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The Links:

2013 Tracks of the Year on YouTube:

http://bit.ly/1fpqotr

 

2013 Tracks of the Year on Spotify:

Tracks of the Year 2013

 

2013 Best of the Rest on Spotify:

2013 Best of the Rest

 

2013 Tracks of the Year (in reverse order!) on SoundCloud:

http://bit.ly/JGNuBl

 

Highly recommended – The best UK radio station active today, which introduced me to many of the songs on this list: Amazing Radio:

http://amazingradio.com/

 

2013 chart on Amazing Radio’s sister website, Amazing Tunes:

http://amazingtunes.com/charts/2013

 

The designer of this year’s list artwork, Sofía from Argentina (gracias!): http://sofiielii.deviantart.com/ , http://www.twitter.com/IDreeams

 

The List:

Including: 28 acts from the UK, 12 from the US, 3 from Canada, 2 from Australia, 1 from New Zealand, 1 from Iceland, 1 from France, 1 from Ireland and one from… Kenya!

 

1. Everything Everything – Kemosabe

2. Crushed Beaks – Feelers

3. Younghusband – Dromes

4. Ssion – High

5. Phoenix – Trying to be Cool

6. Standish/Carlyon – GucciMountain

7. The BesnardLakes – People of the Sticks

8. Cloud Control – Scar

9. Only Real – Get it on

10. INTRVALS – Field Lines

11. Jungle – The Heat

12. Luke Sital-Singh – Nothing Stays the Same

13. Girls Names – Hypnotic Regression

14. Merchandise – Anxiety’s Door

15. Is Tropical – Video

16. Darlia – Queen of Hearts

17. Lucius – Turn it Around

18. SULK – The Big Blue

19. Jackson Scott – That Awful Sound

20. Ásgeir – King and Cross

21. Yuck – Rebirth

22. The Range – Metal Swing

23. Charles Bradley (feat. Menahan Street Band) – Strictly Reserved for you

24. The Lucid Dream – Love in my Veins

25. LULS – Never let it go

26. Bleached – Dead in your Head

27. Night Engine – Young & Carefree

28. Parquet Courts – Stoned and Starving

29. Half Moon Run – Full Circle

30. Sir Sly – Ghost

31. Temples – Keep in the Dark

32. Lorde – Tennis Court

33. The Strypes – Blue Collar Jane

34. MONA – Goons (Baby, I Need it all)

35. Owiny Sigoma Band – HarpoonLand

36. Fall Out Boy – My Songs Know what you did in the Dark

37. London Grammar – Strong

38. Tripwires – Shimmer

39. Coasts – Wallow

40. Champs – My Spirit is Broken

41. Pond – Xanman

42. Johnny Marr – New Town Velocity

43. Moko – Freeze

44. Kurt Vile – Never Run Away

45. New Model Army – March in September

46. Sweet Baboo – Let’s go Swimming Wild

47. Outfit – I want what’s best

48. Phèdre – Ancient Nouveau

49. Arctic Monkeys – Do I wanna Know?

50. Shinies – Taste

 

The Commentary:

 

1. Everything Everything – Kemosabe

Out on Jan. 14th and the rest of the songs which came out this year never really stood a chance. “Arc” is also my album of the year. I was fortunate enough to see this amazing band perform two “tracks of the year” back to back live: This one and then “Photoshop Handsome” – track of the year 2009.

It is a whole musical and emotional journey in 3:46 minutes of music.

 

2. Crushed Beaks – Feelers

I can imagine a planet, far, far away, where millions of little goblins live happily and “Feelers” is their official feel-good song. Songs that can immediately transform your mood for the better always get a huge bump on these lists from me.

 

3. Younghusband – Dromes

A masterpiece of an indie wall of sound building steadily up to an exquisite crescendo.

 

4. Ssion – High

Released as a single in 2013 and one of the most original electronic pop tracks of the last few years, combining awesome sound games, great rhythm and one of the best rap segments of the year. A song that immediately makes you feel sinister and mischievous.

