I can’t really narrow it to five. (and frankly I will probably be frustrated by the constraints of seven, but seven is lucky, so here goes…)
2013 was a super interesting year for me musically. The alt disco trend seems to be taking over the alt folk dominance of late. For me, the results are mixed. Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories was refreshing; an injection of irreverent fun. The whole album is pretty great and despite it’s disco influence it is 100% 2013. I eagerly await Broken Bells’s After the Disco which has an early January release date, and while I love the first single, “Holding on For Life,” I heard “The High Road” off their 2010 debut album today and couldn’t help but be struck by how much more I like that sound for them.
Meanwhile, the Mumford and Sons type folk bands seem to be taking stock of the fickle nature of musical trends (or at least they should be). I think they are as the Hopeless Wanderer video seems to suggest that Mumford and Co is even a little sick of themselves. It’s pretty funny if you haven’t checked it out.
So, in no particular order, here are my top seven of 2013.I chose these for varied reasons, either I loved them on first hearing or they just will always be 2013 to me.
1. Daft Punk “Get Lucky”
2. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros “Better Days” I’m a sucker for ESMZ. Just a happy and upbeat optimistic song. Good for 2013 and beyond.
3.Grouplove “Ways to Go” This video and this song were a revelation. Really unexpected and happy. Just a feel good song. Always makes me want to dance.
4. My hands down favorite album of the year (not counting Alt J, which is technically 2012) is Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City. Top to bottom, I just adore it. Tough to pick one song. So much to love. Hannah Hunt crept up on me and I could give a reason for every other song on the album, but the first released single, Ya Hey gives me the chills every time.
5.Loved it from the first listen. Vance Joy “Riptide” (different version than I posted before)
6. The Head and the Heart- (proving that alt folk isn’t going to go quietly if at all) “Shake” Live KEXP version which is always kind of fun.
7.Arcade Fire “Reflektor” I just love it so much. Long and self-indulgent for sure, but I’m buying what they are selling. David Bowie back up vocals seal the deal for me.
There you have it. I will probably angst about what I left out, but there it is 2013 in a nutshell for me. Happy New Year!