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Non Sequitur Fridays

The 2014 Playlist

This post is part of our Non Sequitur Fridays series, which will feature a different Wistia team member's take on a non-Wistia-related topic each week. It's like our "employee of the month" but less "of the month"-y. This is a special collaborative edition: our 2014 playlist!

For better or worse, there are some songs I'll never be able to detach from a particular person, moment, or phase. Whether it's a jubilant peak communal moment at a show, or a reflection on someone you might be better off forgetting, I often find myself mapping the timeline of my life against the music I was listening to during a particular period. I may not be able to recite the year that something happened on the spot, but you can be sure I'll remember the album I had on repeat or the show I attended the next night.

In what is now a two-year Wistia tradition (we compiled a 2013 playlist last year), here are the tunes that defined 2014 here at Wistia HQ, whether privately through our respective headphones or together via AirPlay. If you love Rdio as much as we do, we also compiled a playlist of most of these tracks.

Odd Parents - "Learn to Fly" (Maceo's Flight Home)

Maceo Plex (a.k.a. Maetrik) has been a long-time favorite DJ and producer of mine, as capable of pummeling you with powerful basslines as he is at incorporating melody and emotion. His remix of Odd Parents's "Learn To Fly" has made it into pretty much every DJ set I've mixed this year, and every time I play it in a public setting, at least one person asks me what it was. I just can't seem to get sick of this song, no matter how many times I hear it. Maceo's remix of WhoMadeWho's "Heads Above" was a close second for my pick here. When in doubt, Maceo Plex. -Alyce

Manchester Orchestra - "Top Notch"

Released secretly unto the world in mid-September, Hope is a stripped-down version of Manchester Orchestra's Cope from earlier in the year. The opening song, “Top Notch”, is compromised of basically all the feels. You don't simply hear Andy Hull's wonderful voice, but you can almost feel the timbre of it coming through along with the most perfectly mixed accompaniment of piano and guitar in a huge space. Equal parts ghastly and lovely, recommended for listening next to a fire, over a dimly-lit dinner with some wine, or while watching the snow fall. -Jordan

Powell - "No U Turn"

Powell re-imagines techno as a claustrophobic, filthy thing, haunted by the spectre of the New York No Wave scene of the late 70s. It's riddled with imperfections, grit and sharp blasts of noise, and yet somehow it's the only single that made me truly dance all year. Play it loud. -Olivier

Ella Eyre - "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off"

I love this cover of an '80s song by Jermaine Stewart, which was also recently featured in a Downy commercial. Ella Eyre's powerful voice + string instruments = song on repeat all day errday. -Molly

Chet Faker & Flume - "Gold" (Remix)

CRL got me into Chet Faker this year, with the amazing video for Gold. But Chet Faker + Flume is always magic, and this remix takes "Gold" to another level. I can't stop moving whenever this song comes on: it's so smooth and cyclical, it gets at that heartbeat essence that makes me feel like I'm breathing it more than listening to it. Best enjoyed with low lighting and whiskey. -Elise

London Grammar - "Wasting My Young Years" (Ashton Shuffle Remix)

Firmly pegged in Savage's Rdio heavy rotation, I couldn't get away from this album in early 2014. Discovering the remix via Hype Machine brought it all back. Best for late night driving. -Jeff

Broods - "Killing You"

I have a soft spot for musical families, so New Zealand brother-sister due Broods are my favorite musical discovery this year. They are the synth pop counterpart of Angus and Julia Stone and the creators of your next lazy rainy day playlist. -Laura

Artist: Blake Mills - "If I'm Unworthy"

I know what you're thinking, and no… we are not related. Blake Mills is an amazing singer, a fantastic songwriter, and an annoyingly good guitar player. This track shows off all of that. The production on his new record is so damn cool... go listen to it. -Dan

Childish Gambino feat. Jaden Smith - "Late Night in Kauai"

I find Childish Gambino so fascinating because he doesn't seem to be following any rules, nor trying to break any - he's just feeling, observing, expressing, creating. This song stays true to that form. Over relaxing bongos, Jaden Smith poetically narrates a night of watching the stars and ocean waves with a girl. His spoken-word style and the intricacy of his descriptions is hypnotizing. With mixed-in thought-provokers like "Do you really like that sh*t you like? / Or you like the way they gave it to you?", and a killer last line, this one stuck with me. -Danielle

Anton Dvorak - "American Quartet No. 12"

Is it okay if mine is from 120 years ago? I stumbled across a recording of Anton Dvorak's "American Quartet No. 12" while browsing through Rdio back in May and keep coming back to it, especially the first piece, "Allegra Ma Non Troppo." The first few seconds evoke my favorite part of any classical concert – the moment just before the music begins, when everyone tunes their instruments at once. -Jonathan

Deptford Goth - "A Circle"

I don't know much about this artist (don't ask me how to pronounce Deptford) or even the actual lyrics of this song. The whole album is very good, but this one is my favorite. It feels a little sad, a little hopeful. Its harmonies resolve, and its momentum builds slowly. I imagine this is a very good song for driving through the night, east, toward a sunrise. -Joe

Klingande - "Jubel" (Nora En Pure Remix)

After I was offered a job here at Wistia, I went to Montreal to celebrate and heard this song when I was out one night. Aww memories… and the saxophone, c'mon! -Mat

St. Vincent - "Digital Witness"

I've been a fan of Sufjan Stevens for a long time, and everyone in his group is a really awesome musician. St. Vincent was a background singer for Sufjan who broke out to do her own thing, collaborated a bit with David Byrne (Talking Heads) and now is making just killer music. This particular song was featured on her last album, and you can see she draws a lot of inspiration from the Talking Heads in the video! -Trevor

Sylvan Esso - "Coffee"

You know when you're at work and you have headphones on, but you realize after about an hour you're not actually listening to any music? I accidentally do that a lot. When I'm in the middle of something and too busy to find the right song, this is the perfect song (and album!) to fill the silence. When the chorus comes in, I just want to do a little dance in my seat. I had the chance to see Sylvan Esso live, and the singer Amelia Meath (also of Mountain Man) does the most adorable little swivel dances behind the mic and they sound true to the recordings. -Meredith

What was your favorite song this year?

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