Class of 2014: The Soundtrack


Albums continue to be my format of choice. Even in 2014. Lucky for me, the artists I follow seem to prefer albums as well. That’s not to say there isn’t a place in my life for singles though. Most years are packed with individual tracks that catch my attention — whether because they are really good, extremely awful, or just inescapable. 2014 wasn’t exactly ‘packed’ (it was one of the weakest years in recent memory when it came to standout tracks), but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a handful of songs that defined the year. These single-serving doses of pop culture are my way of breaking out of my music-snob persona to allow myself the enjoyment of a sing-along song from an artist that I might not normally listen to. These tracks usually come from those artists that I can appreciate, but can’t handle a whole album from. That’s why putting together a yearly soundtrack is so much fun, even in a somewhat lackluster year in the singles department. Not only do I get to hunt for those stand-out tracks as I dissect the albums I’ve enjoyed all year, I also get to dive into the more popular/mainstream music that I’ve all but ignored over the past 12 months. It’s a time of reflection, discovery and documentation. Of all my year-end lists, it’s The Soundtrack that I come back to most often. The Soundtrack is a true representation of what each year sounded like. The only exception is metal. I just can’t extract a single track from a metal album. For that particular genre, the album format will always be sacred.

The Class of 2014 Soundtrack consists of 101 tracks – with a limit of 1 song per album. I decided not to rank them. I tried, but when I found myself trying to rank Sun Kil Moon against Drake against Leonard Cohen against Taylor Swift, I just felt stupid. It was a worthless exercise. So each track is just embedded in alphabetical order below. I have also included a Spotify playlist for easy access.


0 to 100

“0 to 100 / The Catch Up” by Drake


“3Jane” by EMA
(from The Future’s Void)


“23” by Mike Will Made It (ft. Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J)

All The Rage Back Home

“All the Rage Back Home” by Interpol
(from El Pintor)

All White Everything

“All White Everything” by jj
(from V)

Almost Like The Blues

“Almost Like the Blues” by Leonard Cohen
(from Popular Problems)


“Amnesia” by Kevin Gates (ft. Doe B)
(from By Any Means)

Another Life

“Another Life” by D’Angelo and the Vanguard
(from Black Messiah)

Bed of Lies

“Bed of Lies” by Nicki Minaj (ft. Skylar Grey)
(from The Pinkprint)

Beggin For Thread

“Beggin For Thread” by BANKS
(from Goddess)

Ben's My Friend

“Ben’s My Friend” by Sun Kil Moon
(from Benji)

Black Soap

“Black Soap” by Ex Cops
(from Daggers)

Blue Moon

“Blue Moon” by Beck
(from Morning Phase)

Boom Clap

“Boom Clap” by Charli XCX
(from The Fault In Our Stars / SUCKER)

Bored in the USA

“Bored In the USA” by Father John Misty

Born in the USA

“Born in the U.S.A.” by Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires
(from Dead Man’s Town: A Tribute To Born in the U.S.A.)

Break Free

“Break Free” by Ariana Grande (ft. Zedd)
(from My Everything)

Brooklyn Baby

“Brooklyn Baby” by Lana Del Rey
(from Ultraviolence)

Burning Bridges

“Burning Bridges” by Lucinda Williams
(from Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone)

Burning Bridges by Lucinda Williams

Call Me

“Call Me” by St. Paul & The Broken Bones
(from Half the City)

Can't Do Without You

“Can’t Do Without You” by Caribou
(from Our Love)

Champions of Red Wine

“Champions of Red Wine” by The New Pornographers
(from Brill Bruisers)

City Wrecker

“City Wrecker” by Moonface
(from City Wrecker)

Close Your Eyes

“Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)” by Run The Jewels (ft. Zack De La Rocha)
(from Run The Jewels 2)

Colfax Avenue

“Colfax Ave.” by The Delines
(from Colfax)

Courtyard Marriot

“Courtyard Marriot” by Jason Feathers
(from De Oro)


“Cruel” by Operators
(from EP 1)

Dearly Departed

“Dearly Departed” by Shaky Graves (ft. Esmé Patterson)
(from And The War Came)

Do It Again

“Do It Again” by Röyksopp & Robyn
(from Do It Again)

Dream Seqiuns

“Dream Sequins®” by Nmesh
(from Dream Sequins®)

Every Time The Sun Comes Up

“Every Time The Sun Comes Up” by Sharon Van Etten
(from Are We There)

Fall From Grace

“Fall From Grace” by Future Islands
(from Singles)

Fall In Love

“Fall In Love” by Phantogram
(from Voices)


“Firecrackers” by Marissa Nadler
(from July)


“First” by Cold War Kids
(from Hold My Home)

Get Hurt

“Get Hurt” by The Gaslight Anthem
(from Get Hurt)

Get Up

“Get Up” by Young Fathers
(from Dead)

Ghost Story

“Ghost Story” by AraabMuzik
(from For Professional Use Only 2)

