What rocked our socks

2014-12-01 16:33

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We all have an album that absolutely made the year for us – the one you listened to on repeat in your car

or on your iPod. The #Trending team shares the picks that had them tapping their feet music trends2014



My vote has to be for what is unarguably this year’s grooviest, most soulful release by new kids on the block Jungle. The track that really got everyone moving like they were on roller skates was The Heat, which is, well, the heat. The album goes back to the funk of the 70s while sampling wildlife atmospherics, truly filthy bass and just the right rhythms to make your hips sway but not break a sweat. This is great music to get you in the mood for a night of pure loving. Just press play and get down. – Garreth van Niekerk


Simphiwe Dana

Simphiwe Dana never lost her brilliance as a talented singer, song writer and activist. If there were any doubts, the Afro-soul and jazz queen quells the sentiments with the release of her fourth studio album, Firebrand. It is vintage Dana. She employs her unique voice, and peppers it with introspective and at times melancholic messages. When she sings, she imparts knowledge. She uses her activist attitude and wisdom as a tool to address social and economic issues in our young democracy. Look out for the title track Firebrand, as well as Nzinga, Sarah, Moratuwa and Madiba. The album will take you from one emotion to the next, and you’ll emerge a more experienced and wiser music lover. – Siyabonga Sithole


Prince & 3rdeyegirl

Prince is as fresh, tongue-in-cheek and all-out fun as ever with this new album. He might have simultaneously released the solo album Art Official Age, but this is the one I would go for. It’s hot, it’s cheeky and it’s Prince in all his psych-rock glory with a kickass all-female trio to back him up – what more could you want? The album is retro Red Hot Chili Peppersesque funk with rah-rah lyrics and handfuls of glitter thrown in for good measure. It’s enough to make you want to don platform boots and grab a guitar. – Grethe Koen



On December 13 last year, Beyoncé quietly released a visual album of 14 tracks and 17 videos, which she managed to keep under wraps while doing her $100?million-grossing Mrs Carter Show world tour. There was huge pressure on her over her fifth album. Would it also be number one? Would it have hits? To date, the album is the fastest selling in history. It has managed to be the standard by which R&B was measured this year. The production is incredible, the guest features (Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Pharrell Williams, Blue Ivy and Frank Ocean) are just right, her pop cuts are club bangers and it all sounds as fresh as it did in the early hours of December 2013. We are not worthy. – Gugulethu Mhlungu

Time Tends To Wax And Wane

Pe† Ceme†ery

I have been obsessed by three albums this year, but this is by far the most unresolved obsession, due it being both unsettling and soothing. The work of a UK-based producer, and a founder of Aural Sects, one of the most interesting internet labels around currently, this album is a stomping, post-witchhouse, trappy, trip hoppy, glitchy, jaunty and elegant compositional piece, operating as a soundtrack to Enya’s hypothetical shitzoid breakdown and subsequent reimagining as some kind of robot deity. Lush and riveting, with waves of soothing vocals, pockets of Vangelis-like sequencing, booming subs and dark trebly wobbliness, this is the most unlikely yet perfect accompaniment to the swell of summer. – Roger Young

.?Side Note: This is the first year since 2009 that my album of the year is not South African. The album is available free to download:


.?Special Mentions: Warpaint by Warpaint and Legacy From A Cold World by Black Egg

In The Lonely Hour

Sam Smith

Boy George saved my life as a young queer growing up in Pretoria in a time when it was illegal to be a young queer, and since then I’ve always loved me an openly gay pop star. My album of 2013 was Nakhane Touré’s Brave Confusion. This year it’s Sam Smith’s blistering, catchy R&B debut, In the Lonely Hour. His searingly emotional delivery transcends all boundaries within the genre. I hear Money On My Mind and Stay With Me belting from radio stations across the spectrum and every time I do, I smile and hum along. Cos also, this was my soundtrack to falling in love with my man this year. – Charl Blignaut


Taylor Swift

Deep down inside me, right down in my core, there’s a white girl living there. She grew up listening to the Spice Girls, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears, often shaking her hips to Shakira at sleepovers and karaoke sessions. Over the years, she’s been in hiding, overshadowed mostly by a love for hip-hop. She’s officially making an appearance this summer thanks to Taylor Swift’s 1989. When I first streamed the album, I skipped through to Shake It Off, but I later found myself listening to the entire album and I haven’t looked back. Standouts include Welcome To New York, Bad Blood and Wildest Dreams. – Thembisile Dzonzi

Everything Will Be Alright In The End


I have been a Weezer fan for as long as I can remember. After saving up for the Make Believe album in Grade 7, I was hooked on their brand of weird post-rock island punk. Despite being a little disappointed with the Red Album, their latest offering blew me away. Packed with the smoothness of Island In The Sun and the grit of Pinkerton, Everything Will Be Alright In The End represents all the best bits of these seasoned professionals. The first-released single, Cleopatra, is everything that makes Weezer great and the rest of the album is an equally awesome musical treat. – Binwe Adebayo

What music rocked your socks this year? Let us know in the comments below

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