Staff Picks: Nebraska Songs and Albums of 2014 | On The Record

To say 2014 was a big year for Nebraska music seems too simple, but there aren’t many other ways to adequately sum up the year.

Saddle Creek had a few major releases, Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers packed The Bourbon for two distinct album release shows, Sam Martin released a long-awaited solo album, Mean Street released a debut record. Universe Contest went on a massive (and massively opulent) national tour. We saw AZP effectively close out South by Southwest. New Nebraska music festivals began and old ones stayed strong. Promising new bands sprang up like mushrooms after a rain and old ones reunited, especially in these final weeks of 2014. We’re sure there’s much more.

It’s not possible to account for everything Nebraska audiences bore witness to in the last 12 months. It’s not even possible to account for every song released this year. But in our year-end edition of On the Record, we each pay some respect to what we felt were the heaviest hitters this year.

Listen on for our five favorite songs and three favorite albums of 2014.

Here’s a Table of Contents if you want spoilers. Chance Solem-Pfeifer is Hear Nebraska’s managing editor and Jacob Zlomke is HN’s staff writer.

Favorite Songs of 2014

2:25 – Jacob’s 5th Place Song of the Year | “Stop” by Routine Escorts
4:00 – Chance’s 5th Place Song of the Year | “The Question (Part 2)” by Universe Contest

7:30 – Jacob’s 4th Place Song of the Year | “Ace of Cups” by Orenda Fink
9:48 – Chance’s 4th Place Song of the Year | “Landfall” by Deleted Scenes

14:40 – Jacob’s 3rd Place Song of the Year | “Scottie Pippen’s Right Knee” by M34N STR33T
17:35 – Chance’s 3rd Place Song of the Year | “Damage Control” by The Faint

21:40 – Jacob’s 2nd Place Song of the Year | “Like A Child” by Oketo
23:55 – Chance’s 2nd Place Song of the Year | “Illusion” by Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers

27:55 – Jacob’s Song of the Year | “Hundreds of Ways” by Conor Oberst
31:30 – Chance’s Song of the Year | “Ace of Cups” by Orenda Fink

Favorite Albums of 2014

33:55 – Chance’s 3rd Place Album of the Year | “Good Sons and Daughters” by Jack Hotel
37:15 – Jacob’s 3rd Place Album of the Year | “Mutants of Omaha” by M34N STR33T

39:50 – Chance’s 2nd Place Album of the Year | “Lithium Burn” by Deleted Scenes
43:48 – Jacob’s 2nd Place Album of the Year | “Snake Hymns” by Bus Gas

47:50 – Chance’s Album of the Year | “Upside Down Mountain” by Conor Oberst
53:55 – Jacob’s Album of the Year | “Lithium Burn” by Deleted Scenes

58:15 – Honorable Mentions

And, by the way, if you don’t find what you considered to be some Nebraska’s best releases here, stay tuned. Tomorrow, we put up a playlist of our favorite 50 Nebraska songs of 2014. And later this week, we begin our string of year-end lists curated from across Nebraska music players, experts and scene figures.

Chance Solem-Pfeifer (@chance_s_p) is a contributing writer at Hear Nebraska, and its former managing editor. Reach him at