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2014 in Review

Part I of Artists Review 2014 with Interpol, The Killers, Lolawolf, King avriel, Cheatahs, and more

We asked some of our favorite artists about their favorite things in 2014—everything from music to food, documentaries to life lessons, to their favorite sex positions of the year.

VICE Staff

VICE Staff

Like when we asked our family to review the year in music, or when we asked the tourists of Times Square to talk about 2014 (or at least the prevalence of ass in 2014), we're interested in the opinions of others. So we harassed a few of the artists we've championed in the past 12 months for some opinions on life, love, sexual positions, and music. This is part I, part II rolls out tomorrow.

DANIEL KESSLER FROM INTERPOL


Because this year Interpol came back with El Pintor and reminded us why we fell in love with them way back in 2002 (plus, hey, indie rock is not dead!), we reached out to Daniel for his number one album.

Daniel's favorite album of 2014:
Blonde Redhead - Baragan: I love this record. I’ve been a big fan of Blonde Redhead for quite some time but this album feels like one of their most cohesive to date. I was properly obsessed upon its release as we were trekking through the States. It lived on repeat on my headphones. The songs, production, details and emotional threads crush me in the best of ways.

Interpol on Noisey.

RONNIE VANNUCCI FROM THE KILLERS

Noisey Editor, Kim Taylor Bennett, was one of The Killers' first interviews back in London in 2003. It was a terrible conversation because Brandon had yet to get his rock star quote game on and so was just super duper shy and awks, and left Ronnie to crack all the jokes. Ronnie and Kim have now been friends for over a decade which is really weird. #ohthepassageoftime. So she texted him about 2014 and this was their exchange.



Ronnie's dog Archie wearing merch courtesy of The Rentals.


The Killers on Noisey.

PROM BODY

prom boyd


Prom Body shot by Krysta Leshefka.

Prom Body provided this picture with no explanation. We've never seen them look like this, but hey, they're working it. Back in June, on the strength of their rad single "My Paradise" we proclaimed: "Prom Body should be your new favorite band." Then a few months later they contributed an illuminating guide to their hometown, Tucson, Arizona. It revealed them to be weird and more wonderful than we initially anticipated. Here are their top four albums of 2014.


1. FF - Lord
Favorite Track: "Past Year"

Super homies from the Northwest. We jammed this almost once a day on our summer West Coast tour. A perfect blend of the best parts of 90s rock with a modern Seattle-ite twist.

2. Lenguas Largas - Come On In

Favorite Track: "Little C's"

Local Tucson legends—one of the most complete rock albums of the year. If these dudes come to your town, please do not miss them. They're oftentimes an eight-person ensemble equipped with three guitars, one bass, and four drummers. MAXIMUM ROCK 'N' ROLL with a desert-psych cherry on top.

3. Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

Favorite Track: "Coronus, The Terminator"

Everyone in this band loves jazz. Fly Lo heavily incorporates his jazz roots on this record while keeping the beats swung and the bass heavy, just some next level electronic production. The LP art is also nucking futs and beautiful.

4. White Wards - Cigarette Burns

Favorite Track: "Glass"

Best hardcore album of the year in our opinion. White Wards also has the Iron Lung Records stamp of approval, too.

This year was also a great year for the Prom Bodies. A couple highlights: We had our Naughty by Natural record release show in Tucson, our truck broke down and we got stranded in Panguitch, Utah, for three days, we rocked out in Canada with WEED, we had a Tucson reunion in New York at CMJ with Weird Womb, and we're capping off the year by playing in Hermosillo, Mexico this Thursday (12.18)!

Prom Body on Noisey.

JIMMY GIANNOPOULOS FROM LOLAWOLF


Last year we attended Lolawolf's first ever show which then encouraged us to interview Zoe Kravitz, the band's lead singer about music and Reality Bites and stuff. Since then their style has morphed from the 80s-inclined pop of 2013 to a more R&B-MIA-esque-bonkers-pop debut which dropped in October. They're actually a trio, but James isn't in the picture above. Sorry James! Anyway, Jimmy made us a playlist. Thanks Jimmy!

Jimmy's hip-hop tracks of 2014:

Lolawolf on Noisey.

TICKLE TORTUREtickle torture

We met Tickle Torture when we were flying around the States for the 10-part Made in America series which Noisey premiered over the summer. He was playing a show in Minneapolis and he was wearing a lot of gold. The half-naked women flanking him were wearing a lot of gold. He makes Prince-ly synth-funk on the regular, but that night he was covering David Bowie as part of an annual cat shelter charity concert. Nice one Minneapolis! At the end he whipped his dick out. Bold moves, Tickle, very bold.

