Favorite Record Labels of 2014

Using my record label formula, here were my favorite labels of 2014

Here are some interesting stats on the list and year 2014

  • I bought music from 83 different labels and full LPs on 67 different labels.
  • I bought 2 or more LPs on 18 different label.   Bandcamp had the most with 9 LPs.   Count Your Lucky Stars had 7 LPs.
  • For labels with at least two LPs, Asian Man had the highest average song rating (4.24).
  • I bought EPs from 21 different labels.  Topshelf had the most with 4 EPs
  • I listened to Side One Dummy more than any other label.  I spent 33 hours listening to Side One Dummy records.
  • I listened to Topshelf songs on average the most times.   I listened to a Topshelf song 636 times.

Here is the list of favorites:

1. Triple Crown Records – 8.214 (3 artists, 2 LPs, 1 5-Star LP)

2. Side One Dummy – 7.583 (5 artists, 5 LPs, 2 4-Star LPs)

3. Sub Pop – 7.579 (2 artists, 2 LPs, 1 5-Star LP)

4. Topshelf – 7.513 (12 artists, 6 LPs. 2 4-Star LPs)

5. Count Your Lucky Stars – 7.472 (8 artists, 7 LPs, 3 4-Star LPs)

6. Bandcamp – 7.328 (19 artists, 9 LPs, 1 4-Star LP)

7. Tiny Engines – 7.278 (5 artists, 4 LPs, 2 4-Star LPs)

8. Epitaph – 7.246 (4 artists, 4 LPs, 3 4-Star LPs)

9. Self Released – 7.081 (4 artists, 3 LPs, 1 4-Star LP)

10. Asian Man – 6.985 (3 artists, 2 LPs, 2 4-Star LPs)

Favorite Songs of 2014

I followed my process from previous years for picking favorite songs.

  1. Song must have 5 stars (172 songs)
  2. Could not duplicate artist
  3. Pick the ones that stand out to me the most.

I really did my best to pair the list down (I cut 140 5-star songs), but still have 32 phenomenal songs.  The list of my favorite songs of 2014 is below in alphabetical order by artist.    All great songs, I hope you enjoy.   Let me know your thoughts on any standouts or omissions.

Antarctigo Vespucci’s I’m Giving Up On U2 from Soulmate Stuff (Quote Unquote)

Brave Bird’s T-Minus Grand Gesture from T-Minus Grand Gesture (County Your Lucky Stars)

The Bruce Lee Band’s The Constant from Everything Will be Alright, My Fiend (Asian Man)

Cayetana’s Black Hills from Nervous Like Me (Tiny Engines)

Collections of Colonies of Bee’s E (G) from Set (pVine)

Conor Oberst’s Double Life from Upside Down Mountain (Nonesuch)

Daniel Romano’s Strange Birds from When No One Was Looking (Bloodshot)

David Bazan’s Lost My Shape from Volume 1 (Self Released)

Frank Tuner’s The Corner from While No One Was Looking (Bloodshot)

Free Throw’s An Hour Pissed from Those Days Are Gone (Count Your Lucky Stars)

The Front Bottoms’ Lipstick Covered Magnet from Rose (Bar/None)

The Hotelier’s Housebroken from Home, Like Noplace is There (Tiny Engines)

J. Mascis’ Wide Awake from Tied To A Star (Sub Pop)

Joe Henry’s Lead Me On from Invisible Hour (Work Song)

Joie De Vivre’s Martin Park from Prawn/Joie De Vivre Split (Topshelf)

Kind of Like Spitting’s Tell Me That Isnt True from Professional Results (Artistic Integrity)

The Lawrence Arms’ The YMCA Down The Street From the Clinic from Metropole (Epitaph)

The Menzingers’ When You Died from Rented World (Epitaph)

Meridian’s Saints Paul and Ann from The Cathedral (Bandcamp)

Modern Baseball’s Rock Bottom from You’re Gonna Miss It All (Run For Cover)

Prawn’s Fracture from Prawn/Joie De Vivre Split (Topshelf)

Real Friends’ Short Song From Maybe This Place Is the Same And We’re Just Changing (Fearless)

Restorations’ Misprint from LP3 (Side One Dummy)

The Smith Street Band’s The Arrogance of the Drunk Pedestrian from Throw Me In The River (Side One Dummy)