Gimmie Something Good

“Gimmie Something Good” by Ryan Adams
(from Ryan Adams)

Goes Black

“Goes Black” by Big Ups
(from Eighteen Hours of Static)

Green Lady

“Green Lady” by Merchandise
(from After The End)


“Habit” by Ought
(from More Than Any Other Day)

Hanging On

“Hanging On” by Drive-By Truckers
(from English Oceans)


“Hotel” by The Antlers
(from Familiars)

I Don't Want To Change You

“I Don’t Want To Change You” by Damien Rice
(from My Favourite Faded Fantasy)

I Forget Where We Were

“I Forget Where We Were” by Ben Howard
(from I Forget Where We Were)

I Wanna Get Better

“I Wanna Get Better” by Bleachers
(from Strange Desire)

I Won

“I Won” by Future (ft. Kanye West)
(from Honest)

I'm Not Part of Me

“I’m Not Part Of Me” by Cloud Nothings
(from Here and Nowhere Else)


“JM” by Strand of Oaks
(from HEAL)

Johnny and Mary

Johnny And Mary by Todd Terje (ft. Bryan Ferry)
(from It’s Album Time)


“Jubel” by Klingande

Just One of the Guys

“Just One Of The Guys” by Jenny Lewis
(from The Voyager)

Lights Out

“Lights Out” by Angel Olsen
(from Burn Your Fire For No Witness)


“Limos” by Vince Staples (ft. Teyana Taylor)
(from Hell Can Wait)

Living The Dream

“Living the Dream” by Sturgill Simpson
(from Metamodern Sounds in Country Music)

Love Don't Live Here No More

“Love Don’t Live Here No More” by Ghostface Killah (ft. Kandace Springs)
(from 36 Seasons)

Lucero Song

“Lucero Song” by Matt Woods
(from With Love From Brushy Mountain)

Man of the Year

“Man Of The Year” by ScHoolboy Q
(from Oxymoron)


“Michael” by Gem Club
(from In Roses)


“minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]” by Aphex Twin
(from Syro)

Miss You Like Crazy

“Miss You Like Crazy” by Caleb Caudle
(from Paint Another Layer On My Heart)

My Silver Lining

“My Silver Lining” by First Aid Kit
(from Stay Gold)

Name That Thing“Name That Thing” by Chumped
(from Teenage Retirement)

Never Catch Me

“Never Catch Me” by Flying Lotus (ft. Kendrick Lamar)
(from You’re Dead)

Never Gonna Love Again

“Never Gonna Love Again” by Lykke Li
(from I Never Learn)

No Good

“No Good” by Perfume Genius
(from Too Bright)

No Rest For The Wicked

“No Rest For The Wicked” by Lykke Li (ft. A$AP Rocky)


“Om” by Nehruviandoom
(from NehruvianDOOM)

Out of the Woods

“Out of the Woods” by Taylor Swift
(from 1989)

Out of the Woods by Taylor Swift

Pumpin Blood

“Pumpin Blood” by NONONO
(from We Are Only What We Feel)


“Recess” by Skrillex
(from Recess)

Red Dust

“Red Dust” by James Vincent McMorrow
(from Post Tropical)

Red Eyes

“Red Eyes” by The War On Drugs
(from Lost In The Dream)


“Reign” by Lagwagon
(from Hang)

Ruckus In B Minor

“Ruckus In B Minor” by Wu-Tang Clan
(from A Better Tomorrow)

Sad Country Songs

“Sad Country Songs” by Arlo McKinley & The Lonesome Sound
(from Arlo McKinley & The Lonesome Sound)

Sad Country Songs by Arlo McKinley & The Lonesome Sound

Shadows of My Name

“Shadows Of My Name” by Emma Ruth Rundle
(from Some Heavy Ocean)


“Sheezus” – Lily Allen
(from Sheezus)


“Spinners” – The Hold Steady
(from Teeth Dreams)


“Supernova” by Ray LaMontagne
(from Supernova)

Take Me To Church

“Take Me to Church” by Hozier
(from Hozier)

Talk Is Cheap

“Talk Is Cheap” by Chet Faker
(from Built on Glass)


“Talladega” by Eric Church
(from The Outsiders)

The Beigeness

“The Beigeness” – Kate Tempest
(from Everybody Down)

The Lord's Favorite

“The Lord’s Favorite” by iceage
(from Plowing Into the Fields of Love)

The Refractory

“The Refractory” by Wovenhand
(from Refractory Obdurate)

Tough Love

“Tough Love” by Jessie Ware
(from Tough Love)


“Townie” by Mitski
(from Bury Me at Makeout Creek)


“Trouble” by TV On The Radio
(from Seeds)

True Trans Soul Rebel

“True Trans Soul Rebel” by Against Me!
(from Transgender Dysphoria Blues)


“Tuesday” by ILoveMakonnen (ft. Drake)

