Saturday 20 December 2014

Shell Hunter's - Best 5 of 2014


We knew it was going to be tough but its the annual task we must complete. My criteria was simple, if I love it now as much as when it first hit, it made the cut. Here are my prestigious Top 5 followed by the meticulously chosen Top 20. These songs will be frozen in time, forever shaping our memory of 2014 when we look back and listen. Farewell to those that we had to let go, and cheers to the next batch in 2015!!

Boy and Bear - 'Southern Sun'

I got an email from Spotify last week which said, "What was your most listened to song of 2014?" Oooo, I thought, I wonder if this will be any reflection on my Track Of The Year? There it was in black and white, Boy and Bear - Southern Sun. I couldn't argue with that, it really is my favourite song of 2014. I absolutely adore the feel it has, full of warm nostalgia of summer days. If only you could just bottle that!

Future Islands - 'Seasons (Waiting On You)'

I was thrilled to hear my favourite band of 2011 were back with a new album. This track is a real grower and a perfect insight to the Future Islands' unique style. I am privileged to have seen them up close and personal a couple of times (including this year's Latitude), even buying a tshirt and having a chat with the singer Sam who brings raw dramatic emotion by the bucket load. A must see if you get a chance!

Hot Chip vs. William Onyeabor - 'Atomic Bomb'

The original version of this song really is the epitome of this year for me. It surrounds the whole of the Latitude weekend. The day before, picking up Old Pa, driving to Suffolk listening to our Latitude playlist and seeing the whole project jovially performing it on the Sunday morning. It and other songs on the album are absolutely nuts but what a great sound! Having Hot Chip giving it the treatment is the cherry (bomb) on the cake! Boom!

Jungle - 'Busy Earnin'

I have to give Flycasual schnapps for this one, he raved about Jungle all year and he couldn't have been more right. They have a totally fresh sound. I have never seen a harder working group live on stage, they were mind blowing. In the BBC6 tent at Latitude they started off with the aptly titled The Heat and did not stop. So much enthusiasm, energy and they were so tight, it was if they were one big organism. It was worth suffering the sweltering heat to see this soultastic group. I have every confidence they will keep knocking out fantastic funk filled tunes. 

Arctic Monkeys - 'Snap Out Of It'

It was very hard choosing track 5 but I had to have a bit of the 'Monkeys. They just keep doing it. I like pretty much every song they've released but there is something about this one. I cant help singing along. The clever lyrics just roll off the tongue. Its good fun and I always enjoy the observant take on relationships their songs come out with. "There is no way she could have moved on, its obviously a phase. Snap out of it." We've all been there bruv!

Enjoyed my choices? Hear the rest of my Top 20 Best of 2014 on my Spotify playlist below!

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Shell Hunter's - Best 5 of 2014
4/ 5


21 December 2014 at 15:21

Boy & Bear. You introduced me to this band and I immediately bought the brilliant LP 'Harlequin Dream', which was recently included in my top 10 albums of the year....until I realised that it actually came out in 2013, so unfortunately it didn't qualify! I'm a stickler for my own rules! Thank you for the introduction to what is definitely one of my most played albums of 2014.

Future Islands. Like many casual observers, I first bumped into these guys via their legendary Letterman performance. I still haven't heard much more by them, but this is indeed a very good, 80s infused, pop song.

Hot Chip. I'll echo my previous comment to Old Pa - I'm currently working my way through the Complete William Oneyeabor box set. I'm not the world's biggest Hot Chip fan, but they have very good taste and, individually and collectively, lend their support to extremely worthwhile projects, so I won't hear a bad word said about them. Fair play fellas!

Jungle. This is great, though I'm criminally out of touch with Jungle. I've really enjoyed everything I've heard by them and need to find out more about them. On my 'to do' list.

Arctic Monkeys. I have lot of time for this band. Alex Turner is a very fine writer of witty, intelligent songs. Long may they continue.

Happy Christmas Shell Hunter, here's to discovering more great tunes in 2015!

21 December 2014 at 16:43

Thanks for the comments TS, I always appreciate your insight!
I too am a stickler for my own rules and checked long and hard into Boy and Bear. You're right that they released their album initially in Aug 2013 in Oz but apparently it was released in the UK Jan 2014. That was good enough for me!
It was you who told me about the famous Letterman performance and it must be a new angle for the lead singer as when I saw them a couple years ago, I'm sure I would've remembered the growling!
As for Jungle, do yourself a favour!
Have a fab Christmas yourself TS, and cheers to 2015!

21 December 2014 at 17:13

......January 2014 you say?.............(tears up previous draft of Top 20 LPs of the year and starts again).......

21 December 2014 at 17:57

TS - I know what you mean I had a top 5 which was pointed out to me was not 2014...I almost bent the rooools!

21 December 2014 at 20:19

This is how my year has been - basically, I know nothing about any of these people other than Arctic Myncis (sic). So, let's see:

Boy and Bear - good name for a start and top tune. Really want to hear more.

Future Islands - rather epic which is sometimes a good thing. This sounds like a good thing.

Hot Chip vs William Onyeabor - given that I know that Mr. Onyeabor recorded a lot of stuff back in the 60s/70s (I think, anyway, please correct if I'm talking crap) I'd like to hear him without the Hot Chip thing going on.

Jungle - completely new to me. Already liking what I'm hearing. Fresh and addictive.

Arctic Monkeys - it's cliche, I know, but loved the first LP and went right off them afterwards. Alex is a great lyricist but there's just something...not for me.

Have a splendid Christmas and even better New year.