Miss Music's Favorites of 2014

(Photo from: http://www.facebook.com/taylorswift)

First things first: the best album of 2014 goes to Taylor Swift for the release of 1989. The fact that I haven’t taken the disc out of my car’s CD player since it was released a few months ago says a lot, considering I usually like to switch up what I listen to in the car frequently.  In all seriousness, though, Swift proved herself a musical genius this year.  1989  is pure pop perfection.   It’s hard to predict her next single, as literally every single track has hit potential.  I’ve always been a T. Swift fan, but this was the first album of hers I purchased in its entirety.  I am now a proud Swift fanatic, and I cannot wait to see her with Vance Joy at the Sprint Center in September!

Contrary to popular belief, though, 2014 wasn’t all about Taylor Swift.  There was an impressive amount of new releases this year, especially in the realm of pop music.  

(Photo from:http://www.facebook.com/wildpartyofficial)

Appropriately titled, Phantom Pop, the debut album from Wild Party (http://www.facebook.com/wildpartyofficial) was hands down one of my favorite albums of the year.  You can scroll a couple posts back to read more about this band of infectious pop melody creating musicians.  Recommended tracks for first time listeners: “When I Get Older,” “Chasin’ Honey,” “Outright,” and “Nicely Done.”  

(Photo from: http://www.facebook.com/sleeperagentmusic)

My third favorite album released this year was About Last Night from Sleeper/Agent (http://www.facebook.com/SleeperAgentMusic).  Rich female vocals and flowing pop melodies made me want to listen to every track over and over again.  Recommended tracks for first time listeners: “Waves,” “Be Brave,” and “Me On You.”

(Photo from: http://www.facebook.com/bleachersmusic)

Bleachers (http://www.facebook.com/bleachersmusic) released their debut album Strange Desire this year after performing their first shows as an ensemble at the invigorating and inspiring festival that is SXSW.  I was fortunate enough to see them live several times this year, including their latest show at the Midland last week.  It was incredible to witness their transformation as a live act over the last year.  

(Photo from: http://www.facebook.com/twinforksmusic)

Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba formed a new band called Twin Forks (http://www.facebook.com/TwinForksMusic), and they released their debut self-titled pop/folk album this year.  I was never a huge Dashboard fan, but luckily for me, Twin Forks has an entirely different sound.  The album is full of light-hearted sounding love ballads with deeper lyrics.  Recommended tracks for first time listeners: “Kiss Me Darling,” “Cross My Mind,” and “Can’t Be Broken.”  They’ll be performing at the Granada in Lawrence on February 9th with my frequent blog subjects slash pop music’s best kept secret Jukebox the Ghost.  That is definitely a show you will not want to miss!

(Photo from: http://www.facebook.com/catfishandthebottlemen)

Back in June while selling merch for them at Boulevardia, I heard Catfish & the Bottlemen (http://www.facebook.com/catfishandthebottlemen), a UK based band, and instantly fell in love.  They’re the type of band whose looks do not match their sound, but it works! I was blown away by the deep raspy voice coming from lead singer Van McCann.  The early twenty-something musicians put on an   unforgettably energetic rock show, and they’ll be releasing their album Pacifier in North America on January 6th! 

(Photo from: http://www.facebook.com/meghantrainorsongs)

Now, let’s talk about Meghan Trainor for a minute.  She released her debut single “All About That Bass” earlier this year, and played her first show EVER at Mix’s Red White & Boom at Starlight Theater.  I’ll never forget her walking backstage at Boom, in shock that people had lined up just to meet her.  She was so humble and as sweet as can be, and the Mix staff continuously reminded her throughout the day that this was only the beginning.  Big things were heading her way.  Now look at her! In a matter of just a few months, she’s released her second single “Lips Are Movin,” has had countless television appearances, and was among other big time names as American Music Award AND Grammy nominees! Her debut album, cleverly titled Title, will be released on January 13th.  

Other artists whose new releases I was into this year include Ingrid Michaelson (http://www.facebook.com/ingridmichaelson), Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (http://www.facebook.com/andrewmcmahonmusic), Tove Lo (http://www.facebook.com/tovelo), Nick Jonas (http://www.facebook.com/nickjonas), and London based band Longfellow (http://www.facebook.com/longfellowmusic). 

What were your favorite albums released this year?!