2013 came and went, delivering many ups, downs, and the occasional status quos in the real world for me. I sit here now looking at the neighborhood covered in snow and think back – there’s not much to complain about at all. It was a good year.
Sirens of Decay reached new heights, once again increasing readership to a degree I never thought I’d see. On top of that, there was a peak near the end of the year in submissions that was so overwhelming that it would have to be seen to be believed. Extrapolating, I cannot imagine what sites like Earmilk or Gorilla vs. Bear receive in the inbox on a weekly basis in comparison. It must take a village.
2013 also delivered some more beloved music to my earballs. This playlist will feature my favorite fifteen tracks from 2013 (much like the 2012 version). This is not a compilation of the best tracks of 2013, or the most trendy, or the tracks you’ll find listed in the top ten on most blogs. That’s easily found anywhere – and to be frank, this is my little blogging corner so we’ll do it this way this time.
Each track will be listed in MP3 format if available. If not available, a Soundcloud stream will be provided (if available). You can stream the list in it’s entirety via the Soundcloud playlist below.
Enjoy the tracks, enjoy the new year, and thank you for sticking through our third year together. <3.
(Soundcloud link was removed, sorry)
When I saw them live in Knoxville at Pilot Light right after my birthday, I also was given the chance to photograph the band. Coincidentally, I also got my first taste of Splashh which is another artist I enjoyed throughout 2013. At any rate, I attended the small show with three very skeptical friends. You might consider them more of the mainstream music fans, though I guess you could classify two of them as musically agnostic almost completely.
When we left, the main thing talked about was “Put A Light On” – it’s energy, it’s catchiness, and the ridiculously enthralling tube-light show that went on behind Generationals. Considering that I already enjoyed the track, that personal tidbit made me dig it even more. Making believers out of heathens.
Local act and new favorites Sol Cat dropped a late year EP that captivated my notoriously short (and necessarily so) musical attention span in the way you always hope for that first time you click play. Welcome To Cowabunga was a short effort – three tracks only – but it’s closer “Keep Your Heat” was the peanut butter that kept my jelly rolling for quite some time.
Comparing the vocals to Honus Honus, I asked “is it the neon glow that permeates the track, or the ethereal headspace it seems to find that’s somewhere between a definite statement and introspection?” I still don’t know what it is. It feels delightfully vibrant, and I’ll continue packing it with me into 2014.
I’d consider this one of the best Arctic Monkeys songs put out in their career. “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” was, to my ears, Arctic Monkeys taking their standard deviations and twists and experiments to another level, hitting it on the head and bringing it home.
Their hip-hop influence on AM was quite enjoyable for me, and as always, I eagerly await the next chapter.
Probably the best pop song released this year (sorry Lorde fans), Josef Salvat’s “This Life” has been the most steady recipient of playtime in my iPhone, iTunes, and various sets of headphones in the past year. I’d tell you I loved it, but that should be self evident.
The main characteristic that sets Salvat’s work apart is his narrative, which seems to showcase more of a storytelling side and a tighter song construction than what you typically get from these dynamically catchy sort of tracks. In short, where most tracks this infectious are throwaway, this one can sink in deeper if you let it.
It’s interesting, I couldn’t even tell you a solid reasoning for why this track is number one. It just is. There is no track I enjoyed more in 2013 than “St. Tropez”.
It could be that wonderful laid back vibe. It’s possible it’s the message – forgetting about it all and moving on, moving forward. Either way, FTSE (and ForteBowie) crafted something magnificent here, and moving forward is what the new year is all about, yeah?