What more can I say about this song? Aphex Twin’s first studio album in 13 years is easily one of the most important things—if not the most important—to happen in 2014, and its first single, ”minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]”, delivers more than any superfan could’ve hoped for. I’m very happy to be a music journalist/critic in the same year that Aphex Twin decided to revamp his career. Expect plenty more from me on the topic of Syro.
Dads’ I’ll Be the Tornado LP will undoubtedly land among my favorite records of 2014, so writing up one of its standout songs, “Chewing Ghosts”, felt like penning a statement of intent. I hope everyone with a taste for urgent, emotional, punk-fueled indie rock takes the time to listen to this album. “Fake Knees” and “But” are also very good songs from I’ll Be the Tornado; listen to those here.
In addition to the tracks and albums I wrote about for Pitchfork’s Best of the Decade So Far lists—including music by Beach House, Chromatics, The War on Drugs, Disclosure, and Jessie Ware—I made my own list of personal favorites and highlights from the past five years. I can’t say with any certainty that this is a definitive list, but more a snapshot of where I am with music right now, in relation to the songs and records that resonated with me the most since 2010. Even after doing this, I came to love quite a bit of Ariana Grande’s My Everything LP, but I’ll save those gushings for the year-end bonanza.
Surprising to me, this has become something of a divisive track among fans of SOPHIE and A.G. Cook, the head of au courant poly-pop label PC Music. I suppose that the squeaky, über-cute vocal in “Hey QT” is an acquired taste, but I think what these guys are doing with unreal pop ideas has a lot of potential we can’t yet imagine.
True to its name, “Hard” is the most pleasantly confounding and angular track to arrive from London producer SOPHIE, though it does have a few soft edges. I like the way he’s turning disparate Top 40 references into his own color palette from which to splatter paint.
The latest single to arrive from FKA twigs’ forthcoming LP1 for Young Turks, “Pendulum” is an excellent distillation of what made songs like “Water Me” and “Two Weeks” work so well. If you wade through the barely there melodies and soft rhythms the singer lays at your feet, she’ll reward you with lush harmonies and an utterly gratifying chorus.