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If you missed Part One, click here.
And now, onwards!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

FKA twigs – Two Weeks

…Look, this song is sexy as heck, alright? Let me just leave it at that.

How to Dress Well – Words I Don’t Remember

Tom Krell is one of the most cinematic musicians recording today, and this is easily his most heartbreaking track to date.

Beck – Blue Moon

I love Beck, but I wasn’t too won over with this 2014’s Morning Phase, mostly because it felt like he was re-treading material he’d already covered more interestingly on Sea Change (they even have the same cover art). But, somewhat aptly, “Blue Moon” rose to the top, one of the most personal songs he’s written in a while.
Still not a fan of section from 1:38-1:46 though.

Sun Kil Moon – Carissa

By rights, all of Sun Kil Moon’s Benji should be this list. It’s easily my most-played album of the year, and an incredible piece of work. Nearly every track involves the death of one of Mark Kozelek’s family or friends, and the ones that don’t still delve deep into some pretty traumatic personal experiences from his life.
And yet, it isn’t depressing! Most albums like this would make the listener feel as if they were prying into something they shouldn’t, but the constant presence of Mark’s vocals make it feel more like he’s inviting us in.
What follows is a fascinating and brutally honest look at death, and all the weird shit that precedes it that we call “life”. I find the record is best treated like a radio play or podcast. Don’t put it on in the background, focus on the words, and you’ll find it incredibly rewarding. “Carissa” is where it all begins, so give this a spin and see if Benji might be your cup of tea.

Ben Howard – Small Things

Dat atmosphere.

Grimes – Go (feat. Blood Diamonds)

I don’t think this club banger is what anyone was expecting from a follow-up to Visions, but this is most definitely a Grimes song through and through, just louder!
Naturally, its volume is relative to the setting on your own speakers, but if you plan on playing a track like this quietly, I don’t know what to tell you.

Run the Jewels – Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck) (feat. Zack de la Rocha)

SNARKY BASTARD: “How exactly does one ‘count to fuck’?”
ME: *plays Run the Jewels 2*
SNARKY BASTARD: “Fuck!”
ME: There you go.

Special mention to Zack de la Rocha, sounding leaner and meaner than ever!

Flying Lotus – Never Catch Me (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

I’ve been a fan of Flying Lotus since first encountering his radio station in GTAV (featuring OutKast, Aphex Twin and a listener angrily complaining that his music “sounds like a dumpster fallin’ down five flights of stairs”!), and he continued to create some fantastic collaborations in 2014.
This is the other great Kendrick track of the year. He’s fast and furious here, in direct contrast to “i”. This song also features one hell of a bass solo by fellow FlyLoFM contributor Thundercat.

D'Angelo & The Vanguard – Sugah Daddy

D’Angelo finally released his third album this year. It was worth the 14 year wait.

Todd Terje – Johnny and Mary (feat. Bryan Ferry)

And to close…a smooth, swirly, synthy cut from Mr Todd Terje, featuring the distinctive vocals of Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry. This is a cover of a Robert Palmer tune that takes an agitated new wave song about mimes (or something, I’m basing that solely on what I’m seeing in the video on YouTube right now), and turns into a sad domestic tableau. Happy New Year?
The new year is now upon us, and it's around this time every year that I (along with the rest of the internet) look back at the music I've been enjoying throughout the year.

So here's ten tracks, to be followed by ten more tomorrow. They aren't in any particular order, but I've arranged them in a sequence that should sound pretty boss when listened to as a playlist.

Feel free to list your own top tens/fives/whatevers in the comments!

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The Men – Pearly Gates

Not much to add to this one except FUCK YEAH!

Cloud Nothings – I’m Not Part of Me

My favourite bands are the ones that I find reliably relatable. No matter what the rest of album sounds like, I know there’s always going to be one or two tracks on a Japandroids or Real Estate album that digs at my soul and was somehow written in less than ten minutes. Cloud Nothings are probably the most reliable band in that respect. They already gave me my favourite song of 2012, and they kicked off 2014 for me with another great song with a similar theme. “I’m Not Part of Me” is lighter than their usual fare, but no less urgent.

The War on Drugs – Red Eyes

Lost in the Dream is, admittedly, an album I only checked because of how well it was being reviewed. Before hearing it for the first time, I was intrigued by the numerous references to “dad rock”, a phrase that’s often used in a negative capacity to describe any band that sounds even remotely like a rock act from the late Sixties or early Seventies. I’ve seen that label stuck on bands as diverse as The Black Keys, The Hold Steady and even Royal Blood, and I’ve never agreed with it.
With War on Drugs though, I kind of get it. “Red Eyes” is the kind of song that, if they were a band new on the scene today, Dire Straits would totally make. And that’s awesome!

Spoon – Do You

A welcome return from Britt Daniel, a songwriter who has always had a way with earworms.

Kendrick Lamar – i

I came out as bisexual on September 23rd of this year. It was a last minute decision, spurred by my late knowledge that it happened to be Bi Pride Day. I posted the announcement on Facebook just before midnight, and immediately felt better about myself. I then saw that Kendrick Lamar (whose last album had soundtracked countless late-night train rides home from work for me) had released a new single with the refrain “I love myself”.
I felt a bliss I hadn’t felt in a long time.

Miguel – Simplethings

This is destined to be one of the all-time great slow-burn love songs. Such an amazing guitar tone too.

