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The 101 Most Vital Tracks of 2014 | 30 - 21

Bossy tunes and tender lovemaking anthems from SecondCity, Floating Points, Flying Lotus and more.

THUMP Staff

THUMP Staff

30. Jamie xx : "All Under One Roof Raving" [Young Turks]

The xx frontman's timpani-laden sound collage is an evocate collection of samples and pitter-patter beats that has been the methode d'année for feelsy mix closer, and rightfully so. It's got a vibe that makes you nostalgic for something you never even experienced. -JK

29: Anna Lunoe : "All Out" [Ultra]

If any song shows just what Anna is capable of, it's this one. While she is undoubtedly cooler than most of us, there's something relatable in her laidback talk-singing on a record made for warm-ups sets and early morning comedowns. They need not all be bangers, kids, especially when—as in Anna's case—there's something to say. -ZR

28. SecondCity & Tyler Rowe : "I Enter" [Dirtybird]

What a bossy 'lil tune. Whenever that beat drops, everybody in the room descends into a bout of body-jackin' madness—all over a song that's basically just about walking into a room. Yeah, through a door and everything. In a big year for Dirtybird, this was a highlight, and SecondCity followed it up with a solo No. 1 in his native UK with "I Wanna Feel." Go for it, bruv! -JK


27. Floating Points : "King Bromeliad" [Egloo]

As Floating points, Sam Sheperd continues to defy being pigeonholed. Whether putting together blissful journeys through tropicalia or showing his immense knowledge and joy for funk and soul through his You're a Melody parties, he continues to cement many a techno man crush. This eight-minute jam cruises along slowly in style like a Coupe de Ville gleaming down the boulevard with Sheperd's knack for making complex melodic stories seem effortless. -JF

26. Armin Van Buuren : "Ping Pong" [Armada]

Some tunes last for years, cherished season after season by DJ, dancer and dorm room listener alike. This is not one of those tunes. In fact, Armin's "Ping Pong" came dangerously close to wearing out its welcome, thanks to consummate inclusion by every Dutch DJ (which basically means all DJs) at every festival main stage. Still, the opening bars' onomatopoetic percussion and accompanying side-to-side arm gestures make it iconic for 2014. But you can never play it again. -ZM

25. Caribou : "Can't Do Without You" (Tale of Us & Mano Le Tough Remix) [City Slang]

A good remix succeeds by holding onto the original's production ethos; a great one seamlessly propels said tune to new heights. With Caribou's anthemic headphones-friendly track from his Our Love LP, tech-house power-gang, Tale of Us & Mano Le Tough, were already starting at a pretty high point, but brought it home by bringing Mr. Snaith's emotional closer to a realm fit for peak-time delight. -DG

24: Disclosure featuring Mary J. Blige : "F For You" [Island Records]

While this might have been a major label publicity stunt at first (who knows how these things happen), this reisidual from 2013's stellar Settle, "F For You" went on to inspire Mary J. Blige to make an entire album full of London house sounds. The unlikely partnership between house music's new generation and hip-hop soul's long-reigning royal brings new listeners to both sounds but most importantly, it mines the depths of musical talents on both sides, pushing them to do their best work. It's not too shabby for any producer to say their work is worthy of a Queen. -ZM
 

23. Flying Lotus featuring Kendrick Lamar : "Never Catch Me" [Warp]

When FlyLo unleashed this one—we all knew his new album would be something special. He's made a career out of merging stretched out, jazzy computer riffs with buttery hip-hop vibes, and that's all in play here. Not to mention Kendrick's succinct rapping leaves little to be desired. The title says it all: you can't keep up with this jawn. -DG

22. Oliver $ & Jimi Jules : "Pushing On" (Tchami Remix) [Ultra]

This is #FutureHouse at its finest. Tchami churned out one upfront house winner after another this year and his rework of the (almost) equally buzzed about Oliver $ merges the soulful Chicago house vocals with the Frenchman's instantly recognizable bass melodies. There were other Tchami and Oliver $ releases worthy of acclaim this year but this one signals for both of them like no other. -JK

21. Henry Krinkle : "Stay" (Justin Martin Remix) [Ultra]

This track must be the tender lovemaking anthem of 2014. Every time you hear it, you just want to hold someone's hand. Krinkle and Martin are considered two of the west coast's finest right now and "Stay" is proof as to why. The fact that the remix is replete with glitched out, wonky sounds just makes it all the better. -JK

Words by THUMP Staff: Zel McCarthyJemayel KhawajaMichelle LhooqDavid GarberZiad RamleyJosh BainesOlyvia Salyer, and Joel Fowler.