It seems like with each new year, the “Class of…” project gets stronger. That’s pretty much by design, though when I first introduced the Class of 2014 I wasn’t so confident it was going to work out. The Class of 2013 had set the bar almost impossibly high, what with now household names like Haim, Chvrches, Little Green Cars and Savages all part of that universe. Yet this past year’s group of 10 artists not only managed to hold their own, but one in particular rode the train to stardom and the third biggest selling record of 2014. And to think that when I made the introduction last Januaryu nobody had any idea who this artist was, to the point where a show was booked for a tiny 350 capacity venue and it took awhile to sell out. I’ll tell you all about that, and recap how the other nine artists in the Class of 2014 did after the jump!
Tag: sam smith
This Top 50 Songs list is not organized in any other way than by perceived order of excellence, so when you have a look at the set of 10 below, you may be surprised at how thematically related almost all of them are to one another. It was a total fluke things worked out like that, and in fact I didn’t even notice myself until writing up this introduction. The overarching theme is love, whether you’re falling into it, out of it, or somewhere in between, which is a subject matter as old as music itself. I just looked it up, and apparently about 60% of all songs written today are about love, so I guess the similarities aren’t all that shocking after all. Anyways, let’s get right into it, shall we? This freight train keeps rolling on with #40-31 of the Top 50 Songs of 2014! Oh, and in case you missed it, here’s #50-41.
Class of 2014 update! It’s been a short while since I’ve done one of these, so let’s take a look at how some of the 10 artists that are part of this year’s class are doing. Why not start with the biggest success story of them all, Mr. Sam Smith of course. His record In the Lonely Hour came out last week, and while it’s too early to tell what the sales figures are like, early estimates are looking great. His latest single “Stay With Me” is burning a hole through radios around the world, and some are calling him the male version of Adele. Here’s 27 Reasons Sam Smith Is The Angelic Voice The World Needs Right Now. Additionally, there’s been some great interviews with Smith to promote the record, including one that discusses his sexual orientation. Oh yeah, and then there was the time he covered Whitney Houston for a SiriusXM session. Pretty great. As far as FKA twigs goes, since my last report she’s announced her debut full length will be titled LP1 and has set a release date of August 12th. Ellie Goulding premiered a new single called “Two Weeks” on BBC Radio 1 the other day, and you can hear the new track here, just skip to the 30 minute mark. This September, Banks will be releasing her debut album Goddess, which I mentioned in my last Class of 2014 update. What’s new since then is that she’s released another song/video from the record called “Drowning.” So definitely watch that if you haven’t done so already. She’s also announced a fall U.S. tour in support of the album, including a stop in Chicago at Metro on October 7th. Tickets are on sale now. Speaking of tours, SAINT PEPSI is out on one with Painted Palms right now, and will in fact be stopping by the Empty Bottle in Chicago this Friday. Tickets are $10 in advance, so get on that. And while he released the Gin City EP back in February, earlier this month he did a pretty great remix of the TEEN track “Not For Long” that’s worth listening to. So that’s about all the updates I’ve got for you at the moment. In less than a month, it’s going to be like a Class of 2014 convention out at the Pitchfork Music Festival, with sets from FKA twigs, Kelela, Mas Ysa and Perfect Pussy. Needless to say, I’ll be covering that and am tremendously excited about it. Maybe I’ll even get lucky and some interviews will take place. More on all of that as it develops. Meanwhile, here’s today’s edition of Pick Your Poison, hot off the presses for you. Great tracks today come from Anamanaguchi, Brooklynn, The Holy Coast, Moska, and Oh, Be Clever. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Crater, Gold-Bears, Slow Magic, Snakeships, White Lung and Zola Jesus.
The “Class of” project originated at the start of 2012, as I spent the week between Christmas and New Year’s attempting to figure out exactly what there was to look forward to in the coming year. Always on the prowl for the next big thing, there was a lot to be excited about. So I decided to choose a manageable 10 artists whose career I would keep close tabs on throughout the next 12 months. When that turned out well, thanks in no small part to now nearly household names such as Frank Ocean and Grimes, the hope was to keep going. 2013 was going to be bigger and better than the previous year, and by all accounts that turned out to be true. Haim, Chvrches and Savages turned out to be the heaviest of the heavy hitters, though in the end nobody really performed poorly. In fact, last year’s class was so successful, I had concerns about 2014. How do you improve on near perfection? The short answer is, you don’t. You close your eyes, keep going, and pray for the best. And truly, I do believe that the Class of 2014 is filled with the best that music has to offer (that I’m aware of). These ten artists are interesting, innovative and actually pretty fun when you get down to it, and I anticipate greater realms of success for each one in the coming year. So join me after the jump, and allow me to introduce you to the Class of 2014!