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We Asked Our Family Members What They Thought of Music in 2014

Because end of year lists can be so same shit, different order, we talked to people we're related to—from the ages of nine to 81—about this year's music.

Because the end of every year is a glut of writers waxing on and on about music in 2014, filing all their opinions into an easily digestible format (us included, our lists are out next week)—we decided it might be nice to ask a wide range of our family members, from a nine-year-old to an 81-year-old, what they've been listening for the past 12 months.


Noisey's Social Media Producer, Kayla Monetta, has a nine-year-old brother named Dominic. She calls him "a total goofball and an actual child genius." Also: "He's fluent in French, gets straight As, uses words that aren't even in my vocabulary, writes in perfect cursive, and drains three-pointers all day when he plays basketball. Not to mention, he is hilarious and loves to listen to Seal." She texted her dad's phone to ask Dominic about music in 2014 and would like to say: "Please don't judge me for having my Dad saved in my phone as Daddy." Sorry Kayla, totally judging you.



When you're 13 music speaks to your soul. It's the age of discovery and the moment when you realize an artist can communicate exactly what you're feeling, sometimes before you even know you feel it. Style Editor Kim Taylor Bennett's 13-year-old cousin Sofia does a lot of musical theater ("It's a hobby!"), and when she's sad she plays Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness".

Sofia: "I've been listening to a lot of Hozier's "Take Me to Church" because it's real, unlike a lot of cheesy pop songs. It's not really about going to church, it's about being free and not letting people control your life. I like Sammy Hagar and rock because it gets my anger out. "Heavy Metal" is my favorite song—the electric guitar is really cool. I like AC/DC, U2, Rush ("Limelight"). I don't listen to The Clash, I don't even know who they are, actually. I like "Black Widow," but that's the only song I like by Iggy Azalea. It's empowering. Do I know what it means? No! [Laughs.] I don't think she's a very good rapper. Her voice is kind of strange. She also has a really big butt, but then again she's really skinny. I don't get it! I think she did something! I like "Anaconda" even though the video is really inappropriate, but she's a really good rapper. Iggy's just talking, but Nicki's rapping is super like, 'Woah!!'

"When I want to pump up and get psyched I have a playlist with a lot of Jay-Z, Timberlake, Kanye, Lil Jon, AWOLNATION, and Miley. I think Miley's kind of a good role model, she shows people to be strong and to not care what people think! Like in "Do My Thing"—she's doesn't have to depend on anybody, she's just gonna do her thing. When she's just hanging out and wearing jeans and high heels I think that's fine, but when she's onstage her wardrobe changes into, like, this ho basically. [Laughs.]


"One Direction are kinda out. Ariana Grande? Uckkk no. She doesn't have a good voice, it's so airy! I like Tove Lo's "Habits" because it's fun to sing to and it's electrical… oh I mean electronic! Also I have a crush on Jaymes Young. Through his music I think his personality is cute!"

David, 18

Kayla also interviewed her 18-year-old brother David who makes music with his friend as SKULS. Kayla says he's crazy talented and also: "tall and very handsome and currently single and is going to kill me for saying that, but if you're a single high school lady email me and I'll make it happen." He took this task pretty seriously and broke it down into his top four. He understands the internet has no attention span and people like lists with bold bits. Maybe he should be a blogger.

Mr Carmack - Drugs EP
"Carmack's style has been the most copied sound in 2014. His unique use of vocoders, reverb, and drum sampling make for some interesting trap, chill out, or whatever he damn pleases."

Cashmere Cat - Wedding Bells EP
"I loved Cashmere Cat's signature use of acoustic instruments on his newest EP. From flutes to horns to violin plucks, the sounds blend perfectly with soft synths, harsh saw waves, and his signature warped vocals."

S-Type - Rosario EP
"S-Type is one of my favorite producers because he proves that you don't need a lot of crazy sounds to make a song great. While many trap producers of 2014 strived for extremely loud and generic festival bangers, S-Type proved that great trap songs can be simple, yet complex."


SOPHIE - "Lemonade/Hard"
"Sophie as an artist is confusing. From having a transgender woman in a spandex outfit perform for him at his Boiler Room set, to releasing some of the strangest music since the Beatle's 'Revolution 9.' Sophie's 'future pop' style is every electronic fans guilty pleasure. With his corny, playful riffs to his dirty, rubber like sounds, Sophie introduced us to a new genre this year."

MIKE, 30

Photo via Kansas City Chiefs Noisey Editor, Dan Ozzi, called his 30-year-old cousin and he had this to say—"Mike does two things: lifts weights and reads the Bible. He’s a defensive end for the Kansas City Chiefs and is also very active in his church. So if he’s going to listen to something, it’s gonna be either good pre-game amp up music, or about God. Or both. Here’s what he’s been listening to this year…" Mike: "A lot of my music is stuff I lift weights to and get ready for practice. One of my favorite bands was Demon Hunter. They’re a Christian heavy metal band, which is basically all the bands that I like. Also, Wolves at the Gate was another one. Again, a Christian heavy metal band. I like bands where the music is loud and you can’t understand anything they’re saying because they’re just screaming. That’s the kind of stuff I like to work out to. Everybody on the team though loves rap music.

"The one song that was big in the offseason was Meek Mill, 'Dreams and Nightmares.' That song was like, every time we went to work out, that song was always playing and the guys would love it. We have a lot of Italian guys on the team, and they like Disclosure, the song 'Latch' with Sam Smith. Avicii, 'Wake Me Up,' that’s another one they’d play. Oh, I also like that song, 'Florida Georgia Line' with Nelly. Oh man, you’re not gonna hang out with me anymore, are you?"



