14 for '14: Favorite Music of the Year

December 30, 2014 3:51 PM

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1) Little Dragon -- Nabuma Rubberband I first heard this Swedish quartet via "Twice," the downtempo opener of 2007's self-titled release. "Mirror," the first track on their 2014 album, does a similar thing, subversively impressing before exploding into the rest of the record. Their live show cements the quartet as one of the best bands in existence, where a classic rock group/frontperson dynamic doesn't hurt -- Yukimi Nagano is positively Bon Scottish, but it's the band's ability to incarnate electronic instrumentation that is truly refreshing. Synths play like guitars; drum pads feel necessary. "Cat Rider" all day, all year.

2) Snarky Puppy -- We Like It Here Late to the Pups' game, this record was a gateway into a world that started in Denton, Texas and has since become an international phenomenon. As bassist/mastermind Michael League's liner notes describe, Snarky Puppy's conglomerate attitude extends to its fans in a...

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