The best music of 2014 you haven’t heard

Devon Wilson


2014 proved to be one of the best years in recent memory for music. The amount of music I found-and fell in love with-grew exponentially as the year went on. Here are some of the greatest albums of the year that have been slightly overlooked, or that have just not yet made it to Portage Central’s spotlight.



Alex G // “DSU”

My favorite album of the year and likely one of my top 10 of all time. Alex G’s “DSU” is a masterpiece, something to be cherished more with every listen. The songs showcase his incredible talent as a young songwriter and gained him the attention he deserves. His rise to popularity has been big, even leading him to an international tour as well as recognition from major figures in music such as Rolling Stone. Despite this jump in popularity, he still remains off the radar for many people here in Portage. For fans of singer-songwriters and indie rock, Alex G is a must-hear artist. His lyrics are simplistic on the surface and deeply profound at heart. Listen to “Harvey” below.



Quarterbacks // “Quarterboy”

When I first heard Quarterbacks I was driving through the rain with an old friend sometime in the spring. “Quarterboy” manages to evoke this memory in my head everytime I hear it. The quick-paced indie pop songs are filled with memories and stories about missed opportunities at finding love, watching sports and heartbreak. The 16-minute album makes for a light-hearted and short listen but still remains one of the most memorable and catchy releases of the year. Listen to “Center” below.




Grouper // “Ruins”

Grouper is the name of Liz Harris’ ambient project. Since 2005, she has released several albums to some critical acclaim. Her most recent album stands out amongst the others, however. While she typically drowns every sound in reverb and an inconceivable amount of layers, “Ruins” is rather raw. The album feels like some rare insight into the mysterious world Grouper resides in. For the first time, her vocals are on the forefront with only a piano to back them. The lyrics sting like an open wound. Although her isolation is painful, she manages to turn it into beauty. Listen to “Holding” below.

three love songs

Ricky Eat Acid // “Three Love Songs”

Sam Ray has been recording under a massive number of names over the years, Julia Brown, cute boy kissing booth and Ricky Eat Acid to name a few. And he has somehow managed to successfully explore an incomprehensible amount of genres throughout these many projects. Ricky Eat Acid is the name he has used primarily for ambient-based music, although more recently he has also used it for some of the most next-level dance music out there, but “Three Love Songs” falls under the category of experimental ambient. The way the album connects its diverse array of sounds is stunning. “Three Love Songs” is the only album that has ever made me feel overwhelmed to the point of weeping, just to make me want to dance a few minutes later. Listen to “Inside your house; it will swallow us too” below.