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50 Best Songs of 2014

Scroll Down for What: Taylor Swift, Foo Fighters, Kendrick Lamar and the singles that shook our year

50 Best Singles of 2014

Beyoncé made the best drunken-hookup song ever, DJ Snake and Lil Jon refused to turn down for any reason, Sia swung from the chandeliers and more. Here are the 50 best tracks of the year. 

Old 97s, "Longer Than You've Been Alive"
49

Old 97s, “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive”

The alt-country vets get real about what it's like to be a band for 20-plus years in this wry lament. 

Alex G, "Harvey"​
48

Alex G, “Harvey”​

A gem-like, 1:40 fragment from a rising Philadelphia singer-songwriter that raises the bar for home-recorded pop.

Real Estate, "Talking Backwards"
47

Real Estate, “Talking Backwards”

If only all arguments between couples were as breezy and sweet-natured as the one captured on this easygoing folk-rock tune.

Katy B, "5 AM"
46

Katy B, “5 AM”

Big, bright synths carry the underappreciated British house diva's vocals to the sky as she fantasizes about "a little loving like Valium."

Hospitality, I Need Your Bones
45

Hospitality, “I Miss Your Bones”

The Brooklyn band ditches romantic indie-pop for something with sharper edges on this spiky plea.

St. Vincent, 'Prince Johnny'
44

St. Vincent, “Prince Johnny”

Annie Clark's visionary fourth album peaks with this dreamy space-rocker: "Remember the time we went and snorted/That piece of the Berlin Wall that you'd extorted?"

The New Pornographers, "Brill Bruisers"
43

The New Pornographers, “Brill Bruisers”

An ecstatic celebration of pure pop, with a hell of an earworm for a chorus and "ba-ba-ba" backing harmonies that are straight out of Brian Wilson's Sixties sandbox.

FKA Twigs Two Weeks
42

FKA Twigs, “Two Weeks”

The year's sexiest nightmare is full of unsettling synthwork, breathy sighs, hot come-ons ("I can fuck you better than her") and twisted imagery ("Pull out the incisor").

Ought, 'Habit'
41

Ought, “Habit”

The fantastically frenetic Montreal art-punks slow down for this warped ballad, like the grandkid of the Velvets' "Heroin."

Sleater-Kinney, "Bury Our Friends"
40

Sleater-Kinney, “Bury Our Friends”

A great band's guns-blazing return to form after nearly a decade apart. Hallelujah!

Priests, "Doctor"
39

Priests, “Doctor”

A furious, exhilarating blast of punk-rock snarl.

YG, "My Hitta"
38

YG feat. Jeezy, Rich Homie Quan, “My Hitta”

Monumentally chronic beat plus extra-slick rhymes.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, "Faultlines"
37

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Faultlines”

A barreling groove with a winningly sour narrator.

Beverly, Honey Do
36

Beverly, “Honey Do”

A garage-pop treat with the perfect ratio of fuzzed distortion and melodic sugar.

First Aid Kit, "Master Pretender"
35

First Aid Kit, “Master Pretender”

These alt-country-loving Swedes sing like true sweethearts of the rodeo.

Sylvan Esso, Coffee
34

Sylvan Esso, “Coffee”

We haven't loved a trip-hop vibe-out this much since the summer of 1997.

Jackson Browne
33

Jackson Browne, “The Birds of St. Marks”

Memories of youth in the Sixties, reflected through decades of lived truth.

Maroon 5, 'Animal'
32

Maroon 5, “Animals”

Don't even bother trying to resist this hook. It'll be in your head until 2016.

EMA, "So Blonde"
31

EMA, “So Blonde”

Scream yourself hoarse on the most empowering alt-rock rager Hole never made.

Coldplay
30

Coldplay, “Magic”

A gently burbling beat and an aching chorus made this 2014's chillest love song.