To wrap up the year, the OpenAir staff members have selected their favorite albums and live shows of 2014. 

Check out the individual lists below, and stay tuned for the results of the OpenAir Best Albums of 2014 Listener Poll results on Jan. 1.

Mike Flanagan, program director and host

  1. Jack White - "Lazaretto"
  2. St. Vincent – "St. Vincent"
  3. Benjamin Booker – "Benjamin Booker"
  4. Angel Olsen –  "Burn Your Fire for No Witness" 
  5. Future Islands – "Singles" 
  6. Alt-J – "This is All Yours" 
  7. Broken Bells – "After the Disco" 
  8. Beck – "Morning Phase" 
  9. Damon Albarn – "Everyday Robots" 
  10. Hurray for the Riff Raff – "Small Town Heroes" 
  11. Spoon – "They Want My Soul" 
  12. Strand of Oaks – "HEAL" 
  13. The War on Drugs – "Lost in the Dream" 
  14. Esme Patterson – "Woman to Woman" 
  15. Interpol – "El Pintor" 
  16. Ty Segall – "Manipulator"  
  17. Jeremy Messersmith – "Heart Murmurs"  
  18. Young Fathers – "Dead" 
  19. TV on the Radio – "Seeds"  
  20. The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger – "Midnight Sun" 

 

Jessi Whitten, music director and afternoon host

  1. Perfume Genius - "Too Bright" (Matador)
  2. Angel Olsen - "Burn Your Fire for No Witness" (Jagjaguwar)
  3. Chet Faker - "Built On Glass" (Future Classic)
  4. Jenny Lewis - "The Voyager" (Warner Bros.)
  5. Damien Jurado - "Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son" (Secretly Canadian)
  6. Jungle - "Jungle" (XL Recordings)
  7. St. Vincent - "St. Vincent" (Loma Vista)
  8. Sylvan Esso - "Sylvan Esso" (Partisan)
  9. Saintseneca - "Dark Arc" (Anti-)
  10. Snake Rattle Rattle Snake - "Totem" (Glow and Arrow)
  11. Wye Oak - "Shriek" (Merge)
  12. Future Islands - "Singles" (4AD)
  13. Phantogram - "Voices" (Universal)
  14. Lykke Li - "I Never Learn" (Atlantic)
  15. Mac Demarco - "Salad Days" (Captured Tracks)

 

Keefer Fulgham, morning host

  • Spoon - "They Want My Soul"
  • Beck - "Morning Phase"
  • Angel Olsen - "Burn Your Fire for No Witness"
  • Temples - "Sun Structures"
  • tUnE-yArDs - "Nikki Nack"
  • St. Vincent - "St. Vincent"
  • Tinariwen - "Emmaar"
  • Sturgill Simpson - "Meta Sounds in Country Music"
  • Ryan Adams - "Ryan Adams"

 

Alisha Sweeney, mid-day/Mile High Noon host

  • Esme Patterson- "Woman To Woman"
  • St. Vincent- "St. Vincent"
  • Chet Faker- "Built on Glass"
  • Angel Olsen- "Burn Your Fire for No Witness"
  • Sean Rowe- "Madman"
  • FKA Twigs- "LP1"
  • Warpaint- "Warpaint"
  • Damien Jurado- "Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son"
  • Shakey Graves- "And The War Came"
  • Sylvan Esso- "Sylvan Esso"

 

Scott Carney, weekend host

Top 10 Favorite Concerts of 2014 (in chronological order)

  • St. Vincent (March 29 - Ogden Theatre)
  • Black Lips (April 2 - Bluebird Theater)
  • Guided By Voices (June 4 - Gothic Theatre)
  • Devo (June 23 - Summit Music Hall)
  • Ought (July 21 - Lost Lake Lounge)
  • Jenny Lewis (Aug. 14 - Bluebird Theater)
  • Sylvan Esso (Aug. 30 - Hi-Dive)
  • Eric Copeland (Sept. 14 - Larimer Lounge)
  • DJ Shadow / Cut Chemist (Sept. 26 - Ogden Theatre)
  • Death From Above 1979 (Nov. 22 - Fox Theatre)
 

