – Long Night/Simple Machine
I’m so happy Guster is back. Everything they do is marvellous.
16. Take That – These Days
Welcome back lads. Two short, but a solid, fun comeback song and video nevertheless.
15. Cold War Kids – All This Could Be Yours
Another welcome back is in order for Cold War Kids! “All This Could Be Yours” is a very solid lead single.
14. The Tea Party – The Ocean At The End
I already welcomed The Tea Party back last month with their incredible cover of Daniel Lanois’ “The Maker”. So this is more of a cap tip to this epic sprawl of a tune, eight-and-a-half minutes of changing dynamics, multiple instruments, and waves of guitars.
13. Broncho – Class Historian
Do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do til infinity. Fantastic earworm factor here.
12. Aphex Twin – Minipops 67 (120.2) (Source Field Mix)
13 years in between records for Richard James, and he comes back with something only he could’ve done. It’s weird, catchy, and utterly unique.
11. Sir Sly – You Haunt Me
I think this, the 3rd single from Sir Sly’s debut album is the best of their releases to date. Love the bridge at 2:29.
10. Jack White – Would You Fight For My Love
This is one of the most grandiose tracks Jack White’s ever done. It’s also one of my favourites.
9. Sleeper Agent – Waves
This song is pure happiness. Such appeal. So friend to ear. Many dance. Doge luvs Waves. Just not bath.
8. The Black Keys – Gotta Get Away
Best song on Turn Blue. Straightforward but oh so sing-a-long-able.
7. Banks – Beggin For Thread
When I first heard Banks, I thought, I like this girl’s voice, I like her style. She listed her phone number on her Facebook page for heaven’s sake. She just needed a hit. She’s got one now. Sultry, juicy, “Beggin For Thread” has clothes for days.
6. The Griswolds – Beware The Dog
Sing-a-long choruses don’t get much more fun than this one. This is the sound of summer, the sound of adventure, the sound of dancing naked on top of your car in a busy intersection.
5. Milky Chance – Flashed Junk Mind
So, so catchy. I know everyone in the world has heard and likes “Stolen Dance”, but I think “Flashed Junk Mind” is equally as good if not better.
4. alt-J – Nara/The Gospel of John Hurt
More aural beauty from possibly the best band on the planet.
The Gospel of John Hurt:
3. Lorde – Yellow Flicker Beat
First listen: cool track. Third listen: yeah, I can get down with this. Sixth listen: she did it again that Kiwi pixie. Tenth listen: this is so criminally catchy it’s been banned in Australia. Sits right along side the best Lorde has done in her short yet remarkable career. Also, her dance moves, in this video, and frankly at all times, are a wonder of spastic, convulsive joy. We’ve found the lone graduate of the Elaine Benes School of Dance. Lorde is real and she’s fantastic.
2. Taylor Swift – Out Of The Woods
I can’t find a quality recorded version of “Out Of The Woods”, so this live version will have to suffice. The studio version is a wicked beast. It’s been hit after hit after hit for Ms. Swift in recent years. The pre-eminent popstar of this generation. Hands down, the one with the best set of songs.
1. Manchester Orchestra (Hope) – Trees; See It Again; The Ocean; The Mansion; Indentions; All That I Really Wanted; Top Notch
Hope snuck up on me. Doesn’t it always? I’d still been revelling in Manchester Orchestra’s amazing Cope from earlier in the year, a rich rock record full of reds, blacks, and sonic attacks. Cope shows the Georgia band at the peak of their considerable, voluminous powers. And then they dropped Hope. Reimagining every single track from Cope, Hope is quieter, more intimate, more dynamic, and impossibly, more traumatic than Cope. Manchester Orchestra, led by incomparable frontman Andy Hull, altered the lyrics, melodies, and echoes of Cope‘s songs, and the result is a shining beacon of grace, something beyond beautiful. This isn’t just a collection of songs. This isn’t just music. This is art of the highest fucking quality, a gargantuan, varied expression that massages, messages, unloads, codes, and ultimately reflects the human experience.
This record is a talisman for me. It’s why I still search out new music so zestfully. It’s why, from time to time, music gives me goosebumps almighty. It’s why every so often, this type of art makes me shed tears. This is why we live. At least it’s why I do. That’s Hope.