So we joked around about doing a ‘Top 10’ list of our favourite elements from 2013. I thought I would kick this off with my own personal review of singles from 2013. What made them for me and what made the list? Well here we go:
10 – Jake Bugg – ‘Broken’.
The young lad from Nottingham comes in 10th on my list with his final single from his self titled debut. A gorgeous little song with meaningful lyrics taken on board by myself. A nice little video to accompany the release also.
9 – Editors – ‘A Ton of Love’.
Birmingham’s own modern day rockers returned from a break with this cracking single. A slight shift in sound following the departure of Chris Urbanowicz, but nonetheless a powerful reminder of what a formidable indie band they have become. This absolutely blew the roof off venues on the recent UK and European tour.
8 – Chef’special – ‘Peculiar’.
A rather unknown Dutch band here in the UK came to my attention during my weeks in The Hague. I caught these guys live and they have so much energy and vibrance. ‘Peculiar’ was released a single just a few weeks ago ahead of their new album next year. Hopefully they will get highlighted more over here, but for now, enjoy this little summery track.
7 – Vienna Ditto – ‘Liar Liar’.
Oxford’s Vienna Ditto came onto my radar having seen them support Gaz Coombes. They opened their set with this and instantly grabbed my attention. Something a bit different, yet fun all the same. Brilliant soundscape hidden under the powerful vocals. The accompanying video shows an inspired use of technology (which is also part of their live set up) and in general is just great fun to watch.
6 – Travis – ‘Moving’.
Travis returned after a hiatus with this single. The video adds to the track for me as it is rather clever and caused a big stir in the art world for it’s creativity. Fran’s vocals sound stronger than ever and the melody just grabs you onit’s way up. A rather happy song to come back with.
5 – The 1975 – ‘Chocolate’.
Not to everyone’s tastes but certainly one of the breakthrough acts of the year. The album is great and their live shows are something to behold. ‘Chocolate’ was one of those summer tracks in my opinion and certainly helped to widen their fanbase. The track has an energy underneath that just helps you move with along it.
4 – Chvrches – ‘Recover’.
Laurne Mayberry’s vocals sound fantastic on this release. Chvrches have had some pretty decent singles this year, but this was definitely my favourite of theirs so far. The rhythm is great and the video to accompany is rather fun also.
3 – Karl Hyde – ‘The Boy With Jigsaw Puzzle Fingers’.
A stunning release from the Underworld frontman. What starts with a slightly mounrful piano turns into a rather odd and fun tale of home life. The honesty in the lyrics across this track (and the album) are something to be admired. The video shot around his hometown and also the inspiration for the track are quite alluring and moving at the same time.
2 – Gaz Coombes – ‘One of These Days’.
Probably too personal an explanation could fit in here, but instead I will just say that this song arrived at a point in my life where I can really identify with the lyrics. The subtle piano and gentle build up add to the drama for me and sum up my life around this time, just perfectly. I had the pleasure of talking briefly to Gaz just before this release and all I will say is that his reaction was perfect. A stunner of a track that has a lot of meaning to me.
1 – Primal Scream – ‘2013’.
My single of the year comes from the mighty Primal Scream. Coming in at just over 9 minutes, the melody and synthetic undertones are propelled along by Bobby Gillespie’s harsh lyrics and warm vocals. The saxophone refrain was described as “almost as addictive as cocaine” in one review and it’s hard to disprove this as you will be humming it for a long time afterwards. The video is also a mini masterpiece, full of weird and oddly fun tales, bizareely, it could sum up life as we know it in 2013.