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The Top 200 of 2014 - !earshot charts



There really are no bad years in music and 2014 was no exception. But finding your way to the best of the year can be challenging. More than 7000 releases charted on campus/community radio stations this year. Fortunately, more than 1500 deejays at stations across the land sorted through it all and played the best they could find on their programs throughout the year. We have added it all up to bring you the collective wisdom and airplay of all those music lovers in the Top 200 of 2014. Make sure to check out the specialty charts too: Electronic, Hip Hop, International, Jazz, Loud and Folk, Roots & Blues. Edited by Magnus Thyvold

1 Chad VanGaalen Can Con
Shrink Dust - (Flemish Eye)
http://www.flemisheye.com/chad-vangaalen @chadvangaalen

Actor Lee Marvin was born under a wandering star. And while Calgary's Chad VanGaalen draws on country classics for his fifth record, Shrink Dust, his star would be more accurately described as reverberating. 2014's record saw Chad in a mellower state with a few tracks that even find soft strums out-weighing sonic chaos. Die-hard fans need not despair though, or head out to buy country boots, because Chad remains weird through and through to the delight and vague terror of his listeners. Shrink Dust explodes and serenades you through twisted landscapes alongside mutilated monsters with all the aural glory and wreckage Chad is known for.
By Megan Clark
8 weeks at #1 (May 27 to July 15, 2014)

2 Mac DeMarco Can Con
Salad Days - (Captured Tracks)
http://macdemarco.bandcamp.com/ @msldemarco

DeMarco is so big now that during the last week of December he auctioned off some used sneakers for charity and raised $11,000. Vancouver indie music fans will always be the guy or girl at the party who can say, "I'm so cool. I saw Mac when he played in Makeout Videotape"--the band he was in here before he moved to Montreal and tried being a solo artist. His solo work is so simple and immediate that it's won over EVERY music writer in 2014. What Best of 2014 list is he NOT on?
By Scott Wood
7 weeks at #1 (April 8 to May 20, 2014)

3 Caribou Can Con
Our Love - (Merge)

Many names have been used for Canadian composer, musician and recording artist, Dan Snaith. Initially, he went by Manitoba. But Snaith had to look for another stage name after being threatened with a copyright lawsuit. He settled on Caribou and reissued his previous work. He also opts for a third moniker, Daphni, when working on for some side projects. He has more than 10 releases to his various names, since starting to release music back in the early 2000s; and this amassed discography has not gone unnoticed. Caribou's 2007 album Andorra won the 2008 Polaris Music Prize, followed by a 2010 Polaris Music Prize shortlist placement for the his Caribou album, Swim and then in 2013, his Daphni LP, Jiaolong, was long-listed for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize. Now his sixth Caribou release, Our Love put out on October 7, 2014 through Merge Records, seems primed to follow suit. The 2014 album retains the auditory charm found on his previous records but his themes and lyrics have shifted and matured. This latest record for Caribou embraces and explores Snaith's changing life circumstances, including fatherhood.
By Sarah Hoyles
10 weeks at #1 (October 14 to December 16, 2014)
Also #1 on the Electronic Top 20 of 2014

4 The Pack A.D. Can Con
Do Not Engage - (Nettwerk)

Vancouver's favorite garage duo made a power move this year and released their first record on Vancouver's big time Nettwerk label, leaving Mint Records (Nardwuar's home label) behind. This means Do Not Engage saw some mainstream radio play and was the soundtrack to a few TV shows. These two may be upwardly mobile, but they're still incredibly talented. Don't worry. They'll still drink all the beer at your Dad's BBQ party, pick a fight with your cousin and pass out under the picnic table--making the event talked about for years.
By Scott Wood
10 weeks at #1 (January 28 to April 1, 2014)

5 The New Pornographers Can Con
Brill Bruisers - (Last Gang)

This release marks fourteen years since their first release, Mass Romantic, astounded listening and dancing audiences. Brill Bruisers harnesses the music multitude with a similar production formula and obvious enthusiasm. The vocals are exciting, and the lyrics are well-written reflections of the rock-pop persuasion. The lively music will have listeners relishing the inviting and passionate anthems. This is The New Pornographers' sixth studio release. Brill Bruisers has style, sass, depth, breadth and pizzazz much like their first release. The New Pornographers will not fail to bring the listener back to their fold with this thirteen-track release; Brill Bruisers is excellent quality music.
By Tristin N-Goodmanson
3 weeks at #1 (September 9 to September 23, 2014)

