We're now into the second half of 2014, and as usual I've been keeping track of my favorite new albums. I'm never able to keep up with everything that comes out, but from what I have listened to thus far my top 12 albums list would probably include (in some order): The War on Drugs, Conor Oberst, Lykke Li, Old 97s, Cloud Nothings, Sun Kil Moon, Run River North, How to Dress Well, The Roots, Common, Spoon, and Atmosphere.
Usually I approach a new album by listening to it all the way through a few times, then selecting the songs that I like from the album and adding them to a "Best Songs of [Year X]" playlist on Spotify. Those songs then get played extensively whenever I take up a writing project. Below, I've compiled my ten favorite writing songs from albums released in 2014. This isn't necessarily a "ten best songs" list. Rather, it's a list of the songs that have provided the best writing soundtrack. As you can see from the list, I tend to gravitate towards songs that are wistful, pensive, or earnest in tone. Suggestions/snide comments welcome.
(Since some albums had multiple songs that would have made the list, I decided to limit each album to only one song. Click on song title to check out the songs for yourself.)