The New Pornographers - "Brill Bruisers"
"Wanted to keep my job as the leader of your gang." The two songs rule is especially difficult when it comes to the New Pornos, who feature four lead singers, two very distinctive songwriters, and a slightly different feel on almost every song.
Beach Slang - "Get Lost"
"These books and bars and this honesty, they're all I've got." After years of claiming that all good music comes from Sweden, in 2014 it turns out that all good music actually comes from ... Philadelphia. Who knew?
The Rural Alberta Advantage - "Terrified"
"Honey I've got you if you pull the knife." The Rural Alberta Advantage released three singles in advance of the excellent Mended with Gold, each better than the last. Since "Terrified" came first, it was third best. No shame in that, though.
Andrew Jackson Jihad - "I Wanna Rock Out in My Dreams"
"The older I get, the more articulate I am at whining." Winner of my Christopher Columbus Award for 2014, where I "discover" a band that has actually had a rabid cult following for upwards of a decade, with multiple solid albums I could have been enjoying years ago. Better late than never, I guess.
The Hold Steady - "Spinners"
"Heartbreak hurts but you can dance it off." If you've ever read this blog before, you'll know that I cannot in any way be rational about the Hold Steady. You will correctly surmise that I thought 2014's Teeth Dreams was great, including this ode to abandoning prairie towns nationwide to get lost in the big city.