Music Highlights of 2014
It’s hard to believe that 2014 is nearly through. There’s been some absolutely stellar music released over the course of the last twelve months. In recognition of that, we asked some of our editors and writers to tell us what their favourite album and single of 2014 is, as well as the album they think we should watch out for in the 2015. Here’s what they had to say…
Jeremy Williams-Chalmers, Music Editor
- Album of 2014: In The Silence by Ásgeir
- Single of 2014: ‘Losing You’ by Red Sky July
- Album most excited to hear: TBC by Ane Brun
2014 has been packed full of albums I have had brief love affairs with, however, there have been a few that have struck a lasting chord. Seeing Bright Light Bright Light emerge from the sensational storytelling pop of Make Me Believe In Hope with the infectious honesty of Life Is Easy has guaranteed it a place in my lifelong playlist. As my husband will affirm, seeing Dolly Parton perform live for the first ever heightened my love affair with the Country legend and her newest album Blue Smoke has become a sing along favourite while dancing around my lounge. Americana tinged folksters Red Sky July moved me profoundly with their exquisitely beautiful Shadowbirds.
While all three came close to topping my poll, one album stood out for a far more personal reason. Ásgeir’s Dýrð í dauðaþögn shone when I first discovered it last year, so I was excited for the English language re-release. Trying to convince my then fiancé to listen properly to the record was pointless, for he was indulging in his love affair with Roberto Bellarosa’s debut album Ma Voie. However, when we embarked on honeymoon this summer in Iceland, we went prepared with a set of albums that reflected the artistry of the landscape. While Björk, Of Monsters and Men, Kiriyama Family and Olafur Arnalds were prominent features of the road trip, witnessing Mark connect with the intrinsic beauty of both the English and Icelandic versions of Ásgeir’s debut has left an indelible mark. For us both it is an album that will always hold a special connection with our wonderful summer.
Having fully sopped out on the album front, I promise to reign it in for the single. This was a far more challenging proposition. As someone who has always enjoyed losing himself in an album, I have never fully connected with the single in the same way. That being said, there have been a handful of songs that have certainly made my playlist more enjoyable. Love affairs with Kylie’s ‘Into The Blue’, Conchita Wurst’s ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’, Second Hand Heart’s ‘Damnesia’, Linnea Olsson’s ‘Breaking and Shaking’ and Lindsey Stirling’s ‘Shatter Me’ will endure into 2015, but there is something so truly irresistible able Red Sky July’s ‘Losing You’ that it is one of my favourite songs of all time, not just 2014.
Looking ahead to 2015, the news that four of my favourite artists are set to release new albums fills me a warm fuzzy feeling. With both Linnea Olsson and Jennie Abrahamson promising bigger sounds on their new albums and Björk finally delivering a follow-up to 2011’s Biophilia, it is Ane Brun’s newest offering that has me most excited. Just five months after walking down the aisle to Kat Eaton’s wonderful reworking of Ane Brun’s ‘Humming One Of Your Songs’, I was blown away by her stripped back ‘Songs and Rarities’ tour. With a follow-up to 2011’s It All Starts With One very long overdue, I am literally buzzing at the thought of hearing it.