Music Carousel: Farewell 2014

This is a continuing activity that Sugar and I are doing for our own amusement. Every so often one of us posts a theme, and we both come up with three or more songs that we feel fit the theme. There are no other rules, and the objective is to have fun and maybe have another song to add to our DiNOPods.

So Sugar reappears and drops this theme: the three songs that symbolise 2014 for you. (Since she’s a Brit… well kind of… I’ll let the misspelled “symbolize” go.) Full disclosure: I already had this post 80% written up, as I had the same theme in mind for a year-end post.

For reference, this is the Year in Music for 2014 from Billboard, the purveyor of all things musical mainstream.

I tend to stick to my music library that’s built from the late 70s through the early 2000s. However, each year a few songs and artists might make it into the library. I’ll dispense with the old stuff since that music will keep coming up. These are new in my library from 2014.

Sia – Chandelier (from the album “1000 Forms of Fear”)

Sia is kind of like Lady Gaga without the hype and with a smidge better pipes. Her vocals are amazing, and her material is remarkable. What’s most interesting though is the way that she was performing Chandelier (a song about alcohol addiction) live. She was never on camera despite singing live. Instead, she had 11-year old dancer Maddie Ziegler giving a tour-de-force performance onstage.

VOCES8 – Where I Sleep (from the album “Eventide”)

The acapella vocal group VOCES8 finally got a well-deserved and long-awaited deal with a major label. I’ve enjoyed what I could find of their music over the years. Their strength is their versatility – they can do anything – but are most impressive when performing classical pieces adapted to acapella. They’re a UK group, so I envy Sugar her easy access to their performances, which must be exhilarating.

Taylor Swift – Blank Space (from the album “1989”)

I’ve followed Ms. Swift from her beginnings as a country ragamuffin. This metamorphosis was as predictable as her transition from Nashville to New York. However, I never predicted that her “new not-country sound” would be a callback to the 80s sensibility that is the heart of my musical identity. Sure, I believe this success is being propelled more by the love of the Swifties for Taylor herself rather than any identification with the music, but it’s a strong (if overpolished) effort nonetheless. Understanding that Ms. Swift may be unstable, and that Blank Space (among a handful of tracks) is a reference to her embrace of that perception of her emotional state, only adds to the strange charm. 1989 in 2014. It’s an appropriate footnote to my personal year in music.

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9 thoughts on “Music Carousel: Farewell 2014

  1. Well I haven’t written mine yet but now I have to replace Sia… Why would you say she is like Gaga? Tut tut. I have to admit I prefer old Sia, her music is becoming a bit too commercial for my taste.

    Voces8 they are a UK group that Sugar had never heard of… you see she lives under a rock that also stopped around early 00s like your library. I liked it though so that is the first proper addition to my DINOpod πŸ˜€

    Taylor song… I have to disagree… she isn’t being that creative or bringing an 80s vibe. When I first heard the song I didn’t even know it was Taylor Swift I thought it was another girl (cannot remember her name). Don’t really like this song that much either, sounds like everything on the radio. However, I’m using it for the daily song challenge – check it out you might fancy joining it too! πŸ™‚

    And that’s it 2014 gone!

    1. No reason to replace Sia. If she’s on your list, then so be it. That means she had a good year. I don’t really pay attention to what’s popular. If I like it, I like it, doesn’t matter who else does or doesn’t.

      VOCES8 is great. Tell everyone else that was under that rock you were hiding under! πŸ™‚

      Swiftie is plenty creative, and has deliberate pop sensibilities even when she was a Nashville artist. Sure, it’s radio-friendly, but that’s not a sin. I enjoy the song more for its lyrics. “Got a long list of ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane” is too much fun. That list famously includes Your Precious Mr Mayer too you know! Is that the reason you’re anti-Swiftie? πŸ˜€

      Looking forward to your list! Happy new year!

      1. hahahaha “Your Precious Mr Mayer” that cracked me up. He comes across as a bit of an idiot! I’m a fan of his music, don’t care what else he does. But yes I was aware of her ‘Dear John’ song aaaaand his reply ‘Paper Doll’ makes me laugh more. I don’t like Swift because it’s not my style, I was more into alternative, rock, metal and post-hardcore most of my life (and Mayer which utterly random). I do have Swift on my DINOpod but don’t even know which songs, something I liked that must have caught my attention in the past.

        I’m not anti-popular music either you know. It just comes with what I’ve said above, about being more into more energetic and louder stuff, crazy guitar riffs and moshpits. Oh I’ve changed so much.

        As for Sia, it goes absolutely the opposite of everything I just said. I was into her music back in the Zero 7 days so I have always been into Trip-Hop too. Call me boring, but Sia’s Distractions is one of my favourites. I don’t dislike the “I’m a titaaaaaaniiiiuuuuummmm” tune though and see, it was super popular last year.

        Taylor has got a long list of ex-lovers alright.

        I’m trying to come up with only 3 songs for this year as I type this.

        Happy New Year!!

        1. Interesting. I was never into metal, and I suspect that there will be minimal overlap between our definition of “rock”. Still shocking then that Mayer became your favorite artist.

          Never said you were anti-pop. Very few people are. If you have an affinity for music, a random Ariana Grande track can still make you wiggle. Though I really don’t handle loud very well (though I do appreciate good guitar riffs). Never been in a moshpit, never had the desire to be. You have to write about that some time! πŸ™‚

          My appreciation for Sia is uneven. I guess I still have strong pop melody affinity, so when she goes full Triphop or (argh) EDM I hit “forward”. I prefer her vocals to predominate over the synths.

          Oh go over if it makes it easier, no need to stick to three. πŸ˜‰

          1. I already published the post and I managed to only choose three songs. So… I didn’t know who Ariana Grande was, just had to check her name out. Turns out I have heard something on the radio – my now old gym has the worst station on for someone who wants to workout.

            I shall write about my festivals and silly metal adventures one day.

            A friend of mine who was also into post-hardcore had this weird taste so he would go from heavy metal to Arctic Monkey in a blink and he was crazy about Mayer and suggested… that was many years ago.

            Do you like Sia’s album Colour the Small One?

          2. Interesting. Can’t avoid Grande here, her stuff gets played in public spaces like malls and outdoor bazaars, as well as at parties. Mostly catchy bubblegum pop, marred by the interruption of a rap segment.

            I don’t think I’ve listened to that Sia album at all, sadly. I should check her old stuff out. I’ve only the current one and the one prior.

          3. I usually go to shops with earphones… I genuinely meant it when I said I live under a musical rock haha

            You should listen to Sia’s album then, you might like it. MIGHT >_> haha.

            Join the daily song challenge, I’m curious to listen to what you’d come up with!

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