2014 had so many miniature undulating trends passing through the veins of its musical output, that you couldn’t really be a rap guy, rock fan, techno head or whatever, without isolating yourself from a whole chunk of the good shit. You kinda had to be open to everything, otherwise you’d never realise how soothing the jangle of Alex G's “Harvey” could sound straight after seven hard minutes of Floorplan's "Never Grow Old".
It reflects how chaotically varied it’s all been. Skepta - a dude who has tried everything from porno shorts to Turkish hip-hop - suddenly returned with two of the gnarliest trap-inspired grime tracks in existence. PC Music rose from nowhere, to fill a space nobody has quite yet identified, with their sickly sweet art project of pitch-shifted vocals, choppy bubblegum beats and a confused mob following of both lovers and haters. Then you had underground Canadian bands like Ought putting out anxious and absorbing punk tracks, Babymetal shredding the J-pop girl band stereotype with sassy riffs, and pop magnate Taylor Swift shitting on the streaming era by selling more albums than anyone thought possible.
So how can you comb through all that and create a so-called definitive list of twenty five tracks that made 2014 feel better, or at least different, to any other year we’ve already lived? You can’t technically, but by shilling from the tastes of all Noisey staff and contributors, we’ve at least created something that strongly resembles the music you did or should have cared about this year. It’s the stuff that had you immediately pasting that Soundcloud link and heralding it as “absolute fire” on Twitter before you’d even reached the chorus, plus a load of incredible shit you may just have missed.
We start with a quick rundown of 25 to 11 tracks of the year, before a more in-depth look at our top 10 tomorrow.
(A quick note on housekeeping - Noisey exists in a shitload of countries round the world and each office is getting their own shout on their tracks and albums of the year. This list was decided by Noisey UK’s editorial team and freelancers, but is not limited to British music.)
25. Paleman - "Beezlebub"
24. Laura Doggett - "Phoenix"
23. Skepta - "It Ain't Safe"
22. Floorplan - "Never Grow Old (Re-Plant)"
21. Babymetal - "Gimme Chocolate"
20. Alex G - "Harvey"
19. Robyn & Royksopp - "Do It Again"
18. Future Brown – "Wanna Party" feat. Tink and 3D Na'Tee
17. AG Cook - "Had 1"
16. Tirzah - "No Romance"
15. Ricky Eat Acid - "It Will Draw Me Over To It Like It Always Does"
14. Rae Sremmurd - "No Type"
13. Ought - Today More Than Any Other Day
12. War on Drugs - "Under the Pressure"
11. QT - "Hey QT"
Check back tomorrow for our top ten tracks of 2014.