Somos’ Letters From An Absent Father From Somos/Sorority Noise Split (Bad Timing)

Spoonboy’s Great Mistake Maker from Spoonboy/Goodbye Party Split (Silver Sprocket Bicycles)

Sun Kil Moon’s Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes from Benji (Caldo Verde)

Tiny Moving Parts’ Boxcar from Pleasant Living (Triple Crown)

Two Knights’ Benji’s Cool Times Summer Jamz from Sundae Bloody Sunday (Topshelf)

Bonnie Prince Billy’s We are Unhappy from Singer’s Grave A Sea of Tongues (Drag City)

The World Is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid to Die’s If and When I Die from Between Bodies (Broken World)

You Blew It’s Match and Tinder from Keep Doing What You’re Doing (Topshelf)

Granite and Tumble Compared To Other’s Tops in 2014

Out of curiosity, I compared my top 25 albums of 2014 with some of the other popular lists to see how much overlap there was.   The answer is not much.  There are a bit more overlaps than in years past, but still largely a distinct list.  So, if nothing else my list could be some new music for you.

  • No overlaps with the 50 from Pitchfork.
  • One overlap with the 50 from Spin (Joyce Manor #32 at Spin, #25 on GT)
  • No overlaps with the 50 from Paste
  • No overlaps with the 50 from NPR
  • One overlap with the 50 from Stereogum (You Blew It #45 at Gum, #10 on GT)
  • No overlaps with the 35 from GorillavsBear
  • Four overlaps with the 20 from Punknews (The Hotelier #16 at Punk, #7 on GT; Cayetana #14 at Punk, #12 on GT; Joyce Manor #13 at Punk, #25 on GT; Prawn #10 at Punk, #9 on GT)
  • No overlaps with the 25 from MetaCritic

Favorite Albums of 2014

I bought 113 albums in 2014.

I decided to list every album that had average song rating greater than 4, since they would all be worthy of mentioning and buying.   I have 25 albums that earned that distinction.

Using my album formula, here is the ranking of my favorite 25 albums in 2014:

1. Tiny Moving Parts’ Pleasant Living (Triple Crown) – 9.720

2.  David Bazan and Passenger String Quartet’s Volume 1 (Self Released) – 9.657

3.  Antarctigo Vespucci’s Soulmate Stuff (Quote Unquote) – 9.503

4. The Smith Street Band’s Throw Me In The River (Side One Dummy) – 9.489

5. The Bruce Lee Band’s Everything Will Be Alright, My Friend (Asian Man) – 9.408

6. J. Mascis’ Tied to a Star (Sub Pop) – 9.392

7.  The Hotelier’s Home, Like Noplace is There (Tiny Engines) – 9.387

8. Candy Hearts’ All The Ways You Let Me Down (Bridge Nine) – 9.363

9.  Prawn’s Kingfisher (Topshelf) – 9.263

10. You Blew It’s You Keep Doing What You’re Doing (Topshelf) – 9.238

11.  Collections of Colonies of Bees’ Set (pVine) – 9.150

12.  Cayetana’s Nervous Like Me (Tiny Engines) – 9.127

13.  Real Friends’ Maybe This Place Is The Same We’re Just Changing (Fearless) – 9.101

14. Cheap Girls’ Famous Graves (Xtra Mile) – 9.001

15.  Owen’s Other People’s Songs (Polyvinyl) – 8.839

16.  Empire! Empire! (I was a Lonely Estate)’s You Will Eventually Be Forgotten (Count Your Lucky Stars) – 8.807

17.  The World Is a Beautiful Place & I am No longer Afraid To Die’s Between Bodies (Broken World) – 8.767

18. Spraynard’s The Mark Tom and Patrick Show (Asian Man) – 8.751

19. Free Throw’s Those Days Are Gone (Count Your Lucky Stars) – 8.708

20. Tim Barry’s Lost & Rootless (Chunksaah) – 8.680

21. Modern Baseball’s You’re Gonna Miss It All (Run For Cover) – 8.678

22. Brave Bird’s T-Minus Grand Gesture (Count Your Lucky Stars) – 8.594

23. Sledding with Tigers’ A Necessary Bummer (Antquere) – 8.360

24. Chuck Ragan’s Till Midnight (Side One Dummy) – 8.320

25. Joyce Manor’s Never Hungover Again (Epitaph) – 7.627