WRMC’s 2014 in Review

by on December 22, 2014

Posted in: Blues, Country, Eclectic, Electronic, Folk, Funk, Hip Hop, Jazz, Music, Pop, Pop Punk, Punk, R&B / Soul, Rap, Reggae, Rock, World


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2014 was a weird year for music. This year Miley Cyrus‘ Bangerz and Pavement‘s Brighten the Corners received equal airplay on WRMC whether we could help it or not, streaming services began counting towards Billboard charts, Apple discontinued the iPod Classic, Vinyl sales shot up by 49%, The Knife and Crystal Castles broke up, the Grammy nominations and Rolling Stone‘s album reviews continued to be largely irrelevant, and James Murphy made an album of remixed tennis noises. But before the year had even begun, Beyoncé dropped the bomb that was her self-titled album, which would come to dominate party playlists and WRMC airwaves for the next twelve months. Angel Olsen’s sweet and sad Burn Your Fire For No Witness, Frankie Cosmos’ lovable lo-fi label debut, Zentropy, and Mark Kozelek’s grim balladry on Sun Kil Moon‘s Benji were the quiet favorites of the early winter months here in Middlebury, Vermont, while ice queen St. Vincent’s frenetic self-titled and Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s Piñata packed a powerful one-two punch. In March, we carefully practiced Samuel T. Herring’s amazing dance moves and Future Islands‘ “Seasons (Waiting On You)” became the essential dance jam south of College Street. In April, we got down to the mind bending music of Dan Deacon and BADBADNOTGOOD at Sepomana, WRMC’s annual spring concert. The spring months were arguably the strongest season for albums, particularly with Mac DeMarco’s Salad Days and Cloud NothingsHere and Nowhere Else both dropping on April Fools Day, Todd Terje’s long awaited full length debut coming out a week later, and strong Swans, Sharon Van Etten, Sylvan Esso, and Parquet Courts releases hitting the shelves at the tail-end of the school year. We closed out spring programming with WRMC’s annual Top 91 countdown, though most of our favorite tracks from that academic year hailed from 2013.

The summer was dominated by top-40 hits and the like from Ariana Grande, ILOVEMAKONNEN, Drake, How to Dress Well, and Grimes, while the addictive, synthetic electronic pop of mysterious UK producer, SOPHIE bubbled up to the surface and gnawed at our brains. After somewhat of a slow summer, things picked up in late August with excellent albums from WRMC perennial favorites Cymbals Eat Guitars, Tennis
, Ty Segall, and Mr. Twin Sister. The tumultuous fall semester saw long awaited returns from seasoned electronic musicians Aphex Twin and Flying Lotus, relentless rapping from Run the Jewels duo El-P and Killer Mike on one of the best hip-hop albums of the year, and Taylor Swift’s inescapable presence in pop music and your newsfeed. In November we freed our minds and asses along with Big Freedia at WRMC’s fall concert, Grooveyard, and for the first time ever, WRMC held community discussions before and after the show regarding mindful consumption and creation of art and music. The end of 2014 brought many surprises, from Beyoncé’s one-off “7/11” single to the announcement of Modest Mouse’s return to the rush release of D’Angelo‘s 14 year slow-cooked epic Black Messiah. And that’s just to name a few highlights from the past twelve months. We’re all about charts, playlists, and reviews here at WRMC, so what better way to wrap up 2k14 than with a few lists of our favorites, a spotify playlist, and a vaguely informative year long grade of ★★★★☆.


 WRMC’s Most Played Albums of 2014:

  1. Beyoncé – Beyoncé
  2. Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso
  3. Salad Days – Mac Demarco
  4. St. Vincent – St. Vincent
  5. Burn Your Fire For No Witness – Angel Olsen
  6. 1989 – Taylor Swift
  7. This Is All Yours – Alt-J
  8. Atlas – Real Estate
  9. They Want My Soul – Spoon
  10. Singles – Future Islands


WRMC’s Most Played Tracks of
2014:

  1. Coffee – Sylvan Esso
  2. XO – Beyoncé
  3. Digital Witness – St. Vincent
  4. Salad Days – Mac DeMarco
  5. Take Me To Church – Hozier
  6. Forgiven/Forgotten – Angel Olsen
  7. Inside Out – Spoon
  8. Seasons (Waiting On You) – Future Islands
  9. Talking Backwards – Real Estate
  10. Blank Space – Taylor Swift

These charts are based on airplay statistics from January 2014 to now, and therefore will inevitably skew results towards albums and songs that came out earlier in the year. Albums not released in 2014 were omitted. Except Beyoncé because she won by a landslide.