Noisey Editor, Kyle Kramer, called up his uncle Wayne. He had this to say about him: "He's one of the nicest, most all-American dudes you'll ever meet. Look at him there on a horse—which he is comfortable on because he used to work as a ranch hand. How American is that? Now he's an amazing lawyer and also a hugely loyal fan of Pittsburgh and Vanderbilt University sports. When

I i

nterviewed T.I. earlier this year

, he was the only one of my parents' siblings who knew who T.I. was (they've met, no big deal), so I figured he'd have some good music perspectives. Here's a selection of songs he's been listening to this year."

"Red Rubber Ball" by The Cyrkle

"Sloop John B" by the Beach boys

"I Got a Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas

"Walking in Memphis" by Mark Cohn

"Faithfully" by Journey

"Stuck like Glue" by Sugarland

"Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond

"I know that is sort of a strange combination of songs, but hopefully it will give you an idea of the various tunes I have listened to this year."

HYE, 62

Noisey's EIC, Fred Pessaro, called up his mom Hye and stepdad Lou. He also took this screengrab from his mom's Facebook page (on the right) which makes her music tastes pretty clear. We could've just printed that but then it's kinda funny to see Fred schooled by his folks.

Fred: What records did you listen to this year?
Fred's Mom Hye: Nothing.
Fred: The band Nothing?
Hye: What?
Fred: OK, nevermind.
Hye: I think one thing I listened to was "Happy" whatever that song is… Pharrell.
Fred: What about Lou? Doesn't he like Taylor Swift?
Hye: You need to learn how to take a joke. He absolutely hates Taylor Swift.
Fred: Oh he does? Well what song does he like in 2014.
Lou: I liked that song "Push It"
Hye: What is "Push It"?
Lou: That rap song. "Push it real good."
Fred: The old song by Salt-N-Pepa?
Lou: Yeah. That's a good party song. That and "The Star Spangled Banner"
Fred: How do you feel about the fact that allegedly Diddy took a swing at Drake over the weekend?
Hye: No clue he did that.
Fred: How do you feel about Diddy?
Hye: He's an idiot
Fred: What about Drake?
Hye: Who's Drake? Lou do you know who Drake is? I don't know who that is, but he's probably an idiot.
Fred: What were the major news stories for you this year?
Lou: It's definitely Spotify.
Fred: Any comment on 2014, the year in music?
Lou: "The Star Spangled Banner" hasn't changed much.


WADE, 54

Contributing Editor, Kim Kelly, described her dad Wade thusly: "He lives in the woods and likes beer, country music, guns, and yelling. He does not like cities, the government, liberals, or Tim McGraw.

Kim: What records did you listen to this year on the radio or whatever?
Wade: There's nothing but posers. Chick songs. I hate it.

Kim: Do you like Taylor Swift?
Wade: No. No, I don't like [expletive] Tim McGraw, I don't like [expletive] Kenny Chesney, they're both [expletive]. Tim McGraw, chasin' a guy in chaps with his ass hangin' out.

Kim: David Allan Coe's still alive, though, right? You like him.
Wade: Yeah. Now him, you look at him, you gotta go "Whoa" and hope he don't look back at ya, even in a picture.

Kim: He hasn't put out anything in a long time though.
Wade: Nah, they won't let him. They got upset about that one song. [Sings lyrics from "If That Ain't Country".]

Kim: Not quite Taylor Swift.
Wade: She got the boot! She's not in country no more. She's pop now. She changed her genre. She was always pop anyway. There ain't nothin' good. I'm leaning towards bluegrass. I listen to Highway 16 on the satellite radio on my TV. Fancy shit.

Kim: Like Alison Krauss?
Wade: Yeah, I like Alison Krauss. [Turns TV on, Billy Currington's "Pretty Good at Drinkin' Beer" comes on.]

Wade: Yeah, that ain't bad. Lemme put on Honky Tonk Tavern. [Changes the channel, a George Jones song is playing.]


Wade: George Jones. He's got steel guitar. You gotta love that voice! That's the shit, right there!

Kim: I wish I could've seen him play before he died.
Wade: No, he's not dead, he's just in rehab.

Kim: No, he died.
Wade: Oh, that's right, he did.

Jim, 81

Kim Taylor Bennett also called her Grandad, Jim, or Nonno as he's known in the family because, you know, he's Italian-American. When, for a brief time, he was a bachelor he had a little black book which is so much cooler than having an iPhone full of numbers. He doesn't know what hip-hop is and he likes to hunt ducks. He says stuff like: "Men don't fall in love like the used to anymore." True that.

Jim: "I don't listen to the radio anymore because there's nothing good. I like the oldies—Tony Bennett, Sinatra—we watched a Bing Crosby documentary the other night and golly it was fun going down memory lane with him. Julie [Kim's step-grandmother] watches Ellen DeGeneres and she always has a group on and I get up and leave! Most of them don't have a melody, it's all beat, the words are indistinguishable. It's nothing like 'My Way' or 'I Left My Heart in San Francisco.' Or [starts singing] 'Because of you there's a song in my heart…' [Laughs.] That's real music! I love the opera La Bohème and Madame Butterfly and Carmen. EDM? I don't know what that is. Julie and I go down to the [country] club and they have bands play and the music is so loud you can't carry a conversation. You can't hear yourself think! Now, there's a couple of groups I've gotten up and sang with. What do I sing? Tony Bennett, Sinatra and Crosby! One of my favorite pieces of music is Glenn Miller's "In The Mood." You ever dance to that you'll go crazy!"