The Best Songs of January 2014

Our favourite songs of the month, featuring Cloud Nothings and Isaiah Rashad.

- Jan 31, 2014
Who had the best songs of January 2014? These guys did! They're all there! What are you waiting for? Listen to all the songs below, and click the titles to see what we had to say when we posted them originally.

A Sunny Day In Glasgow, “In Love With Useless (The Timeless Geometry In The Tradition Of Passing)”

“Not even shoegaze can mask dripping sentiment with effects and distortion, but the subgenre seems made to stand at the altar with the brimming, twitchy love found in songs like this one.”

The Men, “Pearly Gates”

“The sound of “Pearly Gates” is that of some B-level cult leader throwing out the script mid-sermon, tossing a couple guitars into the choir, and ripping into roots rock infected with the Holy Spirit.”

Trust, “Rescue, Mister”

“HI-NRG kicks get you right in the chest and guttural pitches usually reserved for seances are twisted into some kind of smile, as glazed twinkles spark above like emergency exit lights on a factory floor.”

Speedy Ortiz, “American Horror”

“Just listen to the foregrounded, full-hearted guitar-and-drums crunch of 'American Horror' and the heart-on-sleeve lyricism of underground hero/Creative Writing MFA candidate Sadie Dupuis, and get excited for the next dose.”

St. Vincent, “Digital Witness”

St. Vincent - Digital Witness (OFFICIAL AUDIO)

“The latest cut from the impending St. Vincent...marches along big and brassy, and sees the artist modelling her devastatingly effective ironic charisma on what could be a dystopian used brain salesman.”

Isaiah Rashad, “RIP Kevin Miller”

“...the TDE rapper's beat (Black Metaphor's handiwork) is all silk-lined piano chords EQ'd under big, subby drums, the kind of track made for Section.80-era Kendrick Lamar (or even a certain rival?) And like K-Dot, Rashad has fun flexing on this drive-slow anthem with a cadence that jumps between Pac on the hook and a gravelly Jeezy at the end.”

Perfect Pussy, “Driver”

“As with most of their tracks so far, it's personal to the point of almost feeling invasive. And so they hold nothing back, flipping the switch on turbine-level guitars that'll tilt you back on your heels, fuelled by the toxic goo of Meredith Graves' interpersonal calamity, so brutal it occasionally mutates her voice into the feedback staggering throughout the song.”

Neneh Cherry, “Everything” (prod. Four Tet)

“'Everything' has the mood and colour of a club made of ice collapsing in slow motion, the result of Cherry's warm soul scatting melting the foundation.”

Liars, “Mess On A Mission”

“There may be ambiguities in the mood, but the art-punk track's nucleus forms around stacks of haunted circuitry and an instinctually groovy kick-snare-kick-snare beat with snapping flourishes.”

BADBADNOTGOOD, “CS60”

“It's unmistakably darker, and unmistakably a progression, opening with some strings on some Stars of the Lid tip, then into a series of anxiously chirping chords and huge Mike Will-style 808s that relieve the tension every time they're triggered.”

Have A Nice Life, “Burial Society”

“'Burial Society' seems to emanate from some massive sinkhole. It's heavy with the distress of death metal but its punishment is more gradual, a monolith of degenerative effects approaching from a great distance.”

ScHoolboy Q, “Break THe Bank”

“Money is the song's focus, but in his pursuit Q addresses the crucial ways it helps him live, like escaping his drug dealing past and providing for his daughter. Yes, drugs and clothes are addressed, but it's a part of the exposure to the many dimensions of Q. This grit sands over the chilly, groovy beat, and makes it an underdog theme you can blast down the highway.”

Mac DeMarco, “Passing Out Pieces”

“The charm is there and the sound has progressed, and that could be due to this new exhaustion. To fight what's draining him, he's retreating to music, and treating his indie rock crown like a Burger King knock-off.”

The Soft Moon, “Feel”

THE SOFT MOON - Feel (Official Audio)

“What could easily be mistaken for impatient whinings of a fourteen year old with an official The Crow journal is elevated by the surrounding sonic black mass, and into the lofty place existential despair can still occupy, despite its current state of mass-production.”

Holly Herndon, “Chorus”

Holly Herndon - Chorus [Official Video]

“Just when the memory of Oneohtrix Point Never and Jon Rafman's “Still Life (Betamale)” was beginning to recede, there's another unsettling vision of Internet life.”

Wye Oak, “The Tower”

Wye Oak - The Tower

“...the first single from their new album, Shriek, takes a step towards a more unique sound by abandoning the guitar altogether, instead focusing on an elegant, spiral-synth sound more reminiscent of their (at the time) uncharacteristic Adult Swim one-off, 'Spiral.'”

Cam'ron & A-Trak, “Humphrey”

“It swings and swaggers with the gait of the old money name in its title, and finds Killa back in classic Purple Haze form.”

Cloud Nothings, “I'm Not A Part Of Me”

“...a return to the Cleveland band’s habitation of duelling emotional states, separated from a concrete core of feeling through lines like 'I’m not telling you all I’m going through.'”

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