In the year 2014, only ten songs made it to the top of the Hot 100. That differs to the almost forty songs which rang the bell across the pond, in the UK. That is why international artists always say it is ‘the most difficult’ to make in the United States, and once you done, you have arrived. But as the musical climate changes due to technology, whatever happens to the plethora of songs which are released with no radio airplay, or promotion?
This list celebrates twenty of the many songs released this year, by mostly queer artists, or artists who support the community.
Make sure to check out the best of 2014 lists. The best albums and EPs of the year : Best queer artists in rap, pop and country : Best comebacks, best singer-songwriters, favorite allies.
Also check these lists:
30 great songs you probably have not heard, PART 1, PART 2, PART 3
Best music videos of 2013
Ricky Martin “Adiós”
When all is said and done, Ricky Martin could just stand there singing about his bon-bon, and people would take notice. Obviously, the masses hold him to a standard he has set. He is a musical icon in Spanish-speaking territories for his longevity, charitable work, and social visibility. “Adios” merges many beats and genres which make him one of the few artists to balance the fact, appearing to be growing gracefully as an artist.
Vanessa Carlton “Willows”
Vanessa Carlton is very pregnant at the moment, but she has an album slated for 2015. The set will likely include “I’ll Wait For You”, as well as this newer track, “Willows”.
Mary Lambert “Jessie’s Girl”
Mary Lambert created some great tunes in 2014. “Secrets” is a fantastic ode to individuality, and she collaborated with two other artists, including Angel Haze, on “Ribcage”. But it is her simple rendition of the Rick Springfield classic which, painted with a queer stencil, is very sentimental.
This year, the sassy rapper released “Sup” and “BOOM” with some pretty intense visuals. But this earthy and jam-worthy track is full of quotable rhymes and a beat inducing relaxation.
Jay Brannan “Square One”
When it comes to f**k-you attitudes, singer-songwriter Jay Brannan is one of the best who consistently question social nonsense, in this case, in music. Nobody cares for lyrical content boasting about possessions and luxury. Tell them, Jay.
La Roux “Silent Partner”
Trouble In Paradise‘s entire track listing is marvelous, as are singles “Lay Me Down Gently” and “Kiss and Not Tell”. However, “Silent Partner” is a fantastic crowd-pleaser that should be released as a single.
Azealia Banks “Chasing Time”
When one thinks an artist can only do one thing, in this case, rap, then said artist sings better than most, one realizes how fantastic it is that Banks sings and raps.”Chasing Time” is a trippy and soulful ride which showcases the many voices and tones of the artist.
Stromae has yet to release music in North America, despite touring the territory this year. “Merci” was not even released overseas, since it is an album track. However, the instrumental track was used for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 soundtrack, as a collaborative track, which is led by Lorde.
Nina Sky “Stoners” ft Smoke Dza
The sisters of Puerto Rican descent have grown well beyond their Nore, “Move Your Body” days of yore, and began producing some interesting tunes as they began adding intriguing visuals to their tunes.
This song contains a sample of “Break Yr Heartt” by oOoOO.
Zebra Katz X Herve “Turn The House Up”
Zebra Katz has great verses and such a stylistic flow, that is makes it so that all of his tracks are enjoyable. However, the success of “I’mma Read” on fashion week, has made it so that visuals like “Turn The House Up” happen.
Blondie “I Want To Drag You Around”
Blondie is still making music. And they still make great music. Besides Debbie Harry coming out as gender-queer, and touring the world, the band released this feel-good track in the middle of the year.
Kylie Minogue “I Was Gonna Cancel”
The release and success in the US of 2001’s Fever, in 2002. made it seem that Kylie Minogue was going to finally take over the world. However, her releases after, just like before, have been tremendously underrated. Kiss Me Once was a silent hit-making machine this year, with great singles like this Pharrell Williams track.
James Panther “Desirable”
James Panther is going to push his music in 2015, with the release of this song’s music video. “Desirable” is a track discussing physical beauty, dysmorphia, and self-acceptance.
The Irrepressibles “The Edge of Now”
“Now” is rhythmic and up-beat, especially when put against The Irrepressibles tracks like “Two Men in Love”, “In This Shirt” and “Arrow”. The hypnotic track, with a cohesive visual which promotes its parent album, Nude, is diverse and catchy.
Neon Trees “Voices In The Halls”
Pop Psychology was a great album in 2014. The songs were true to its parent album. Yet this track, one of the softest of the bunch, has Tyler Glenn opening his core to the masses about his emotional ineptness and growth as an openly queer man.
Angel Haze ft Sia “Battle Cry”
It is not surprising that this hyper-queer collaboration is one of the year’s best. Haze discusses her struggles with the industry, religion, and the very visual sexual abuse she experienced as a child.
SIRPAUL ft Baron “Your Bedroom”
This was not released as a single, but this Seventh Star album track is a standout. If the naysayers ever question queer individuals and their right to be or not to be, whatever it is they desire, tracks like “Bedroom” will remind that everybody likes a greatly erotic exchange between two confident individuals.
Freaky Bois “Jokin Em'”
Prince Charming and TTGotIt are probably two of the hottest rappers coming up in the queer genre. “Jockin Em'” is danceable, topical and, have you seen their level of adorability?
Sinead O’Connor “8 Good Reasons”
Sinead O’Connor’s lyrical content is what really makes her latest work poignant and very important in today’s musical climate. “8 Good Reasons” stands out due to Sinead discussing suicide in such a beautiful way that it truly tugs at heart strings, wherever they are supposed to be located.
Lady Gaga featuring Christina Aguilera “Do What U Want”
The two singers surprised the pop world last December when they performed this song on The Voice. This version of the song was made available January 1st, and despite a music video not materializing to support its parent album, this diva collaboration was a great way for both to squash rivalry rumors, whilst giving the finger to the media.