Music writers never need much of an excuse to come up with a list of their favorite songs or albums, no matter how trivial.
“Hey, I woke up today. Here’s the top 10 songs to celebrate not having died in your sleep.”
But, seeing as we have just about made it to the midway point of 2014, a rundown of some of the best albums and songs of the year thus far seems at least semilegit, right?
And so without further ado, here are some of my favorites for the first half of 2014:
- Jessica Lea Mayfield, “Make My Head Sing”: Mayfield may plead insanity in her papier-mache voice on “I Wanna Love You,” but it’s you who’d be crazy to overlook this love letter to ’90s alt-rock.
- Young and in the Way, “When Life Comes to Death”: Black metal-influenced hardcore as lethal as the blade depicted on the album sleeve.
- Beck, “Morning Phase”: Because sad bastard Beck remains the best Beck of them all.
- The Lawrence Arms, “Metropole”: Chicago pop punk veterans grow old without getting old.
- Behemoth, “The Satanist”: Polish death metallers earn a fist bump from Lucifer with this dark, malevolent masterpiece.
- “Made Up English Oceans” by Drive-By Truckers
- “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive” by Old 97’s
- “Better in Leather” by Cerebral Ballzy
- “Deadbolt” by Skaters
- “Seventeener” by The Lawrence Arms
- “Last War” by Haley Bonar
- “Don’t Mess With Me” by Brody Dalle
- “Trick Scene” by Floor
- “No Rest for the Wicked” by Lykke Li
- “The Motherlode” by Mastodon