My 12 Favourite Songs of 2014

Trying to reduce the amount of great music heard over 12 months down to 12 songs is plainly ridiculous. But I did it! These songs touched my heart, soul, hips and funny bone. Enjoy.

Modern Blue by Rosanne Cash – released last January and I have played it several times a week, at least, since then. It is as literate and reflective as music gets. The music is steeped in textures of Southern folk and country. The protagonist (likely autobiographical) travels the world only to find she is most at home, at home. When she sings, “will you hold my hand when I lose my nerve” and you imagine she’s asking that question of her father, the hairs on the back of the neck rise. This is a song for parents … of children who are turning 18 and leaving home. Rosanne’s reflection is precious, capturing the child’s worldview but understood from a parent’s heart. The song has a rousing melody, backed by guitars and piano and mandolin. Both a paean to her father and a universal tale of the ties that stretch and buckle but hopefully, at some point, relax and bind.

Read the full list of Rick’s favourite tunes for 2014 here.

Let Rick know what songs got your mojo going in the comments section below


And for more music writings, check out the Almanac’s sister site Stereo Stories.



About Rick Kane

Up in the mornin', out on the job Work like the devil for my pay But that lucky old sun has nothin' to do But roll around Heaven all day


  1. Wonderful list Rick. How can someone with such wonderful musical taste have such a poor football appreciation? Go figure.
    Roseannes’s “The River and the Thread” is majestic, and similarly gets a weekly spin at our house. “Modern Blue” is brilliant – always makes me yearn for European travel – that’s our September this year. Eagles on the IPad from Provence.
    Johnny recorded “Folsom Prison Blues” on this day in 1968. Strong bloodlines.

  2. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Rick, def with PB contradiction between musical and football taste. Modern Blue is a ripper and even though I bagged you about it on FB, ‘Shake it Off’actually has a an important message to naysayers for young people. Have grown to like it. Bruno Mars is a bit disappointing. Needs more Doo Wop in his repertoire like the first album.

    PB ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ is a favourite for an addict with a penchant for gallows humour. Great record that stands the test of time, musically and philosophically.

  3. Thanks Rick. First heard Uptown Funk a couple weeks ago in Europe. Obscenely catchy. Not normally something I’m drawn toward, but it’s utterly irresistible.

    Off to the Laneway festival here late January (Singapore kicks it off) and especially looking forward to Courtney Barnett, who’d make my list.

  4. Paul Campbell says

    Hi Rick,

    Finally had time to pass on my top 10 from 2014.

    10. Let it Go – by Indina Menzel. Although the animated feature film is from 2013, Disney released the song in different languages (by the 22 different voice actresses who portrayed Elsa) on 22 January 2014. It also won the Oscar for best song in 2014. If you have small children, you know it as the mother of all earworms, from which you will never be freed. For all its ubiquity, there is something comforting about ditching the past and building an ice castle, up in the mountains.

    9. Looking for Something – by Paolo Nutini, from the soulful Scotsman’s album, ‘Caustic Love’.

    8. Budapest – by George Ezra. Good for Sunday afternoons when no footy.

    7. The Devil in I – by Slipknot, perhaps not for Sunday afternoons.

    6. Gotta Get Away – The Black Keys. “I went from San Berdoo to Kalamazoo just to get away from you”.

    5. Chandelier – by Sia. Gut–busting singing from the Australian singer/ songwriter.

    4. Ain’t got The Blues – by Blackberry Smoke, from their 2014 live album: ‘Leave a Scar, Live: North Carolina’. I concede it was also on a studio album ‘The Whipoorwill’ (2012), but this live version is better and it is the anti-blues song, for when it’s going your way.

    3. American Dream Plan B – by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, from their 13th album ‘Hypnotic Eye’, terrific rock and storytelling, “I gotta dream, gonna fight ‘til I get it…’til I get it right”. I could also have included ‘Forgotten Man’, ‘Sins of my Youth’, ‘Shadow People’ and the bluesy ‘Burnt out town’ such is the album.

    2. Something from Nothing – by the Foo Fighters – In 2014 (couple of weeks after the Grand Final) the Fooeys released their 8th studio album, ‘Sonic Highways’ and a documentary (which ran on TV). Initially slow burning, Something from Nothing builds to snarling riffs and the Grohl roar, “Looking for a dime and found a quarter…Pay no mind, now ain’t that something, fuck it all I came from nothing”.

    1. Outside – (also) by the Foo Fighters. I think it’s the best song on Sonic Highways and one of their finest broadly, with Joe Walsh playing a long guitar solo. “There’s a long straight road, out of the cold and we can leave it all behind”.

    Cheers, PC.

  5. sean gorman says

    Ricko – whatabout the Hilltop Hoods bro and a bit of Cosby Sweater action????

  6. neilbelford says

    Paul, that is not a comment it is a post. It deserves its own page.

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