 

WRMC STAFF LISTS

Charlie Dulik – Concerts Committee

ilovestvincent
ILOVESTVINCENT

 ALBUMS

  1. St. Vincent – St. Vincent
  2. Black Messiah – D’Angelo
  3. The River & The Thread – Rosanne Cash
  4. Run the Jewels 2 – Run the Jewels
  5. pom pom – Ariel Pink
  6. Mouth Sounds – Neil Cicierega
  7. It’s Album Time – Todd Terje
  8. Tha Tour Part 1 – Rich Gang
  9. Sweet Talk – Vanilla
  10. Piñata – Freddie Gibbs & Madlib

SONGS

  1. Tuesday (feat. Drake) – ILOVEMAKONNEN
  2. Fuck KD (Kevin Durant Diss) – Lil B
  3. 0 to 100/The Catch Up – Drake
  4. Lifestyle – Rich Gang
  5. Stoner – Young Thug
  6. No Black Person Is Ugly – Lil B
  7. I Don’t Fuck With You (feat. E-40) – Big Sean
  8. Break Free (feat. Zedd) – Ariana Grande
  9. Go (feat. Blood Diamonds) – Grimes
  10. Move That Dope (feat. Pusha T, Pharrell Williams, Casino) – Future

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

  • Young Thug

BEST PRESENCE IN MUSIC CULTURE

SOME OVERLOOKED ALBUMS

  • Dark Comedy – Open Mike Eagle
  • Cilvia Demo – Isaiah Rashad
  • IVRY EP – 100s
  • So It Goes – RATKING
  • WLFGRL – Machine Girl
  • The Water[s] – Mick Jenkins
  • Beats By Gobby – Gobby
  • Workshop 19 – Kassem Moss

 Julia Welsh – Programming Director

fkatwigsxblackmessiah
D'Angelo twigs

ALBUMS

  1. Black Messiah – D’Angelo
  2. LP1 – FKA twigs
  3. St Vincent – St. Vincent
  4. Are We There – Sharon Van Etten
  5. Singles – Future Islands
  6. Lost In The Dream – War On Drugs
  7. Ruins – Grouper
  8. To Be Kind – Swans
  9. pom pom – Ariel Pink
  10. Too Bright – Perfume Genius
  11. More Than Any Other Day – Ought
  12. Plowing Into the Field of Love – Iceage
  13. Benji – Sun Kil Moon
  14. Burn Your Fire For No Witness – Angel Olsen
  15. Rips – Ex Hex

 Chad Clemens – Music Director


cymbalseatthejewels
Cymbals Eat the Jewels 2

ALBUMS

  1. Run the Jewels 2 – Run the Jewels
  2. pom pom – Ariel Pink
  3. Benji – Sun Kil Moon
  4. It’s Album Time – Todd Terje
  5. Mr Noah EP – Panda Bear
  6. Salad Days – Mac Demarco
  7. Sunbathing Animal – Parquet Courts
  8. Burn Your Fire for No Witness – Angel Olsen
  9. Zentropy – Frankie Cosmos
  10. You’re Dead! – Flying Lotus
  11. Loom – Fear of Men
  12. Sea When Absent – A Sunny Day in Glasgow
  13. Plowing Into the Field of Love – Iceage
  14. Here and Nowhere Else – Cloud Nothings
  15. Say Yes to Love – Perfect Pussy
  16. Never Hungover Again – Joyce Manor
  17. St. Vincent – St. Vincent
  18. Deep Fantasy – White Lung
  19. Manipulator – Ty Segall
  20. Careers – Beverly
  21. Ritual in Repeat – Tennis
  22. They Want My Soul – Spoon
  23. LP1 – FKA twigs
  24. A U R O R A – Ben Frost
  25. Adorn – You’ll Never Get to Heaven

