Top Tracks: Part 5 of 2014’s Best

As 2014 comes to a close the LYFSTYL will be counting down our top tracks of the year. Follow along every day as we release ten more of our favourites building towards our top-100. In no particular order, here’s what we at LYFSTYL were listening to this year with numbers 41-50.

Sophie – Lemonade

It’s impossible for me to pick just ONE PC Music song I loved this year so I’ll bombard your feeds with my deep, intense love for the label. After a year of relative silence since Sophie’s epic debut song, ‘Bipp,’ he dropped this lil’ number, ‘Lemonade,’ which legitimately makes no sense. Moving from popping bubbles and fizz into dark, heavy bass intercepted by magnetic bass synths, the track jumps into grotesque JPop bubblegum pop with disturbing forcefulness. It’s intoxicating and warrants numerous listens to understand how melodically important this song is for the electronic community. Even now I’m mesmerized by its twisted beauty and can’t quell my fervid need for a refreshing glass of lemonade. – Written by Rupa Jogani

The Range – Two

Despite extensive touring since The Range’s critically acclaimed debut album, Nonfiction, dropped last year, James Hinton still found time to release his very solid sophomore EP, Panasonic. It delves into hip-hop vibes over his previous juke / footwork sound from Nonfiction but still shells out his signature, delicate polyrhythmic lines. ‘Two’ features sweeping melodic lines and well-layered, simple piano beats to create a wholly intricate piece. If you haven’t already, check out our interview with Hinton from earlier this year at Pitchfork Music Festival. – Written by Rupa Jogani

Yelle – Complètement fou

French disco pop group Yelle remained quiet for three years after their wondrous 2011 album, Safari Disco Club. This past summer they came back with unstoppable force on their album Complètement fou. The title track is everything I wish American pop music would emulate and more. The synth lines followed with pseudo jungle drum beats creates an immediate and infectious dance anthem even before it descends into the catchiest chorus I’ve heard this year. Julie Budet’s voice shimmers on the song with neither instrumental nor vocals overshadowing one another. If you aren’t already immediately ensnared on first play just wait for the breakdown at 2:33 which will destroy your dancing feet. Also, I can’t resist a healthy dose of sweet vogueing. – Written by Rupa Jogani

Chromeo – Jealous (I Ain’t With It)

If you wanna talk summer pop anthems of 2014, look no further than Chromeo’s ‘Jealous (I Ain’t With It).’ By far the most pop-forward song the duo’s ever created, it’s the music to roll through LA with your corvette’s top down. Putting aside the blatant, er, borrowing of ‘Walking on a Dream’ chord riffs, it’s a song I’ve scream danced to all summer long. It’s the song we’ve been waiting from the self-proclaimed suave funk lords and damn, are we still groovin’ hard. – Written by Rupa Jogani

Future – Move That Dope

If we’re discussing club crushers it’s gotta be Future’s ‘Move That Dope.’ His critically acclaimed album Honest has bumped from speakers pretty aggressively this year. ‘Move That Dope’ makes me feel badass and even the features from Pusha T and Pharrell are raw and perfect. Let’s go ahead and blast this again and again. – Written by Rupa Jogani

St. Vincent – Huey Newton

Annie Clarke’s self-titled 2014 release as St. Vincent is tough to nail down. On the surface it’s a deep and experimental pop record, but with every listen St. Vincent reveals a little more of itself as guitar-driven pop licks take turns with dark sludge-slicked riffs like the one found on the latter half of ‘Huey Newton’. Of all the moments on St. Vincent, the haunting first four notes of Clarke’s brief solo at 2:57 is the most powerful. It has a “day of reckoning” feel to it, in which Clarke delivers a dark warning to those obsessed with the internet, backed by a guitar tone that says she fucking means it. – Written by Kevin Vanstone

Phantogram – Blackout Days

Oh, blackout days. I barely remember them like it was yesterday. We’ve all been there. You wake up one morning, you have no idea what happened the night before, but you do know that you’ve probably done some regrettable things, and you’re probably going to be making some apologies today. Oh yeah, and your head feels like it’s stuck in an invisible vice. I don’t know what Phantogram’s ‘Blackout Days’ means to you, but works as a dark and reflective hangover anthem for this over-enthusiastic party-goer. – Written by Kevin Vanstone

Ought – New Calm Pt. 2

I’m going to be honest: I can’t get enough of Ought. The Montreal-based quartet released ‘New Calm Pt. 2’ via Pitchfork this October as a follow-up to their full-length release More Than Any Other Day and the lengthy single consists of the same quirky energy the album is full of. Watch frontman Tim Beeler freak out dancing by himself as he repeats the refrain “Hear me now, I am dead inside” in a Byrne-like frenzy. – Written by Kevin Vanstone

Temples – Sun Structures

Temples are almost too good at synthesizing classic psych-rock sounds and interpreting them into their own material. ‘Shelter Song’ is a well-rounded single, complete with lush guitar accents as “Ahhh-ahhhhs,” which work on a single track, but become repetitive over the course of an entire record. There’s a blueprint Temples can build from, and it is neatly laid out in a concise manner on ‘Shelter Song’. – Written by Kevin Vanstone 

Childish Gambino – Dream/ Southern Hospitality/ Partna Dem (STN MTN)

If you believe in “guilty pleasures” when it comes to music, the lead track on Childish Gambino’s STN MTN mix tape was definitely one of my biggest in 2014. Let me be clear: I’ve never been a big supporter of Childish Gambino. As far as I’m concerned entertainers like Danny Glover (among others) have spread themselves thin, and therefore are liable to slip behind their contemporaries when it comes to artistic quality. I listed to ‘Dream/ Southern Hospitality / Partna Dem’ enough to warrant a link, but I do it begrudgingly considering how long and obnoxious the introduction is. – Written by Kevin Vanstone