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.