The end of the year always brings so many ‘Best of the year’ lists to my daily internet experience, and I usually hate them. So I of course, decided to make my own so there would at least be one out there in the world that I agreed with. One of my main problems with these lists is that they’re often much too long. I understand why, it’s hard to condense an entire year of musical experiences into one post. Even before I began to write today I made a list of the songs I’d like to include and I got to 27 before I stopped myself. In an effort to share my favorites of this past calendar year with you while also preventing you from glazing over with boredom, I’ve decided to share my 13 favorite songs that I’ve been listening to. Some of them were released in 2012, or maybe I didn’t find them until now, but whatever, I’m not about to start following the rules now. In no particular order, here are 13 songs from 2013 that I’ve really loved:
The 1975- Sex
I really can’t say enough good things about this band, but they were by far my biggest new musical obsession this year. They’re all the best parts of catchy old Jimmy Eat World with the ambiance of Explosions in the sky, all wrapped up in one adorable british bow. It took me an hour to even choose which song to share with you today, but I’m going with the popular single, Sex. It’ll have you bopping around singing ‘she’s got a boyfriend anyways..‘ all day long. After you’re done with that, I want you to check out ‘Girls’ and ‘Me’. And maybe a couple acoustic versions of ‘Chocolate’. Look, I could (and have) write you an entire post on why you should be listening to these guys, but the bottom line is that every time you choose to not listen to The 1975, a kitten dies.
If you’re regular reader of MM, then you’re aware that I like any song that makes me feel like I could be walking through west hollywood in 1987. This years breakout sister band did just that and in the process became one of the best selling albums of the year, thus proving that sometimes we can have nice things.
The Coppertone- Young Blood
This song was such an amazing find for me this year. Y’all know I’m big into driving songs and I took this song all over the pacific northwest, through tiny one lane roads in Italy and France and down highways in England, Iceland and Canada. Just listening to this song makes me feel strong and hopeful and also a little proud of her for reaching her crowd-funding goal and successfully reinventing herself.
Foy Vance- Regarding your lover
Foy Vance was by far the most powerful performer I stumbled upon this year and his discography has taken up a permanent place in my collection. When you’re done being blown away by what happens at 2:12, make sure you go find yourself ‘You and I’, ‘Feel for me’ and ‘Guiding Light’.
Miguel ft Mariah Carey- Beautiful
I am such a sucker for a good summer song, one of those light breezy tunes that isn’t too deep. While Mariah Carey probably isn’t everyones cup of tea (and she unnecessarily over-sings at 1:37 in a way that makes me cringe for a second) this song is on this list for the memory it made for me. Remember how winter wouldn’t go away this year? I went out west at the end of May and it was still wet and slushy and gross. I flew into Seattle and picked up my rental car and headed out on my 4 hour drive to my destination. It was so damn hot there compared to here and I was just peeling off layers as I drove until I was finally in a tank top, with all 4 windows down. This song came on the radio and I cranked it up and for the first time it felt like summer was here and everything was going to be okay. Every time I’ve heard it since it takes me back to that moment, and that’s what music is about, right? Also, Miguel is hands down one of the best things to happen to my iPod in a while. If you’re not regularly jamming to ‘Adore’ and ‘Use Me’, then you need to take a day off work and become acquainted.
I will, I swear- Long Days
Speaking of moments, this song also is indelible in my 2013 memories. In august of this year I was waiting for my boyfriend in a ghetto train station in southern italy. His train was late and I hadn’t seen him for a while. I was just sitting there listening to music, waiting and waiting for someone I missed so much. This song was on when the train finally flew into the station and a million people seemed to come onto the platform. I’m short, so I immediately became engulfed in the din. My eyes searched around frantically for this person I wanted to see so much and I had just about become convinced that he didn’t make it when I finally saw him. I ran and we had a lovely little movie reunion moment and this beautiful, simple song was the perfect backdrop.
Kings of Leon- Wait for me
This album blew me away. I feel like everything KOL releases gets compared to their monster success of ‘Only by the Night’, but this album was just such a more complete body of work. They’ve matured so well yet let their rough Tennessee roots show through and it resulted in one of my favorite albums this year. Honorable mentions worth checking out: Beautiful War, Comeback story and Temple.
The Wild Feathers- The Ceiling
Some women dream of a ‘Man Ikea’ where they can build a perfect dude that’s strong and sensitive, one who reads poetry and fixes your truck and kills bears and then makes you a stew out of it. I dream of songs that will satisfy so many of my needs at once, and the Wild Feathers were my best find this year that managed to do that. Americana rock, country twang, gang vocals, thoughtful lyrics, on stage chemistry, pretty much every need I threw out there was met by these adorable boys. Get your hands on their album if you’re into it, and focus your energy on Backwoods Company, How, If you don’t love me, and Left my woman.
Willy Moon- I wanna be your man
I gave Mr. Moon a full Music Monday earlier this year, and since then this is still one of my favorite songs to bop around my apartment to, it also works wonders when cleaning the floor. ‘Shakin’ and ‘Yeah yeah’ are two other cuts worth checking out.
Nneka- The uncomfortable truth
Thought-provoking, inspiring lyrics combined with one of my favorite voice of this year made Nneka an easy choice for this list. Her Music Monday is here and contains my other choice songs by this snappy performer.
CHVRCHES- The mother we share
I love when music transcends between kids and adults. Remember when a Vampire Weekend song was featured in a popular pixar movie and suddenly kids everywhere were requesting ‘A-punk’? I have a lot of friends with children, many of whom I regularly babysit. I am so not down with listening to 3 hours of ‘Dora sings with friends’ or whatever kids are into these days. CHVRCHES were my savior this year on that front, provided you got your hands on the clean versions. Every kid I had over seemed to love the beat of this album and my goddaughter has even begun singing the lyrics of ‘the mother we share’ to her sister.
Whoo, this song is by far the sexiest thing I found this year. If you’re looking for something sensual to get you hot under the collar, this is it.
Lianne La Havas- Is your love big enough
I first saw Lianne when she opened for Bon Iver a couple years ago, she graced the stage with a single electric guitar and blew the crowd away with her huge voice. She only had a 4 song EP out at the time and I was so pleased to find her debut album this year. ‘No room for doubt’ and ‘Forget’ are the other tracks you want to get your paws on.
The only other mention that I struggled to not include in this list is Beyonce’s new album that secretly dropped this month. Leave it to the reigning Queen B to jump in at the last minute and steal 2013’s thunder. Most people who read my columns aren’t hugely into power pop, but if you’re into dancing and performance art, her ‘visual album’ is perfection. There are very few performers out there who operate on that scale, who are adored the world over and mark my words, that album is her ‘Thriller’. But as I promised, I’m keeping it to 13. So that’s all, folks. Happy New Years and thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your musical lives this year.