Leigh MichaelMonday,23 December 2013

The Snap:

It was a great year for music, wasn’t it? Following up Part One, take a look at the other notable tunes of 2013.

The Download:

Fitzpleasure” – Alt. J

Alt. J thrives on contradictions. Their songs are sensual, but they also bring a hard edge into each piece that makes it feel just a little bit badass. Lead singer Joe Newman has an undeniably weird voice – one that is almost on par with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah vocalist Robbie Guertin – but it serves as the fulcrum of the band, transforming a group that might otherwise be “just another group of guys from England” into globally renowned artists. This song debuted in the UK in November 2012, but it made its grand appearance in the USA in early 2013.

I’m Writing a Novel” – Father John Misty

Ex-Fleet Foxes drummer J. Tillman has carved a blossoming solo career for himself, creating songs that charm with their (strangely appealing) tragic element. Tillman, who suffered from depression after parting ways with the Fleet Foxes, seemed to be dictated by despair in 2012’s Fear Fun. But “I’m Writing A Novel” is almost whimsical, creating a portrait of life on the road – complete with Santa costumes, drives in hearses, and solo dance parties. It feels like a departure from the “old” Tillman… And it’s kind of fun.

Black Out Days” – Phantogram

It had been almost two years since we got new material from this Saratoga Springs duo, but “Black Out Days” was worth the wait. It’s a great balance of high-energy instrumentals and Sarah Barthel’s hypnotic voice, and the result is one beautiful, trance-like ensemble.

By the way, their awesome music video for this track was just released, and it’s worth a watch.

Don’t Swallow the Cap” — The National

We get the classic “National vibe” with uncharacteristically straightforward (0kay, blunt) lyrics that serve to only make the track stand out more. It’s a more than a little morose, but lead singer Matt Berninger effortlessly pulls us into the morose party, causing us to hit repeat so many times that it becomes a second skin. Awesome.

Get Lucky” — Daft Punk

Yes, it hogged the radio and played so frequently that it felt a little bit like a mosquito in my ear. But there is a reason. Pharrell Williams, combined with the fact that Nile Rodgers both wrote and played guitar in the piece, earned in an instant win in my book.

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Hat Tips:

NPR, Laughing Squid, Image Credit: Flickr


  1. […] was a lot of really good (and really bad) music released in 2013. Long-awaited albums from bands like The National, Vampire […]

  2. […] it’s no big secret that TSD is a big ‘ole Phantogram. They made it onto our list of best songs of 2013, most anticipated albums of 2014, and got an enthusiastic review of “Black Out Days,” […]

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