Best Music of 2014 Staff Picks – Neil Van

Name: Neil Van

City: Toronto

Title: I like running, sometimes dogs like chasing me, sometimes I take photos of said dogs, but mostly concert/portrait photography.  Photographer.

How long have you been with Live in Limbo?

A little over a year.

Three favourite albums of 2014 (best to worst):

1. St. Vincent – St. Vincent – I haven’t seen Annie Clark live yet, but I will always vote for the underdog, and her seemingly reinvention of rock music.

2. Arcade Fire – Reflektor – It didn’t make the giant splash as The Suburbs but for all their bravado, Arcade Fire can still put out great music for the massives.

3. Karen O – Crush Songs – The bare-bone, emotional raw, and demo feel gives this album a worthy listen, intimacy and human connectedness.

Three favourite songs of 2014:

1. Arcade Fire – Here comes the night

2. Caribou – All I ever need

3. Karen O – Rapt

Which artist or band won 2014?

After being in the indie circuit for a few years, Future Island made a big splash mainstream after their infectious performance on David Letterman of this year.  Here’s hoping they continue with their pop success.

Your favourite new/breakout artist of the year:

Ought – More Than Any Other Day – Montreal continues to bring forth great music and Ought made a big splash this year, topping some year’s best lists of 2014. Saw this band live and thought Beeler, lead, was channeling the like of Ian Curtis.

How many shows did you go to this year?


Three best concerts of 2014:

1. July Talk @ The Horseshoe Tavern, as part of TURF Night Series 2014

2. Beirut @ TURF 2014

3. Arcade Fire @ Parc Drapeau, Montreal

Favourite festival of 2014:

I wasn’t able to make it to major festivals this year but I do love TURF.

TURF 2014 –  The Toronto Urban Roots Festival 2nd year continues to bring some indie heavyweights and eclectic variety of music to its continuing festival each year in Toronto which makes it great for indie music, exposing local as well as international talent.  

Favourite venue this year:

Horseshoe Tavern will always have a soft spot for me, not because it has the best lighting or sound, but it is still a place to promote good indie music, new bands in town in a more intimate setting, despite the herd of people. 

What was the biggest music news story you remember from 2014?

The obviously choice would be the whole Jian Ghomeshi debacle but I thought U2 made a blunderous attempt for relevance in pushing Song of Innocence out onto everyone’s itunes library without permission.  Will this have impact on their tour probably not, but people we’re rightfully pissed.  Shame on apple and U2 for not giving people the benefit of democratic choice of music.  

Is there anything else you want to say about music this year?

Enjoy the music wherever you are, and let go everything else.  

What artist should/will we all be paying attention to for 2015?

Not sure if everyone is anticipating the new Radiohead album come 2015, but since it’s always interesting what these boys come up with album after album it’s worth a bit of attention. Plus, that I have not seen them live yet, make me a bit sad after the tragedy that took place at Downviews park the last time they were in town.

About author

Concert Photographer at Live in Limbo. Veggie running, musically inclined, photographer. The end.