 

5. Phoenix – Trying to be Cool

It was the Saturday Night Live performance that really did it for me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Koyh3F6kicY

Sweet, sweet song, impeccably done, with a killer bass line and a complete oxymoron underlying the whole thing. As the charming French indie princes of Phoenix know very well, TRYING to be cool is the most un-cool thing one can do.

 

6. Standish/Carlyon – GucciMountain

This beautiful chill out song means a lot to me, personally. More than a place on a list could ever say. Not for everyone, not for every mood, perhaps not for every time of day, but under the right circumstances, this song could become a friend for life.

 

7. The BesnardLakes – People of the Sticks

A song that is a trip. Both psychedelically, spiritually and story-wise. Like a beautiful, foggy musical dream.

 

8. Cloud Control – Scar

Just a perfect indie anthem. A real gem. The fact that a song like this is only at number 8 is a testimony to the depth of this musical year.

 

9. Only Real – Get it on

A young, talented dude from London. Can’t wait for his debut album, as he seems to take giant steps from single to single. This one sounds like Bob Dylan for the Instagram generation.

 

10. INTRVALS – Field Lines

One of the more imaginative and original tracks of the year. Mixes dance, synth, guitars, dreamy vocals and numerous interesting musical transitions.

 

11. Jungle – The Heat

A mysterious duo making soul-infused funky dance music. Like Daft Punk, only better.

 

12. Luke Sital-Singh – Nothing Stays the Same

What a powerful, moving ballad. Luke totally uses the Force on this tune.

 

13. Girls Names – Hypnotic Regression

My Israeli readers would be happy to know that this sounds like an ultra-polished Yossi Elephant (RIP) track. A total New Wave tour-de-force.

 

14. Merchandise – Anxiety’s Door

Echo’s, distortion, murmured lead and supporting vocals – Welcome to Merchandise’s beautiful nightmare. Stream-of-consciousness dark ‘80s by a band who wasn’t alive during the ‘80s.

 

15. Is Tropical – Video

This is an album track, but Is Tropical and their excellent French label, Kitsuné, should really think about releasing it as a single. It is pure magic from the first three keyboard strokes to its polyphonic chorus. And if you want to see them live, perhaps you should try going to… Mongolia?! http://bit.ly/1i2gt16

 

16. Darlia – Queen of Hearts

Good, potent British guitar pop is dead? Try telling that to this bunch of lads… I’d probably have their poster up on my wall if this were 1993 and not 2013…

 

17. Lucius – Turn it Around

They sound a tiny biy like Haim, only I loved this song much more than I liked anything by the half-Israeli sisters from California. Plus, their album has the best cover of 2013.

 

18. SULK – The Big Blue

SULK (formerly The Ruling class) do the Stone Roses almost as good as the Stone Roses. Plus, they just finished supporting the Happy Mondays on their latest tour! That’s a gig I’m sorry to have missed…

 

19. Jackson Scott – That Awful Sound

Jackson Scott’s acoustic guitar produces anything buy awful sounds. As acerbic as an unplugged Harvey Danger.

 

20. Ásgeir – King and Cross

Staying with charming acoustic guitars, and adding falsetto and a swirling rhythm.

 

21. Yuck – Rebirth

Lovely shoe-gazing love song.

 

22. The Range – Metal Swing

Sampled speech over progressive dance beat. Like Disclosure, only better.

 

23. Charles Bradley (feat. Menahan Street Band) – Strictly Reserved for you

Funk has a new godfather. This 65 year old Brooklynite leaves his heart and soul, so much soul, on this track.

 

24. The Lucid Dream – Love in my Veins

Out as a single back in 2011, but part of the debut album from this year. They sound like a psychedelic marching band. Plus, after 30 or so listens I STILL can’t, for the life of me, understand why this is labeled as “explicit” on Spotify…

 

25. LULS – Never let it go

You can have big sound even if you’re an indie band, and the LULS are quasi-Phil-Spector-ish.

 

26. Bleached – Dead in your Head

I often feel as if female lead singers of indie groups are lecturing me with their lyrics and making me feel guilty. It’s a real problem. I still like the songs, though (see also: Warpaint – Undertow).

 

27. Night Engine – Young & Carefree

If you give this tune a chance until about 1:30 minutes in, you will get David Bowie crossed with the Village People.