Favorite song of 2014:
Fatal Jamz - "One of the Girls"

I'm a huge fan of everything Fatal Jamz has been putting out this year. This song was how I first discovered their glory. Great lyrics, great tune, classic style and a heart shaped bubble bath. BBBBOOOM!


Favorite viral video of 2014:

I can't explain the deep connection I feel with this video and this kid. I think he is expressing exactly how I feel inside right before I'm about to go onstage.

Favorite place to get a drink and chill—always:

Funkmosphere at The Virgil. This neighborhood cocktail lounge on the edge of Silverlake in LA has a nice chill and unpretentious vibe, but there is always something exciting bubbling up from the "Stage" side of the bar. Funkmosphere is the 80s boogie funk night pioneered by Dam Funk and I've spent many a good night here getting lost in the vibes and re-fueling my inspiration fighter jet for its next mission.

Tickle Torture on Noisey.

KING AVRIEL


king avriel

We tracked down LA-based artist King avriel and made sure she gave us her first major interview. Why? Because she writes fluid, fantastic R&B that actually has some thought behind it. This isn't party music, her songs are stories and we're sitting cross-legged at her feet, rapt. She sums up the good stuff from 2014 below.

My favorite album of the year was easily Beyoncé. It was the only one I consistently listened to all year. My favorite musical discoveries this year were Nick Hakim and Goldlink. My favorite film discovery was the documentary, Samsara; it came out in 2011, but it was my personal most-watched movie of the year. For a period during the summer, I watched it nearly every week on Netflix. But obviously, the biggest highlight in 2014 for me was putting out my first LP, thesis and watching it receive all of the attention and praise it got.

King avriel on Noisey.

MARCUS PEPPERELL FROM THUMPERS

THUMPERS

Thumpers are two boys who live in London London who signed to Sub Pop and released a glorious debut—Galore—at the top of the year. It's a collection that balances tenderness with stomp and glorious bluster. It's indie-pop done right. Done so right in fact that actress (and musician) Jena Malone (she of The Hunger Games!) became a fan and recorded a duet with them and we debuted their DIY video just the other week. Too cute. Singer Marcus (left) shares his notes to himself on the many tough lessons this year has had to offer.

Borrow: Money to go to more gigs. Because obviously that Barbican Owen Pallett gig was going to be amazing, you f’n idiot.

Collaborate: Hang out and record with step, softball, and roller-derby teams while on tour. They are awesome. maybe take more food next time though or you will look like a giant British cheapskate. [FYI - In case you didn't know Marcus explains a step team as "a dance team, a bit like a cheerleading squad except each member uses their body as a percussive instrument. They stamp, hit themselves and clap more basically. It's big in Atlanta!]

Stop Using All Capitals Words In Text Messages: Since phones love to save these misdemeanors to their autocorrect libraries you will be destined to mistakenly write the same words loudly to undeserving recipients for the rest of that phone’s natural life. Slipping up and auto-writing “fuck” to your family WhatsApp group is forgivable in a way that “FUUUCK” just isn’t.

Karaoke: Don’t sign up to scream through Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy” if you’re only going to have to get a friend to cover for you because actually it’s the very first night of a four week US tour and you’re already way drunk and emotional and your tour manager just unexpectedly crushed a Poison track directly ahead of your turn.

Moving: Don’t move house near Christmas, it will hurt you in the heart and you will have to move a Christmas tree and presents along with everything else for hours while being unable to avoid hearing the neighbors laughing and clinking their eggnog glasses together just out of reach. Probably.

Be Seated: If you are performing songs on piano don’t be tempted to emulate Tori Amos and try to play while standing. You are not Tori Amos. Your supporting leg will shake uncontrollably and will cause you to make thousands of embarrassing mistakes.

Work out more, like Tori Amos: She must be really ripped or something.

"DJing": Agree to yourself that 2014 was the last time you ever show that you have a phone on you when DJing because—based on recent events—no matter what you are playing at the time people will demand you play Chris Brown’s “Loyal” and what excuse will you use then? That you can’t just download it at the touch of a button? No. You will have to go into great detail about Chris Brown’s moral and musical faults and then no one will like you, including you.

