Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Top 13 Singles of 2013 Countdown

Today marks the beginning of my craze of lists for the end of the year, starting with music. Fun, fun, fun! Last year, I put up a few different posts of my favorite singles from the year because I was just experiencing too much difficulty in compiling them in an organized manner, but be proud: This year I did it countdown style. I definitely got some new favorite songs in 2013, a combination of the meaningful and the playful. I hope you did too.
For those reading this list later, please keep in mind that this list was compiled before "Dangerous" by Within Temptation and Howard Jones was officially released. We got to hear a snippet when Sharon den Adel visited Rock Antenne, and from what we could hear, it definitely sounds like that song would've been on this list, and likely within the top five.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy!
"I Love It" - Icona Pop ft. Charli XCX
I don't care. I love it.

'Nuff said. A catchy, freaking awesome pop song that makes me hyper. Sure, it's repetitive and has a lot of sing-yelling, but it works. "I Love It" comes on the radio, and suddenly, zero craps are given.

"Out of Sight" - The Bloody Beetroots ft. Paul McCartney and Youth
If you haven't seen the Bloody Beetroots before, you're probably looking at this YouTube thingy wondering "Is this Spiderman? Why is Paul McCartney hanging out with Spiderman?" This song is just as different as you may expect, combining elements of rock with modern pop with grungy vocals, bluesy piano, and a cool synth line with prominent drums. Sound like a clustersnub? Well, there's also a children's choir contributing, which may be one of the song's best elements. I took only a short time to grow on me after seeing this video on VH1. Really, what's not to like?

"My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light 'em Up)" - Fall Out Boy
I didn't realize how much I missed Fall Out Boy's music until they came back with "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light 'em Up)," which found a spot on both rock radio and pop radio in typical Fall Out Boy fashion. The sound has more electronic elements than I'm used to hearing from Fall Out Boy, but the change certainly doesn't make the band unrecognizable.


"Get Lucky" - Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams
If you would've told me that this song would be on my best-of countdown when it first came out, I would've called you an idiot. I saw absolutely nothing special about "Get Lucky," just like I never saw anything special about Daft Punk's earlier work (other than their intriguing image). I didn't understand the hype at all. But one day, it just clicked, and now I think of it as one of the catchiest songs of the year - especially that awesome middle eight.

"Do What U Want" - Lady Gaga ft. R. Kelly
"Do What U Want" pop song that went in an atypical direction. For one thing, the driving instrumental reminds me quite a bit of Depeche Mode, and I love it. While it may lyrically seem like a regular sexed-up pop song at times, most Gaga fans would know that Gaga is actually taking a swing at the haters writing negative things about her. At least she got a good collaboration with R. Kelly out of her irritation. Haters gonna hate... But maybe not after hearing this song.

"Adrenalize" - In This Moment
In This Moment has been putting out heavy albums since 2007, but they've just now been getting the recognition they deserve. "Adrenalize" was always bound to catch the attention of American metal fans, but the general badass intensity of it is what sets it apart along with Maria Brink's edgy and unique vocals. This single was made to get people pumped.

I put up the official lyric video because I simply do not like the direction of this band's music videos in this era of their last album, Blood.

"Trying to be Cool" - Phoenix
I must say, I feel pretty cool when I hear this single. It definitely helped theme my summer with its chilled-out alternative feel. For whatever reason, "Trying to be Cool" brings back a wave of nostalgia. I listen to this, and I am somehow transported to about 2007.


"There Goes Our Love Again" - White Lies
So incredibly infectious! "There Goes Our Love Again" gets stuck in my head and makes me want to burst into song and dance (like the girl in the cute music video). I'm just so happy when I listen to it! I've gushed over White Lies quite a bit in a couple of reviews, the most recent being the review of their album Big TV, which featured this particular single. These guys just know how to make really good music, and "There Goes Our Love Again" is exemplary. Anybody could like this song.


"Venus" - Lady Gaga
Gaga has always been a smidge spacey, but now we get to love her spaciness in a more literal way with "Venus." I know I mentioned feeling a Depeche Mode vibe from the instrumentation of "Do What U Want," but I can feel it a little bit here too. If I'm comparing Lady Gaga to Depeche Mode, I think we can all agree that she's doing something right. "Venus" is a fantastic explosion of electronic music with a killer chorus... OMG THE CHORUS.

"Come a Little Closer" - Cage the Elephant
"Come a Little Closer" is one of the last singles I heard this year that I really loved. While I've heard Cage the Elephant before, it must not have been too memorable in my opinion because I was very surprised that they made this song. It has such a throwback feel, and it's kind of deep in its own way. Very relaxing and cool. So, "Come a Little Closer" is definitely a favorite of mine.

"And the World was Gone" - Snow Ghosts
I heard this song on a Teen Wolf episode last summer and fell in love. "And the World was Gone" is beautiful and eerie; that guitar line is bound to leave a lasting impression along with the hovering, soothing vocals. In a way, "And the World Was Gone" is the opposite of "There Goes Our Love Again." While White Lies captured the essence of a great summer day, Snow Ghosts depicted a haunting summer night, even with a bit of thunder at the end.

"Youth" - Daughter
"Youth" is a melancholy indie song, just the way I like them. It isn't too drawn out as some indie music can be, so if that's a turn-off for someone, I don't think this would be a problem. The music has spots that pick up in a great blend of guitar and piano that makes me think of travel in some way, shape, or form. I absolutely love this song.

It totally didn't take me five months to figure out there was a music video for this song. That didn't happen at all.

"Paradise (What About Us?)" - Within Temptation ft. Tarja
It's no secret that Within Temptation is one of my top two favorite bands (along with Evanescence), and "Paradise (What About Us?)" is a pretty decent demonstration of why I rank them so highly. Normally, singles aren't really my favorite songs, but this collaboration with former Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen is amazing. The string line creates a sense of urgency throughout the song as Within Temptation's lead singer Sharon den Adel merge in one of the coolest duets ever. Even the video is a masterpiece. If this is how good their singles are going to sound like, I can't even begin to imagine what the rest of their upcoming album, Hydra, will be like.

If I were to post every non-single of 2013 I loved, we'd be here for another full year watching YouTube videos. I tend to love non-singles way more than singles; there's no way I'd be able to choose. But, there's another song that I absolutely fell in love with that isn't a single and I really feel the need to share it. This is a beautiful, perfect song from the Catching Fire film score: "Arena Crumbles" by James Newton Howard. (This was a breathtaking scene as well, perhaps one of my favorite scenes of all time.)

Hopefully you found something likeable from this list. These songs helped define my year in many ways; I really love them all... But now that the year is said and done and I look back through this list, I must say that I'm quite partial to "Paradise (What About Us?)" and "Arena Crumbles."

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