Top British musicians of 2014

Jessica Pellegrino – General Assignment Reporter 

2014 was the year of the British for music. Between One Direction, the Arctic Monkeys and countless other pop icons in the making, the airwaves were littered with English accents.

It was not hard for British artists to break through in America. Dozens of female favorites from last year are British, as well as a good amount of rock bands. These days, it seems the Brits are topping all of the genres. Here are my five favorite British acts of 2014.

First, I have to mention Bastille. I mean, these guys had a great year. Having had their song, “Its Time” be the trailer song for the hit movie, “Perks of Being a Wallflower”, they were primed for success. Bastille is upbeat and sing along ready. My favorite song of the year was “Flaws”. It is an inviting number with a good message; love the one you are with, regardless of their flaws. Everyone has them.

Charlie XCX made her mainstream debut on Iggy Azalea’s ever so popular song “Fancy”. But she did not stop there. Her song “Boom Clap” was feature in “The Fault in Our Stars”, one of the top grossing movies of the year.

“Boom Clap” is loud and unapologetic. Try and listen to it without singing it at the top of your lungs. It is impossible. Her voice is quirky and her lyrics are fun. Against her contemporaries, Charlie XCX is the most enjoyable of the Britpop female trend.

ed sheeranNow, Ed Sheeran is not exactly a new British act, but I feel like this was his year. His career started a few years back with the smash hit, “A-Team”. This year, however, he garnered attention with his scathing response to his cheating girlfriend, “Don’t”. It is totally relatable to anyone who has ever been jilted by their supposed significant other. Sheeran mixes singing with rapping and it is surprisingly great.

But, by far, my favorite thing to come out of Ed Sheeran was his song, “Thinking of You”. This song is so romantic. The lyrics are not only beautiful but they are also eloquently descriptive. The song is stripped down to only Sheeran and a guitar, so the true beauty can shine through.

Sam Smith is another rookie from 2014. His voice is soulful enough to elevate his status to the Billboard big leagues. Both his songs, “Stay with Me” and “I’m not the Only One” are so beautiful.

Smith had a great year which deserves mention. He racked up nearly half a dozen Grammy nominations in the 2014 Grammys.

But, the band that is getting the biggest nod from me is a band I have loved for years. This year, the Arctic Monkeys put out a record so uniquely different to their normal sound that they should be considered a new band. Their album, “AM”, is sultry and sexy. This is much different than their old plucky Britpop sound. Even their lyrics got deeper with this album.

The band, formally known for their upbeat dance numbers, now sport leather jackets and a bad attitude. They are hip and all around badass, with songs like “R U Mine?”. Nowadays, you can’t turn on the radio without hearing one of their new songs.

2014 truly was the year for British musicals acts and two months into 2015, that seems to be a running trend.

Photo Credit: Justin HiguchiShirleyJCM84

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