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