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Ultimately, this is what we care about. You may have a well-regarded LP or EP, but this is radio, and we don’t play LPs. Here, it’s all about the songs. You either have it, or you do not. There is no in between. And, yes, we take this list more seriously than any other.

Listed below, the top 50 songs for the year based strictly on direct listener feedback, total spins, and upvotes using the Live365 player widget. There is no cheating this list. Many you’ll know simply because they graduated to our “That Song” station IDs, which showcase the best that the genre has to offer. Below, find our original broadcast aired 30 January 2015. Special thanks to The Yellow Traffic Light, who graciously allowed us to borrow their #30 charting song for the show’s intro and outtro.

Top 50 Shoegaze & Dream Pop Songs of 2014

1. Lightfoils – Diastolic
The early promise of Lightfoils was fully realized in this album, and especially this, the song of the year.
2. Ringo Deathstarr – Flower Power
The mighty Deathstarr has been flirting with ‘epic’ lately, and this proved to be more epic than most.
3. The Florist – Middle of Winter
That a new band from Japan should generate so much buzz on our air is a testament to great songwriting and execution.
4. Lowtide – Blue Movie
I don’t believe a more heartrending song has ever been released in the shoegaze genre, maybe ever.
5. Cheatahs – Geographic
A circus funhouse filled with twisted joy.
6. To The Wedding – Silver Currents
Plaintive, perfect. We can probably shut up about this one by now.
7. The Raveonettes – Sisters
Cagey veterans break it down with immediacy, like they’ve got something to prove. Done.
8. Tennis System – Technicolour Blind
9. Cre•scen•do – Gatsby
The sound may be reminiscent of Captured Tracks, et al. What sets Cre•scen•do apart from that pack. SONGS.
10. Vibragun – Dream Disintegrate
Sure, probably the “poppiest” of their album offerings, but one to repeat again and again.
11. Airs – June Gloom (PTP Session)
Of course you haven’t heard this on your favorite mega.alt.radio station. They’re old and slow, and usually a year behind the curve. Their loss, not yours.
12. Highlands – Beauty
A refining of their epic sound, soaring and shimmering, and overlaid with dark harmonies. Pure brilliance.
13. The Lees of Memory – Little Fallen Star
The return of the kings, showing the kids how it’s done.
14. Nothing – Bent Nail
The hardest working band in show business brings the tunes.
15. A Shoreline Dream – The Silent Sunrise
So many songs on a great album, the instrumental usually gets no love (on the radio or elsewhere). At the risk of offending, this was a complex, multifaceted, brilliant execution of their core sound. Perfect for long mountain/coastal drives with the button on “repeat”.
16. Orange Yellow Red – We Ran
The strong pop sensibilities made this one of the most played songs this year, in an album full of strong songs. Our only 2013/2014 crossover cheat, as it really took hold this year.
17. Soft Science – Feel
A shot of pure sugar and sandpaper. A revelation.
18. Vibragun – Supernova Comedown
Sure your latte alt.radio didn’t play this. Their loss. The rhythm section drives a perfectly churning slice of slacker aggro reminiscent of Swervedriver at their finest.
19. Iris – Haunt Me
Canadian upstarts shake up the Whirr/Pity Sex sound, and produce one of the songs of the year.
20. Wray – Apacheria
A layered, fuzzy, chugging time bomb of awesome.
21. Whirr – Mumble
Give the lads credit where due. Their textured moodiness will stab you in the heart.
22. Be Forest – Captured Heart
From the opening notes, you know you’re in for a magical ride.
23. Aerofall – I Turned a Blind Eye
Sweet propulsive motors and swirling backdrops.
24. The Enters – End of the Summer
Captures a feeling in one song better than most bands do in a whole album.
25. Ringo Deathstarr – God’s Dream
26. Magic Love – Growing Organism
27. Crescendo – Not Sure Yet
28. 宇宙ネコ子とラブリーサマーちゃん 日々のあわ
One of the most talked about debuts in recent memory. Literally blew up our Facebook and Twitter feeds.
29. The Cherry Wave – Fuzzthrower
30. Thud – Lime
31. Static Daydream – The Only One
32. The Yellow Traffic Light – Care
33. Seasurfer – Stay
34. Crisis Arm – Coy
35. The Spirit of the Beehive – Roll Over
36. Car Crash Sisters – Automatic
37. Flyying Colours – Not Today
38. Wildhoney – Seventeen
39. Spotlight Kid – Sugar Pills
40. Blush Response – Telltale
41. The Mary Onettes – Naive Dream
42. Sheer – Skin
43. To The Wedding – Come On
44. Dead Leaf Echo – So Wrong
45. Balms – Head in a Safe
46. The History of Apple Pie – Tame
47. Asalto al Parque Zoológico – Sonnen
48. Sounds Of Sputnik – Light Scheme feat. Ummagma
49. Jaguwar – Muffhead
50. The Daysleepers – Dream Within a Dreamworld