6 Death From Above 1979 Can Con
The Physical World - (Last Gang)

Death From Above 1979 from Toronto make music that lifts the roof, and smashes the pavement on impact. The eleven-track release is their second in a decade of uncertainty for the band as to their continuing on as Death From Above 1979; they disbanded in 2006. Reuniting in 2011 brought about the combination of attitude and energy evinced on The Physical World. It is produced by Dave Sardy (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oasis), and encompasses the very same brazen insistence that fans come to expect of the band: bass that slaps, drums that pound, shrill, intense vocals and sharp lyrics. Both band mates contribute to the songwriting and do not disappoint. The Physical World is a volcano exploding with brash synth, molten drum rolls and red hot popping bass that doesn't quit until you do.
By Tristin N-Goodmanson
2 weeks ar #1 (September 30 to October 7, 2014)

7 Monomyth Can Con
Saturnalia Regalia - (Mint)

2014 was big for Halifax's Monomyth. This trip around the sun included signing with a label and releasing their debut album. This isn't the first band for many of the members, they also play with the East Coast bands, Nap Eyes and Psychic Fair. Having self-released a couple of singles and an EP since 2012, the band of Haligonians caught the ear of Vancouver-based Mint Records. In April 2014, the Nova Scotia band was officially announced as the label's newest act. Then on July 22, their first full length album, Saturnalia Regalia dropped. With a runtime just shy of 30 minutes, it truly resides in the pop rock tradition - a great hook, strong guitar riffs, cheery vocals and jangly tone. Some may feel the urge to draw a line from earlier Halifax bands (like Sloan or Thrush Hermit) straight to these gents, but I would caution against it. Their songs are very much of the now, allowing for distortion, dirt and touches of the psychedelic. Although the three of the band members share the song writing duties, the eight tracks are cohesive and speak (er...sing) to one another. It;s music that didn't leave the garage just because it found a label.
By Sarah Hoyles
7 weeks at #1 (July 22 to September 2, 2014)

8 Timber Timbre Can Con
Hot Dreams - (Arts & Crafts)

Out of dark steamy forests came Timber Timbre's 2014 release, Hot Dreams. The record garnered rave reviews all around for its complex tone and sensual sound. Building on their unique vocal and lyrical style the band brought everything to the next level with Hot Dreams. The record is as soothing as it is unnerving. It's no wonder this, the band's fifth record, found them a place on the year's Polaris Prize shortlist.
By Megan Clark
Highest Rank: #2 (April 15 to May 2, 2014)

9 Pink Mountaintops Can Con
Get Back - (Outside Music)

2014 saw the release of the new Pink Mountaintops record. Pink Mountaintops is really Stephen McBean and his collaborators. To give you an idea, McBean - who himself also plays in Black Mountain, Obliterations and Grim Tower - somehow charms contributions from J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.), Anne Hardy (Giant Drag), Rob Barbato (the Fall, Cass McCombs), Gregg Foreman (Cat Power), Daniel Allaire (Brian Jonestown Massacre) and more. Is he just really charismatic? How does he convince all these people to guest on his records?
By Scott Wood
Highest Rank: #2 (June 17, 2014)

10 BadBadNotGood Can Con
III - (Pirates Blend)

BadBadNotGood, are a Toronto trio of jazz schooled renegades whose music "keeps the joint jumpin" for hip hop, electronica and jazz lovers alike. People like visionary rapper Tyler the Creator and British broadcaster Gilles Peterson has embraced the experimental nature of pianist Mathew Tavares, bassist Chester Hansen and drummer Alex Sowinski as well as a new legion of fans from the four corners of the globe. There is a certain freedom that permeates BadBadNotGood. The name alone sets the stage for a rising trajectory, as does their willingness to rip up traditional rulebooks. From wide ranging musical influences that run from Mingus to Coltrane to Frank Ocean and MF Doom, the trio have crafted a sonic pallet that in its' originality points to a new era for the trio. III is BBNG's third full-length album and first of all originals. The instrumental music is at times moody and swirling, juxtaposed with a strong pointed rhythm. The album is a good indicator of where BBNG are willing to go musically and their future appears limitless.
By Shelley Gummeson
Highest Rank: #3 (July 1, 2014)
Also charting on the Jazz (11 weeks at #1) on on the weekly Hip Hop and Electronic charts

