Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Year in Music, 2013: Top 30 Most Played which our hero obsessively tracks play counts over the course of an entire year...

30. Purity Ring - Fineshrine
(18th most listened to song of 2012)

I'm a little surprised at this song's staying power, truthfully.

29. Frank Ocean - Thinkin Bout You

This song feels like an instant classic from the first time you hear it, and it and the album it's on stayed in my CD player long into the summer.

28. Swim Deep - She Changes the Weather
(17th favorite song of 2013)

I would occasionally listen to 'The New Normal' radio on TuneIn, and I found a fair bit of solid music from that station. This song, a mid-tempo pretty standard indie pop song, was the jewel of that time spent.

27. Tame Impala - Keep on Lying

I listened to a lot of Tame Impala this year. This was, in my opinion, one of the more underrated cuts on the album.

26. Arcade Fire - Reflektor
(favorite song of 2013)

This was a late add, but it racked up the play counts in a crazy hurry.

25. Sky Ferreira - Lost In My Bedroom

Huh. I can't explain this one. It's a decent enough electropop song, but not one that I would've expected myself to have listened to quite this much.

24. James Blake - Retrograde

The album almost hit my albums list (I think it was #22), the song very, very nearly cracked the songs list (it was #21). I did listen to this a lot in the spring - it would've been higher, but it just didn't feel like a "summer" song.

23. Wavves - Demon to Lean On

Wavves annoys me most of the time. I have pretty much no time for most of the stuff he plays, but occasionally, he hits one out of the park. This year, he did that twice ("Nine Is God" from the Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack was also top notch), but this was clearly the better of the two. It made me excited for Afraid of Heights, thinking he might have finally tightened his craft a bit. Nope.

22. Tame Impala - Why Won't They Talk To Me?

Another solid cut from one of my most-listened to albums of the year. I'm sort of surprised "Elephant" isn't going to make the list, because that song was great, too.

21. Dessa - Warsaw

I didn't spend as much time with Parts of Speech as I thought I was going to, mostly due to the fact that it contained a lot less rapping than I prefer in Dessa's music. This song, though? Awesome.

20. Phosphorescent - Song For Zula
(2nd favorite song of 2013)

Until 'Reflektor' came out, this was my runaway choice for song of the year.

19. Frank Ocean - Pyramids

My friend Ben and I listened to Channel Orange quite a bit whenever we'd be driving somewhere. He disagrees with me on most of what the best songs are (his favorite is "Super Rich Kids", mine is this song), and he insists that the synth line in this song reminds him of "I Like To Move It".

18. Tame Impala - Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

Saving the best for last.

17. Japandroids - The House That Heaven Built
(12th most listened to song of 2012)

I knew this song wasn't going anywhere. It and the CD it came on soundtracked a good chunk of my summer this year, same as last.

16. Hooray For Earth - No Love

This song is on here because it was on the soundtrack to The Show for PS3. My computer broke in early 2013, and I had this and a few various other songs (well, that and my hundreds and hundreds of CDs) to keep me company for the few weeks while it was getting fixed.

15. Imagine Dragons - Radioactive

Seriously. You could not go anywhere without hearing this song. I heard it an unbelievable SIX times one day. People can say what they want about "Blurred Lines" and "Get Lucky", but I don't think any song dominated Top 40 radio like this one. As far as my thoughts on the song go? Meh, it's alright.

14. The Joy Formidable - This Ladder Is Ours
(16th favorite song of 2013)

Wolf's Law was one of the first albums from 2013 that I got into. I ordered it mostly because it was super cheap on Amazon one day, and it ended up being an album that stuck with me all year.

13. Frank Turner - Recovery

I like this song. It almost made my top 20.

12. Neutral Milk Hotel - King of Carrot Flowers, Part One
(17th most played song of 2012)

I know it's borderline heresy, but you can have "Oh, Comely" and "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" and "Two Headed Boy". All of those are good songs, but this is excellent - the only song on the CD that I can listen to anytime, anywhere.

11. The Joy Formidable - Maw Maw Song
(10th favorite song of 2013)

Such a stupid name for a song. Maybe one of the worst I've heard (non-Anal Cunt division)

10. Charli XCX - Nuclear Seasons

Another close shave for the top 20, it's a catchy enough song that I found myself coming back to it a lot.

9. Sky Ferrreira - Red Lips

It just sound like a Garbage song - one of the good ones. I mean, the fact that Shirley Manson co-wrote it probably has a bit to do with that. Another Sky Ferreira song that makes me realize that I listened to a lot of the Ghost EP this year.

8. Daft Punk - Get Lucky (feat. Pharrell Williams)
(3rd favorite song of the year)

I never got tired of this one. I can still hear it on the radio and enjoy it just as much as I did the first time I heard it in the bar.

7. Demi Lovato - Heart Attack

Well, there's my "super embarassing/what in the hell is that doing here?" song of the year. I like the hook to this one. She uses about 7,000 similes over the course of the song, but that hook is really fun to turn up....and then turn way down when you come up to intersections so no one knows that you're jamming to freaking Demi Lovato.

6. Youth Lagoon - Mute
(5th favorite song of 2013)

This song is like three songs smashed together. All three of those songs are great.

5. CHVRCHES - Recover
(19th favorite song of 2013)

I really liked this song, and then completely forgot to check out the album. I meant to several times, but just never ended up queuing it up.

4. Kitty - ☠DEAD❤ISLAND☠

So... this Kitty is a girl who does "cloud rap" (basically slow flowed rapping over really hazy beats, sort of to rap what shoegaze is to rock... sort of). A lot of her stuff is just ridiculously dumb, but this song stuck with me over the course of the year. It's the type of thing that either has you after a listen, or you're running and screaming for the hills. It had me after that listen, so here it is. The backbeat on this one is pretty solid.

3. Capital Cities - Safe and Sound

I liked this song a lot, then it got really popular, then I didn't stop liking it.

2. The Big Sleep - Ace

I love the guitar effect in the intro to this song. I'm always a sucker for it. The chorus is a big blast of guitars, with some of the most air-guitarable hooks of the past few years. It's pretty much a perfect song. It would've definitely been in my top 5 if I had heard it last year. Sadly, the full album isn't anywhere near on the same level.

1. Tegan and Sara - Closer
(7th favorite song of 2013)

Ultra catchy female-fronted pop seemed to be stuff that I listened to a lot this year (of the top 10 most listened to songs, 7 have female vocals, and 5 could safely be considered "female-fronted pop", and that's not even counting Kitty, though I probably should). This was the best and brightest, though. I heard it very early on, and was pleased when it finally got a little bit of radio play.

Well! That's that. Come back next year, when this list will surely be dominated by Slavic techno-industrial metal.


  1. if I could keep track of my plays, I'd have Closer somewhere near the top too.

    When Capital Cities got popular and the album dropped, I gave it a few spins and all of a sudden *hated* them. Absolute garbage outside of that song. It tainted it for me.

    Every year there's a song like Heart Attack, huh? I may, or may not have nodded my head to it a few times.................

    I see you Japandroids and Purity Ring. I see you! Funny story, I *really* got in to Purity Ring when I was heavy on WH40k Space Marines... so that album (especially Fineshrine and Crawlersout) are my orc-slaying songs. Hahahaha....

  2. I really didn't like the rest of the Capital Cities album, either. They found one hook and made it work, the rest... just, no. It didn't taint my enjoyment of the one song, but I know what you mean.

  3. "Slavic techno-industrial metal"?
    Like this?