Another year means another deluge of music our Music Supervisors (also known as DJs/label owners/artists/rockstars) comb through; each week, hundreds of albums are given a spin to find the freshest tracks for the brands they curate for. Their collective audiophile escapades have been harnessed to create our best songs of 2014 list. We’re streaming these and more on our Top Songs of 2014 BrandRadio – just scroll down or click here to tune in.
MARK CAMPBELL :: Music Supervisor
On her third album of cover songs, Annie Lennox pays a visit to the world of the Great American Songbook. “You Belong To Me”, with its poignant lyrics of longing and heartache, fully exemplifies the album’s overall theme – a desire to come home again. Her vocals (solid and sincere) and the song’s arrangement deliver a stirring and contemporary take on a classic tune from America’s rich musical history.
SEAN HORTON :: Senior Music Supervisor / Music Strategy & Development
Though musically they’re light-years apart, I would go out on a limb to say that St. Vincent is the Joni Mitchell of my generation. “Prince Johnny” from her self-titled 2014 release stands out as a highlight. Anne’s voice and lyrical prose are in top form in this haunting ballad about a wayward lover, which seamless fuses together hard hitting sampled beats and choir singers.
GRADY TYREE :: Music Procurement Associate
Any time Chino Moreno (Deftones) lays his vocals down on a recording, I have to own it, and it has to be included on year-end lists. “Bitches Brew” is my favorite track off his latest side project’s debut record; from the slow, prodding opening of the song, to the throat-shredding rage it ends on.
AARON VOROS :: Music Supervisor
Bear In Heaven have become masters of the unexpected, and their fourth full-length album Time Is Over One Day Old makes it apparent. Mixed in with all the eccentricities of the album is “They Dream,” which is a noticeable departure from the verse-chorus song structure that dominates the radio.
HALLIE SLOAN :: Associate Music Supervisor
In this quintessential Scandinavian collaboration, Swedish pop singer Robyn and Norweigan electronic-duo Royksopp come together for a hallucinatory psychedelic trip to the future. Known for her upbeat break-up albums, Robyn cultivates her vocal content with bold optimism and excitement in this hit single– her first album in 4 years.
TOM KILLORIN :: Music Supervisor
“Righteous Babe” Ani DiFranco is a respected self-made woman who inspired thousands of musicians and artists to embrace the DIY attitude, however much of her earlier work contained not-ready-for-primetime lyrics. DiFranco’s newer songs are less frantic, more accessible lyrically and refined.
SPENCER MANIO :: Music Supervisor
When a young naïve heart is first trampled upon, Lewis is there. When you first lay eyes on the engagement ring on the finger of a longed for ex-lover, Lewis understands. In your loneliest moments solemnly waiting out your lifetime bid on this spinning cold rock, Lewis is that combination thick fleece throw blanket and Kleenex, warming your body and drying your eyes.
DEAN CARLSON :: Supervisor, Procurement/Music Supervisor
I must listen to an average of about 100 new bands a month, but when I popped this debut album into my car stereo, I almost had to pull over and just give it my undivided attention. Balancing the intimacy of acoustic pop, with a weird electronic backdrop, “Coffee” is easily one of the most original and fresh songs of the year.
CHRIS ROBLES :: Associate Music Supervisor
From her sophomore album, “Tough Love”, with a little help from R&B artist Miguel, this song features some sultry vocals, a chill beat, and add a little bit of a doo-wop vibe makes this a nice song to wind down to and as Jessie says “enjoy & have a glass of whiskey with it”. Salud!
ALEX RUDER :: Associate Music Supervisor
Getting some assistance from the innovative beat producer and fellow 2014 breakout artist Arca, “Two Weeks” features an absorbing off-kilter rhythm that sets an otherworldly stage for twigs’ bold lyrics and seductive delivery–yielding one of the most delicately powerful songs of the year.