SONGS

  1. Jackson – Cymbals Eat Guitars
  2. Mr Noah – Panda Bear
  3. Silver – Caribou
  4. Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck) (Feat. Zack De La Rocha) – Run The Jewels
  5. Seasons (Waiting On You) – Future Islands
  6. True Love – Tobias Jesso Jr
  7. Bitch – Allie X
  8. If It Wasn’t True – Shamir
  9. Lemonade / Hard – SOPHIE
  10. I Believe You – White Lung
  11. Passing Out Pieces – Mac DeMarco
  12. Shadow (8 Track Version) – Chromatics
  13. Castigadas En El Granero – Deers
  14. I Never Learn – Lykke Li
  15. Not Enough Violence – Ariel Pink
  16. I Do Too – Frankie Cosmos
  17. Go (feat. Blood Diamonds) – Grimes
  18. Otitis – Mourn
  19. Blue Suede – Vince Staples
  20. Alta / Waterfall – Fear of Men
  21. Move That Dope (feat. Pharrell, Pusha T & Casino) – Future
  22. Queen – Perfume Genius
  23. Inside Out – Spoon
  24. Dangerous Days – Zola Jesus
  25. Back, Baby – Jessica Pratt

Aashna Aggarwal – Business Directoraa2014

ALBUMS

  1. 1989 – Taylor Swift
  2. Blue – iamamiwhoami
  3. LP1 – FKA Twigs
  4. I Never Learn – Lykke Li
  5. Lost in the Dream – The War on Drugs
  6. More Than Any Other Day – Ought

Aaron Slater – Concerts Committee

hereorwhereweland
Here And Where We Land

ALBUMS/SONGS

  1. Here And Nowhere Else – Cloud Nothings
  2. Wonder Where We Land – SBTRKT
  3. Benji – Sun Kil Moon
  4. Singles – Future Islands
  5. Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso
  6. So It Goes – Ratking
  7. Salad Days – Mac Demarco
  8. Run The Jewels 2 – Run The Jewels
  9. You’re Dead! – Flying Lotus
  10. Crush Songs – Karen O
  11. Lost In The Dream – War On Drugs
  12. Lp1 – Fka Twigs
  13. In A Dream – The Juan Maclean
  14. pom pom – Ariel Pink
  15. “Haystack Blues” (Single) – Clay And Friends
  16. “Wait For A Minute” (Single) – Tuneyards
  17. They Want My Soul – Spoon
  18. Mr Noah EP – Panda Bear
  19. “Content Nausea” (Single) – Parkay Quarts
  20. Present Tense – The Wild Beasts

 HONORABLE MENTIONS

  • “Lifestyle” (Single) – Rich Gang
  • “Tuesday” (Single) – ILOVEMAKONNEN
  • Peter Bjorn and John’s 2006 “Writer’s Block”
  • Justin Vernon’s 2005 “Self Record”
  • And, As Always, Feist

 Kate Leib – Creative Director

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Plowing Into The Field of Guitars


ALBUMS

  1. Plowing Into The Field Of Love – Iceage
  2. It’s Album Time – Todd Terje
  3. LOSE – Cymbals Eat Guitars
  4. Salad Days – Mac Demarco
  5. Sunbathing Animal – Parquet Courts
  6. Sea When Absent – A Sunny Day in Glasgow
  7. More Than Any Other Day – Ought
  8. Burn Your Fire For No Witness – Angel Olsen
  9. Zentropy – Frankie Cosmos
  10. Atlas – Real Estate
  11. St. Vincent – St. Vincent
  12. Here And Nowhere Else – Cloud Nothings
  13. DSU – Alex G
  14. Never Hungover Again – Joyce Manor
  15. Run The Jewels 2 – Run The Jewels
  16. Deep Fantasy – White Lung
  17. Clark – Clark
  18. Lost in the Dream – The War On Drugs
  19. Are We There – Sharon Van Etten
  20. Home, Like Noplace Is There – The Hotelier
  21. Hoodwink’d – LVL UP
  22. To Be Kind – Swans
  23. Xen – Arca
  24. Typical System – Total Control
  25. Singles – Future Islands

