2014 was a great year for D4AM, and a great year for the music outside of this humble site as well. It was so good, it's actually worth revisiting a lot of our past features. This 'best of' is basically an editor's pick on a month by month basis. These past 12 months couldn't have been done without the help of some friends, though.
A special thanks to Gio Mirage, Memo Torre, and Justin Spearman, for helping make this year all it has been. We can only hope to have such excellent talents writing for us in the upcoming year. Before we get too mushy; let's check out the month-by-month selection!
We started 2014 right with electro-rock artist Whitey's Lost Summer. Later on we heard quality rhymes with Angel Haze, some of the best indie-rock of the year with Maudlin Strangers, some amazing progressive metal with Replacire, and Emily Braden, a vocal jazz queen with less-than-enough recognition.
February proved the shortest month could still pack bunches of talent. We had Scott Nicks' indie folk-rock EP, Nick Jr. on acid with Candice Gordon, some of Chelsea Wolfe's dark indie-pop's finest, and The Mirage Theory's progressive metalcore.
Still not sure what happened during March that marked such a slow month. A lot of experimental half-done releases that should tickle many ideas, but no real 'best of' material except for electro-funk band The Precious Lo's and Sango's beats.
April picked the pieces back up with some truly diverse artists. We had Alice BrightSky's folk-pop, Shanee Pink's folk-rock, some of Deela's best cumbia/EDM combos, Thomas Blondet's world-electronica, and Butcher Knives' gypsybilly.
We took May and started daring to explore different languages. We had Mondo Diavolo's cabaret rock from Spain, some folk with Bridie Jackson, some singer-songwriter acoustics with Sye Elaine Spence, and Bossacucanova, the Brazilian pioneers of electro-bossa.
A little slow during June, but we had found some rare gems. We found Tati Ana's industrial concoction, Talisco's perfected pop-rock, and Latin-fusion band Karikatura.
Picking things back up! Keeping a short list was difficult here. Dog, Paper, Submarine showed us quality psych-punk. If you're still feeling for punk after that, we also found Van Dammes. Everything else was a little more normal. We had singer-songwriter Jackie Vension, trip hopping Doprah, synth popping Blank Paper, and prog-rock outfit Emily Danger.
A little more relaxed for August. We had one of the best R&B releases of the year with Chaz Langley, some mellowed out rock with Angus & Julia Stone, soulful trip hop with Kwamie Liv, and a stunning first math-rock effort by Fortune Club.
Continuing the autumn-month trend of keeping things smooth was September. One of my personal favorites of the year were trip hop masters Salt Cathedral. We also got a pretty sweet nostalgia trip with Al Jarreau jazzy ode, a psych rock EP to remember by The Foreign Films, Seekae's indie electro-rock, and Tangina Stone's promising R&B/rock debut.
October started a much more flexible trend. We found Labyrinth Ear's electronic pop (wink wink) alt-J's stunning second studio album, a more Halloween infused psych-grunge by The Grayces, and another personal favorite with Kinkajous' self titled debut electro-jazz EP.
Just a month ago we were listening to some very awkward sounds. The first time I ever heard of trip-rock was with Kalacoma. We also had two top quality experimental efforts, one a cover of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Flaming Lips, and the other just Shiny Eyed Babies by Bent Knee. If too much awkward unsettles you, Oh, Malô's Blue was just slightly more normal.
I thought December was another slacking month until I went back to see everything featured. We found Mr. Bill's amazing EDM production whilst apparently settling for mediocrity, we heard some of the best acoustic pop of the year with The Likes of Us. We finally got to hear Captain Supernova's space voyage, and Whilk & Misky's First Sip of an EP. We ended the year on smoother notes, with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga's amazing vocal jazz album, and Speelburg's downtempo EP.
It was really difficult limiting the number of quality posts for some months, and with time I've noticed the quality coming out of D4AM has become more and more abundant. Be sure to stick around for our future features if your music library needs some dusting.
Until next year!