The Year in Rock 2014 — Alternative Young Guns Storm the Charts

Image Courtesy of Jesse Jenkins2014 saw a number of young alternative artists break into the mainstream with hit singles.

German duo Milky Chance broke through with their single "Stolen Dance," which peaked at number one on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart. The single's video has racked up almost 100 million views on YouTube, and in October, "Stolen Dance" was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Milky Chance played their first U.S. show in October, selling out New York City's Bowery Ballroom. The band will take "Stolen Dance" on the road again in 2015 starting March 20 in Dallas, Texas. That tour will end May 22 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

When "Stolen Dance" wasn't the number-one alternative song this year, it seemed like Vance Joy's "Riptide" was. The Australian singer-songwriter also hit the top spot on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart in 2014 with his Michelle Pfeiffer name-checking single. "Riptide" also earned gold certification from the RIAA, and it was brought into the mainstream when Taylor Swift covered the track. The pop megastar then chose Vance Joy to open her 2015 arena tour in support of her new album, 1989.

Irish singer-songwriter Hozier also broke through in 2014 with his gospel-tinged single "Take Me to Church." Peaking at number two on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart and number one on the Hot Rock Songs chart, "Take Me to Church" was certified platinum by the RIAA. The song impressed Grammy voters, too -- "Take Me to Church" scored a nomination for Song of the Year. Hozier also made a number of high-profile TV appearances, including Saturday Night LiveThe Voice, and the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.

Even so, Bastille's "Pompeii" towered over everyone. The British band's single about the Roman city was certified platinum by the RIAA three times over, and claimed the number-one spot on Billboard's Rock Songs chart for 12 straight weeks. The booming success of "Pompeii" earned Bastille a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.

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