Digi’s Top Music of 2014

I’m way the hell late with this yearly tradition of mine to list my favorite albums of the year, but I planned it all of last year, so it needs to happen. I tried recording this as a vlog, but found I had little to really say, and the video was overly long and lame; so I’m just gonna make a text post and get it over with. Here’s the album and song lists, with links!

I recommend all of this music to everyone.

1. So It Goes, by Ratking

Easily my favorite of the year, and the one I listened to the most, Ratking’s debut album is hyper-dense and unique hip-hop music with intricate and interesting (if vocally incomprehensible) raps. A number of alltime-favorite songs on this.

Favorite Tracks: Canal, Snow Beach, So Sick Stories, Remove Ya, Eat, Bug Fights

2. pom pom, by Ariel Pink

Super-inventive pop music. Every song is totally different and there’s a ton of them, spanning over an hour of music. It’s an adventure, and it’s all killer, no filler==although no individual standout track was enough to put it above So It Goes.

Favorite Tracks: White Freckles, Not Enough Violence, Put Your Number In My Phone, Nude Beach A Go-Go, Black Ballerina, Dayzed Inn Daydreams

3. The Unnatural World, by Have A Nice Life

Songs for when I’m feeling distant and emotionally drained. A good washing over feeling that lets me calm down. Good for long walks, laying in bed, and introspection. If it was a little longer and more consistent it would be an all-time classic for me.

Favorite Tracks: Guggenheim Wax Museum, Defenestration Song, Burial Society, Music Will Untune the Sky

4. CLPPNG, by Clipping

Less consistent than their first album, but with more unbelievably good songs, CLPPNG has a few all-time faves. Perfect blend of infectious sounds and hooks with musicality that you will not find anywhere else.

Favorite Tracks: Body and Blood, Work Work, Summertime, Inside Out, Story 2

5. Perfect Hair, by Busdriver

Highly diverse and different, hyper-intellectual hip-hop music. I can’t pretend like I get where Driver is coming from half the time and that’s okay. His perspective is as interesting as his unique flows and beats.

Favorite Tracks: Ego Death, Eat Rich, When the tooth-lined horizon blinksking cookie faced (for her), Can’t You Tell I’m A Sociopath?Secret Track

6. Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything, by Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra

Epic post-rock music has never had so much emphasis on ROCK, or even punk. It’s big and pretty but with an actual attitude and pulse which sets it ahead of a lot of its genre.

Favorite Tracks: Fuck Off Get Free, Austerity Blues, Take Away These Early Grave BluesWhat We Loved Was Not Enough

7. Dissed And Dismissed, by Tony Molina

Twelve tracks in eleven minutes of pure punk-rockin’ bliss. It gets in and out with tons of sick riffs and sicker solos. The perfect breakup album, which came at the perfect time since I was going through my first breakup. Spin it again and again.

Favorite Tracks: Can’t Believe, See Me Through, Don’t Come Back, Walk Away

8. The Powers That B pt. 1: niggas on the moon, by Death Grips

My tied-for-favorite band up to their usual shenanigans, but with more insanity and manic energy than ever before. Songs aren’t quite as memorable as their titles (or the band’s other music) but it’s one hell of a sonic experience while it lasts.

Favorite Tracks: Up My Sleeves, Say Hey Kid, Fuck Me OutVoila, Big Dipper

9. LIFER, by Dope Body

Kickass, raw rock music, like the 90s if the 90s were a lot cooler. Got that grungy dark edge and attitude, but with the sense of humor and fun to make it not boring. Some of the most memorable hooks of the year are on this one. (Hard to find streamable, though.)

Favorite Tracks: Repo Man, AOL, Rare Air, Day by Day, Toy

10. Mouth Silence, by Niel Cicierega

What the fuck am I listening to? The most ridiculous but somehow awesome mashup album which I’ve heard. Not every track is good, and I didn’t like enough of the sister album, Mouth Sounds, but the hits on here are truly gold.

Favorite Tracks: Goodbye, Pokemon, Orgonon Gurlz, Numbers, Wndrwll, Piss

11. Once More Round the Sun, by Mastodon

Good ol’ Mastodon up to their good ol’ headbangers. Better than The Hunter, though still not up to the heights they used to reach IMO. Still, some of the tracks on here are headbangers for the ages. Want to see it live.

Favorite Tracks: The Motherload, High Road, Once More ‘Round the SunHalloween

12. Come To Life, by Cities Aviv

Noisy raps have never felt so chilled out and airy. I feel like Cities Aviv is a few great hooks away from making one of my favorite albums ever. Such a cool sound.

Favorite Tracks: Head, URL IRL

13. Noise, by Boris

Boris pulling all of their tricks at once, all very solidly, if never at the best that they are capable of. It’s a very good “hit of all things Boris” album.

Favorite Tracks: Ghost of Romance, Heavy Rain, Angel

14. Faustian Children, by The Telephone Projects

Like falling deep into a coma that I never want to wake up from. This is the music of emptiness and emotional numbness. It talks to a very deep recess of my mind. Shame these guys won’t ever put out something more full than this.

Favorite Tracks: cold coffee, the sink was filled with blood

15. A Place That Doesn’t Exist, by Willis Earl Beal

Trippy, haunting folk that feels like if Tom Waits and Mark Lanegan and Scott Walker all collabbed on an album or something. It’s neat, if slightly unmemorable.