 

28. Parquet Courts – Stoned and Starving

I was walking down Long IslandCity, Queens. I was celebrating Thanksgiving. I was cold. So cold and freezing (sorry about the personal riff – Long Island City on the East River shore in November is a cold, cold place. In other news, this is a cool song by a cool band).

 

29. Half Moon Run – Full Circle

Some real enchanted moments in this painfully beautiful song.

 

30. Sir Sly – Ghost

Because of that immaculate synth-bass riff.

 

31. Temples – Keep in the Dark

Speaking of ghosts, this is a haunted, spooky pop song with one of the most beautiful choruses of the year.

 

32. Lorde – Tennis Court

She also had some other song you might have heard about… http://bit.ly/1fCiAW8 – This, however, is the better song of the two, in my humble opinion, and if you disagree, let’s talk it up like yeah (yeah).

 

33. The Strypes – Blue Collar Jane

I have a soft spot for rock n’ roll revivalists… Apparently there IS a way to write an instant classic rock n’ roll anthem in 2013.

 

34. MONA – Goons (Baby, I Need it all)

The curious case of MONA – And this happens a lot – First album is released with a ton of hype and fanfare, second album is better, but accepted with dead silence. This might be the best song of these Ohioans’ (/Kentuckians/Tennesseans) young career, and a classic pub/bar anthem for years to come.

 

35. Owiny Sigoma Band – HarpoonLand

That wonderful African guitar strumming gets me every time.

 

36. Fall Out Boy – My Songs Know what you did in the Dark

Surprisingly triumphant return and a glimmer of hope in an age when guitar rock is all but dead.

 

37. London Grammar – Strong

This ballad is so beautiful, it doesn’t even matter what the lead singer looks like. http://dexpr.es/19w5Tea

 

38. Tripwires – Shimmer

A sweeping indie anthem by a band from Reading…

 

39. Coasts – Wallow

…followed by a sweeping indie anthem by a band from Bristol.

 

40. Champs – My Spirit is Broken

If YOUR spirit is broken, this lovely ballad, which sounds as if it has been written and recorded by Roy Orbison although it has been written by two brothers from the Isle of Wight, might cheer you up a tad.

 

41. Pond – Xanman

In absence of Tame Impala, this year’s “Best psychedelic performance by an Australian band” goes to…

 

42. Johnny Marr – New Town Velocity

Confession: I was a huge Morrissey fan as a teen, and I still am, but in recent years I learned to give Johnny Marr much more credit for everything I loved about the Smiths. This song is the most Smiths-like he has ever recorded post-1987.

והאקורדים הם לחלוטין האקורדים של “מי רצח את אגנתה פאלסקוג”, אחד השירים היחידים שאני יודע לנגן על גיטרה, שזה בכלל בונוס

 

43. Moko – Freeze

Because of the over-used-yet-delightful drum sample (I believe it originated in James Brown’s “Funky Drummer”. it sounds a lot like Massive Attack, as well). I have a feeling this will be a huge hit and that Moko will become a new Emeli Sandé.

 

44. Kurt Vile – Never Run Away

A ballad that is one of the best examples of what Americans (as opposed to Brits) call “indie”.

 

45. New Model Army – March in September

Did you know that these guys are still around? And sounding as vital as ever?

 

46. Sweet Baboo – Let’s go Swimming Wild

As sweet as an indie love song can be.

 

47. Outfit – I want what’s best

This years “Best Hot Chip track not actually written by Hot Chip”.

 

48. Phèdre – Ancient Nouveau

Because I couldn’t resist a song that starts with “le le le le le le le le la”.

 

49. Arctic Monkeys – Do I wanna Know?

The AM album kind of reminds me of Blur’s “Blur” album – also known as “The American Album”, only less original. I was a bit disappointed. What I loved the most about Arctic Monkeys (apart from Matt’s drumming) was their originality, and AM sounds like another step in the same direction for them.

 

50. Shinies – Taste

Because of the “woo hoo” supporting vocals.

 

2013 has been the best musical year in quite a while. Let’s all hope for an ever more kick-arse 2014!