Hello. As it’s New Year’s Day, I thought I should probably update the ol’ blog and talk about the best music of 2014 for me.
You might have heard my solo podcasts where I played my favourite tracks of the year, ultimately coming from my favourite albums of the year also. If not, then check out my Mixcloud account and search for both of them in and amongst all the ‘Sam & Joe’ madness! – http://www.mixcloud.com/joebuckingham399/
In recent weeks, I’ve been researching a lot of review-type stuff on various websites. You know, when they always do a list of their favourite tracks and albums. I’ve looked at NME, Pitchfork Media, Drowned In Sound and Rolling Stone respectively, and pretty much all of these publishers are very fond of the likes of St. Vincent, Future Islands, Merchandise (whoever the fuck they are) and Mac DeMarco, not to mention a few others.
I like these artists as well but I don’t believe they’re doing too much originally. I think when people think of original music in 2014, people are going to turn round and say, ‘what aboout Royal Blood?’
Now, I know there will be people screaming at their computer screens and I can understand why. No-one’s been able to escape ‘Little Monster’ and and the rest of them all year. But come on, they are pretty fucking great. And why do you think massive musicians like Dave Grohl state that their the ‘saviours of rock’. He didn’t just say that for a laugh, he believes in it, and quite frankly, so do I.
Away from them though, I look to Ben Howard and Hozier for songwriting ability. ‘I Forget Where We Were’ as an album is utterly magnificent and could draw the toughest East London labourers to tears. As for Hozier, ‘Take Me To Church’ is astounding. One of the best songs of the year by a country mile. Lyrically riveting and perfection vocally, all I need to say really.
For beats, Oliver Helden didn’t do too bad, as did Skrillex with the release of his long-awaited debut.
To be honest, it’s ever so difficult to comprehend all of 2014’s music into one blog post but check out new stuff from Slipknot after their 6-year break which involved tragedy and departure, Sam Smith who is undoubtedly Britain’s biggest new talent and Beck who brought out ‘Morning Phase’, which is a beautiful, beautiful soundscape and a very enriching listen, especially when he speaks of loneliness and heartbreak. His album probably sums up the feeling that 2014 has given a lot of people, dread. The ebola virus has spread across the shores and everyone’s worried about it. Attacks in the Ukraine, Gaza and Pakistan have been more than traumatic and food prices just don’t seem to be going down despite a steadily improving economy.
However, we have to look to the future, and 2015 in music looks promising. My last blog post talked about a lack of bands that the new year brings but you never know what’s round the corner. I look to Slaves who could be the Sex Pistols of our generation. I look to Shamir who brings irreverent music from the Hollywood lifestyle of Vegas and new albums from Enter Shikari and Laura Marling will definitely be worth a listen. Headline slots at festivals include Metallica at Reading and Leeds, and as Glastonbury saw this year, they never fail to play an awesome show. The Prodigy are at the Isle of Wight, while simultaneously releasing new music also. New track ‘Nasty Nasty’ is due for a January release and I am brimming with excitement for that.
So, to round off, half of the decade has gone and there’s been some really ground-breaking music that has been released since 2010. Here’s to 2015 in music, may it be an exciting and prosperous year!