Two Weeks

“Two Weeks” by FKA twigs
(from LP1)


“Vengo” by Ana Tijoux
(from Vengo)

Verlaine Shot Rimbaud

“Verlaine Shot Rimbaud” by Lydia Loveless
(from Somewhere Else)


“Violence” by Andy Stott
(from Faith in Strangers)

Violence by Andy Stott

Violent Shiver

“Violent Shiver” by Benjamin Booker
(from Benjamin Booker)

Who Do You Love

“Who Do You Love?” by YG (ft. Drake)
(from My Krazy Life)

Woman In Mirror

“Woman (In Mirror)” by La Dispute
(from Rooms of the House)

You Can't Talk To Me Like That

“You Can’t Talk To Me Like That” by Nikki Lane
(from All Or Nothin’)

Your Love Will Blow Me Away

“Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches” by Son Little
(from Things I Forgot)

Favorite Tracks of 2014:
0 to 100 / The Catch Up by Drake
3Jane by EMA
23 by Mike Will Made It
All the Rage Back Home by Interpol
All White Everything by jj
Almost Like the Blues by Leonard Cohen
Amnesia by Kevin Gates
Another Life by D’Angelo and the Vanguard
Bed of Lies by Nicki Minaj
Beggin For Thread by BANKS
Ben’s My Friend by Sun Kil Moon
Black Soap by Ex Cops
Blue Moon by Beck
Boom Clap by Charli XCX
Bored In the USA by Father John Misty
Born in the U.S.A. by Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires
Break Free by Ariana Grande
Brooklyn Baby by Lana Del Rey
Burning Bridges by Lucinda Williams
Call Me by St. Paul & The Broken Bones
Can’t Do Without You by Caribou
Champions of Red Wine by The New Pornographers
City Wrecker by Moonface
Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck) by Run The Jewels
Colfax Ave. by The Delines
Courtyard Marriot by Jason Feathers
Cruel by Operators
Dearly Departed by Shaky Graves
Do It Again by Röyksopp & Robyn
Dream Sequins® by Nmesh
Every Time The Sun Comes Up by Sharon Van Etten
Fall From Grace by Future Islands
Fall In Love by Phantogram
Firecrackers by Marissa Nadler
First by Cold War Kids
Get Hurt by The Gaslight Anthem
Get Up by Young Fathers
Ghost Story by AraabMuzik
Gimmie Something Good by Ryan Adams
Goes Black by Big Ups
Green Lady by Merchandise
Habit by Ought
Hanging On by Drive-By Truckers
Hotel by The Antlers
I Don’t Want To Change You by Damien Rice
I Forget Where We Were by Ben Howard
I Wanna Get Better by Bleachers
I Won by Future
I’m Not Part Of Me by Cloud Nothings
JM by Strand of Oaks
Johnny And Mary by Todd Terje
Jubel by Klingande
Just One Of The Guys by Jenny Lewis
Lights Out by Angel Olsen
Limos by Vince Staples
Living the Dream by Sturgill Simpson
Love Don’t Live Here No More by Ghostface Killah
Lucero Song by Matt Woods
Man Of The Year by ScHoolboy Q
Michael by Gem Club
minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix] by Aphex Twin
Miss You Like Crazy by Caleb Caudle
My Silver Lining by First Aid Kit
Name That Thing by Chumped
Never Catch Me by Flying Lotus
Never Gonna Love Again by Lykke Li
No Good by Perfume Genius
No Rest For The Wicked by Lykke Li
Om by Nehruviandoom
Out of the Woods by Taylor Swift
Pumpin Blood by NONONO
Recess by Skrillex
Red Dust by James Vincent McMorrow
Red Eyes by The War On Drugs
Reign by Lagwagon
Ruckus In B Minor by Wu-Tang Clan
Sad Country Songs by Arlo McKinley & The Lonesome Sound
Shadows Of My Name by Emma Ruth Rundle
Sheezus – Lily Allen
Spinners – The Hold Steady
Supernova by Ray LaMontagne
Take Me to Church by Hozier
Talk Is Cheap by Chet Faker
Talladega by Eric Church
The Beigeness – Kate Tempest
The Lord’s Favorite by iceage
The Refractory by Wovenhand
Tough Love by Jessie Ware
Townie by Mitski
Trouble by TV On The Radio
True Trans Soul Rebel by Against Me!
Tuesday by ILoveMakonnen
Two Weeks by FKA twigs
Vengo by Ana Tijoux
Verlaine Shot Rimbaud by Lydia Loveless
Violence by Andy Stott
Violent Shiver by Benjamin Booker
Who Do You Love? by YG
Woman (In Mirror) by La Dispute
You Can’t Talk To Me Like That by Nikki Lane
Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches by Son Little

Class of 2014: The Overachievers
Class of 2014: Children of the Damned
Class of 2014: The Performers


Songs of 2014