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Hi everyone! Welcome to the 8th annual, all-important, hugely subjective list of songs that made me happy every time I heard them (in 2014). Not the best songs, not the coolest songs, just the songs that made me! (me! me!) happy. I am pretty predictable in my tastes so expect mostly music you can wear a dress to and maybe a fair amount of cheese dripping off your screen. But there is no shame in my sonic game, and there never will be.

Before we start, I’d like to point out a couple of things:

  1. I don’t listen to THAT much new music, it seems (sort of a pattern).
  2. As such, some may find this list uninspired and definitely sprinkled with some non-2014 releases, so please feel free to offer suggestions in the comments.
  3. Apparently-more so than ever before, I realized my emotional musical age is 16
  4. A few music discovery thank yous as always: To Megan for interviewing the best bands for BYT before I even know they’re the best, to Phil for making a really good mix every month and sending it to me and keeping our collective music game on point, to Bryce for writing our new music column every week which I sometimes don’t have time to read fully but always have time to listen to and to Cale for maintaining my ipod, because I need that.


Also if you’re into nostalgia, check out:


In no particular order, top 14 happiness songs (for me) of 2014:

Meghan Trainor – ALL ABOUT THAT BASS

I always say that there is no particular order when I start typing this but then one song just has to be the first one I mention. Meghan Trainor went ahead and made a song that made me excited to go to weddings year round. It is a perfect white girl group dance jam: there is just the right amount of attitude involved to make you feel you’re in college again, the beat is not too challenging, the “singing” is perfect for casual duckface pout-alongs, there is always a fair amount of shoulder shimmying involved in it, and if there is a man around who can do splits, you make them do splits (watch the video, because God knows I have 85435875 times this year). And yes, I know – the message is sort of trite circa 2014/it has all been done before. But, I don’t care. It probably shouldn’t work, but it totally does.

God Help The Girl – GOD HELP THE GIRL

This summer, my best friend walked into my apartment while I was getting ready and this song started playing in the background. I think we were going to go someplace civilized and drink white wine spritzers, because I am 34 (shut up, this is the “8TH ANNUAL SONGS THAT MADE ME! ME! ME! HAPPY” post, how old did you think I’d be?) and she is almost that old and that’s what you get ready for these days. And she walks in and the lyrics “There’s no way I’m looking for a boyfriend, there’s no way I’m looking for a scene” start gently booming around the room in those unmistakable Stuart Murdoch ways that anyone who has loved “Expectations” can recognize and she walks into my bedroom, hands me a pre-game white wine spritzer (shut up) and says: “Did someone write this song for you?” And I said, without skipping a beat: “Yes, yes he did”. The movie was (sadly) not good, but the pop in it is perfect, AS ALWAYS.

Haim – IF I COULD CHANGE YOUR MIND (Cerrone Funk Mix)

I am not really a remix kind of girl, but disco Haim beats regular Haim anyday. And I LOVE regular Haim. LOVE IT. The BYT office has heard this song one too many times. as a result.


As anyone who has ever heard me talk (incessantly) about Ween’s “Bananas and Blow” knows, I do love me a good and hilarious drug reference song. Cherub’s brunch’n’coke extravaganza came out in 2012 (see the rules above) but it really “happened” for me this year, because I needed it, and the universe recognized that fact.


On top of “All About That Bass”, SUPERLOVE was probably my favorite straight-up-ridiculous song of 2014. Charli XCX had a bunch of hits, but this…. THIS IS THE ONE FOR ME. Everything about it is ridiculous (especially the lyrics, I mean, THE LYRICS) and the only thing that saves it is that she fully knows how ridiculous it is (why else make the video below?). It just makes me want to be 19 again, show a middle finger to anyone who tries to cut my hair above the clavicle, develop a serious bratty bone (Taylor Swift should pay attention to the delivery – this is how girl pop music should sound-like your little sister is trashing your closet) and go on a Tokyo trip with my girlfriends and dance with some robots (again, see the video below). The BYT office has heard this song 85 times too many. Favorite line: “I think your hair looks much better pushed over to one side. How do you feel about me?”.


It was high time indie pop had its own Ke$ha. And of course she was Scandinavian and better than the original.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart  – KELLY

Pains put out a near perfect record. Simple & Sure, Jeremy, really anything Kip & Co touched was stuff made out of all my teen dreams, rolled into my 20s dreams, with a cherry of my 30s dreams on top of a pop sundae. The fact that they played a cover of “Teenage Dream” at their RNR Hotel show as an encore means they REALLY GET IT (& me). But Kelly rules a little harder than the rest, at least in my book:

Taylor Swift – BLANK SPACE

I have a pretty hard time with Taylor Swift (shut up) mainly because I don’t think she is just bratty enough to truly be a pop star (see my Charli XCX note above). Every time I hear “Shake It Off” I wish Icona Pop girls or Avril circa “Boyfriend” was singing it. But – Blank Space, Blank Space works Tay. I’ll give you that much.


In a perfect, perfect world, 2015 will bring us a Camera Obscura tour with Alvvays opening and then I can die happy. When they say “they don’t make songs like this anymore”, they have this song in mind:


Lena Dunham’s boyfriend who used to be in fun (& had his fingers and toes all over Taylor’s new record) made this Ben Folds throwback and (TRUST ME) I have tried to resist it and OMG, I just can’t. I.DIDN’T.KNOW.I.WAS.LONELY.TILL.I.SAW.YOUR.FACE.

Courtney Barnett – PICKLES FROM THE JAR

Courtney Barnett is such a slacker weirdo and I love her so much for it. The song is 2:47 min long and it starts with a “mistake”, but doesn’t make a single misstep since. Sort of a “Opposites Attract” for kids with hair in their face. I SAY HUGH. YOU SAY GRANT.


I have done absolutely no research on who or what CEO is, which I understand is a cardinal sin of writing about music, but the heart wants what the heart wants and the heart GODDAMN WANTS TO JUST BOUNCE AROUND TO THIS WHOLE RECORD. A pop carousel of oddities, it is both catchy and just crazy enough to keep you interested even more on the 100th listen than you were on the 1st. And that is what true music love feels like.

The Preatures – IS THIS HOW YOU FEEL?

The Australian five-piece made some of the most shimmery, sort-of-like-Haim-but-not-like-Haim-at-all jams of the year. That’s all I need to know on my end. If you want to know more-read this.


Verite’s is about to hit it so big in 2015. Trust me/us on this. This is why:


Chromeo – JEALOUS

Whenever Chromeo has a new single out, all is good with this list. The best wedding dance song of the year they didn’t play enough at weddings because no one likes bringing up jealousy on those occasions.

DECEMBER BONUSES: (aka songs that are not quite that earwormed in my head yet, but deserve an honoroble mention)

CAN – Vitamin C

I just had a pretty damn great week in NY and during it I saw “Inherent Vice” which was also pretty great but the sounds in that movie were ESPECIALLY amazing: from the Joanna Newsom narration to the Johnny Greenwood orchestrated soundtrack. This 1972 CAN jam is on it and I wouldn’t be a BYT co-founder if I didn’t try to make CAN happen for at least 3 more people with this post. So good, so cinematic, so weird, and yes, so catchy.


Now, listen: Whatever you feel/don’t feel/hate feeling about Zooey Deschanel, trust me, I feel/don’t feel/hate feeling it too. BUT GODDAMN, this is near perfect (and Matt gets to jump in, just as needed)