2013 In Review Through Songs

I feel like I’m getting a little predictable. If you’d have told me at the beginning of 2013 that Josh Ritter, Arcade Fire, The National and The Head and the Heart would be releasing new albums in 2013, I’d have said, “Okay, well they’ll be the top 4 albums of the year for me.” As you can see, they make the list, but there were also some good surprises to mix in too. And for those keeping score at home, I’d have expected to put Pearl Jam,

Rather than hash through the albums in their entirety, I figured I’d keep it simple and focus on 10 songs from 10 albums in 2013 that I think stand out. If you really want to know, yes, Trouble Will Find Me was my favorite and most listened to album of 2013.

Here’s an 8Tracks mix of all the songs below, in case you want to give it all a listen.

2013 Review in Song from mkinmotion on 8tracks Radio.

 

10. Kurt Vile – “Wakin on a Pretty Day”

(from Wakin on a Pretty Daze)

9. Phosphorescent – “Song for Zula”

(from Muchacho de Lujo)

8. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – “Man on Fire”

(from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros)
See also “Better Days” & “If I Were Free”

7. Arcade Fire – “Reflektor”

(from Reflektor)

6. Atoms for Peace – “Judge Jury and Executioner”

(from Amok)

5. Vampire Weekend – “Ya Hey”

(from Modern Vampires of the City)
See also “Step” & “Diane Young”

4. Josh Ritter – Hopeful

(from The Beast in its Tracks)
See also “New Lover” & “Joy to You Baby”

3. Volcano Choir – Byegone

(from Repave)
See also “Alaskans” and “Comrade”

2. The Head and the Heart – Shake

(from Let’s Be Still)
See also “Gone” and “My Friends”

1. The National – “Don’t Swallow the Cap”

(from Trouble Will Find Me)
See also “Demons” & “I Need My Girl”

Others songs I love from 2013 that don’t necessarily have a great album to go along with them:
Haim – “The Wire”


Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear – “Cut Me Some Slack”

Steve Earle – “Invisible”

Night Beds – “Ramona”

U2 – “Ordinary Love”

Junip – “Line of Fire”

San Fermin – “Renaissance”

6 Songs Say A Lot

I’ve seen this on a few blogs around the web and figured I’d take a shot at the meme. The premise originated on NPR and asks you to basically define yourself with a few songs. I’d love to know your songs, too.

What was the first song you ever bought?
One Christmas I received two copies of Huey Lewis and the News’ Fore! and for the first time in my life I was given the choice of what music I wanted. Of course, I opted for Wang Chung’s Mosaic because of the song “Everybody Have Fun Tonight.” I have no regrets. It’s still a great song even if no one knows was it means to Wang Chung tonight.


What song always gets you dancing?
I’m not a dancer, but it never fails that any time I hear Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr. Blue Sky” I lose control and have to move to it. I dare you to try and sit still while you hear this song.

What song takes you back to your childhood?
Star. Wars. Theme. What you expected depth?

What is your perfect love song?
Since 1987, the answer’s been the same. “With or Without You”

What song would you want at your funeral?
They wouldn’t be my all-time favorite band if they didn’t show up on this list more than once. U2’s “Bad” has always been on the short list for favorite song ever. One of my favorite performances of it was captured in Rattle and Hum.

Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you.
Maybe I’m being a little nostalgic, but underneath the overwhelming 80s influence, The Boss will always make me think of lifelong friends, growing up in the ‘burbs, and make me wish I could write songs. “No Surrender” brings it all.

Promises Promises: More Best of 2007

As mentioned, previously, here are my best tracks of 2007. I think above anything else, 2007 was the year for light and poppy hooks for me. You can search for demos of the songs on Hype Machine or follow the links to iTunes.

Again, no particular order and in no way inclusive:

Spoon – You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
I’m From Barcelona – We’re From Barcelona
M.I.A. – Paper Planes
The National – Fake Empire
Travis – My Eyes (youtube)
Josh Ritter – (tie) Right Moves & Rumors
Feist – (tie) 1,2,3,4 & My Moon, My Man (youtube) & (youtube)
Okkervil River – Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe
Bloc Party – I Still Remember
Derek Webb – I Wanna Marry You All Over Again
Coconut Records – West Coast
Dan Wilson – Easy Silence (originally written by Wilson for the Dixie Chicks, but wonderfully done by him)
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)
Ryan Adams – Halloweenhead
Eddie Vedder – Hard Sun
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – 100 Days, 100 Nights
Kings of Leon – On Call
Elvis Perkins – Emile’s Vietnam in the Sky
The Arcade Fire – Keep the Car Running
Josh Rouse – Hollywood Bass Player
Andrew Bird – Imitosis
Wilco – Impossible Germany
The New Pornographers – Myriad Harbour
Paul McCartney – Dance Tonight (youtube, still not a horn playing prairie dog)
Peter Bjorn & John – Young Folks (youtube) For the record, this is my ringtone
The Shins – Sleeping Lessons
amd
[In honor of Heather from I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS] The Swimmers – Heaven (not available on iTunes, but on their myspace page)