Specialty Charts #1s

Electronic Caribou - Our Love - (Merge)
Hip Hop Elaquent - Green Apples and Oranges - (Urbnet)
InternationalThe Souljazz Orchestra - Inner Fire - (Strut)
Jazz BadBadNotGood - III - (Pirates Blend)
Loud Comeback Kid - Die Knowing - (Distort)
Folk/Roots/BluesDel Barber - Prairieography - (True North)

Asterisk (*) denotes Canadian artists. All !earshot charts in this issue reflect actual airplay on campus/community stations during the year 2014 (January 2014 to December 2014). Charts are weighted according to broadcast range and market size. To view older charts from as far back as 1999, go to our charts main page.


The Top 200 of 2014

top 200 >> 51 to 100 >>101 to 150 >>151 to200 | electronic | hip hop | international | jazz | loud | folk/roots/blues | main charts page

Rank Artist Title Label
1 Chad VanGaalen * Shrink Dust Flemish Eye
2 Mac DeMarco * Salad Days Captured Tracks
3 Caribou * Our Love Merge
4 The Pack A.D. * Do Not Engage Nettwerk
5 The New Pornographers * Brill Bruisers Last Gang
6 Death From Above 1979 * The Physical World Last Gang
7 Monomyth * Saturnalia Regalia Mint
8 Timber Timbre * Hot Dreams Arts & Crafts
9 Pink Mountaintops * Get Back Outside Music
10 BadBadNotGood * III Pirates Blend
11 Cousins * The Halls Of Wickwire Hand Drawn Dracula
12 Alvvays * Alvvays Royal Mountain
13 PS I Love You * For Those Who Stay Paper Bag
14 Bry Webb * Free Will Idee Fixe
15 Owen Pallett * In Conflict Secret City
16 Tokyo Police Club * Forcefield Dine Alone
17 Ought * More Than Any Other Day Constellation
18 Coeur De Pirate * Trauma Dare To Care
19 Dog Day * Fade Out Fundog
20 The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer * A Real Fine Mess Tonic
21 Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings Give the People What They Want Daptone
22 Kevin Drew * Darlings Arts & Crafts
23 Arcade Fire * Reflektor Merge
24 Tanya Tagaq * Animism Six Shooter
25 Chromeo * White Women Last Gang
26 Ty Segall Manipulator Drag City
27 Rich Aucoin * Ephemeral Bonsound
28 Flying Lotus You're Dead! Warp
29 Tops * Picture You Staring Arbutus
30 Cloud Nothings Here And Nowhere Else Carpark
31 The Souljazz Orchestra * Inner Fire Strut
32 Elephant Stone * Three Poisons Hidden Pony
33 Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra * Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything Constellation
34 Fucked Up * Glass Boys Arts & Crafts
35 Mozart's Sister * Being Asthmatic Kitty Records
36 Broken Bells After the Disco Columbia
37 Bahamas * Bahamas Is Afie Brushfire
38 White Lung * Deep Fantasy Domino
39 Trust * Joyland Arts & Crafts
40 Electric Youth * Innerworld Last Gang
41 Jack White Lazaretto Third Man Records
42 Sloan * Commonwealth Yep Roc
43 Mode Moderne * Occult Delight Light Organ
44 Blackie And The Rodeo Kings * South File Under: Music (FU:M)
45 FKA twigs LP1 Young Turks
46 Jennifer Castle * Pink City Idee Fixe
47 tUnE-yArDs Nikki Nack 4AD
48 The Black Keys Turn Blue Nonesuch
49 Dum Dum Girls Too True Sub Pop
50 Gord Downie & The Sadies* The Conquering Sun Weiner Art


top 200 >> 51 to 100 >>101 to 150 >>151 to200 | electronic | hip hop | international | jazz | loud | folk/roots/blues | main charts page

