Last year I began my annual reflection on my listening habits with a complaint:
This year  seems particularly bland and uninspired, with hardly anything new in the list. Maybe Spotify has made me complacent about listening to new music[...]
Determined to avoid the same depressing repetition this year, in 2014 I made a concerted effort to seek out new music and sample from a wider range of artists, especially those creating new music in the last twelve months.
Top 10 Artists listened to in 2014
- Tegan and Sara
- Ginger Wildheart
- The New Pornographers
- We Are Scientists
- The War on Drugs
- White Lung
- Afghan Whigs
- The Wildhearts
- Busta Rhymes
Overall, I don't think I did too badly. Only four artists reappear from the 2013 list, and of those, two are there by dint of releasing new albums this year, so I'd call that a definite improvement—no 90s hard rock in sight.
I played Tegan and Sara's back catalogue to death in the first part of the year, which accounts for their top spot; and Busta Rhymes sneaks into the top ten in a year that saw me explore a lot more hip-hop than ever before.
Top 10 Albums listened to in 2014
- Brill Bruisers - The New Pornographers
- Lost in the Dream - The War on Drugs
- Albion - Ginger Wildheart
- Deep Fantasy - White Lung
- Tv en Français - We Are Scientists
- Heartthrob - Tegan and Sara
- Mable - CJ Wildheart
- Do to the Beast - Afghan Whigs
- So Jealous - Tegan and Sara
- A Feast of Consequences - Fish
The New Porno's album only secured first place because I played the lead single, War On The East Coast, to death when it was released; Lost in the Dream was my favourite album of the year by a country mile. Aside from those two, a further five were released in 2014, a reflection of my deliberate trawling of Pitchfork, Drowned In Sound, and other music review sites for the best new music this year. Considering that last year only a single album in my top ten was released in 2013, I count this as a major step forward.
Track of the Year
As I alluded to earlier, the first single release from The New Pornographers' latest album probably got way too many plays in the weeks after its release; so much so that the eventual album was slightly disappointing when I finally got hold of it.
Instead, here is my third most listened-to track of 2014, an uber-catchy pop rock tune recommended by the Wildhearts Facebook group: The Wheel, by Tropical Contact: