With the close of the year approaching and Albums Of The Year lists compiling, it’s time to revel in our Songs Of The Year edition playlist for December 2014; the favourite songs from writers and photographers that have been in our ears this year, compiled into one Spotify playlist for your own ears!

A wide range of some stuff you’d expect to see as well as some more unsigned numbers. Of course though, this is just a snippet of the wealth of songs from 2014 and there’s been plenty of singles released for possible 2015 AOTY contenders.

Below you can find the playlist as well as explanations for each of our choices and make sure to follow us on Spotify for many future playlists. Let us know what you think of our playlist and what’s been in your playlists recently.

1. ‘Your Deep Rest’ – The Hotelier
Ever since I listened to ‘Home, Like Noplace Is There’ in January of this year, there hasn’t been a week gone by where I’ve not listened to at least a couple of songs from it. ‘Your Deep Rest’ just about stands out amongst the 9 tracks on the LP. It showcases the bands sombre and passionate style in a fantastic, compelling fashion. (SR)

2. ‘I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore’ – The Menzingers
With ‘Rented World’ The Menzingers neatly followed up the outstanding ‘On The Impossible Past.’ Whilst it’s not as immediate as its processor, songs like ‘I Don’t Wanna Be An Arsehole Anymore’ captures the same energy that made me a fan of the Philadelphia band. (SR)

3. ‘Familiar Theme’ – Somos
Charlotte, North Carolina’s label Tiny Engines has had a brilliant 2014. Not only did they release brilliant releases from The Hotelier and Dikembe, they also released ‘Temple of Plenty’ by Boston’s Somos. Tracks like ‘Familiar Theme’ are reminiscent of bands like Hot Rod Circuit and The Dangerous Summer but are more angular, yet the hooks are kept in tact. They’ve just been snapped up by No Sleep Records, so expect to hear more from Somos in 2015. (SR)

4. ‘Kascade’ – Animals As Leaders
I’ve always admired the somewhat insane technical ability of Animals As Leaders, but this song really takes them above their peers and places them into a category more commonly referred to as ‘Wizards’. (MB)

5. ‘The Blue, The Green’ – Lonely The Brave
I’ve said this various times on this site but Lonely The Brave should be fucking huge. ‘The Day’s War’ was worth the wait and backed up the hype that singles such as ‘Backroads’ and ‘Trick of the Light’ bought about. ‘The Blue, The Green’ is my personal favourite from the album. Just listen to David Jakes’ lungs around 2.15 mark and be prepared to be blown away. (SR)

6. ‘Love Against!’ – Hostage Calm
It’s a damn shame that Hostage Calm called it a day shortly after releasing their best record to date – ‘Die On Stage.’ ‘Love Against’ showcases the band’s helplessly catchy brand of rock’n’roll influenced punk in a brilliant light. It’s unfortunate we will never see songs from ‘Die On Stage’ being performed on this side of the Atlantic. Hostage Calm – you will be missed. (SR)

7. ‘Anyway’ – Moose Blood
Trying to pick one song from Moose Blood’s debut LP was a very difficult task. From the first time I heard it, I fell in love with it. ‘I’ll Keep You In Mind From Time to Time’ sees Moose Blood fulfilling their potential and produce an adoring emo rock record that begs to be played repeatedly.(SR)

8. ‘The Only One’ – Transit
Back on track with latest album ‘Joyride’; it’s pop punk, it’s indie, but most importantly, it’s an absolute gem. I’m fairly sure I knew the words to the chorus after one listen. (MB)

9. ‘The Motherload’ – Mastodon
Mastodon unleashed this brooding behemoth with that video from ‘Once More ‘Round The Sun’ and in its wake was a path of doom, destruction and pop. Luckily they’re 3 of my favourite things, so I’m happy. (MB)

10. ‘Choose You’ – Manchester Orchestra
There may arguably be greater songs on this album, but this songs builds so much that I feel like I should break down in tears. Well… you wouldn’t be able to see the new tears as I’d already be crying from that first line of ‘The invention of the ship was the invention of the shipwreck’. Mr Andy Hull, thank you for reminding me that I’m still alive. (MB)

11. ‘Decayin’ With The Boys’ – Every Time I Die
Partying. Kicking through walls. Having sexual intercourse (kind of like partying); just a few of the things you should be doing whilst listening to this song. (MB)

12. ‘I Want To Believe’ – All The Best Tapes
WARNING: Playing this song will melt your brain. Wait… you pressed play before you read this warning? Yeah, sorry about that. Better get a tissue for your ear mate. (MB)