 SONGS

  1. Jackson – Cymbals Eat Guitars
  2. Today More Than Any Other Day – Ought
  3. Johnny and Mary (Feat. Bryan Ferry) – Todd Terje
  4. Continental Shelf – Viet Cong
  5. Queen – Perfume Genius
  6. Forever – Iceage
  7. Uncast Shadow Of A Southern Myth – Parkay Quarts
  8. I’m Not Part Of Me – Cloud Nothings
  9. Bitch – Allie X
  10. Your Graduation – Modern Baseball
  11. Digital Witness – St. Vincent
  12. Seasons (Waiting On You) – Future Islands
  13. Unfucktheworld – Angel Olsen
  14. Passing Out Pieces – Mac DeMarco
  15. Trippy Gum – DEERS
  16. The Body, It Bends (ペルセポネが帰ってきた!) – A Sunny Day in Glasgow
  17. If It Wasn’t True – Shamir
  18. Ocean Death – Baths
  19. Blockbuster Night Part 1 – Run The Jewels
  20. Winter Linn – Clark
  21. Christmas Card – Joyce Manor
  22. True Love – Tobias Jesso Jr
  23. Inside Out – Spoon
  24. Murmurs – Hundred Waters
  25. Forerunner Foray – Shabazz Palaces

BEST PRESENCE IN MUSIC CULTURE

FAVORITE EPS

  • Northtown – Shamir
  • Cassette – Viet Cong
  • Real Hair – Speedy Ortiz
  • Dad, I’m Trying – Conroy Blanc
  • rarities & unreleased (soundcloud) – Johnny Jewel
  • The Now Sound For Today’s Lovers – Jerry Paper

LEAST FAVORITE LYRICS

  • Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life?” – Magic!, “Rude”  This line precedes the most entitled and annoying chorus of 2014 in which Magic!’s lead-singer whines to an “old fashioned man” who is “so rude” for not letting him have what he wants. The kicker is that the lead singer goes and marries the daughter anyway, because fuck the haterz he’s hashtag young wild and free. Yes, you should be able to marry whomever you want as long as it’s mutual, BUT this song has nothing to do with equality or breaking marriage conventions, not to mention it’s a really cheap take on reggae fusion. Only about 56% of Americans currently agree that same-sex couples should be able to marry legally and yet Americans and commercial radio stations threw enough support behind this piece of shit to catapult the single to number one over the summer. What.

FAVORITE LYRICS

  • For this year it became harder to be tender / 

Harder and harder to remember
 / Meeting a friend, writing a letter
 / Being lost, antique ritual
 / All lost to the ceremony of progress
” and all the rest of the spot-on lyrics from Parkay Quarts’ rollicking lament, “Content Nausea”
  • Yeah my boyfriend’s pretty cool / but he’s not as cool as me” – Lana Del Rey, “Brooklyn Baby”
  • Are you lonely too? / Hi-five / so am I” – Angel Olsen, “Hi-five.”  Runner-up goes to her opening line “Everything is tragic” on “White Fire”
  • People say I’m a one hit wonder
 / But what happens when I have two
 / I washed your dishes
 / But I shit in your bathroom” – Sharon Van Etten shattering expectations and female poop taboos on Are We There closer, “Everytime the Sun Comes Up”

MOST ANTICIPATED UPCOMING RELEASES

  • Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper (Jan. 13 via Domino)
  • Viet Cong – Viet Cong (1/20 via Jagjaguwar)
  • Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love (1/20 via Sub Pop)
  • Dan Deacon – Gliss Riffer (2/24 via Domino)
  • Screaming Females – Rose Mountain (2/24 via Don Giovanni)
  • Chromatics – Dear Tommy (2/?? via Italians Do It Better)
  • Modest Mouse – Strangers to Ourselves (3/3 via Epic Records)
  • Tobias Jesso, Jr. – Goon (Mar. 17 via True Panther)
  • The Wrens, Built to Spill,  Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Pusha T, Grimes –  all TBA

BEST OF 2014  SPOTIFY SAMPLER (unranked):