My Top 40 Songs of 2013

30.  Jordy Dazz – “Claymore” (2013)

“Claymore” is an identikit house song built around two great drops.  There’s not much to the song, and perhaps not as good as other songs even earlier on the list, but its’ sheer appeal to play over and over again, it deserves its’ top 30 place.

29.  George Barnett – “Get Lucky” (2013)

Although perhaps not the version that everyone is accustomed to, George Barnett’s cover of “Get Lucky” was better than the original in my opinion – and as a hit of 2013, well worth a spot on this list.  Daft Punk’s song lacks a certain emotion and intensity that Barnett’s does, and with a great beat and catchy lyrics, it’s on to a winner.

28.  The Killers – “Shot At the Night” (2013)

A surprise release from the Killers this year, and a damn good one at that.  “Shot at the Night” channels the energy of the 80s, particularly the song “Higher Love” by Steve Winwood, mainly through the lens of producers M83.  As I said in my review of the Direct Hits album, it’s a great dramatic Killers song that fits with their newer stuff really well.

27.  Swedish House Mafia – “Save The World” (Knife Party Remix) (2011)

Kicking off the Knife Party songs in this list is their remix of Swedish’s “Save the World”.  I’m not much of a fan of SHM, but this remix makes a so-so song into a belter.  It gets a bit repetitive after a while, but can you never have too much of a good thing?

26.  Iggy Azalea – “Bounce” (2013)

Perhaps playing off Azealia Banks’ rap success of last year, “Bounce” is a song I really liked.  She can rap, although the lyrics are pretty standard pop fare, and the beat of the song is quick enough to show it.  Its appeal lies in its’ catchiness, with “Shake it, break it, make it bounce” getting stuck in your head so easily.

25.  Icona Pop – “I Love It” (feat. Charlie XCX) (2012)

Yeah, this got shouted a lot over summer.  It’s a perfect feel good song, with a bit of a dancey feel to it and a simple repetition that makes the song instantly memorable.  A great pop song.

24.  T. Rex – “Hot Love” (1971)

It’s one of those songs I’d heard different bits of before, but never connected them up.  With verses that rhyme so simply and with a bit of humour, it’s a catchy song.  Then the last half of the song is literally repeating “la la la la la la la” over and over again.  It’s got a great groove though that keeps you interested well into the song.

23.  AWOLNATION – “Sail” (2011)

The atmosphere on this song is electric.  With the screams from the singer and the crashing cymbals and simple piano in the background – it’s a song of despair that is hard to escape when you hear it.

22.  Metric – “Monster Hospital” (MSTRKRFT Remix) (2006)

Heard first during the PlayStation 4 Reveal, the song is a great mix of a dance song that’s good and vocals that are great.  The lead singer is almost Hayley Williams-esque, but singing of being trapped and with a lack of clarity that makes the song almost have a story.  Really liked this song.

21.  Metro Area – “Atmosphrique” (1999)

James Murphy introduced me to this song via one of his interviews, and what a song it is.  It’s so good that I made it my ringtone and alarm song, and I still like it after it wakes me up at 7am.  A brilliantly simple rhythm and synth masterpiece – it’s easy to see that it helped shape the LCD Soundsystem mould of song at least a little, and so of course I’m going to like it.

20.  Azealia Banks – “1991” (2012)

Despite finding and admiring Azealia Banks’ tunes last year, so much so that “212” was my favourite of 2012, it’s a shock that I didn’t find this great song.  It’s a song that evolves as it goes on, from being a simple rap at the start to being almost a TLC song at the end.  It’s perhaps the most complete Azealia Banks song out there, and I like it.

19.  Bastille – “Pompeii” (2013)

It’s on the sombre side of the songs on this list, but it’s a great one.  The lead singer carries the song well, and the chanting in the background make the song have an atmosphere that few songs this year matched. A song about thinking back to earlier, simpler days is always going to strike a chord, as well.

18.  Knife Party – “EDM Death Machine” (2013)

A song that calls out other fads in EDM, such as the “Harlem Shake” and Steve Aoki’s cake antics, and then sets out its’ own vision of a robotic future.  Some would say it’s the best song on Knife Party’s Haunted House, as you will see though; I rank it a little lower.

17.  Steve Miller Band – “Jet Airliner” (1977)

I liked the Steve Miller Band before, with “The Joker” making a previous top 40, but this song came to me by being featured heavily in an episode of The West Wing, which is a show that helped define my first year of university.  And then it was the song over the Anchorman 2 credits.  It’s a song of homesickness, but completely upbeat and fun, and it’s one I related with heavily.

16.  Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell Williams & T.I. – “Blurred Lines” (2013)

Perhaps the pop hit of the year, it needs little introduction.  I first heard “Blurred Lines” whilst out in Inverness, and its groove was inescapable.  Yes, it’s been “overplayed” like all other summer hits are, but this is one that I still enjoy.  It’s simple, it’s fun, it’s catchy – what’s not to like.  It’s a song that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and gives a smile every time you hear it.

15.  Talking Heads – “Life During Wartime” (1979)

An apocalyptic song with a beat that’s so simple and repetitive and good, it’s hard not to smile when listening to this song.  There’s just something about the disjointed, stream of consciousness in the song that makes it great to listen to.  It’s fun and a joy to listen to.

14.  Mystikal – “Hit Me” (2012)

Rap generally isn’t my thing, especially when it’s someone constantly talking themselves up, but this song shouts with swagger and makes me laugh at the same time, so I make an exception for this one.

13.  Disclosure – “Latch” (feat. Sam Smith) (2012)

“Latch” is a brilliant ethereal song from Disclosure.  Sam Smith’s vocals are a great accompaniment to the building verses and then shriek along with a great deep house drop.  It’s hard not to like this song.

12.  Passion Pit – “I’ve Got Your Number” (2008)

One of the love songs on Passion Pit’s first EP, it’s a song that I loved to hear whilst on the move, with the song chugging along beautifully with the vocals almost working against it.  It’s got the signature falsetto chorus and catchy lyrics, and shows that Passion Pit have been good right from the start.  Worth saying as well that I’ve had a Passion Pit song on each of my top 40 lists so far.  That goes to show how good a band they are.

11.  OutKast – “B.O.B.” (2000)

Another one that I should have heard before but hadn’t, “B.O.B.” is considered by some to be OutKast’s best song.  The pace is super-fast in the song, but keeps the fun of the more commercial hits, like “Hey Ya!”, intact.  It’s a great song to motivate you to move.

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