Leigh MichaelSaturday,21 December 2013

The Snap:

It’s been quite a year for music. And while it’s tricky to pick the definitive “best” songs of 2013, these are the tracks that I just couldn’t seem to stop playing.

The Download:

Birmingham” – Shovels and Rope

I’m not going to reveal how many times I’ve listened to this track, because it would be a little embarrassing and you might wonder if I’ve given anything else play time. Husband-and-wife duo Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst have mastered that gravelly “Old Nashville” sound without sounding like they’re trying to recreate a musical movement that’s died. It’s awesome. So awesome.

Riptide” – Vance Joy

Maybe it’s the weird music video, maybe it’s the strange and beautiful lyrics (“I was scared of dentists and the dark / I was scared of pretty girls and starting conversations / Oh, all my friends are turning green”), but this song gets under my skin (in the good way). Vance Joy still hasn’t broken into the USA music scene too much, but this Australian artist has some serious talent.

Royals” – Lorde

I’ve noticed a crazy phenomena happen with Lorde. The New Zealand teenager got famous for writing a song about her lack of interest into the “Hollywood teen sensation” sensation, even criticizing fellow young artists (Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez) for their skewed values. And in doing so, she’s made herself one of the most popular musicians across virtually every age bracket. A brilliantly orchestrated PR stunt, or just serendipitous for her (and her wallet)? Who cares, really — it’s a good song.

Song for Zula” – Phosphorescent

NPR compared Matthew Houck (the man behind the music)’s stylistic approach to U2 “in the way its arrangement shimmers and blooms.” Spot on. It’s quiet, understated, and even a little languorous – but all in the most exquisite way possible.

Wor” – Django Django

It’s probably the music video that is earning this song a spot on my ever-so-coveted list, but I think that’s reason enough to watch it. Take a listen, and feast your eyes on some crazy stuff, guys.

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Hat Tips:

TSD, NPR, Image Credit: Flickr


  1. […] was a great year for music, wasn’t it? Following up Part One, take a look at the other notable tunes of […]

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