Daniel Mescher, digital producer

  1. Hundred Waters- “The Moon Rang Like a Bell”
  2. Bombay Bicycle Club- “So Long See You Tomorrow”
  3. The War on Drugs- “Lost in the Dream”
  4. St. Vincent- “St. Vincent”
  5. Swans- “To Be Kind”
  6. De Lux- “De Lux”
  7. Sharon Van Etten- “Are We There”
  8. Parquet Courts- “Sunbathing Animal" / "Content Nausea”
  9. Snake Rattle Rattle Snake- “Totem”
  10. Caribou - "Our Love"
  11. Grouper- “Ruins”
  12. FKA Twigs- “LP1”
  13. Warpaint- “Warpaint”
  14. Strand of Oaks- “HEAL”
  15. Ariel Pink- “pom pom”

Honorable mention: Alvvays - "Alvvays"

Aaron 'Loki' Johnson, weekend host

Symbiotic earworms of 2014

An earworm is a song, riff, or tune that burrows into your ear and won’t leave until you feed it by playing the song… over and over again. Many earworms are parasitic and hateful (think advertising jingles or commercial pop). However, a symbiotic earworm is one that makes your life all the better for being there.

  1. Zeus - "27 is the New Seventeen" ("Classic Zeus"): A melt in your mouth lozenge of perfect '60s pop deliciousness for today: guitars, rock drums, classic keys and three part harmonized “oohs” and “aahs.” If this song came in a value pack of 30, you’d eat the whole thing in one sitting. Don’t get a tummy ache.
  2. My Brightest Diamond - "Pressure" ("This is My Hand"): Driving samba drums, clarinet, flute, wompy synth bass, soul bass guitar, incomparably trained, compelling voice with an impressive range.
  3. St. Vincent - "Digital Witness" ("St. Vincent"): An important criticism of our media moderated world and the obsession with being seen made catchy by unexpected, almost detuned vocal falls; flatulent, stabby horns; a four on the floor soul beat; and blistered moog.
  4. Sally Ford - "Coulda Been" ("Slap Back"): Solid rock n roll built around an “Amen Break” inspired drum beat, with guitars and vocals in the spirit of Joan Jett and Patti Smith--this is a universally relatable song about human regret and modern dating.
  5. TV on the Radio - "Happy Idiot" ("Seeds"): Catchy, hooky 16th note high hat disco drives along like Gang of Four underpinning a laconic, harmonized vocal line all about the attempt to find solace in emotional compartmentalization.
  6. Reggie Watts - "Get Ready" ("Single"): Shimmery soul celeste, waves of flanged funk, slap bass, and swirly whirly back Reggie’s give-Prince-a-run-for-his-money voice, times three (layered and looped, like he do).
  7. Jesse Manley - "The Girl" ("A Gothic Folktale"): A delicate, baroque, romantic chamber-Americana, waltz with clarinet, violin, banjo, and occasionally buggles-ed out, old-time-radio vocals. From Colorado: The CPR Performance Studio version, might even be lovelier than the album version.
  8. Safe Boating is No Accident - "Library Girls" ("Bonus Features"): Early Elvis Costello meets the Ramones in Colorado to celebrates indie nerd culture and romance. Oh, and it’s pronounced “LIE-BERRY.”
  9. Abeasity Jones - "Hard Every Day" ("The Burnone Mixtape"): Denver hip hop hits the streets "hard like the pads of an MPC" over a beat heavy, guitar riff. 
  1. Tweedy - "Low Key" ("Sukierae"): With his son Spencer on drums, Jeff Tweedy sings a hooky chorus about the dilemma of playing it cool.