Drugs, you should try it.
Photo credit: Danielle Parsons
Earlier this year while hanging out and turning up at Made in America, Noisey happened to meet Jon Simmons, the lead singer from Philadelphia-based post-hardcore band Balance and Composure. After we talked with him for an extended period of time about 30 seconds of one song during Kanye West's performance, we realized his music taste was spectacular, so we had him give us a rundown of the music that was important to him in 2014. This is what he had to say.
Favorite Songs of 2014
"Soft Spoken" - Tigers Jaw
Tigers Jaw is one of my favorite bands and I was particularly excited about this album this year. This is the last time I am going to hear Adam sing on a Tigers Jaw album and that is such a tragedy. He is one songwriter I really admire so when I heard about his departure my heart blew up. This song has one of the best melodies I have heard all year and I can't get enough of it. Add a groovy bass line to this song and boom, you got yourself one of the year's hottest tracks.
"Drugs You Should Try It" – Travi$ Scott
Travis is one of the most exciting artists out right now and with this song he kind of created a new genre of music. The production is so on point it hurts. I wish I wrote this tune so bad. Listen and vibe. That's all you can do to this song. An instant classic.
"Without You" – Spooky Black (Corbin)
A friend sent this song to me one Monday morning so I decided to give it a listen on my hour commute to work. I had it on repeat the whole way. Pretty impressive stuff from a 16 year old. Great song for when you're feeling lonely and vulnerable. We played this song many late nights in the van when we were on tour.
"Keep it Healthy" — Warpaint
So much groove! This song is straight fire.
"I Can't Live Without My Mother's Love" — Sun Kil Moon
This song really struck a chord with me this year. My mom was in the hospital this year (she is fine) and I didn't really do well with it so I listened to this song often and it helped. Mark is a really honest and literal songwriter and I really love that about him.
"Echoes in my Mind" — Spooky Black and Wicca Phase Springs Eternal
Adam (Wicca Phase) has been a really great friend of mine since I was 17 and since he is no longer in Tigers Jaw he has been doing new music as Wicca Phase Springs Eternal. When he told me he was on a song with Spooky Black I flipped out because I had just became such a big fan. This song is really raw and emotional. Both parties really go in on this one and what a nice surprise it was. I was obsessed with this song this year.
"Days in the East" – Drake
Erykah Badu made tea for Drake and this song details that. Automatic win.
"Skyfall" – Travi$ Scott feat. Young Thug
This song is perfect. This song is interesting because it's kind of a "turn up" song but it is also dealing with some pretty dark content about drugs. I like it because it has another point of view on drugs that other hip-hop artists don't really acknowledge as much, at least in my opinion. "Skyfall" stuck with me this year because it has a new, fresh sound to it and it is pretty innovative. I liked it even more after watching this video of Travis and Metro Boomin making the song and actually having a genuine fun time doing it. What music is all about.
"Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes" — Sun Kil Moon
An awesome song that reminds us of how unfair life can be and that bad things happen to good people. When the drums come in toward the end it is impossible to not fully vibe out. I listened to this song too many times this year.
"Woman (In Mirror)" – La Dispute
I was floored the first time I heard this song by La Dispute. It is a huge growth for the band and honestly the last thing I expected from them. The music in this song is so beautiful. The guitar work is simple but some of my favorite in recent memory. This song has a Radiohead vibe. When we toured Australia and New Zealand with them this year, I made sure to watch them play this song every night. Timeless shit right here.
Favorite Memories in Music This Year:
Photo credit: Megan Kelly
When we sold out the TLA in Philadelphia while going up against two other huge shows in the city that night. Huge accomplishment for us. We were thrilled.
Kanye West playing "Blood on the Leaves" four times during his set at Made in America. So sick. [Editor's Note: We agree.]
Going solo to a Travi$ Scott show in an auditorium at a college in Philadelphia. He played in front of 120 kids and made everyone come on stage for the last song. It got so rowdy. The university's staff freaked out and called the police and Travis had to run away from the venue never to be seen again... or so they say.
Jon Simmons plays in Balance and Composure, but you know that already. Follow Jon Simmons on Twitter.