Rank Artist Title Label
51 Bend Sinister * Animals File Under: Music (FU:M)
52 The Rural Alberta Advantage * Mended With Gold Paper Bag
53 Warpaint Warpaint Rough Trade
54 The War On Drugs Lost In The Dream Secretly Canadian
55 Nap Eyes * Whine of the Mystic Plastic Factory
56 King Tuff Black Moon Spell Sub Pop
57 Spoon They Want My Soul Republic
58 Kandle * In Flames Dare To Care
59 Odonis Odonis * Hard Boiled Soft Boiled Buzz
60 Real Estate Atlas Domino
61 Zeus * Classic Zeus Arts & Crafts
62 The Wet Secrets * Free Candy Rawlco
63 St. Vincent St. Vincent Loma Vista
64 Greys * If Anything Buzz
65 The Barr Brothers * Sleeping Operator Secret City
66 Jon McKiel * Jon McKiel Headless Owl
67 Future Islands Singles 4AD
68 Walrus * Glam Returns Out Of Sound
69 Foxygen ...And Star Power Jagjaguwar
70 Ryan Hemsworth * Alone for the First Time Last Gang
71 Beck Morning Phase Capitol
72 Rebekah Higgs * Sha La La Self-Released
73 Parquet Courts Sunbathing Animal What's Your Rupture?
74 PyPy * Pagan Day Slovenly
75 Angel Olsen Burn Your Fire for No Witness Jagjaguwar
76 Tough Age * Tough Age Mint
77 Elliott BROOD * Work and Love Paper Bag
78 Mogwai Rave Tapes Sub Pop
79 Alt-J This Is All Yours Warner (WEA)
80 Lydia Ainsworth * Right from Real Arbutus
81 Yamantaka // Sonic Titan * Uzu Paper Bag
82 Del Barber * Prairieography True North
83 Black Lips Underneath the Rainbow Vice
84 Legato Vipers * LV Missed Connection
85 Vogue Dots * Toska Indica Records
86 Corb Lund * Counterfeit Blues New West
87 Ariel Pink pom pom 4AD
88 Thus Owls * Turning Rocks Secret City
89 Weaves * Weaves Buzz
90 Aphex Twin Syro Warp
91 Blood Orange Cupid Deluxe Domino
92 Pink Moth * Eclipsed Label Fantastic
93 Solids * Blame Confusion Dine Alone
94 The Wilderness of Manitoba * Between Colours Pheromone
95 Amelia Curran * They Promised You Mercy Six Shooter
96 Milosh * Jet Lag Deadly
97 Arkells * High Noon Universal
98 Cold Specks * Neuroplasticity Arts & Crafts
99 Haim Days Are Gone Columbia
100 Jenny Lewis The Voyager Warner (WEA)


top 200 >> 51 to 100 >>101 to 150 >>151 to200 | electronic | hip hop | international | jazz | loud | folk/roots/blues | main charts page

Rank Artist Title Label
101 Freelove Fenner * Do Not Affect A Breezy Manner Fixture
102 Frog Eyes * Carey's Cold Spring Paper Bag
103 Language Arts * Wonderkind Self-Released
104 The Orwells Disgraceland Atlantic
105 Fountain * Fountain Self-Released
106 Harlan Pepper * Take Out a Twenty and Live Life to the Fullest Six Shooter
107 Shabazz Palaces Lese Majesty Sub Pop
108 Whitehorse * Ephemere Sans Repere Six Shooter
109 Young Liars * Tidal Wave Nettwerk
110 Matt Andersen * Weightless True North
111 Jef Barbara * Soft To The Touch Club Roll
112 Conor Oberst Upside Down Mountain Nonesuch
113 Mariachi Ghost * Mariachi Ghost Self-Released
114 Kuato * The Great Upheaval Acadian Embassy
115 Perfect Pussy Say Yes To Love Captured Tracks
116 Lykke Li I Never Learn Atlantic
117 Reuben and the Dark * Funeral Sky Arts & Crafts
118 Library Voices For John Young Soul
119 Teenanger * EP LP Telephone Explosion
120 Neil Young * Live At The Cellar Door Reprise
121 The Wooden Sky * Let's Be Ready Chelsea
122 Shad * Flying Colours Black Box
123 Pine Tarts * Wolves Named The Moon Bow
124 Brave Radar * Message Centre Fixture
125 Jeremy Fisher The Lemon Squeeze Hidden Pony
126 Valery Gore * Idols In The Dark Heart Self-Released
127 How To Dress Well What Is This Heart? Weird World Record Co.
128 Wye Oak Shriek Merge
129 Viet Cong * Cassette Mexican Summer
130 Sylvan Esso Sylvan Esso Dine Alone
131 Gramercy Riffs * Desire Trails Self-Released
132 Old and Weird * What I Saw Self-Released
133 Moss Lime * July First Fixture
134 Old Crow Medicine Show Remedy ATO
135 Damien Jurado Brothers and Sisters of The Eternal Son Secretly Canadian
136 First Aid Kit Stay Gold Sony
137 Thee Oh Sees Drop Castle Face
138 Ghost Beach Blonde Nettwerk
139 Various * House of Burners Pre-Rock
140 The Jezabels The Brink Dine Alone
141 Jill Barber * Fool's Gold Outside Music
142 The Strumbellas * We Still Move On Dance Floors Six Shooter
143 Single Mothers * Negative Qualities Dine Alone
144 TV On The Radio Seeds Harvest
145 Absolutely Free * Absolutely Free Arts & Crafts
146 Vampires * Every Kind Of Light EP Self-Released
147 WHOOP-Szo * Pt. 1 Qallunaat / Pt. 2 Odemin Out Of Sound
148 Five Alarm Funk * Abandon Earth Self-Released
149 SBTRKT Wonder Where We Land Young Turks
150 Dub Rifles * No Town, No Country: 1981 - 1984 Sundowning Sound Recordings