Is there a lot NOT on this list? Sure. It was a damn good year. It’s only a crime that some quality releases didn’t quite make the cut. But we’re not going to apologize, we’re going to say THANKS. Thanks not only for the artists and quality releases listed here, but for the top-notch tracks that didn’t make the cut, but should have. Congratulations to the artists and labels that helped make it a banner year. Here’s to 2015!

Listener Poll Results (partial)

1. Static Daydream – Static Daydream – Inside
2. Car Crash Sisters – Automatic
3. Stella Diana – Edward Teach
4. Sounds of Sputnik – Overdrive feat. Ummagma
5. Sounds of Sputnik – Light Scheme feat. Ummagma

Perhaps not shockingly, Lowtide’s “Blue Movie” climbed back into the top ten on the release of their excellent debut LP. A few surprises here, but not surprising when you consider the strength of the songs / albums that charted. As usual, thanks to all of you for letting us know what you love!

Singles Chart

1. The History of Colour TV – Left
2. Lowtide – Blue Movie
3. Lightfoils – Diastolic
4. Allusondrugs – I’m Your Man
5. rayos y manchas – los años maravillosos
6. Star Horse – Don’t Get Closer
7. Soph buy metronidazole canada Nathan – Our Girl
8. Honeyblood – (I’d Rather Be) Anywhere But Here
9. Whirr – Mumble
10. Cre•scen•do – Jacqueline’s Apartment

Albums Chart

1. Lowtide – Lowtide
2. Lightfoils – Hierarchy
3. Field Mouse – Hold Still Life
4. Slowness – How to Keep from Falling off a Mountain
5. The History of Colour TV – When Shapes of Spilt Blood Spelt Love
6. Highlands – Dark Matter Traveler
7. The Raveonettes – Pe’ahi
8. Power Pyramid – Power Pyramid
9. The KVB – Out of Body
10. A Sunny Day in Glasgow – Sea When Absent

What’s hot this month? Our Top Ten Singles, that’s what! Not only that, four of the top ten broke on our air in the last week, and have already charted. Thanks to listener votes, tweets and email feedback, we couldn’t do it without you all.

1. Lightfoils – “Diastolic”
2. Iris – “Fix Me”
3. The Enters – “Sweet Girl”
4. Seasurfer – “Stay” *
5. Wolf Alice – “Moaning Lisa Smile”
6. Flyying Colours – “Not Today” *
7. Odonis Odonis – “Highnote”
8. Cre•scen•do – “Gatsby”
9. Highlands – “Beauty” *
10. Jaguwar – “Breathe Bullets Which Taste Like Pure Fruit” *

Albums June 25
1. Lightfoils – Hierarchy
2. Odonis Odonis – Hard Boiled Soft Boiled
3. Towns – Get By
4. Seasurfer – Dive In *
5. Aerofall – Aerofall
6. Slowness – How to Keep from Falling off a Mountain
7. Gleemer – Holyland USA
8. Black Twig – Heliogram
9. VANIISH – Memory Work
10. Sexores – Historias de Frío

Continued positive listener feedback for Bolywool, Glintshake, Fantasyprom, Contrast and many more. Thank you all for your input, it helps us better serve you!

