It’s been a minute since I’ve given a full update on the Class of 2014 project, and I’m sure a lot has happened since the last time. Exactly what qualifies as a lot? Well let me attempt to break most, if not all of it down, and then you be the judge. Let’s start with FKA twigs, because she’s had a lot going for her in the last couple of months. Outside of her personal life where she’s dating Robert Pattinson (which has resulted in some controversy), she’s put out two videos recently. The first is called “#throughglass,” and it’s a 2 minute concept film shot entirely using Google Glass. twigs directed it herself, and it’s soundtracked by some remixed versions of her songs. Beyond that, she’s also put out a video for an actual single, the appropriately titled “Video Girl.” The plot to that one essentially involves dancing on top of a prisoner about to get a lethal injection, so that’s fun. Thirdly, I do want to mention that FKA twigs will also be performing on The Tonight Show on Tuesday. It’ll be her US television debut, so don’t miss it! Next up is GEMS. There hasn’t been a whole lot of news from their camp recently, though they continue to tour relentlessly and are likely recording their debut full length whenever they’re not on the road. Technically speaking they’re still supporting the Medusa EP, which came out almost a year ago. In conjunction with that, the band did release a brand new video for the song “Sinking Stone,” so check that out. Over in Saint Pepsi’s camp, controversy! Well, in the sense where I guess he’s finally received some sort of cease and desist order from the brand that bears half of his name, meaning he might have to change to something else very soon. Details have been very vague on this, really just amounting to a Twitter name change and some associated tweets suggesting that he may no longer be allowed to keep the Saint Pepsi name. But on the plus side, he’s signed to Carpark Records, released a great single “Fiona Coyne” with the b-side “Fall Harder,” with a new full length to come in 2015. He’s also been working on some new singles, one of which is a collaboration with Maxo called “Celebrate Me” that has some association with Sour Patch Kids. He’ll also be releasing two new songs as part of Polyvinyl Records’ 4-track singles series, where they send an artist a 4-track cassette recorder and ask them to put two new songs to tape. No word yet on what those new songs will be, but if you want to subscribe and get a fresh 7″ record in your mailbox once a month for a full year, go here to learn more. As far as Royal Blood goes, since my last update they’ve released their debut album, played at Lollapalooza and a bunch of other festivals, and have basically become pretty popular with the alternative rock sector. They’ll be returning to Chicago at the start of December to play a special holiday show at House of Blues with Rise Against that’s already sold out. At the start of last month, they released a video for their song “Ten Tonne Skeleton,” so check that out if you’re at all interested. They also played their single “Figure It Out” on Late Night with Seth Meyers a couple of weeks back, so that’s cool too. What else can I tell you about? Banks released her debut album Goddess since my last update. It is delightful and you should pick up a copy if you haven’t already. A lot of people have started to catch on to her in the last couple of months, and her sold out show at Metro in Chicago had some of the loudest and most obsessive fans I’ve encountered in awhile. But as far as the breakout star of 2014 goes, Sam Smith is quickly gaining accolades and earning respect from fellow musicians, fans and celebrities alike. To put his meteoric rise to fame in perspective, in one year he’s gone from playing 300 capacity venues to 7,000 capacity venues. Not only that, but he’s headlining the annual holiday shows for some big Top 40 and Adult Contemporary radio stations, which I guess says a lot too. If you ask me he’s become the male version of Adele, so that’s understandably great. There’s other stuff going on with the remaining Class of 2014 artists, but honestly this has gotten so long I don’t want to keep going. So I’ll share more in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, please enjoy this week starting edition of Pick Your Poison. There’s some great tracks in this set from Cariad Harmon, Dave McPherson, Glyphs, Life Leone and My Pleasure. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream tracks from The 1975, Communions, Elephant Micah, SQURL, TALA and others.

Cariad Harmon – Every Time

Dave McPherson – Memories Become Enemies

Faux Effet – Gedn

Figgy – You Were Mine (Daniel. T. Remix)

George Ezra – Budapest (Creange Remix)

Glyphs – Out to Sea

Kentish Fire – In Our Band

Larry g(EE) – Take You Home Tonight

Life Leone – I Can’t Say No

Lutonomy – Neon Lightswitch

Mattson 2 – Dif Juz

My Pleasure – Living With You

Una Lux – Black Carbon


The 1975 – Medicine

Communions – Love Stands Still

Elephant Micah – By the Canal

Populous ft. Cuushe – Fall (Blue Hawaii Remix)

SQURL – Francine Says

TALA – Everybody’s Free

Zola Jesus – Go (Blank Sea) [Skin Town Remix]