A bit of explanation - these are all songs that have had some sort of mainstream release; no b-sides or non-single tracks from albums. These are the ones that the labels and artists saw fit to push the most, and that I personally saw fit to invade my ears on repeat throughout the year.
So, as per tradition, on this New Years Eve, let's kick things off with 15 Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order by artist):
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10. The Script - "Superheroes"
When you've been fighting for it all your life
You've been struggling to make things right
That’s how a superhero learns to fly
In one of the most inspirational tracks to come out this year, I feel there's an immense strength that comes out of listening. It's a tribute to the fighters out there, whatever the battle may be. The Script is normally spot on with their music anyway, but this under-stated pull-through song is even miles above their normal incredible compositions.
9. OneRepublic - "I Lived"
Hope when the crowd screams out, it's screaming your name
Hope if everybody runs you choose to stay
Hope that you fall in love and it hurts so bad
The only way you can know you give it all you have
So this reminds me of a rock version of "My Wish." And I adore it. It's inspiring, again, and got that quiet power OneRepublic tends to always give us. Ryan Tedder just keeps the hits coming, and 2015 is sure to be filled with more of his pop/rock genius.
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8. Miranda Lambert - "Automatic"
'Cause when everything is handed to you
It's only worth as much as the time put in
Miranda won over new fans, old and young alike, with this heartfelt tune about better days and working for what you had. Granted, the young may have had to research to figure out half of the references, but the old were there to share the stories and teach. At least, that's how the impact of this song plays out in my head.
7. Ed Sheeran - "Don't"
Maybe you could swing by my room around 10:00
Baby, bring a lemon and a bottle of gin
We'll be in between the sheets 'til the late AM
This man makes amazing music and equally amazing music videos. He's possibly the last artist I would expect to utilize dancing, and yet he's had it in 2 this year.
Basically, what I'm saying is: Ed Sheeran could do no wrong in 2014. Ahlalalala.
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6. Meghan Trainor - "All About That Bass"
I'm bringing booty back
Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches Hey
No, I'm just playing I know you think you're fat,
But I'm here to tell you that,
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top
It took me all year, but damn, I do love this song at the end of it.
5. Maddie & Tae - "Girl In A Country Song"
I ain't your tan legged Juliet.
Can I put on some real clothes now?
In a year that brought us way too much bro country (sorry, Luke), this was a breath of fresh air for any and all females remotely involved in that genre. These two put out a clever song with a point, and did it with class and style!
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4. Ella Henderson - "Ghost"
And at most I'm sleeping all these demons away
But your ghost, the ghost of you
It keeps me awake
What a great song and amazing voice. Ella sat sort of in the middle of the charts, and I always got excited when the rare gem of this song would actually play on the radio. It's interesting and powerful and sort of cathartic. While not making an insane splash this year, it's one absolutely worth carrying over.
3. Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj - "Bang Bang"
She might've let you hold her hand in school
But I'mma show you how to graduate...
See anybody could be good to you, you need a bad girl to blow your mind
I'm surprised as anyone that both Ariana and Nicki made it onto my coveted list, but Jessie J is the one powerhouse who could lead them here. This was just too damn infectious to leave off. I'm obsessed.
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2. Meghan Trainor - "Lips Are Movin'"
I know you lie
Cause your lips are moving
Tell me do you think I'm dumb?
I might be young, but I ain't stupid
In her follow up single, I think Meghan actually managed to gain even more fans. This is going down as a great kiss-off song, and is spunky to boot. It just keeps getting better folks!
1. Ed Sheeran - "Thinking Out Loud"
And I'm thinking 'bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand
Excuse me while I melt during this oh-so-sappy-and-perfect love song.
Sheeran brings us back to the soft roots we knew him at, yet hits us harder than ever with the perfect, simplest lyrics. Call me a silly single girl; call me a hopeless romantic - this is a perfect song, and tops my list by far this year.
But seriously, thank y'all for another great year of music and letting me talk about it. I've been at this for three years, and only want more time to do it all.
I look forward to a fun and music-filled 2015 with y'all, right back here on Ears Like A Hawke!!