A Belated List: Top 40 7-Inch Singles of 2014

If they keep putting them out, I’ll keep buying them and counting them down. Here’s my take on the 2014 singles scene. You don’t need eharmony to find a great single, just peruse this list.

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1. Wildhoney – Sixteen Forever (Photobooth)
Baltimore band’s second single is even better than their first. Effortlessly great shoegaze. Look out for their debut LP early in 2015.

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2. Charles Bradly & LaRose Jackson – Luv Jones (Daptone)
This one came out of nowhere and flew under most everyone’s radar. Charles Bradly and LaRose Jackson sound great together and the flip side has him sounding a bit like the Specials. A certified classic.

Primetime
3. Primetime – Tied Down (La Vida Es Un Mus Discos)
UK group influenced by Wire and Elastica, only they don’t steal riffs. Solid debut single that indicates greatness.

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4. Primitives – Spin-O-Rama (Elefant)
Classic 60’s inspired, sunny psychedelic single.The Primitives stormed back on the scene with this record.

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5. Giorgio Murderer – Primitive World (Goner)
Buck Biloxi’s alter ego obsessed with Star Trek. Insanely insane.

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6. Day Ravies – Hickford Whizz (Beko)

Day Ravies move beyond their shoegaze roots and move into full pop bloom.

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7. Bent Cousin – Dizzy (Team Love)

Twins from Brighton mix a little bit of rap with indiepop. It shouldn’t work but of course it does since it’s right here at number seven.

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8. Gurgles – You Send Me Up (Saltaire)

Gurgles take Steely Dan and Prefab Sprout and turn it up so that it bleeds out of your headphones.

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9. Pang – Young Professionals (Grazer)

Bay area young professionals second single is glamorous sounding, jagged, Wire influenced brilliance.

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10. Primitive Parts – Open Heads (Sexbeat)

Members of Male Bonding and Sauna Youth, Primitive Parts excel in jangly power pop that reminds me of Modern Life Is Rubbish era Blur. Strong!

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11. Girl One and the Grease Guns – Bashed Beaten & Broken (Squirrel)

Alter egos of the Manhattan Love Suicides deal in old drum machines, synths and detached vocals with decided industrial slant.

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12. Suburban Homes – The Suburban Home EP (Market Square)

Mysterious punks from the suburbs on written by Paul Messis and on Paul Messis’s label. Raw angry and very good.

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13. Close Lobsters – Kunstwerk in Spacetime (Shelflife)

The return of the Close Lobsters was a wonderful sound to behold.

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14. Courtneys – Mars Attacks (Hockey Dad)

The second single in this year’s countdown to feature a rap. Vancouver’s Courtneys follow up last years great debut with more of their good thing.

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15. The Mantles – Memory (Slumberland)

The Mantles seem to be able to effortlessly write these dusty Byrdsian gems.

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16. Juniore – La Fin Du Monde (Enterprise)

Suave, spaghetti-French pop that pulls in some Limiñanas along with a bit of Françoise Hardy.

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17. Crimson Wave – Say (Accidental Guest)

Former Wild Honey singer goes two for two with bands and singles. Her new band Crimson Wave is off to an auspicious start with this Scrawl influenced record.

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18. Flesh World – A Line In Wet Grass (Iron Lung)

Jess Scott, formerly of Brilliant Colors fronts Flesh World. A Line in the Wet Grass is a maelstrom with a pop song in the middle just struggling to escape.

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19. Slum of Legs – Begin To Dissolve (Tuff Enuff)

Slum of Legs combine dissonance and melody into a delicious stew topped off with a violin chaser.

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20. Hierphants – Nothing Neu (Goodbye Boozy)

Featuring members of Ausmuteants and Frowning Clouds,  you might expect Hierphants to sound like a garage band with Devo leanings and you would be right. Nothing Neu, but good nonetheless.

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21. King Tears Mortuary – Grease Trap (Vacant Valley)

Power pop from Sydney that recalls southern fried college rock from the 80’s. Surprised Mitch Easter didn’t have a hand in this.

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22. Ubertrager – Neben Mir (Great Pop Supplement)

Amazing how much this sounds like Broadcast. Otherworldly!

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23. Institute – Giddy Boys (Kartorga Works)

Debut single from Austin band sounding like their from Australia. The Austin Ausmuteants?

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24. Primitive Parts – TV Wheels (Faux Discx)

Primitive Parts make their second appearance in the countdown. Quality and quantity. Lookout for their debut coming later this year on Trouble In Mind.

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25. Dream Boys – Positive Arguments (White Iris)

Bluebells, Bif Bang Pow and Three O’Clock fans rejoice, Los Angeles’ Dream Boys follow up last year’s LP with more jangly goodness!

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26. Wimps – Distraction (Help Yourself)

Short, sharp punk from Seattle’s slackers in chief.

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27. Kelley Stoltz – Cross Your Mind (Stroll On)

Stoltz keeps cranking out classic pop whether you like it or not. The guy’s a machine. Dig the ode to Echo & the Bunnymen xylophone solo too.