13. ‘I Do Know And I’m Not Sorry’ – Sleep In
Great album, and that riff is brilliant. You don’t need a massive chorus when you can do that. Bit at odds with the rest of the album, but it’s still great indie-rock. (RM)

14. ‘I Am King’ – Code Orange

15. ‘Woman (Reading)’ – La Dispute
Took a while for this album to get its claws in, but this is the first song to grab me. Spectacular live too. (RM)

16. ‘Eyeballs’ – Pillar Point
Don’t think it’s been a vintage year for Polyvinyl, and while this album wasn’t great, this track is all sorts of brilliant, in an electro/indie kinda way. Love the effects that are going on with the vocals too. (RM)

17. ‘Against The Rules’ – Sad And French
I think, in much the same way Tiny Engines have had a great year, I don’t think Black Numbers have put out a bad record – Sad And French probably the pick of the bunch. Real rootsy folk/punk – and what a voice! (RM)

18. ‘Now’ – Gameface
Gonna wear my old man hat for a little bit, but go back about 15 years and Gameface were probably one of my favourite bands. This was an amazing return – probably their most consistent album yet – and ‘Now’, which is a bit slower than normal is one of my favourite songs of theirs, period. (RM)

19. ‘Two Good Things’ – Modern Baseball
So I think the obvious choice would have been ’Your Graduation’, but I just love the playfulness of ‘Two Good Things’ and the ‘ba ba ba’ backing vocals. (RM)

20. ‘Champions Of Red Wine’ – The New Pornographers
The New Pornographers seem to change their sound with every record, and their latest effort sounds like a Rick Wakeman convention. The keyboards throughout Brill Bruisers are just outrageous, but this is probably the pick of the bunch. (RM)

21. ‘Over Underground’ – The Jazz June
This first appeared on their split with Dikembe earlier this year, ahead of the new album that came out in Autumn. This song is the opener off the new album and is a surprisingly straight forward slice of indie rock and an absolute banger. Love the overlapping vocals in the chorus and the jangly bridge too. A great return. (RM)

22. ‘An Epitaph’ – Old Gray
I think Old Gray are one of the most interesting bands around at the moment. Last Year’s ‘An Autobiography’ made my top 5, but I reckon ‘An Epitaph’ is my favourite song of theirs; it’s incredibly raw and heartfelt. (RM)

23. ‘Desert Island Questionnaire’ – Conor Oberst
I thought ‘Upside Down Mountain’ was the best thing Conor Oberst has done since ‘Cassadega’, and this is one of my favourite songs from anything Bright Eyes/Mystic Valley Band related. It’s a bit long and rambling, but lyrically, it’s a masterpiece. (RM)

24. ‘Lionheart’ – PUP
So I probably have my girlfriend to thank for finally getting me into PUP. I saw them at Groezrock and didn’t think much of them; she picked up the album and I’ve listened to it quite a bit since. I personally think it’s a pretty good album and it has a few real bangers on it, including this one (RM)

25. ‘Man In Question’ – Cheap Girls
I’ve got a huge soft spot for the college rock sound of Cheap Girls and ‘Famous Graves’ is a really solid record by the Michigan three-piece. There’s a handful of killer songs on the record, but this edges it (RM)

26. ‘You Ain’t No Saint’ – Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties
I wasn’t sure how a Dan Campbell solo record would work, but it actually turned out to be pretty decent. For me, this was the highlight. (RM)

27. ‘Award Of The Year Award’ – You Blew It
Going way, way back to January, You Blew It delivered a stellar record, and later on in the year backed it up with a brilliant slot on the Modern Baseball tour. Certainly going by the couple of shows I caught, this title is pretty apt. (RM)

28. ‘Rory Shield’ – Sorority Noise
I love it when side projects sound nothing like their parent band, and you’d be hard pressed to tell that Sorority Noise had anything to do with Old Gray, as they sound nothing at all alike. Indie-pop/punk a bit like early Tigers Jaw with a lo-fi aesthetic going on that makes it far more interesting than what you’d expect. (RM)

29. ‘If And When I Die’ – The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To DIe
Although ‘Between Bodies’ had mixed reviews, I really enjoyed the spoken word parts by Christopher Zizzamia. This is him at his most manic.(RM)

This month’s contributors are Sean Reid (SR), Mikey Brown (MB) and Rob Mair (RM).

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