Toppa Top ’14: The Best Reggae Singles of 2014

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4. Notis feat. Iba Mahr- “Diamond Sox”
DIamond-Sox-Iba-Mahr

Much has been made of the return of roots reggae in Jamaica, and the exciting young artists it’s brought forth, like Chronixx, Jesse Royal and Jah9. But don’t sleep on Iba Mahr. The underrated Rasta soldier has been recording his own brand of conscious reggae in Jamaica for half a decade himself and dropped one of the best singles of the year in 2014. An ode to classic Jamaican style—namely argyle or “diamond” socks with “Wallabee Clarks and mi mesh marina” as Mahr sings—the single has a great roots energy, and is catchy as hell. Like all the best reggae dropping nowadays “Diamond Sox” still maintains a distinct, forward-thinking approach thanks in large part to excellent backing from drummer Wayne “Unga Barunga” Thompson and bassist Jason Welsch, collectively known as Notis. “Diamond Sox” is everything we’ve come to love from this new conscious sound and style (down to the Greensleeves-era cover art), assuring us that the roots resurgence in Jamaica is bound to keep the reggae torch lit for a time to come. —Saxon Baird

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