Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Best Songs of 2014: #3-2

#3. "Seasons (Waiting On You)" - Future Islands

If you didn't know of Future Islands before 2014, two things: shame on you, and, you definitely know them now. Many will always think the Baltimore-based group are just "the Letterman Show dancing guy," but those of us who have followed the eccentric synth-rock band from their beginnings know that they're so much more - and those kinds of quirky displays are nothing new. If anything, those moments are a huge part of who they are - unabashed, theatrical deliverers of melancholic and upbeat numbers that will both move or groove you beyond belief. The band's fourth album, Singles, might have put them on the mainstream map - likely thanks to, yes, the Letterman performance, and also the beautiful ingredients of this colourful love song - but really, their longstanding musical genius has been a no-brainer landmark in indie-rock hearts for years.

#2. "Inside Out" - Spoon

Similar to the above band, I've had a serious love affair with Spoon for years. Unlike the above band, I can't remember a time I've loved Spoon this much. And, there's nothing wrong with that; it's the sign of a band reaching their career peak - the seminal point in their long, celebrated discography. And, it's thanks to songs like this - lush, soulful graduations from the post-punk-meets-pop sound they nailed with their popular earlier releases. On their eighth (!) album, They Want My Soul, the band ended a four-year long wait for new Spoon tunes with this broader, more eclectic collection of both radio-ready guitar rock and chugging ballads. While the release is threaded together with familiar pieces - namely, Britt Daniel's outstanding rock voice and their coined energetic bounce - it's slow-burners like this one that are clear indication the band's well into their next, very pretty chapter. And at the core of it all, they've still got it.