Favourite songs of 2013… a work in progress.

by deej on March 31, 2013

As we pass the first quarter of 2013, I figured now is as good a time as any to start compiling my favourite music of the year. There’s been plenty of it – a few old favourites, and some outstanding new discoveries. Hopefully you’ll find something you like here as well.

Electric – The Men

Wasting no time after releasing last year’s fantastic Open Your Heart, The Men are back with New Moon, and the lead single, Electric, certainly picks up where they left off. However, this album surprises with its infusion of country-folk into their signature noise rock sound, yet they manage to pull it off in spades.

Faithful Heights – Night Beds

An arresting a cappella intro into one of my favourite songs last year. It segues so seamlessly into Ramona that I feel like I’m cheating a little bit by including it here, but heard on its own, it really showcases the raw vocal talent of singer Winston Yellen.

Holy – Frightened Rabbit

Given how this month has gone weather-wise, I probably should’ve picked Late March, Death March, but Holy has been my initial favourite on this LP. Check out the alternate version the band released as well; I’m having trouble deciding which one I like more.

How The Other Half Live – Tribes

The first track off their forthcoming album. If this is any indication, Tribes will be back on my Best Albums of 2013 again later this year. (Recorded at Sound City for those of you interested in useless trivia.)

Medication – The Rouge

A delightful new find in February. There’s no misses on this new EP Blurry from Nashville-based The Rouge.

Miracle Mile – Cold War Kids

The only tune on the list that I first heard on the radio. SONiC has been giving this regular airplay and deservedly so. Take note JT and Julian, this is how you release a lead track.

Muchacho’s Tune – Phosphorescent

Brooklyn-based (has the entire music industry moved there in the past year?) Matthew Houck is back with more vulnerable melodies of heartache and woe… and I couldn’t be happier. This album is ridiculously good.

Ride On The Train – Hollis Brown

Cheating a little with this tune. Yes, it was released in 2012 (on my favourite EP of the year I might add), but it’s also the title track of the new album so that should get me off the hook. If it doesn’t, listen to Down On Your Luck, equally as awesome.

Running For Cover – Ivan & Aloysha

My good friends over at Ear To The Ground recommended Ivan & Aloysha earlier this year, and they didn’t disappoint. Looking forward to hearing this live in a few weeks.

Saturday Night – Wyldlife

Straight-up party anthem of the year. Rich Russo says they’re the best power punk band to come out of NYC in the last 20 years. If this track is any indication, I’m inclined to agree.

She Will – Savages

I heard they melted faces off at SXSW. Looking forward to hearing more from this British post-punk act later this year.

Smashed To Pieces In The Still Of The Night – Esben & The Witch

Layers and layers of texture on this Eastern-influenced techno pop tune. This building crescendo is the perfect climactic bookend to the latest LP from the British goth rock trio.

Teenage – Veronica Falls

The opening reminds me of Bryan Adams’ Back To You, at least until Roxanne Clifford starts singing on this breezy indie pop number.

The Night’s So Cold – El Sportivo & The Blooz

A country-infused blues rock number from this Brooklyn act. Love the guitar work here; it really accentuates the melancholy of the tune.

Thick As Thieves – Widowspeak

Singer Molly Hamilton of this Brooklyn-based dream pop duo invites comparisons to Mazzy Star on this simple melody filled with lament.

This Disorder – The Features

Despite how catchy it is, their latest single will likely do nothing to combat our obsession with being plugged in. I wonder if this is available as a ringtone yet?

Tracks – Trapper Schoepp & The Shades

I first heard of Trapper around Christmas when I saw this video – The Ballad Of Olof Johnson – a beautiful song he wrote about his great-great-grandfather. Since then, he and The Shades have popped up on my radar a few times, and just last week they released this video for Tracks.

Vaya – EdTang

I feel like I’m doing Ed a terrible injustice by only picking a single song off his album Goodbye, Zen 5, Sushi Diner. Tinged with influences of Frank Turner, Brian Fallon, Ben Nichols and Jake Smith, the nine tracks juxtapose from alt-country to rock to traditional country so effortlessly, it’s difficult to select just one highlight. It is simply an outstanding album and my favourite of 2013.

So that’s the start of 2013 for me. Feel free to leave me a comment or tweet at me to let me know what I’ve been missing.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

aaron March 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Thanks for the list, Deej!

Just as an aside: in hindsight, I think “One Way Trigger” ended up working well as a lead single for Comedown Machine. It braced me for a stylistic departure and probably lowered my expectations for the album (though it’s not like they were really big to begin with). After hearing the whole record, the song makes more sense in context and I don’t think it’s as bad as I originally thought. If they had released a more conventional Strokes song, I might not have given the album as much attention as I did.

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