The Best Music of May 2014

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We broke the rules this month for one big reason that cannot be denied: while we admired many fine records in the month of May, none of them managed to knock Ought's More Than Any Other Day out of heavy rotation. Had we covered More Than Any Other Day in April, the month of its release, we'd have still been in this position of questioning what is brightening our days more than this record?

Ought came to us in an old fashioned manner. There was no big industry push from crack teams with calculated campaigns of proven systems to turn an obscure Montreal band from a somewhat obscure label into our new favorite band. No one was suggesting the boys move to Brooklyn and claim residency so that they would be more marketable. It sprung onto Pitchfork as Best New Music and its presence after one listen felt as though merit was still a possibility. After an afternoon in Bushwick with the young, post-punk gents, Ought's charm has only clung to us with a tighter grip. Now, songs like “Today More Than Any Other Day” are turning drowsy mornings of obnoxious errands into opportunities of adventure and our connections to our loved ones are stronger each time eye contact is made while singing the chorus to “The Weather Song”. When a record changes your quality of life, rules must be broken.

The Best Album of May 2014

Ought, More Than Any Other Day (Constellation Records)

Ought has constructed much of Any Other Day from such reliable foundational blocks (you probably won’t read a review of this record that fails to mention David Byrne or Tom Verlaine), but they also possess an inclusive curiosity. They evaluate everyone from Wire to Wolf Parade with the same generous amount of inquisitiveness. Songs like “Clarity!” and “Gemini” even recall the extremely particular the punk gadgetry of ‘90s almost-heroes Brainiac. Yet throughout Any Other Day, there’s enough negative space and dexterity to allow listeners to intuit traces of just about any artist belonging to the post-punk lineage.

The Best Music of May 2014 (in no particular order):