CHARTING: The best songs from the year’s first half

Yesterday, I gave you my picks for the year’s best albums. Today, we take a look at the 30 songs that have stood tallest in 2014. But first, these are the five best tracks that I unfortunately did not have room for in a top 30 chart: HONORABLE MENTIONS: The New Pornographers, “Brill Bruisers”; Tame […]

CHARTING: The best albums from the year’s first half

As June comes to a close, I take a look back at this year’s best new music so far. These are the top 15 albums of the year, from Neneh Cherry to Mac DeMarco, Lykke Li to Swans.

CURRENT: Ryn Weaver – “OctaHate”

In terms of introductions, it’s hard to top what Ryn Weaver just did with “OctaHate”, her eye-opening debut single. Produced by Benny Blanco (one half of BenZel), Passion Pit’s Michael Angelekos and Cashmere Cat, the song features the hallmarks of each artist while Weaver delivers an acrobatic vocal performance that immediately makes her an artist […]

CURRENT: Grimes – “Go” (feat. Blood Diamonds)

Grimes and Blood Diamonds last collaboration, 2012’s “Phone Sex”, was that year’s greatest hit that never was. The song hit the same euphoric touched on by Rihanna and Calvin Harris’s inescapable 2011 hit “We Found Love” without hitting the heights of that Rihanna mega-hit. Now, Grimes has released another collaboration featuring production from Blood Diamonds, […]

CURRENT: Phoria – “Emanate”

“And you may ask yourself / How did I get here” sang David Byrne some 30+ years ago, and that question will probably come to mind when listening to the gorgeous “Emanate” by Phoria. The Brighton, England five-piece band record music that’s difficult to categorize; it’s definitely not rock ‘n roll, but not fully pop either. The […]

CURRENT: FKA twigs – “Two Weeks”

FKA twigs follows up her string of stunning releases in 2013 (including “Water Me” and “Papi Pacify”) with the first official single from the succinctly titled LP1, due 12 August via Young Turks. The track serves as a culmination of all the great things FKA twigs has been doing over the past year, from the minimalist, […]

CURRENT: The New Pornographers – “Brill Bruisers”

“Brill Bruisers” marks the triumphant return of The New Pornographers, the Canadian group that features the incredibly successful solo artists A.C. Newman, Kathryn Calder, Neko Case, and Dan Bejar of Destroyer, among others. The collaborative nature of the New Pornographers inevitably seeps into the production, with each member bringing a palpable sense of energy with […]

CURRENT: Rustie – “Raptor”

Rustie follows up one of the best songs of 2013 with another banger, this one of the first single from the forthcoming album Green Language. “Raptor” swells and subsides, hitting you like a sledgehammer. There’s something thrillingly vital about Rustie’s music, and “Raptor” is another crown jewel for the increasingly in-demand producer. He seems to be […]

CURRENT: The Shins – “So Now What”

The Shins look different now than they did over a decade ago, when Natalie Portman introduced the world to James Mercer’s “life changing” music, after a severe line-up change prior to the band’s fourth LP, Port of Morrow, which saw Mercer as the lone surviving member of the original group. Now, with Zach Braff’s second […]