It took a surprisingly long time to wade through the songs that not only provided that soundtrack to my year but also came out this year. I tend to find it hard to keep with music of my time and gravitate towards romanticised notions of the past. While there's nothing wrong with appreciating what has come before, I don't want to be a person so stuck in the past that they miss the present.
This playlist of twenty tracks has a lot of the things I've felt and thought this year infused into it. It's a playlist of growth and change, of realisation of how lucky I am - for the love of those around me me, for the comforts I take for granted, the opportunities many never will have and for the potential yet realised and possibly unlimited.
There's also a lot of women in this playlist, as well as some undiluted, unapologetic pop. It shows the growth of someone in their understanding of their personal relationship to feminism and their realisation that liking what you like is something to be celebrated. The song you dance to might not be the song that makes you realise that everything will eventually be okay - but that's fine. Everything has it's place in this world. I'm old enough to embrace even the less cool parts of me. Which, ironically, I think are pretty damn cool in their own way. Being an obscure music-loving automaton has to become monotonous. And music should be anything but. And the ladies? They're my ongoing mission to put more female creators in my life. In art history, they're often willfully forgotten. In many other contemporary fields they're often given less serious consideration. And in the music that marked the beginning of my aural love affair, they were rarely visibly present. After years of listening almost exclusively to men's voices, I wanted to even the playing field.
Lykke Li and Sharon Van Etten managed to break and reform my heart this year while S made me smile through painful teenaged injuries still present deep down. Keaton Henson and Asgeir soothed me with the pure beauty of their music. Meg Myers and Yasmine Hamdan made me blush. Florrie, Marina, Iggy and Ariana made me dance. Perfume Genius made me full-on weep. The artists on here have all affected my life in one way or another and I think that's all an artist can really hope for, that in such an over-saturated world, you make someone pause and listen.
2014 was a beautiful year in many, many ways - let's hope for an even more moving 2015.
Hope you all had a safe and mostly happy year! What jams got to you?