Music streaming service Spotify knows a thing or two about trends in the songs people want to hear and according to their data no track was more popular this past year than Irish singer/songwriter Hozier’s ballad “Take Me to Church.”
Of course just because the masses enjoyed a particular song doesn’t mean it truly is the best of the year, but, in this case, it actually is.
Writing about a pretty painful break up, Andrew Hozier-Byrne crafted not just a musical tale filled with substantial emotion but dang, it sure is catchy to sing along with too! Utilizing a booming chorus and a pop-inspired cadence, “Take Me to Church” appeals to kids and adults alike and it stands alone a top our Best Songs of 2014 Friday Mixtape.
Following Hozier’s track are 24 other songs that both capture the kind of populist spirit that can stand the test of time and also flaunt creative styles paired with meaningful lyrics. Offerings like the spoken word poetry of Kate Tempest’s girls’-night-out tirade “Marshall Law” and the infectious pop-rock track “Unkinder (A Tougher Love)” from Thumpers.
There’s a lot to love in these 25 songs from both established artists like Jenny Lewis and Conor Oberst as well as newcomers like Alvvays and Misterwives. It was a great year for music—as usual—and this list hits all the highlights.