Kat’s Best… of 2014

Best Album of 2014 – Jessie Ware Tough Love


2014 drafted a broad, interstellar selection of music with solid releases surfacing from Nicole Atkins, Tori Amos, The New Pornographers, Nickel Creek, Morrissey, tUnE-yArDs, St. Vincent, Slow Club, Lykke Li, and Sharon Van Etten—to name a few. Truly though, it came down to one album for me. The year’s BEST album in a market molten with talent—Jessie Ware’s Tough Love.

Over the summer, Amanda introduced me to Jessie Ware’s “Wildest Moments” and with Merida accuracy the first line of that song shot through my heart. It was love at first listen, and I wanted more.

Ware’s vocals resemble the kind of vast, controlled vibrations of a lamenting cello ensemble as it grips and shivers your core. Her voice is ambient, seductive, elegant, and flawless. And the songs on Tough Love range from the robust aroma of sautéed onions and peppers to the subtle depth of a bay leaf in a savory roasted cherry tomato, basil, and Romano sauce.

Tough Love clutches the emotional hazards and victories of passion, love, and life—and Ware conveys this message effortlessly—and in a way that speaks novels to me.

Reminiscent of my “Wildest Moments” moment, I was in deep and subsequently fell for this album’s title track in a rapid way. That track was quickly followed by an obsessive overplay of the next single release, “Say You Love Me.” Undeniably, I’ve played this song until the folks around me desired to express an opposite (possibly sword-wielding) sentiment toward me. Sorry about the burnout folks, but the song remains in rotation.

The best albums continue to grow and shift in meaning as life hands me new obstacles and thoughts. And every few weeks, Tough Love brings a new favorite. Currently, it’s a table tennis match between the motioning conviction of “Cruel” and the divinely devastating “Pieces”. Although, I may or may not be shifting toward the temptation of “Champagne Kisses”.

All right, I suppose I’m cloaked in the feels for this record, which means—for now, Tough Love turns “until the wheels fall off.”

Buy Tough Love (buy Devotion too, it’s fantastic) and check out the Complete Jessie Ware playlist by Jessie Ware on Spotify.

Best Tune from 2014 – St. Vincent “Digital Witness”

Those lyrics. That beat. Gimme all of that!

I still listen to this song almost every day. And no matter what I’m doing, when it pops into my headphones or beams over my speakers I halt and break it down.

I’m breaking it down RIGHT NOW.

Best Film

My goodness, so many marvelous films in 2014:

Jodowrosky’s Dune
Under the Skin
Gone Girl
Guardians of the Galaxy

If I absolutely have to though…

Kneejerk pick—I’m going with Birdman.


That film haunts me in the way I want to be haunted.


iliw Retrospective

I couldn’t possibly select a “best” piece, no ma’am.

Amanda, Jeremy, Jason, and Monika inspired me with their remarkable and memorable personal connections to music, television, and film. Your work stirred me, and I look forward to a spectacle of iliw firework revelations in 2015.


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