There's Gold in Them Thar Hills!

It's time to begin looking back over the blog posts of 2014 and compiling the year-end lists, which I always enjoy. One conspicuous absence from these retrospectives is the world of music. As I've probably mentioned a handful of times, I just don't spend enough time in the world of new music to put together a reliable list, preferring instead to just listen to knowledgeable friends' recommendations. The only exception was Suzanne Vega's new album, which is terrific.

Well, let's add one more album to the list of music that brought me joy in 2014, even if it was actually released in 2013. I was piggybacking on Spotify... What's that? You don't know what piggybacking is? That's when you sneakily drop in to just listen to the tracks that the sidebar mentions that your friends are listening to. Anyhow, I was piggybacking on Spotify one day, when a particular song caught my attention. After it was over, I backed up and listened to it again. And again. After that, I decided to take a stroll through the entire album, and was happy to hear that this wasn't just a one-track wonder.

The album I'm referring to is Black Sun, from a band called Gold Fields. The song that so captured my heart is "Thunder", which easily claimed the title of my favorite song of 2014 (again, the song was released in 2013, but this is year that it ruled the airwaves of my mind). As with a lot of my favorite songs, it seems to occupy that nebulous middle ground between the deep layering of indie music and the upbeat tempo of pop.

Sometimes indie music can be too dour and often produces tracks that fall into the category I call wall-of-sound. And pop music is often shallow and overly fluffy, relying on a catchy beat and ignoring exploration of anything interesting either musically or lyrically. The songs I like the best somehow find a way to straddle that line, retaining the thoughtfulness of indie with the catchiness of pop.

Give "Thunder" a listen, and tell me if you understand what I mean. Arrgh, this is why I don't write about music! It's too hard to describe! While the rest of the album didn't match the heights that "Thunder" achieved for me, a handful of them came close. I really like the jaunty romanticism of "Treehouse" as well (ignore the dumb video, and just listen), and "Closest I Could Get" has a haunting, ethereal quality I enjoy.

Really, the entire album is a great find, and while I wish I could take the credit for discovering it, I owe it all to the friends I follow on Spotify. Speaking of which, I'd better get back to stalking their playlists. I need to "find" an album for next year, too.

Black Sun: A


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