Rock playlist

2014 Indie Rock Playlist for Pop Fans: Listen Now!

December is always a time for pop fans to feel especially worried, as the last month of the calendar year also serves as the year-end list season – best known as a hotbed for blogging, publishing. and thousands of music fans in general to announce their favorite songs. and albums of the year. These listings (especially album listings) typically lean towards indie rock music, as many take it upon themselves to highlight an incredible album or single that the mainstream might have overlooked in the past 11 months. This is the reason why you are more likely to see the name “Angel Olsen” more often than “Pitbull” over the next month: the end of year season is the time to stand up for artists who create works of art. powerful art, regardless of the extent of their PR machines. Maybe.

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2014 Year-End Hot 100 | Billboard Music Year 2014

And that’s great! But it can be overwhelming for casual pop fans who aren’t sure which artists, albums, or songs appearing on those lists to investigate further. That’s why at Billboard we’ve put together a custom indie rock playlist for pop fans, featuring 15 songs from last year that could reasonably have appeared on mainstream radio alongside Lorde, Bastille and Tove Lo this year. This list won’t include anything too heavy (sorry, Swans), so feel free to dig in and check out some of the best tunes of the year that certainly weren’t played at an awards show:

1. How to dress well, “Repeat the fun”

How To Dress Well mastermind Tom Krell has hinted that his rhythmic electro-R & B project could result in a full-fledged pop track with songs like “& It Was You” and a cover of “Again” by Janet. Jackson, but few could have foreseen something catchy, dancing, and downright exhilarating like “Repeat Pleasure” from “What Is This Heart?” ” of this year ? Krell’s fragile voice and polished guitars propel one of the most unexpected treats of the year in the indie world.

2. tune-yards, “Water fountain”

Merrill Garbus’s eclectic Tune-Yards project produced another Afrobeat-influenced gem this year with “Water Fountain,” which saw indie fans dance to the phrase “blood-soaked dollar” for the first time. Miss MIA’s propelling world music on pop radio? Try the latest Tune-Yards, Nikki nack, activated for size.

3. Sylvan Esso, “Café”

The members of Mountain Man and Megafaun have teamed up for the electro-pop project Sylvan Esso, which sometimes sounds tailor-made for college town cafes and shines on hypnotic tracks like the single “Coffee.” The band’s debut album is food for blogging, but this deliciously simple track is also worth reaching out for dark mainstream pop fans as well.

4. The pains of being pure of heart, “Kelly”

Longtime indie band The Pains of Being Pure at Heart filled their underrated LP Days of abandonment with some shameless fits of glee, and “Kelly” jumps in with Jessica Weiss’ cheerful vocal performance and a snap of her fingers that would match the lush melodies of the Smiths. If you hate this song, there may be hatred ingrained in your heart.

5. Wye Oak, “Glory”

Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak traded her guitar for a keyboard in the three years between 2011 Civil and this year Shout, and the latter represents a new change of pace for the duo with reliable charm. “Glory” flaunts its funky flag in just under five minutes, as Wasner lingers on syllables with a confident thrill similar to that of Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes.

6. Spoon, “Do you”

Spoon has remained indie rock’s most consistent band with this year’s belle. They want my soul, and while “Inside Out” and “Let Me Be Mine” are wonders for the Pitchfork ensemble, “Do You” appears with the album’s most alluring hooks. Don’t be surprised to hear this one in a ton of movie trailers next year.

7. Lykke Li, “Heart of Steel”

In an alternate universe, Lykke Li’s “Heart Of Steel” would get the pop radio shine that “Stay With Me” assisted by the same Sam Smith choir received in 2014. The swollen ballad on the bruised third album Swedish independent star, i never learn, finds Li begging to find peace while trying to recover from a devastating breakup, “Don’t let me die without a lover to hold on to,” she sings before a thousand choristers say goodbye.

8. Broods, “Coattails”

Do you like Lorde? Brother-sister duo Broods are also from New Zealand and worked with Lorde producer Joel Little on their entire debut EP and album. “Coattails”, from their eponymous EP, hides with a tenderness reminiscent of… well, you know who.

9. Little dragon, “Klapp Klapp”

Little Dragon’s indie-electro Swedes continue to release persuasive dance music, and the swaggering soul of “Klapp Klapp” represents a new highlight for Yukimi Nagano and co. The snare hits are relentless, and when the chorus hits, dare not to nod your head.

10. The Preadatures, “Do you feel? “

The 2014 Australian explosion featured artists like Sia and 5 Seconds of Summer, but alternative rock quartet The Preatures also enjoyed some success in the United States after forming in Sydney in 2010. “Is This How You Feel? “Debut album Eyes of the blue planet, has one of the most punchy basslines of the year, and Isabella Manfredi’s voice oscillates impressively between impassive and assertive.

11. Alvvays, “Diversion of adults”

Alvvays (pronounced “always”) is the 2014 anthem for all the shy girls staring at the cute guy she spotted on the street. “How can I get close to you? / Even if you don’t notice it, because I’m already walking away,” the song begins, with keeled guitars urging singer Molly Rankin to be courageous and to find happiness.

12. The drums, “I can’t pretend”

Brooklyn rock band’s third album, Encyclopedia, came and left in the United States when it was released in September, but the band (now a duo) slipped their strongest song to date onto the tracklist. While early hits like “Let’s Go Surfing” all focused on the zipper style, “I Can’t Pretend” bathes in teary-eyed emotion, the group’s grief echoing in lines such as, “When everyone wants to dance, I can’t stand upstairs. “

13. Wayward friends, “Swim”

Brighton-based Fickle Friends are one of Pop Shop’s favorite new bands, and the lead single “Swim” masks its melancholy in exhilarating harmonies and playful guitar riffs. Expect sweeter electronic tracks from the band’s debut EP in early 2015.

14. Cent Eaux, “[Animal]”

This remarkable album from the Florida band’s second album combines Nicole Miglis’ vaporous vocals with pulse-boosting percussion and one or three quivering electronic breakdowns, evoking one of the most complex art-pop songs of the year.

15. The feat of Grimes. Blood diamonds, “Come on”

We end with a pop song originally written for Rihanna and performed by the most fascinating singer in independent music right now: Grimes may not have made it to the Top 40 with “Go,” but this Metals of a synth breakdown would slice pop fans if given their chance. Don’t be surprised to see Grimes swap her freelance credit for some well-deserved ubiquity next year.