* Denotes new entry in the last week.

For the last two weeks we’ve been pleased to bring you sneak peeks from Lightfoils’ Hierarchy LP, due July 8 on Saint Marie Records, and worth every bit of the hype we’ve heaped on it. As early adopters of Lightfoils, through personnel changes and delays, we’ve been expecting the new LP to vindicate our evangelism. And it has. Expect this album to land on our Top Ten list at year’s end.

We’ve also been heavy promoters of Highlands, who produce a psychedelic shoegaze stew that caught staff attention immediately. “Nightmares”, “Evil” and “Railroad” have been in rotation since practically forever. Now Highlands kicks it up a notch with their forthcoming LP, Dark Matter Traveler, due July 15 on Say Again Records. That such a moody melodic soup would originate from sunny Long Beach, well, can’t explain it if we tried. Music for headphones. Music for fog. Music for your more epic moments. We’re glad to be able to preview choice cuts from the new album, available soon.

Keep your ears on New Tracks Weekend for the next few weeks, as we tickle your earholes with pre-release music worth your attention. Preorder Lightfoils Hierarchy via Saint Marie Records, and preorder Highlands Dark Matter Traveler via Say Again Records.

NEW: Lightfoils, Iris, Glintshake, Heathers, Otoño, Milky White, High/Low, Contrast, Wolf Alice, Comet Control, Power Pyramid, pallow, plus Serfs, Snakadaktal, Gleemer, Kaleidoscopes and more! Shoegaze and dream pop all weekend. With more crammed in right up to last minute, ‘cos that’s how it goes.

8 pm Eastern, 5 pm Pacific, and continuing through Sunday at midnight Eastern, 9 Pacific. It’s the first weekend we’ll spin some of these tracks, and may be the last weekend for some others. Live365 listeners: it’s your votes that count! Your thumbs-up / thumbs down ratings determine what is kept in permanent rotation. Listen via the Live365 station page at DKFM, on iTunes Internet Radio under “Eclectic”, and on TuneIn Radio for iPhone/Android/Windows. Latin America relay: try Radio Terra. And commercial-free everywhere! You can even keep up with the new tracks and artists you may have missed: we’re live-scrobbling via our last.fm profile. Now you’ll know what you heard, or catch up on what you missed.

Anna Madorsky
Asalto al Parque order metronidazole 200 mg Zoologico
Asobi Seksu
Bear State
Bedroom Dreamers
Black Twig
Bleak Boys
The Brian Jonestown Massacre
The Capsules
The Carousels
The Chambermaids
Cheri Cheri Jaguar
Chicago Toys
cigarette in your bed
Craft Spells
Crown the Invisible
Curelight Wounds
Dead Dream
Dead Horse One
The Death of Pop
Desktop Error
Diving Bells
Elastic Sleep
Empire Years
The Enters
Esben and the Witch
Fabrica de Pastas
Fear of Men
Fixing Bayonets
The Florist
Flying Cape Experience
Fury Things
Gazar Strips
Grass House
The Great Artiste
Hideous Towns
The History of Colour TV
Home Alone
Hot Glass
Howling Bells
I Am Your Captain
Jetman Jet Team
Kaela Sinclair
Last Movement
Lemon’s Chair
Let’s Be Loveless
Luna Ghost
Mark Gardener
Mass of the Fermenting Dregs
Mercury’s Antennae
Mercy Fist
Milky White
Nevermind Me
Night Flowers
Odonis Odonis
Old Books Room
Omega Vague
The Only Ghost in Town
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Pale Pools
Paris Ohio
Penguins from Alaska
People of Nothing
Pink Elephants
Power Pyramid
R.M. Hendrix
Rachel Goswell
Romeo Moon
Savage Sister
Save Switzerland
Sharon Van Etten
The Starlight Run
Strata Florida
A Sunny Day in Glasgow
Tender Age
Thought Forms
TV Programmes
United Ghosts
Warm Brains
Water Spaniel
We Miss the Earth
White Blush
White Caves
The Wildest Smiling Faces
Wild Smiles
Winter Drones
Wolf Alice
You’ll Never Get to Heaven