Favorite Tracks: There’s no way to tell their names

16. (Boyle) and Piles, by REDWALL

Redwall is not a rap group–they’re something that pulls more experimental and unusual sounds in and wraps them in a surprisingly memorable context. I like Milo here more than on his new full album, and want more like this.

Favorite Tracks: It’s one track

17. Try Me, by Self Defense Family

Bitter, angry punk rock with some memorable, if often overly repetitive hooks. I really have to be in a certain mood for this one, but it rocks when I’m in that mood.

Favorite Tracks: Mistress Appears At Funeral, Dingo Fence

18. To Be Kind, by Swans

Transcendent, meditative, and beating like a tribal kind of soul. It’s so fucking long (2 hours) that I never have time for it, but when I do it’s quite the journey.

Favorite Tracks: Screen Shot, Oxygen

19. Autumn Nights, by Jeff Burgess and the Bad Mares

The last great pony album, and not just because I’m on it. Jeff may be crippled by computer instruments, but his songwriting, lyrical and singing abilities are top notch. As a friend and a fan, I hope to follow his music for a long time forward.

Favorite Tracks: Spiderbite, “Slave” Suite, Talk About It

20. Kindly Bent to Free Us, by Cynic

Surprisingly fun for a progressive rock/metal album, Cynic seems to appreciate the core appeal of their music, and I appreciate that in kind. This is the least heavy-handed prog album I’ve heard in a long time, though still a bit distant from something I love.

Favorite Tracks: The Lions RoarHoly Fallout

21. Iller Than Most – Del the Funkee Homosapien

Funky, fun, and fresh noise-hop from Del, who can be smart and engaging even when he’s just goofing around. The only big weakness here is choruses that get too repetitive and samples that I don’t want to hear on repeated listens. Still, fun stuff.



Black Metal, by Dean Blunt – Good bedtime music but too incomplete/inconsistent to love.
Dark Comedy, by Open Mike Eagle – Some great stuff in the first half, if not standout.
Run the Jewels 2, by Run the Jewels – Haven’t had time to get acclimated to it.

Top 91 Songs of 2014

Clipping – Body and Blood
Ratking – Snow Beach
Ratking – So Sick Stories
The Telephone Projects – cold coffee
Ratking – Canal
Drowning In Footwear – A Dandy Rhyme
Ratking – Remove Ya
Busdriver – Ego Death
Holly Herndon – Chorus
Clipping – Work Work
Ratking – Bug Fights
Ratking – Eat
Ariel Pink – Put Your Number In My Phone
Perfume Genius – Queen
Bakudan Johnny – Tada Hitori
Dope Body – Day By Day
Have A Nice Life – Defenestration Song
Ariel Pink – White Freckles
Silver Mt. Zion – Austerity Blues
Run the Jewels – Oh My Darling Don’t Cry
Clipping – Summertime
Mastodon – High Road
Silver Mt. Zion – Fuck Off Get Free
Clipping – Story 2
Swans – Oxygen
Busdriver – king cookie faced
Niel Cicierega – Numbers
Run the Jewels – Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)
Liars – Mess on a Mission
Mastodon – The Motherload
Ariel Pink – Black Ballerina
Have A Nice Life – Guggenheim Wax Museum
Niel Cicierega – Piss
Clipping – Inside Out
Have A Nice Life – Music Will Untune the Sky
Ling Toshite Sigure – Enigmatic Feeling
Ariel Pink – Not Enough Violence
Have A Nice Life – Burial Society
Drowning In Footwear – The Coolest Guy
Konomi Suzuki – This Game
Tony Molina – Can’t Believe
Tony Molina – See Me Through
Tony Molina – Don’t Come Back
Tony Molina – Walk Away
Willis Earl Beal – A Place That Doesn’t Exist
Death Grips – Inanimate Sensation
Dope Body – Toy
Death Grips – Big Dipper
Silver Mt. Zion – What We Loved Was Not Enough
Cynic – The Lions Roar
Dope Body – Repo Man
Cities Aviv – URL IRL
Ariel Pink – Dayzed Inn Daydreams
Jeff Burgess – Spiderbite
The Telephone Projects – the sink was filled with blood
Mastodon – Halloween
Busdriver – Secret Track
Silver Mt. Zion – Take Away These Early Grave Blues
Death Grips – Say Hey Kid
Busdriver – Eat Rich
Petit Rabbits – Daydream Cafe
Mastodon – Once More Round the Sun
Death Grips – Up My Sleeves
Ariel Pink – Nude Beach A Go-Go
Busdriver – When the Tooth-lined Horizon Blinks
Mathie – Swagger
Boris – Angel
Self Defense Family – Mistress Appears At Funeral
Schoolboy Q – Los Awesome
Busdriver – Can’t You Tell I’m A Sociopath
Self Defense Family – Dingo Fence
St. Vincent – Digital Witness
Death Grips – Voila
Death Grips – Fuck Me Out
Opeth – Cusp of Eternity
St. Vincent – Birth In Reverse
Dope Body – AOL
Madgibbs – Robes
Jeff Burgess – Drunker (Than Ever Before)
Niel Ciciearega – Pokemon
St. Vincent – Rattlesnake
Schoolboy Q – Break the Bank
Jeff Burgess – Talk About It
Boris – Heavy Rain
Run the Jewels – Blockbuster Night Part 1
Flying Lotus – Never Catch Me
Antemasque – 4AM
CXDR – For {}, From Idylia
The Telephone Projects – glass
Boris – Ghost of Romance

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