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28. When Nalda Became Punk – Indiepop Whatever (Shelflife)

From Spain, but riding a wave of Swedish Pop, When Nalda Became a Punk feature jangly guitars and life affirming choruses.

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29. Woolen Men – Real FX (Loglady)

More tightly wound jangle from this Portland trio.

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30. Cheap Riot – Part Time Vacancy (Croque Macadam)

A great debut single from punk-party mods who remind me of Television Personalities and the Buzzcocks.

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31. Cavern of Anti-Matter – Total Availability And The Private Future (Peripheral Conserve)

The cover looks like something Jack Kirby might have drawn for the Fantastic Four back in the 60’s. Meanwhile Tim Gane continues his odes a future that never was.

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32. Paellas – Cat Out (Self-released)

The formerly moody Paellas, shake the lead out and get downright dancy. New direction 100 percent approved.

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33. Thigh Master – Head of the Witch (Tenth Court)

Jangly garage pop that is bound to not just to excite fans of Suzanne Somers but is likely to make fans of the Clean the Go-Betweens happy as well.

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34. Twerps – Back To You (Merge)

More Australian pop you say. Yes  they just keep coming. Sounding a little like the Moles in the intro, this one is the lead single from the upcoming LP.

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35. Tender Age – Anything (Track & Field)

Portland’s Tender Age evoke’s Felt’s Ignite the Seven Cannons. Dark and dreamy.

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36. Sleaford Mods – Loan Shark (Apocolypso)

A bit more glitchy and more experimental backing provides great backdrop for another rant.

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37. Heathers – Fear (Death Party)

Single number two from this LA band delivers more hardy jangepop. The cool thing about them is how funnel their very English influences (Wedding Present) into a very American sound (Replacements).

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38. Menace Beach – Tennis Court (Memphis Industries)

Dreamy female vocals over scuzzy male ones and scuzzy guitars that delivers with a nice big chorus. Just what you should expect from a great single.

ausmuteants
39. Ausmuteants – Felix Tried to Kill Himself (Goodbye Boozy)

Prolific Aussi synth punks crash the party with this blistering guitars and head flexing vocals.

dickdiver
40. Dick Diver – New Name Blues (Fruits & Flowers)

New Name Blues sounds a little more experimental and less straightforward than their usual strummy goodness, adding in some saxophone to keep things interesting.

November Top 10

1. Tam Vantage
Pop Singles’ 2012 album All Gone was an understated jangle-pop pleasure. Though it’s too bad it looks like that band has called it a day, it is exciting to see that Tam Vantage the singer and guitarist in the band returning with a solo album that is scheduled to get a release early next year. The perfect pop of the first single the Boy Who Always Wins picks up right where Pop Singles left off.

2. Day Ravies
Australian shoegazers Day Ravies aren’t so shoegazy on their new 7″ for French label Beko, but that really isn’t a problem here. This scuzzy pop side is fine with me!

3. Kyle Orton is the new Lee Hazlewood
I bet you didn’t know that Lee Hazlewood had been reincarnated as Buffalo Bills quarterback Kyle Orton. When I saw this photo tweeted by Light in the Attic I assumed it had been doctored. It’s uncanny. I thought that mustache could only exist in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Orton’s new nickname if he needs one should be a Cowboy in Buffalo.
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4. Paperhead
Nashville’s Paperhead release their third album this week and it’s full of late 60’s influenced psychedelic pop. It has a definite Kinks glow to it and of course you can’t talk about a record like this and not reference the Beatles. These paperback writers know how to write page-turners.

5. The Rainyard
I’m sorry I didn’t write about this while it was still in print. The Spanish label Pretty Olivia put out A Thousand Days on a short run of vinyl earlier this year. It collected all of the Australian band’s 80’s output and it is a wonderful record of paisley psych jangle. As a consolation, you can still purchase a download of the record.

6. Perry Mason
I’ve got a stack of Mojo CD’s ten feet high that I’ve never listened to, but every once in a while there is one that piques my interest. The November one compiled by Siouxsie Sioux and Steven Severin is full of soundtrack music and TV themes from the 50’s and 60’s. I had forgotten about the Perry Mason theme and how much it sounds like Peter Thomas playing the James Bond theme.
Perry Mason

7. Vic Godard
1979 was a very good year. It’s hard to believe that it took 25 years to properly record this batch of northern soul inspired songs and get them released. Perseverance pays off for Godard.

8. Primtime
Primetime’s single came out in the summer but I had’t heard it until Still Single reviewed it. If you dig Oakland’s Pang then this London quartet’s debut single will be your thing.

9. Gwenno
Gwenno joins Rose Elinor Dougall as a former Pippette with a solo career. Gwenno’s debut album Y Dydd Olaf is sung in Welsh but that shouldn’t matter to non-welsh speakers. The title comes from a sci-fi novel by Welsh scientist Owain Owain, and the music sounds like it was inspired by the likes of Broadcast and Stereolab.

10. Ex Hex
Mary Timony’s latest band is inspired by Cheap Trick and the Buzzcocks and chock full of adrenaline fueled songs. Ex Hex’s debut album was produced by Mitch Easter who knows his way around power pop hooks and this record has got ’em to spare.