Best of Music 2014 Staff Picks – Tashana Billey

Name: Tashana Billey

City: Toronto

Title: Concert Reviewer

How long have you been with Live in Limbo?

Three years

Three favourite albums of 2014 (best to worst):

1. Tough Love, Jessie Ware, Tough Love shows off Ware’s powerhouse vocals and signature sound.  Her collaboration with artists such as BenZel, Miguel, and Ed Sheeran birthed some good tunes for this record.  I definitely had this album on repeat many times this year. 

2. The 1975 (Deluxe Version), The 1975, Deluxe Version of The 1975 album is the complete soundtrack to band’s career.   From their critically acclaim EPs to their exceptional debut, this record was the ultimate package for their fans or for those who are just discovering them.  Also it’s a nice tie over until the release of their second album which they’ll record next spring. 

3. Strange Desire, The Bleachers, There’s nothing strange about this record. It’s definitely not the worst on my list. Jack Antonoff’s side project is a lot more interesting (and fun) than his other band.  Each track seems to grow on you after each listen.  As a lover of all things pop, this album was nothing short of perfect.

Three favourite songs of 2014:

1. “I Wanna Get Better” – The Bleachers , If you catch yourself feeling down, you just go listen to this song.  It’s the ultimate self-care anthem. 

2. “Girls” – The 1975, I’ve lost track of how many times I have listened to this song.  It was my jam.  I’m sure those who have heard to it, their ears thanked them tremendously. I know my mine has.

3. “High Society” – Betty Who, A bonafide pop stunner! This track will have you dancing like its 1980’s all over again. 

Which artist or band won 2014?

The 1975!! Whether you like it or not, The 1975 kept popping up on social media or radio station this year.  I know this band will not be taken seriously due to the majority of their fanbase being young and female, but these boys have been on the grind for 10 years.  Their non-stop tour schedule just shows how hard (and far) they are willing to go.  I believe they have paid their dues and won the hearts of many. 

Your favourite new/breakout artist of the year:

St. Lucia! This band is so underrated.  Every time I listen to When The Night or I see them live, those 80s feels comes rushing in. They’re talented bunch and can’t wait to see what they do next.

How many shows did you go to this year?

I’ve reviewed 24 but in total I’ve been to 32 shows.  

Three best concerts of 2014:

1. St. Lucia, Danforth Music Hall , November 28,  This show reminded me why I love concerts.  The lighting and sound was just incredible. 

2. The 1975, Kool Haus, May 6, My first time seeing them and it was no mystery why this band is becoming so popular.  

3. Fitz and the Tantrums, Danforth Music Hall, July 7, To say you were bored at a FATT concert would be a complete lie. This band gives crowd participation a whole new meaning.  

Favourite festival of 2014:

I did not attend any festivals this year 

Favourite venue this year:

Danforth Music Hall – everything sounds better in there.

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

For me, it would be Iggy Azalea and her status as a rapper.  Somehow this topic was the on-going debate of 2014. Is she a really rapper? Or is she just impersonating black culture?  Where is she really from? It seems like whenever her name is mentioned, it sparked some of kind conversation within the music community.  The question about Iggy and her creditability as a rap star still remains unanswered to music fans and critics worldwide.  And I’m sure this debate will continue into the New Year.

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

Thanks for being so good to me!

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

I would recommend St. Lucia. They’re currently working on album # 2 and if it sounds anything like their debut, When The Night, I’m sure we are in for a treat.

About author

Administrator by day, concert writer by night. When she isn’t writing reviews, Tashana often spends time exploring the city or is at home watching a good drama on television. You can check her out on Twitter @tbilley.