This is the time of year for Best of 2014 lists. Billboard, Spotify and Shazam can show you which songs topped the charts, were streamed the most, and caught on quickly in 2014. Music writers have different metrics: they write about the music that they liked, rather than what was played the most. Earning high marks this year were Sturgill Simpson, Temples, First Aid Kit, Future Islands, and The War On Drugs. These are all artists I’ve had in heavy rotation, and were included in a mix I released this summer.
In each Best of 2014 list, I discovered a new artist or album that I had never heard of or listened to. Read on for the best music I nearly missed in 2014.