New Lightfoils? FINALLY!

static_waves_2The venerable Saint Marie Records once brings out the crown jewels of their roster: the second in the series of Static Waves compilations lands on November 26th. With 32 tracks from the SMR stable of artists, 23 of them previously unreleased, the Static Waves series has proven to be the best compilation series since 4AD’s This Mortal Coil project.

Last year’s compilation had two previously unreleased tracks that ended up in our Top 50 of 2012: Drowner’s “Breathe” and Tip Top Tellix’s “Counting Days”. A previously released track that also made last year’s Top 50 now appears on Static Waves 2: The History Of Colour TV’s “I Knew It Was Wrong But I Did It Anyway”.

With a bench as deep as Saint Marie Records has, you can be forgiven for thinking that the Static Waves series is perhaps the one must-own disc of any given year. All the stalwarts of our own playlists are here: Lightfoils, Spotlight Kid, Panda Riot, Drowner, Jetman Jet Team, Elika, Nightmare Air, Andrew Saks (formerly Sway), The Blessed Isles, Bloody Knives, Presents for Sally, The High Violets, Resplandor, Scarlet Youth, plus a sneak peak at the forthcoming Strata Florida LP from Louise Trehy (half of 4AD veteran Swallow). And with most of them dropping new and exclusive tracks or unreleased remixes just for this compilation, that’s a compelling argument. With a sale price of $5.98 for the double CD, well, you have no excuse.

Full tracklist follows:

Disc 1

01 Seasurfer / We Run *
02 Jetman Jet Team / Red Wind (Tokyo Mix) *
03 Elika / Moving Faster
04 Drowner / Hide Yer Eyes *
05 Orange Yellow Red / Time Slows Down *
06 Nightmare Air / Icy Daggers
07 Andrew Saks / Farewell To The Hills
08 Tip Top Tellix / So Beautiful Eyes
09 Young Boy / Secret Place
10 Shortwave Broadcaster / Smile *
11 broaddaylight / Three Light Six (2013 Lighter Mix) *
12 The Blessed Isles / Round And Round *
13 The FLIR / It Didn’t Happen *
14 Bloody Knives / Suffocation *
15 Blackstone Rangers / Frozen Echo
16 Presents For Sally / Softly Spoken/Outside Honey *

Disc 2

01 Keith Canisius / Meltdown *
02 Lilies On Mars / For The First 3 Years *
03 The High Violets / Gravity *
04 The History Of Colour TV / I Knew It Was Wrong But I Did It Anyway
05 Resplandor / Feel *
06 Spotlight Kid / Sugar Pills
07 Panda Riot / Good Night, Rich Kids
08 Cloud From The Sea / Ever New *
09 The Spiracles / A Thousand Miles Away *
10 Strata Florida / Automatic *
11 Scarlet Youth / Note For A Stranger *
12 Lotte Kestner / Ties That Bind *
13 The Patience / In Vain
14 Carta / It’s Always As It Always Is *
15 Lightfoils / How It Is
16 We Need Secrets / Swimming Pool *

* Previously Unreleased

Sure, Santa didn’t give us our shiny new Lightfoils teaser, or a fresh track from Tip Top Tellix to match last year’s chart-topper. Small quibble. What is here more than makes up for the loss.

Digital-only release available soon via the usual suspects (iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, eMusic), but the Static Waves 2 CD is available for preorder right now at the Saint Marie Records webstore. And with the $5.98 price tag, it’s a bargain at twice the price. Our highest recommendation.