Perfume Genius – Queen

“Queen” is a song from an LGBT viewpoint, about taking all the emotions people might feel about you (fear, disgust, admiration, lust) and turning them into something empowering.
As someone already fairly comfortable with who they are, this song is still a powerful anthem. For those less fortunate than me, this song could be a god damn lifesaver.

Sia – Chandelier

Speaking of anthems…I’m a sucker for big choruses. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that “Chandelier” is hands-down my favourite song of the year, and my most-played.

Future Islands – Seasons (Waiting On You)

Like most people, I was introduced to this band by way of frontman Samuel T. Herring’s astounding performance on Letterman, but the song’s stuck with me. A lovely synthpop ditty.

Merchandise – Green Lady

Hey, if you want your song to immediately grab my attention, using the drum sound from “Sign O’ the Times” is a good way to do it.
Man, when I first heard this band, they were a lo-fi post-punk outfit giving away their second LP for free online. Their artistic progression in just two years is insane.

Part Two is here
If you missed Part One, click here.
And now, onwards!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

FKA twigs – Two Weeks

…Look, this song is sexy as heck, alright? Let me just leave it at that.

How to Dress Well – Words I Don’t Remember

Tom Krell is one of the most cinematic musicians recording today, and this is easily his most heartbreaking track to date.

Beck – Blue Moon

I love Beck, but I wasn’t too won over with this 2014’s Morning Phase, mostly because it felt like he was re-treading material he’d already covered more interestingly on Sea Change (they even have the same cover art). But, somewhat aptly, “Blue Moon” rose to the top, one of the most personal songs he’s written in a while.
Still not a fan of section from 1:38-1:46 though.

Sun Kil Moon – Carissa

By rights, all of Sun Kil Moon’s Benji should be this list. It’s easily my most-played album of the year, and an incredible piece of work. Nearly every track involves the death of one of Mark Kozelek’s family or friends, and the ones that don’t still delve deep into some pretty traumatic personal experiences from his life.
And yet, it isn’t depressing! Most albums like this would make the listener feel as if they were prying into something they shouldn’t, but the constant presence of Mark’s vocals make it feel more like he’s inviting us in.
What follows is a fascinating and brutally honest look at death, and all the weird shit that precedes it that we call “life”. I find the record is best treated like a radio play or podcast. Don’t put it on in the background, focus on the words, and you’ll find it incredibly rewarding. “Carissa” is where it all begins, so give this a spin and see if Benji might be your cup of tea.

Ben Howard – Small Things

Dat atmosphere.

Grimes – Go (feat. Blood Diamonds)

I don’t think this club banger is what anyone was expecting from a follow-up to Visions, but this is most definitely a Grimes song through and through, just louder!
Naturally, its volume is relative to the setting on your own speakers, but if you plan on playing a track like this quietly, I don’t know what to tell you.

Run the Jewels – Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck) (feat. Zack de la Rocha)

SNARKY BASTARD: “How exactly does one ‘count to fuck’?”
ME: *plays Run the Jewels 2*
SNARKY BASTARD: “Fuck!”
ME: There you go.

Special mention to Zack de la Rocha, sounding leaner and meaner than ever!

Flying Lotus – Never Catch Me (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

I’ve been a fan of Flying Lotus since first encountering his radio station in GTAV (featuring OutKast, Aphex Twin and a listener angrily complaining that his music “sounds like a dumpster fallin’ down five flights of stairs”!), and he continued to create some fantastic collaborations in 2014.
This is the other great Kendrick track of the year. He’s fast and furious here, in direct contrast to “i”. This song also features one hell of a bass solo by fellow FlyLoFM contributor Thundercat.

D'Angelo & The Vanguard – Sugah Daddy

D’Angelo finally released his third album this year. It was worth the 14 year wait.

Todd Terje – Johnny and Mary (feat. Bryan Ferry)

And to close…a smooth, swirly, synthy cut from Mr Todd Terje, featuring the distinctive vocals of Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry. This is a cover of a Robert Palmer tune that takes an agitated new wave song about mimes (or something, I’m basing that solely on what I’m seeing in the video on YouTube right now), and turns into a sad domestic tableau. Happy New Year?

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Nick Chaffey
United Kingdom
My name is Nick.

A lot of my time is spent writing, or reading, or making films. But every now and then I'll make a comic and put it up here.

Yay!
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:iconsnowcrasher:
SnowCrasher Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy birthday! Have a cake!
:iconcakeplz:
Reply
:iconxenonxylophone:
XenonXylophone Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2015
Hey! Thanks!
Reply
:iconmr-crazy-man:
Mr-Crazy-Man Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014
Happy birthday! : D
Reply
:iconxenonxylophone:
XenonXylophone Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014
Thanks!
Reply
:iconmr-crazy-man:
Mr-Crazy-Man Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014
You're welcome, hope you had a nice day
Reply
:iconxenonxylophone:
XenonXylophone Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014
in b4 Lukki's 2013 birthday message
Reply
:iconlukkistarr:
LukkiStarr Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Student Digital Artist
... Well, good thing it's 2014 and not 2013. So, happy birthday! The luck shall intensify further each passing year!

~Lukki
Reply
:iconxenonxylophone:
XenonXylophone Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014
dangdangdang

Thank you.
Reply
:iconblahrascal:
BlahRascal Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013
I can't believe I wasn't following you already...I need to pay closer attention to these things!
Reply
:iconxenonxylophone:
XenonXylophone Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2013
Better late than never!
*hides voodoo doll*
Reply
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