Creating the following list was particularly challenging for me given just how diverse the spectrum of music created in 2014 was. New artists such as FKA twigs and Lake Street Dive blurred the lines between genres while seasoned veterans like St. Vincent and The Black Keys reimagined their role in the music world. On the albums Goddess and I Never Learn, earnest and pleading vocals took center stage, whereas on Alvvays and Salad Days, the focus was more on the aesthetically-pleasing and sentimental tunes. Lyrically, Sharon Van Etten and Run the Jewels broke new ground, bringing deep emotions to the table and raising up new issues for discussion. In addition, the mellow music of Jenny Lewis and Future Islands was reminiscent of times when the world was less complicated, and music more pure. In this past year musicians showed us that no matter what crazy happenings take place in the world around us, music will always be there to take us back to a place of peace, humanity, and beauty.