I posted a best songs list for the first half of 2014 back in July (here). Rather than replicate that list for my full year review, consider this the continuation — the best songs from the second half of the year.
(from the self-released Boxers)
It shouldn’t be a surprise that my favorite album of 2014 also yielded several of my favorite songs. Matthew Ryan showcases the breadth of his ability with this pair of instant classics – one a furious rocker and the other a stunning acoustic ballad.
(from the Dead Oceans Records release Heal)
Singer-songwriter Timothy Showalter exorcises some demons, reflecting on the quest for hope in a life filled with despair.
(from the This Is American Music Records release Paint Another Layer on My Heart)
An enchanting melody builds from a tentative acoustic opening to a muscular rock conclusion as Caudle ruminates on the angst of leaving a loved one behind.
(from the Bloodshot Records digital single release Mile High b/w Blind)
Loveless perfectly captures the regret and anguish over a broken relationship in this soaring rock song. Originally released as a vinyl-only Record Store Day release, it was finally (and thankfully) given a proper digital release later in the year.
(from the Neverfoehl Records release Lost In the West)
If there was a more hauntingly beautiful song this year, I didn’t hear it.
(from the Lonesome Day Records release Baby Don’t Go b/w Get as Gone Can Get)
Rock and roll doesn’t get much better than this — unbridled, edgy and downright glorious.
Audio Stream: Sarah Borges and Girls Guns and Glory, “Get as Gone Can Get”
(from the New West Records release Terms of My Surrender)
Hiatt proves yet again why he is a master of the songwriting game, serving up this immaculately crafted gem that grooves with an infectious soul.
(from the Blue Dirt Records release Songs)
In my heart stands a scarecrow // if he’s hurt he doesn’t say so // and he chases everything he loves away // But at night when it’s colder // there’s a bluebird on his shoulder // and he whispers that he’ll hold her one bright day.
(from the Medina River Records release Parish Lines)
A fun — and rocking — ode to growing up in a small town.
(from the Lightning Rod Records release Dead Man’s Town: A Tribute to Born in the U.S.A.)
Pug delivers the cover of the year with this transcendent version of the Springsteen classic.
Read more Twangville Best of Year coverage here.
About the author: Mild-mannered corporate executive by day, excitable Twangville denizen by night.