Friday, 21 February 2014

Top 5 Songs of 2013

Time to bring my review of 2013 to a somewhat belated close. I had intended this topic to be a quick win having done regular mini-top fives throughout 2013, but somehow that didn't really help at all. The various end of year reviews introduced me to a whole bunch of new tracks that I loved and almost derailed my efforts to compile this list. In the end most of these tunes did feature in my songs of 2013 top fives so perhaps I should just trust my instincts in future.

1. "Plastic Cup" Low - This might be a little predictable with Low also claiming my number one album of the year but The Invisible Way was full of songs that could have staked a claim to my favourite of the year. This was the lead single and the first track I heard way back in January 2013. I've undoubtedly over played it but still love it enormously.

2. "Tell Em All To Go To Hell" Ezra Furman - Have a listen to this and tell me you didn't have a little dance. Seriously! I reckon you've a heart of stone if you don't love this song. Ezra's album was another entry in my top 5 and, like Low, is full of corkering tunes, though unlike Low also full of Saxophone (perhaps it's no coincidence that the Sax player was also the producer). There's something of a 50s & 60s rock'n'roll vibe going on but that's no bad thing in my book especially when it's played with hearts firmly on sleeves.

3. "Willie's Lady" Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer - This is proper folk. From an album of traditional ballads collected by Francis James Child in the late nineteenth century. Mitchell & Hamer's versions really bring those old songs to life and this tune features some spellbinding guitar picking as well as telling a fantastic tale that always brings a smile to my lips by its end.

4. "When I Knew" Eleanor Friedberger - Former (and possibly present) Fiery Furnaces member, Eleanor Friedberger, has won my heart with her latest collection of songs. In a recurring theme, her 2013 album, Personal Record, was also full of fabulous songs but it's this tune that edges it for me. I normally fall in love with the tune first but all one of my picks for this list are here because I love the words.

5. "WWPRD?" Jeffery Lewis & The Rain - Otherwise known as What Would Pussy Riot Do? and a good old fashioned call to action. I first heard this in session with Marc Riley, and still think that might be the best version I've heard. It makes me laugh a bit but has a serious message at it's heart. In the aftermath of the events in Kiev this song seems even more relevant.


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