Howler Jr. Grows Up And Lands At No. 15.

Just as we have at the end of the last two years, the Central Track staff has once again spent the last week reminiscing and pouring pretty tirelessly over the best locally-tied songs of the year. By now, of course, most folks expect as much from their local culture publications. Unlike in previous years, though, we've decided to do things a little differently in 2014. For one, the influx of notable tunes this year prompted us to double the length of our list — from the Top 50 to the Top 100 local songs of the year. At the same time, we didn't want to overwhelm our readers with a huge list of 100 tracks to take in all once, either. To that end, we're going to roll the thing out in daily chunks, unveiling more songs every weekday through the end of the month. It should serve to make the thing a little easier to digest — and give you time to check out the embedded streams of anything you might have missed throughout the course of the year. Really, though, you should give each of these songs a spin. They all deserve at least that much.

Up to this point, the first week of our month-long look back at the best local songs of 2014 have been tossed out in big, mostly commentary-free chunks. From here on out, though, we're going to slow up the pace a bit, revealing the final 15 tracks one per week day, through the end of the year. Stick with us and not only will you find a little deeper insight into just what makes the tracks at the top of our list so great, but we think you'll find a few surprises in there as well. There's definitely some sleepers in this last batch of songs, to be sure.

SEE ALSO:
THE TOP 50 LOCAL SONGS OF 2013. // The Official Central Track Staff List.
THE TOP 50 LOCAL SONGS OF 2012. // The Official Central Track Staff List.

For instance, there's today's track, courtesy of the still-pretty-new Dallas trio Howler Jr., which hasn't really gotten the kind of attention it's deserved this year. Released back in August, the band's debut full-length, Getting Somewhere, is full of clever nods to the past as filtered through nine exquisitely-crafted pop gems — though, never better than on the track “Oh Dear.”

Throughout the long-player's breezy nine tracks, 19-year-old frontman and recent Booker T. Washington grad Spencer Kenney and his bandmates deftly channel a number of influences, ranging from funk to jangle rock, all filtered through an overly beachy (although not surfy) aesthetic.

In this context, Kenney reminds us a good deal of fellow genre-hopper Robert Plant, fully entrenched in his Honeydrippers years. Maybe it's just the similar '80s reverb employed by both — or how laid back and inescapably summery each of their tunes from these respective periods are.

It doesn't feel too off base of a comparison, anyway. I mean, both of these guys have written songs about tangerines.

We digress. As well-executed as the songs on Howler Jr.'s first LP are — and especially the impossibly catchy “Oh Dear” — it's time to stop thinking of the band as one of the area's most promising young acts.

At any age, this band's one of the region's best.

The Full List: The Top 100 Local Songs of 2014.

100. Blank-Men — “Mole-Man Therapy”
99. Snow tha Product — “1 Time”
98. Goodnight Ned — “50,000 Years”
97. Pageantry — “Spine”
96. Lou Charle$ — “RiCH KiD$”
95. iill — “Surface Friend”
94. Ghost Image — “The Way”
93. County Lines — “City Between Two Cities”
92. B. Anderson — “Peer Pressure”
91. Wesley Geiger — “As the Crow Flies”
90. Somebody's Darling — “Bad Bad”
89. Radioactivity — “Danger”
88. Bobby Sessions — “Buckle Up”
87. This Will Destroy You — “Invitation”
86. Final Club — “No Regrets (M.U.R.P.H.Y.)”
85. Vincent Neil Emerson — “Hesitation Blues”
84. Lecrae — “Say I Won't”
83. Luke Wade — “The Runaround”
82. Convoy & the Cattlemen — “My Window Faces South”
81. Centro-matic — “Salty Disciple”
80. Bad Mountain — “Union Hill”
79. Dorrough — “Beat Up The Block “
78. The Longshots — “Me or California”
77. The Paychecks — “Prison Bars”
76. Dead Flowers — “I'm Leaving”
75. Birdflower — “Bish at the Beach”
74. Bad Beats — “Floor of Love”
73. Rigor Mortis — “Flesh For Flies”
72. Yung Nation — “Molly on My Chest”
71. Black Milk — “What It's Worth”
70. Fishboy — “Bury My Body”
69. Sugarfoote & Co. — “Long Gone Daddy”
68. Sexual Jeremy — “Square Eyes”
67. Blessin' — “Green Song”
66. Mink Coats — “Another Notch in the Bible Belt”
65. -topic — “Pocket Dialed the Queen”
64. Unconscious Collective — “Kotsoteka”
63. Hot Coffins — “I H8 Black Magic”
62. Cashmir — “Numbers”
61. Fever Dreamer — “A Month of Sunshine”
60. The Fox & the Bird — “No Man's Land”
59. Street Arabs — “Maltese Falcon”
58. Power Trip — “This World (2014)”
57. Zach Witness — “Amen Love”
56. Terrence Spectacle — “Futon”
55. Nighty Nite — “Temporary Custodian”
54. Bethan — “Low Expectations”
53. Baring Teeth — “Mountain”
52. Sealion — “Heavy Fizz”
51. Various Artists — “Dallas vs. Everybody”
50. Bummer Vacation — “Aye Mas Tiempo Que Vida”
49. Moonbather — “Stars From Planes”
48. Kacey Musgraves — “The Trailer Song”
47. Catamaran — “Weekdays”
46. Buffalo Black — “Bad Seed”
45. Mountain of Smoke — “Wise Owl”
44. Chambers — “Inner Room”
43. The Phuss — “Straight Line Impala”
42.Dripping Wet — “Yearbook”
41. Sarah Jaffe — “Defense”
40.Madison King — “Saved By a Son of a Gun
39. Ish D — “Keep Moving”
38. Wild Party — “Chasin' Honey”
37. Gollay — “Fight or Flight”
36. Blue, the Misfit — “Trillionaire”
35. Old 97's — “Nashville”
34. Party Static — “Poor Baby”
33. TEAM* — “I Like It”
32. Nayah — “Let it Go”
31. Oil Boom — “The Sneak Tip”
30. Spooky Folk — “Disheveled”
29. Parquet Courts — “Instant Disassembly”
28. Blackstone Rangers — “Frozen Echo”
27. Cozy Hawks — “L.A. Girl”
26. Brandon Fxrd — “Everything On Me”
25. Daniel Markham – “Disconnected and Flying”
24. Mystery Skulls — “Magic”
23. Sudie — “Heartattack”
22. Leon Bridges — “Coming Home”
21. Analog Rebellion — “Hot Shit”
20. Eat Avery's Bones — “Proboner”
19. Lily Taylor — “Across the Hills”
18. Booty Fade — “It Goes Down
17. A.Dd+ — “INNISHO”
16. Old 97's — “Let's Get Drunk and Get It On”
15. Howler Jr. — “Oh Dear”
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Cover photo of Spencer Kenney via Howler Jr.'s Facebook page.

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