Friday, January 5, 2001

McQ's Best Of 2014 Mix Collection

Hey Friends,

Here we go again, my annual mix collection celebrating the best I heard in rock, pop, hip-hop, soul, electronica, folk, and indie over the prior year.

2014 was, as these songs will attest, a fine music year - not particularly deep, but exceptionally strong at the top!

As always, each mix is designed to be burnable to a standard 70 mb CD.  Click on the mix titles for additional information about the artists and albums profiled, printable track listings and year end summaries, links to Amazon, iTunes, and Youtube, and all other sorts of good stuff.


As with the previous three years, we start things off with choice cuts from most of my favorite 2014 albums (minus a few Nancy gobbled up for her mix). With Palace, A Little God In My Hands, Jim Wise, Blank Project, Today More Than Any Other Day, I Prefer Your Love, and 3Jane, this year’s Best Of The Best is edgier than the previous three, but rest assured, it does ease up on into an accessible back half, and also boasts several tracks (Weight Of Love, Feel, An Ocean In Between The Waves) with remarkable closing jams – a trait which felt like 2014’s trademark, so many songs this year with fantastic instrumental endings.

Nancy’s annual poaching job makes a great counterpoint to my Best Of The Best this year, featuring many of the year’s best soul and folksier numbers.

Inspired by the War On Drugs, who open and close this volume, I set out to make my own great, late-night driving mix. A genre-hopping collection of long, flowing numbers, this is for the most part a relaxing mix with a slight classic rock slant, punctuated with just enough up-tempo numbers to keep things from getting too sleepy.

A look at some of the smaller-font bands that made the 2014 Coachella festival memorable. This is the one mix where I don’t hold myself to a calendar year/year prior restriction.  If a band I’ll likely never profile again produced their best song five years back, that’s what goes on this mix, though I do strive to include most recent material whenever possible.

Just as the title says – yet another dance-rock, electronica, synth-pop, and dub-oriented collection.

2014 was a fantastic year for Post- Rock, and for my money, this mix is both the weirdest and the best of this year’s collection. Eighty minutes of thrilling, alternatingly soothing or punishing, ever evolving orchestral-rock crescendos.  Swans’ thirty-four minute exploration of the Haitian revolution Bring The Sun/Toussaint Louverture, will be a challenge for many, but try to stick with this mix all the way through - no matter how rough it gets, there’s always another moment of calm or cool around the corner. 

My annual up-tempo punk, psych-rock, garage mix, this time out with a slack rock lean.

Originally, all these songs were considered for Volume 3 - Just Let It Flow – but the amount of material I wanted to include grew too large to contain on one disc, and thus, the material was split, with the more emotionally naked, singer-songwriter/folkish material aggregated here.

Modern Indie’s heyday is at least a half-decade past, well symbolized by the fact that only two songs on this twenty-song mix come to us via artists I haven’t featured years prior. But as all these acts prove, passé doesn’t always mean past your prime - some of 2014’s best songs are on this mix.

A closing collection of tracks I either ran out of room for or that didn’t make sense on the previous mixes, Odds & Ends is broken into four self-explanatory suites – Electro-Soul Overkill, Brotastic Brouhaha, A Token Shout Out To Hip Hop & Soul, and A Repulsive Room Clearer To Close It All Out.

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