The Top 10 Nominees For 2014’s Best Sound…and WHY!
Our First Readers Poll!
First of all…you all know it’s impossible for me to truly choose between the extraordinary talents we’ve stumbled onto through SBS. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again for years and years to come I’m sure – but it’s just staggering how much talent, creativity and skill are out there in indie music today.
Each of the standout bands that made my top ten were deemed eligible by submitting their albums between December 15th, 2013 and December 15th, 2014. While I WON’T go into detail about the inner-workings of my brain in making a list like this…I WILL say this; nine of these bands came to mind without having to look over this year, that’s how intensely memorable some of these sounds have been. As for the other one remaining slot in the top ten…well…all hell broke loose. All of a sudden I had a list of about 20 bands to consider for that final spot. I’ve done my best to narrow it down…this really has been an incredible year…and now I leave it up to you with the SBS Readers Poll for Best Sound of 2014.
So how did they all pull it off you ask? Outstandingly creative, unique and authentic music…songs that really reflect the heart and soul of every member being put into the band.
Take bands like Bees In A Bottle…or Hanging From The Rafters…I mean, they’d both be incredible choices to vote for and deserve the recognition completely! On this list of amazing talents, these two have always stood out to me as true believers in their music, and you can see that courage and conviction is winning over the people with the fantastic music they’re both making…both bands ready for those next big moves to really turn up their careers in 2015. Though they’re both quite different, their commitment to excellence in songwriting shines through on every track…intense focus on beautiful melodies.
Or what about Man Made Lake and The Yellow Dress? Both of these incredible bands were definitely responsible for some of the most fun I had listening to music this year. Absolutely incredible enthusiasm radiating from both of these albums, excellent pop-highlights and truly emotional moments spread throughout both sounds coming from these bands. Both continue to be massively active out there playing shows and entertaining crowds on a regular basis. And they’re both a little crazy in their creativity, but ALWAYS doing something…hoping there’s more new stuff to come out from both soon…
Some of the softest and most melodic sounds were also the most rewarding this year as demonstrated by Shagpile – the solo-project from Jason Vare and West My Friend made the list. These sounds of 2014 were definitely among some of the sweetest we had the privilege to hear, occurring on albums of complete musical-merit warranted on all-fronts. Beautiful songs and performances…songs that pull you in to listen. Incredible vocals all over the place and memorable material with an everlasting impact.
I think of who I’d consider to be the ‘dark-horses’ here….and I’d put The Shivers and Sky As Skin in that part of my year. Both of these albums…I just don’t know how to put it STILL….but there’s pure genius on both, completely different styles again of course. Whether it’s the random melodies of The Shivers, or the cutting-edge sounds of Sky As Skin, you just couldn’t lose on a single track from either of these bands on their releases this year. Definitely pushed the boundaries towards the new….you gotta love that.
And towards the end of the year, we found two more bands we couldn’t live without now in Nomadic Attic and Chasing Jonah. Undeniable talent and incredible songwriting from both of these two acts that just made it in to this year’s list and MAN are we glad we found them! Nomadic Attic put out an extraordinary new EP that shows some extreme promise for their future to come and Chasing Jonah…well…I constantly remained surprised that’s an indie band and not swimming full stride in the mainstream.
I could…in many of these instances, simply switch the band names from paragraph to paragraph and the comments regarding their work this year would still likely apply. They’ve all made incredible sounds that have impacted me personally…sounds that I just can’t imagine being without now. Music has and always be the soundtrack to our lives…and how we choose to fill it is completely up to us of course; but when you hear the astounding quality of what’s out there in the independent scene today…and realize just how much MORE there truly must be…I’m telling you it’s always worth the extra time to dig around to see what’s in people’s ears, minds and i-pods.
One thing every single one of these acts shares in common is their incredible authenticity. You won’t hear a single forced note on their work…they are all as real as it possibly gets. And we all seem to echo that same sentiment…or want it…we WANT real in music…we relate to it and the stories told over these rhythms.
I can’t say thank you enough to the amazing bands and artists that have been a part of our journey over this past year, and of course I wish I could make a list that would truly house you all…but perhaps that’s what we are here at the homepage after all is said and done. We’re a mirror image reflecting the incredible talent we find along our way.
Thank you, for every moment. Here’s to the nominees for Best In Sound 2014!