Business Advice: Don’t convince your friend eight years ago that no one in London would have any interest in his cereal cafe idea and that he should also stop going on about it because it’s a dead-in-the-water idea that will never generate any media coverage. (I’m so sorry, bud. at least you didn’t have to grow a beard and a twin and have all of your charm and humanity surgically removed, right?!)

Thumpers on Noisey.

NATHAN HEWITT FROM CHEATAHS

cheatahs

Cheatahs are another group that remind Noisey of the importance of guitars and distortion pedals and layered, gauzy harmonies. Think, flannel, think road trips, think you should probably listen to their debut, self-titled album. Because their label Wichita sent them on tour for all of this year, all around the world, here are singer Nathan's top three pictures from on the road:



At the observatory in Los Angeles with James and Dean and James Dean.



View from the plane over NYC. We had just finished our USA tour with Eagulls from West to East Coast and I don't remember ever being as hungover in my entire lifetime. I tried to watch Frozen on the flight home, but even that was too intense for me. On the other hand I got a pretty sweet shot of New York on a clear day and landed safely—and now I kind of want to finish Frozen thinking about it.

cheatahs



On our way to Parades de Coures in Portugal—this sums up the weekend/year nicely.

Guitarist James had this to add:

Favourite album: Syro by Aphex Twin. Nothing could ever live up to the crazy amount of hype it had, but it comes close and there are at least five Holy Shit What the Hell was That moments


Best comedy: Drunk History is one of the funniest shows around. Favourite episode from this year has to be Jen Kirkman on Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass's friendship. Honorable mention has to go to season 4 of Louie (especially because of Charles Grodin and F. Murray Abraham), and also the insanely talented Kate McKinnon on SNL. Oh, and John Oliver consistently killed it on Last Week and made me feel strangely patriotic.

Books: Again, late to the party on both of these, but Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel is as good as everyone said it was, and Sleepwalk and Other Stories by Adrian Tomine was sad and beautiful and funny in equal measure.

Cheatahs on Noisey.

TT THE ARTIST

Tt the artist




Tt was another awesome find. We found her in Baltimore to be exact, in a bedroom studio with producer Mighty Mark, and became completely fixated with her in-your-face take on Bmore club. Have you heard "Pussy Ate"? No! Rectify this immediately, but not before you've read her run down of the year that was.

Favorite artists of 2014:
- Disclosure's "Latch" featuring Sam Smith is that one song that makes me want to be in love.
- Azealia Banks' Broke With Expensive Taste was amazing.
- The discovery of Tink—looking forward to her.

Favorite media moment:

When Reporter Charlo Greene drop the "Fu$K It I QUIT" F Bomb.

Tt's highlights of the year:

- Meeting Stevie Wonder randomly at the Apple Store in Baltimore.

- Performing for Keith Haring opening art exhibit at De Young Museum in San Francisco.

- Performing with Baltimore Club Music legends at the Boiler Room somewhere in Brooklyn, NYC.

- JLo Big Booty sampling my record "Dat A Freak" produced by Diplo.

- Handing Odd Future and the Internet Syd the Kid a custom portrait created by me and her posting it on IG.

Tt the Artist on Noisey.

The Streets of Laredo
streets of laredo

Familial folk-pop is not something that Noisey normally fucks with (most of the band are related or married), but there's something about this New Zealand septet that just feels so lovely in the ears. (There's a bit of Ryan Adams at his most happy and mellow.) They wrote about their favorite things below and will leave you with a picture that will haunt your dreams forever.

Favorite (b-side) celebrity sighting: We met the guy that famously beat up Kurt Cobain in Dallas - he came to our show and gave us lots of fist pumps. Nice guy.

Favorite square meal for under $1.80 in NY: Vanessa's Dumplings on Eldridge. As a side note Dave met the actual “Vanessa” at MoMo’s sushi shack in Bushwick, this would be our second favorite celebrity sighting this year.

Favorite new SNL character: Pete Davidson.

Favorite bureaucratic triumph: Getting our official artist visas. This may not sound like a big deal to bona fide American citizens, but to a bunch of New Zealand immigrants this was a big deal. America. Freedom. Taxes.

Favorite song we wish we wrote but didn't: "Language of the Dead" by Delta Spirit.

Favorite way to kill a 17 hour dive in a van: “Serial” the podcast… did he do it? What’s up with Jay?

Favorite unexpected merch item: A fan at a show in Houston bought Dan’s “1992 Dream Team” basket ball t-shirt for $200

Favorite super weird child photo. What?



The Streets of Laredo on Noisey.