Normally I would say it’s far too early to start posting best of lists for the year. I won’t do my full run down until after the new year, but WXPN is taking votes for their Top 200 songs of 2013 countdown right now. They obviously have to tally the votes before the countdown starts running December 31, so voting is going on now. I figured since I put my vote in there I might as well throw my picks up here on my blog. I’m listing them in the order I filled out my votes on WXPN, but really they are not in any real order. Not surprisingly you will have already seen most of these songs posted on my blog over the past year. Obviously if I liked a song enough to put it in my top 10 for the year I was probably inspired to share it before. That’s not true for every song though. There are of course many other songs that I loved in 2013, and this was a hard list to whittle down, but here’s what I came up with. One thing I did notice was that about half the songs I chose were not the singles being played on the radio from the albums these songs came from. I was more drawn to other songs by many of these artists than I was to the singles they released for some reason.
1. Stockholm by Jason Isbell
I can not say enough amazing things about this song or Southeatern, the album it came from. This is one of those songs that just gave me a big grin every time I heard it because I love it so much. Consider this a sneak preview because you will be hearing much more about the album, Southeastern in my full top pop culture of 2013 post.
2. Teach Me to Know by The Lone Bellow
As I recently mentioned “Teach Me to Know” is one of my favorite songs off of The Lone Bellow’s self-titled first album. I love so many of the songs on that album it was hard to choose just one. This one tips the balance I think because of how much I love seeing them play it live. They turn it into a great sing-a-long every time and that is always something I can get behind.
3. The Glow by The Kopecky Family Band
“The Glow” definitely falls under the category of choosing a song from an album that is not the single it is known for. In fact I really am not a fan of the song “Heartbeat”, which was the big single off of their album Kids Raising Kids. That was the first song I ever heard by them and just figured they weren’t a band I was that interested in. Luckily for me they played Firefly the day I went, so I decided to check out more of their music on Spotify to see if they were a band I was interested in seeing while I was there. It was then that I found out that even though I still could take or leave listening to “Heartbeat”, I love the rest of their music. Thus “The Glow” makes it onto my top 10 list. I love this song and think it perfectly conveys the feeling of being on the road trying to get home, which is what it’s all about.
4. Joy to You Baby by Josh Ritter
This is the one song that makes in to my top 10 because of the lyrics alone. The music is great too, but it’s the lyrics of this beautiful break-up song that really make “Joy to You Baby” the amazing song that it is. It’s a lovely song about wishing joy to your ex even though things didn’t work out. Knowing that you’re both better off without each other, but not wishing away your time together either.
5. Dust to Dust by The Civil Wars
“Dust to Dust” is a beautiful and haunting song off of The Civil Wars sophomore album, A Place at the Table. It is sadly probably their last album as well since they broke up long before the album was even released. I’m happy to have a second album from them at all but will be forever sad that they will no longer be creating music together.
6. Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
You may recall that I predicted “Can’t Hold Us” as the song of the summer. Though it was definitely up there it eventually got eclipsed by Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” with Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” as a close second. I loathe “Blurred Lines” and quickly got tired of “Get Lucky” even though I did like it. Despite its heavy radio airplay as perhaps third in the summer song lineup I never tired of “Can’t Hold Us”. I still listen to it every time it comes on and love dancing around to it. It’s a great song with a great beat and the one real pop song that makes my top 10.
7. Another Story by The Head and the Heart
“Another Story” is a late entry into my top 10 songs of the year as The Head and the Heart’s sophomore album Let’s Be Still, which this song comes from, wasn’t released until mid-October. Although I also adore “Shake”, the first single off of the album, I ultimately chose “Another Story”. They wrote the song in response to the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut which makes the song horribly heartbreaking once you know that’s what the lyrics are about. It’s a beautiful response to a horrible situation.
8. Tether by Chvrches
I knew I wanted to include a Chvrches song in my top 10 picks, but I wasn’t sure which one. I love their album, The Bones of What You Believe, but I don’t think I have a stand-out favorite song from it. I sort of played eeny-meeny-miney-mo between “Tether”, “Gun”, and “We Sink” and came up with “Tether”. So here you go.
9. If I Loved You by Delta Rae
I love the story in this song of a woman who wishes she could love someone as much as he loves her, but she just doesn’t. My mom said she thought it would make a great plot for a romance book. She’s a romance writer so I told her to get on it.
10. Young Fathers by Typhoon
A hugely wonderful song from a huge band. When I say huge I am in fact referring to the number of people in the band, which fluctuates somewhere between 12 and 14 people. When I originally wrote about this song I talked about how I love the juxtaposition of the happy music with the depressing lyrics. I stand by that. This song brings me much joy despite the fact that the lyrics should probably make me want to throw myself off a building out of hopelessness.