Favorite Songs of 2013

I think you can group my favorite songs of 2013 into two groups: those for being in your mid-twenties and those for trying to forget you’re that age.

Some general notes: the list is compiled over the course of the year where I literally write down songs that impress me. I peek at lists of a few people I respect but I try to avoid groupthink. The list this year is dominated by indie pop and electropop. There is a smattering of folk, rock, and mainstream country.

I don’t think there were any major shifts this year in music. Pop was dominated by men for the first time in awhile (until the late part of the year). The cult of personality surrounding Beyonce is still strong. Digital is still growing, physical is dying as we’ve known it. The vinyl revival is strengthening. Perhaps the Mumford and Sons/Lumineers influence is waning. I might expand on some of this when I visit my favorite albums of 2013.

With all that said, if I have to pick out a personal favorite out of all the songs that I heard this year, I would pick PAPA’s If You’re My Girl, Then I’m Your Man. There’s Springsteen in there and I’ll make no secret that I love Springsteen.

The list is in alphabetical order. I’ve bolded the songs that are the favorites of the favorites for me. Most of the songs are in the Soundcloud player below (there are exceptions and I recommend that you check the songs not available via Soundcloud out as well). Enjoy.

  • Aloe Blacc – The Man
  • Banks – Before I Ever Met You
  • Blood Cultures – Indian Summer
  • Callahan – Obliv.
  • CHVRCHES – Tether
  • Dierks Bentley – I Hold On
  • ECSTASY – Exhale
  • Eli Young Band – Drunk Last Night
  • Empire of the Sun – Concert Pitch
  • Florida Georgia Line – Get Your Shine On
  • FMLYBND – Electricity
  • Fryars – On Your Own
  • Great Good Fine OK – You’re the One For Me
  • Les Enfants – Celeste
  • Little May – Hide
  • Local Natives – Mt. Washington
  • Lorde – Tennis Court
  • Magic Man – Texas
  • Mikky Ekko – Disappear
  • Nathaniel Rateliff – Still Trying
  • Night Beds – Head For The Hills
  • PAPA – If You’re My Girl, Then I’m Your Man
  • PAPA – Young Rut
  • Phosphorescent – Song For Zula
  • Sacco – Carnival Ghost
  • Scotty McCreery – See You Tonight
  • Step Rockets – Kisser
  • The Colourist – Little Games (St. Lucia Remix)
  • The Fine Machines – Alton Levy
  • The Local Strangers – Uptown
  • The Royal Concept – World on Fire
  • The Youth and Young – Blanket
  • Tyler Lyle – Ithaca
  • Typhoon – Prosthetic Love
  • Volcano Choir – Byegone

Southern – “World Don’t Shine”

2013 may be coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean there is any lack of good new music coming out. On December 9, a new duo worthy of some serious attention welcomed the official release of their debut self-titled EP. Dubbed as a brother-sister combo “poised to become the next big sibling superstars” by The Guardian’s Paul Lester, Southern is comprised of Thom and Lucy Southern, both of whom contribute vocals and play guitar on their forthcoming self-titled release. Currently based in Liverpool and signed to Marathon Records, Southern are notable for the bluesy riffs and fitting vocal harmonies that stream easily from one track to the next. On “World Don’t Shine,” Southern match irresistible recurring riffs with haunting vocals that recognize when to soar and alternately when to ease away and let the guitar do the talking.

With a music video for “World Don’t Shine” already out and a few final days away from the official release of the EP, Southern is shaping up to be a band to watch in the new year. Check out their music video above and be sure to investigate the band further on their Facebook and SoundCloud pages.

Favorite EPs of 2013

There was a lot of great music this year and it just augments our libraries from years past. We can listen to Bill Withers or Magic Man at any given time and that wasn’t possible ten years ago, which makes the present pretty awesome. I’ll start off my annual set of lists with my favorite EPs of 2013.

The Youth and Young EP is my personal favorite, but these are the ones that I made a note of over the course of 2013. Enjoy.

  • Coyotes – Good Times Old EP
  • Hozier – Take Me to Church EP
  • Magic Man – You Are Here EP
  • Panama – Always EP
  • The Youth and Young – The Youth and Young EP
  • Tyler Lyle – Expatriates EP
  • Wake Owl – Wild Country EP
  • Wet – Wet EP

Wait For Me, Wait For Me

When he closes his eyes around 2:10, you can tell Bobby Hatfield is thinking of someone. That someone is having one of the greatest songs ever sung with her in mind.

I don’t know if I have much to add beyond that–”Unchained Melody” is just a classic that should pop up in our lives way more frequently than it does.