BEST OF… August 2014

Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill

Generally speaking, August is the home to the dog days of summer, a month where the thermometer shows no signs of going down and the release calendar shrivels. And while the heat was as omnipresent as ever, this year marked a fruitful month of new music, from major releases from Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and Nicki Minaj as well as critical darlings Spoon and FKA twigs. Then there was Lauryn Hill, who passionately addressed the harsh realities exposed in light of the tragedies occurring in Ferguson, MO. So, no, the month wasn’t easier to get through than in years past, but, thankfully, we had the music to help us attempt to make sense of a challenging 31 days.

top songs.

1. Ariana Grande, “Hands On Me” (feat. A$AP Ferg)

2. Ballet School, “Lux”

3. BenZel & Stevie Neale, “Wasted Love”

4. Beyoncé, “***Flawless” (Remix) [feat. Nicki Minaj]

5. Charli XCX, “Break the Rules”

6. Darkside, “Gone Too Soon”

7. FKA twigs, “Kicks”

8. iLoveMakonnen, “Club Goin’ Up on a Tuesday” (feat. Drake)

9. Jessie Ware, “Say You Love Me”

10. Joey Bada$$, “Big Dusty”

11. Lace Curtains, “Wilshire and Fairfax”

12. Lauryn Hill, “Black Rage (sketch)”

13. Lil Boosie, “Crazy”

14. QT, “Hey QT”

15. Run The Jewels, “Blockbuster Night Part 1”

16. Sophie, “Hard”

17. Spoon, “Knock Knock Knock”

18. Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off”

19. TOPS, “Outside”

20. Vince Staples, “Blue Suede”

ALBUM OF THE MONTH

fkatwigslp1

When Pitchfork named LP1, the debut LP from the artist formerly known as Twigs, one of their top 100 albums of the decade (so far), some were surprised to see an album so fresh in our memories place on the list. Luckily the fine folks over at Pitchfork didn’t hold the album’s late arrival against the rising artist, as LP1 is truly one of the year’s greatest achievements, and, yes, one of the best albums of this decade. On opener “Lights On”, twigs sings “When I trust you I can kiss you with the lights on,” yet throughout her debut, the singer operates in the dark, whether to afford herself anonymity (“Video Girl”) or to escape a destructive love (“Numbers”). While she might not be willing to trust just anyone yet, she’s certainly capable of trusting in her abilities as a singer and songwriter.  LP1 isn’t just FKA twigs introduction to a larger music-loving audience; it’s the sound of an artist navigating this space with a freedom and confidence often reserved to those who’ve had years to cultivate and maintain an image.

other notable releases.

Ariana Grande, My Everything

The New Pornographers, Brill Bruisers

Rustie, Green Language

Spoon, They Want My Soul

Ty Segall, Manipulator

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