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New Music: 2014

Out with the old. We’re listening to great new music – a new playlist – for 2014. Don’t miss it.

R&B artist Tei Shi's is one of eMusic.com's top 14 artists to watch in 2014. (photo via Facebook)

R&B artist Tei Shi’s is one of eMusic.com’s top 14 artists to watch in 2014. (photo via Facebook)

New year, time for new music.  Beyoncé jumped the 2014 gun with her “sneak attack” release and huge sales.  Springsteen’s got an album – “High Hopes” – of covers and re-imagined oldies coming out this month.  But there’s a lot more, and more range, in the pipeline.  ”Opaque” by Eagulls, behind me here.  New music from St. Vincent, Chance the Rapper, Mean Creek, Angel Olsen.  And Prince – yes, Prince – is back. This hour On Point:  new music, what’s coming, 2014.

– Tom Ashbrook


J. Edward Keyes, editor of chief of eMusic. (@keyescore)

Maura Johnston, editor of the online culture publication, “Maura Magazine.” Former music editor for The Village Voice. (@maura)

From Tom’s Reading List

eMusic: 14 To Watch in 2014 — “Every year, we look forward to two things: looking back on our “Ones to Watch” from the previous year, and assembling that same list for the year to come. Last year, we predicted Parquet Courts, Icona Pop, Savages, Sky Ferreira and several others would have a great year in 2013. We think our predictions were borne out. I’m even more excited about this year’s list, as I feel like it consists of 14 artists who are moving music forward, taking time-tested blueprints and refashioning them in their own image.”

The Guardian: Pop music in 2014: what to look out for this year — “A few weeks ago, one of the most powerful men in the music industry, Columbia Records boss Rob Stringer, was interviewed about his label’s plans for 2014. He mentioned the forthcoming January release from Bruce Springsteen – High Hopes, a collection of covers, outtakes and “reimagined” versions of songs from previous albums – and, more speculatively, a forthcoming album by Pharrell Williams, set to include his current single Happy, from the soundtrack to Despicable Me 2. Then he added, vaguely, “at some point, Beyoncé will put a record out and when she does it’ll be phenomenal”. The headlines duly suggested a Beyoncé album would arrive in 2014.”

Esquire: 15 Bands To Watch In 2014 ”Ah, a new year. And here we have some “in with the new” for you, a preview of some great new — and not-so-new — musical acts you should have on your radar for 2014, culled from the playlists of our music writers. We know you’re anxious to get on with writing those resolutions, so without further ado.”


Producer’s Note: Some of the included tracks on this playlist contain explicit language 

J. Edward Keyes’ Picks


Perfect Pussy

Chance the Rapper

Tei Shi

Hurray for the Riff Raff


St. Paul and the Broken Bones

Angel Olsen


Pity Sex




Maura Johnston’s Picks

Against Me!

Mean Creek

St. Vincent

Angel Olsen



Katy B

Ex Hex

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  • Bigtruck

    Kinda like the Foals, Phosphorescent and King Krule, most of this poppy stuff makes me sad

  • Joe

    There’s a great band here in upstate New York that I’ve been following for more than 15 years – The Gifted Children. Their songwriting is very original but their music is hard to fit into a specific genre. These guys have recorded over 1,000 songs and released dozens of albums and EP’s, and their live shows are great. I think they’re the best band that nobody’s heard of. Hopefully they’ll make the lists one of these years.

  • creaker

    It’s amazing how little change there has been over the past 30 years. My formative years were in the 70′s – going back 30 years you’d have to compare Glenn Miller to Led Zeppelin. But so much current stuff sounds like it could have been produced 30 years ago.

  • Gary Rubin

    Mipso Trio from Chapel Hill= amazing

  • sara D

    I would like to support ethically the musicians I love so they can continue to make music-any advice about obtaining music in this way?

    • rickterp

      You should try to buy the music directly from the artist, either in person or via their website. And support their next project (kickstarter or pledgemusic) if they’re going that route. Even just buying their CD at your local independent music store is better than some options.

  • Scott Phillips

    No surprise, no mention of Reggae. Two of the very best releases of 2013 of any genre was Bitty McLean’s ‘Taxi Sessions’ and Shaggy’s ‘Out Of Many One Music’.

  • truegangsteroflove

    When someone uses the term “one-off” one time, gratuitously, it’s grating. Twice, it’s time to change the station. Luckily, I remembered a local music show that only plays on Fridays.

    Before switching the station I was amused to hear such feeble attempts to intellectualize pop music. It’s mostly pablum for the masses, with hangers-on in various other mass media feeding off the money glow.

    Which raises a couple of questions. Is a pretentious show about popular music a one-off, or will we be hearing it again? Is every segment a one-off? Sometimes I wonder.

    • rickterp

      If your goal was to demonstrate that you’re a pretentious jerk, you succeeded nicely.

      • truegangsteroflove

        It always amuses me that there are people who spend their time looking for opportunities to call other people names. Some have several browsers open under a variety of names so they can maximize their invective.

        Of course, this may have been a one-off, but not likely. It takes habit to freely spew out snark.

  • rickterp

    Thanks for the reminder about Hurray for the Riff Raff. I heard something from them a while back and I’m looking forward to checking out their next one when it comes out in February.

  • marygrav

    Silent music I suppose; Like the Emperor’s New Clothes

  • Gloria

    I’ve come to respect On Point with Tom Ashbrook. I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come. I’m not able to see how any of this noise could be referred to as music. It’s unpleasant and grating and adds to the stress of the day. Surely, Tom, you can find better subject material for your program. Not this!

    • LilMoby

      Different strokes for different folks, my friend.

  • Marcy

    I can’t seem to find/remember the name of one of the last female performers that J. Edward Keyes referred to. She had a distinctive “country” sound- i think he compared her to Loretta Lynn. I would love to find out more about this artist. Thx!

    • http://onpoint.wbur.org/about-on-point/sam-gale-rosen Sam Gale Rosen

      Hey Marcy, it was Alynda Lee Segarra, of the band Hurray For The Riff Raff.

  • jefe68

    Not a thing about Jazz. Well this year some history has been made at the Thelonius Monk Institute Jazz Saxophone Competition.
    A young woman, Melissa Aldana (24), is the first female to win in the instrumental category in it’s history.
    I for one think she’s an amazing talent well worth watching. Shame on OnPoint to leave jazz out as one two of the main music schools in the nation are right here in Boston.


    This is from the this past fall at Berklee:

  • Lawrence Kelley

    Enjoying the Spotify streaming playlist now; shared with my Facebook friends. Thank you, WBUR / Tom Ashbrook!

Apr 24, 2014
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, left, talks with Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Covina at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, April 21, 2014. Hernandez proposed a constitutional amendment that would ask voters to again allow public colleges to use race and ethnicity when considering college applicants. The proposal stalled this year after backlash from Asian Americans. (AP)

California as Exhibit A for what happens when a state bans affirmative action in college admissions. We’ll look at race, college and California.

Apr 24, 2014
A Buddhist monk lights the funeral pyre of Nepalese mountaineer Ang Kaji Sherpa, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, during his funeral ceremony in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 21, 2014.  (AP)

A Sherpa boycott on Everest after a deadly avalanche. We’ll look at climbing, culture, life, death and money at the top of the world.

Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

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