#1 – Seasons (Waiting on You) by Future Islands
So here we have it- my pick for the best song of 2014. By “best” I’m not really referring to its quality (though its quality is undeniably high), but more in the sense that’s implied with a term like “best friend.” That is, something to which we’ve grown extremely close. And of all the songs that passed through my headphones this year, “Seasons (Waiting on You)” by Future Islands managed to get the closest. It’s partly Samuel T. Herrings chameleon-like voice, shifting from a sweet tenor on the verses to an entirely different beast on the choruses (so much that it could easily be mistaken for another singer), along with the endearingly schlubby look of the band, captured so perfectly in their breakout performance on Letterman this year. But ultimately, it’s the emotional paradox of the song that leaves me so mesmerized- it feels uplifting at the same time it feels melancholic. The result is a track that fully resonates, no matter what the context is; it’s a song that’ll stick with you when things are looking up, or not.