The Best Singles of 2014, #5


5. Lykke Li, “Gunshot”

Lykke Li was the Queen of Misery in an often very miserable year, her album I Never Learn turning out to be one of the most devastating confessional albums I’ve heard in a long time. What’s interesting about the album’s centerpiece “Gunshot” is that it’s the one song on the record that wasn’t produced by longtime collaborator Björn Yttling, but rather Greg Kurstin, one of the most in-demand pop producers in America. But give credit to Kurstin, he remains very loyal to Lykke Li’s trademark sound, keeping things minimal, the only striking adornment being some gorgeous pedal steel in the chorus. It’s Lykke Li, though, who makes this song so extraordinary, that chorus so pretty yet possessing one heck of a kick: “And the shot goes through my head and back / Gun shot, I can’t take it back.”