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
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?