Best of 2014: 5 Cloud Nothings - Here and Nowhere Else

5 Cloud Nothings Here and Nowhere Else

Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Standout Tracks: Just See Fear, Now Hear In
"Shake your butts! Not too hard." While that is Pixies reference (FORESHADOWING!!!), the same could be said for this release from Cloud Nothings. They have a rambling, energetic punk feel to them. They remind me a little of a band I really liked last year called Japandroids. While Japandroids ended up being a bit of a let down live (they chose energy over execution), I'm wondering if these hard-working Cleveland-ers would show up and kill it. I sure hope so. Here's the official video for "Now Here In", a total jam:

And as an added bonus, here's a live performance of Just See Fear:


Best of 2014: 6 Field Report - Marigolden

6 Field Report Marigolden

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Standout Tracks: Summons, Marigolden
Field Report is from Milwaukee. I have a great love for Milwaukee. It's where I'm from. And a long, long time ago my father was in a band. One of the ladies in the band had a kid named Ashley. And she grew up and married the bassist for this band. That's how I know about their smooth folky, light rock sounds. They are good, and here is their official video for "Home":


Best of 2014: 7 Radiator Hospital - Torch Hospital

7 Radiator Hospital Torch Song

Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI
Standout Tracks: Leather & Lace
This kinda punky pop band was a total sleeper. I put it on the for consideration list and quickly noticed that I was taking notice every time they came on. They are catchy and easy, almost effortless. For the most part, they are raw bar chord rock and they nailed it with this record. Here's the audio for "Fireworks":


Best of 2014: 8 Mogwai - RAVE TAPES


Hometown: Glasgow, Scotland
Standout Tracks: Hexon Bogon, Repelish
Mogwai is one of those bands that has been with me through a lot of growing up. One of my cool guy claims to fame is seeing them perform live in 1999 at the Barrowlands in Glasgow. Audio visually speaking, it was one of the best shows I've ever been to. In recent years, I haven't been super into Mogwai, but this latest release from them really takes you on a journey. Their niche is epic instrumental rock that builds and layers and builds and layers and explodes and recedes. And this album delivers. Here's the official video for a track off the album that I dig called, "The Lord is Out of Control":

Best of 2014: 9 Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

9 Lana Del Rey Ultraviolence

Hometown: New York, NY
Standout Tracks: West Coast, Sad Girl, Old Money
Lana's morose balladry does not disappoint on Ultraviolence. She is moody, eccentric and daring in both her melodies and lyrical choices. She's great.  Here's her official video for "West Coast" (such a jam):