A Musical Guide to the 2014 Tumblr Aesthetic

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Sofia Gualy

Music Journalist

Earlier this month, my friends threw me a 2014 Tumblr-themed birthday party. Throat full of chokers, American Apparel clothing, and band tees, this party was a dream for people like me who were extremely invested in this aesthetic. The playlist we created ended up being over nine hours long including Halsey, The 1975, and Arctic Monkeys. Listed below for your pleasure are the quintessential albums to add to your nostalgic 2014 Tumblr playlists.

The 1975 by The 1975

This list would not be complete without mentioning this album at least once. If anything, this album raised me as a teen and made me the adult I am today. The British band has had me in a chokehold since I was 12 years old and I am genuinely okay with that. The 1975’s synth dream pop floods your brain with a glamourized portrait of adulthood and gives your life a cinematic feel, romanticizing what it’s like to grow up.

Badlands by Halsey

I think most people associate this era with Indie superstar, Halsey. Although Badlands came out in 2015, it embodied the aesthetic perfectly. The song “Colors” specifically is allegedly about the lead singer of The 1975 and therefore became a huge hit within the Tumblr community. I will truly never forget 8th grade me going to her concert with my fellow Tumblr obsessed friends decked out in fully American Apparel outfits. Badlands raised so many people that are now obsessed with Phoebe Bridgers or Clairo and therefore is the original “sad girl” aesthetic album.

AM by Arctic Monkeys

This era of Arctic Monkeys music is home to some of my absolute favorites of all time. “Snap Out Of It” always hits the spot and “Do I Wanna Know” has over a billion streams on Spotify. The album art was everywhere on Tumblr and so many accounts would post them holding the vinyl in front of their face to really bring home how indie we were. Lead singer, Alex Turner helped make this alt-rock album into a smash hit with his imaginative lyrics and spunky instrumentals.

Pure Heroine by Lorde

Lorde put her whole teenage heart and soul into this album. I made this album the soundtrack to my preteen and teenage years. “Ribs” is the purest embodiment of one’s coming of age years and is also a perfect 2014 Tumblr party song. Growing up with Lorde is a gift to young adults today and one that we can not take for granted. Accompanied by electronic indie beats, her lyrics speak truthfully to the ebb and flow of emotions during one’s teen years.

Although my list may be short, there are so many more albums that raised me during this iconic era. Artists such as The Neighbourhood, Tove Lo, and Two Door Cinema Club are some honorable mentions that are all included in the playlist. I say we bring back this aesthetic once and for all and make these songs the songs we show our future children.

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Written by: ktsw899

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