top 200 >> 51 to 100 >>101 to 150 >>151 to200 | electronic | hip hop | international | jazz | loud | folk/roots/blues | main charts page

Rank Artist Title Label
151 Various * Psych Pop 2 Optical Sounds
152 The Royal Oui * The Royal Oui File Under: Music (FU:M)
153 Hag Face * Hag Face Self-Released
154 J Mascis Tied to a Star Sub Pop
155 Drive-By Truckers English Ocean ATO
156 Frazey Ford * Indian Ocean Nettwerk
157 NO El Prado Arts & Crafts
158 Mark Mills * Triple Fire Sign Self-Released
159 Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks Wig Out at Jagbags Matador
160 Basia Bulat * Tall Tall Shadow Secret City
161 The Horrors Luminous XL
162 Tim Hecker * Virgins Paper Bag
163 Swans To Be Kind Young God
164 Sebastien Grainger * Yours To Discover Last Gang
165 The Reverend Rambler * The Reverend Rambler Golden Oak Record Co.
166 Sean Nicholas Savage * Bermuda Waterfall Arbutus
167 Ryan Hemsworth * Guilt Trips Last Gang
168 Hag Face * Rag Face Self-Released
169 Afghan Whigs Do To The Beast Sub Pop
170 Royal Canoe * Today We're Believers Nevado
171 Austra * Habitat Domino
172 Liars Mess Mute
173 Spr´┐Żng * Celebrations Self-Released
174 Cold Specks * Bodies At Bay [single] Mute
175 Secret Sun * Cold Coast Bonsound
176 Wet Denim * Wet Denim Self-Released
177 Radio Radio * EJ Feel Zoo Bonsound
178 Stars * No One Is Lost ATO
179 NQ Arbuckle The Future Happens Anyway Six Shooter
180 Monogrenade * Composite Bonsound
181 Sabota * Sabota Hybridity Music
182 Ryan Adams Ryan Adams Pax AM
183 Old Man Luedecke * I Never Sang Before I Met You True North
184 Dead Soft * Dead Soft Kingfisher Bluez
185 Each Other * Being Elastic Lefse
186 Wake Owl * The Private World of Paradise Vagrant
187 We Are Scientists TV En Francais Dine Alone
188 Little You Little Me * What Have You Been Doing With Yer Time? Self-Released
189 Sleepy Sun Maui Tears Dine Alone
190 Temples Sun Structures Fat Possum
191 Perfume Genius Too Bright Matador
192 Various * PIXXX4 Unit Structure Sound Recordings
193 Jay Malinowski & The Deadcoast* Martel Pirates Blend
194 Hey Rosetta! * Second Sight Sonic
195 Elaquent * Green Apples and Oranges Urbnet
196 catl * The Shakin' House Self-Released
197 Beefdonut * Famous For Quality Self-Released
198 The Antlers Familiars Anti-
199 Broncho Just Enough Hip To Be A Woman Dine Alone
200 Oh Susanna * Namedropper Sonic Unyon


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