Here we go again! My favourite time of the year on In The Round - the time when I reflect back and meticulously choose the songs that I thought had the most impact on this wonderful year in music. While part of me loves pencilling in, erasing and reorganizing my song choices into my calendar each year, another part of me can't believe I do this to myself. Eleven days of (often eggnog hungover) writing... on my holidays. But, I couldn't imagine not throwing my two cents in.
So, let's get into it!
#25. "Archie, Marry Me" - Alvvays: One year ago, Alvvays were just another ambiguously pronounced Canadian indie-rock band, playing local gigs and accompanying headliners on various tours. With the release of their pristine self-titled debut, however, both Canada and the rest of the world quickly caught on to - and became obsessed with - their brand of summery fuzz-rock and real storytelling. Molly Rankin (yes, of that Rankin family) and her pure, heroine vocal will forever be the staples that walked me, and the rest of their near-cult following, through summer 2014. Side note: You can find this excellent album on both Rolling Stone and Pitchfork's "best of" lists, also.
#24. "Alexandra" - Hamilton Leithauser: Following the pain of The Walkmen's disbanding, the famed indie-rock group's veteran lead singer, Hamilton Leithauser, swooped in with the ultimate soother - news that he'd be releasing his own solo record. Hallelujah. Sure enough, the gorgeous release was filled with genre-sampling tunes that all glistened with Leithauser's coined yesteryear glaze, and this first single was the vocally and instrumentally charismatic sign that everything was going to be just fine.
#23. "Write Them Down" - The Wooden Sky: On another Canadian note, beloved Canuck folk-rockers and extensive tourers The Wooden Sky released their fourth LP this past fall to widespread acclaim. Maintaining their perfect balance of melancholy ballads and roadtrip-ready jams, the Gavin Gardner-led anthems sound more polished and heartwarming than ever.