The National, Laneway Fest, September 2013
More great jams from 2013…
#20 Rhye-Open (Amazon)
The comparison to Sade was inevitable after one listen to Rhye’s “Open”. However, I don’t think Sade ever made a drug-induced love anthem sound so eloquent. Also, Sade is female, so…..
#19 The National-Sea of Love (Amazon)
Matt Berninger, lead singer of The National, always battles demons, but he sounded particularly great throughout Trouble Will Find Me. On “Sea of Love”, Berninger balanced the notion of unconditional love and you can feel his repentance. “Love is a virtue”, right?
#18 Phosphorescent-Ride On/Right On (Amazon)
Matthew Houck aka Phosphorescent succeeded in what I can only describe as a hybrid of psych rock and alt country. The laid back tempo of “Ride On/Right On” would sound equally perfect walking through a desert or bounding through a psychedelic forest.
#16/#17 Robin Thicke-Blurred Lines ft Pharrell & T.I./Daft Punk-Get Lucky ft Pharrell
Deny either of these mega pop hits all you like, but I saw you on the dancefloor plenty of times this summer. #pharrellrenaissance
#15 Janelle Monae ft Miguel-Primetime (Amazon)
Ms. Monae has always excelled with her own brand of electro infused-soul, but rarely has she embraced full-on R&B. On “Primetime” she and Miguel come together for one of the best slow burning, soulful duets of the year. Heaven would be silly not to bet on a combo of Janelle & Miguel.
#14 Local Natives-Heavy Feet (Amazon)
Perhaps the most interesting part about “Heavy Feet” is the close-vested secret Kelcey Ayers won’t tell. He set the scene and described his conversating companion, before veiling the outcome. The effective result is leaving the listener just as lonely as the narrator, but the consistent percussion and harmonies of Local Natives are worth the mystery.
#13 CHVRCHES-The Mother We Share (Amazon)
Synthpop duos and trios were everywhere in 2013, but CHVRCHES shined on nearly every song they released. The sparkling delight of “The Mother We Share” started it all and outlined the trials and joys of siblings. If you have siblings, you were picking up what songstress Lauren Mayberry was putting down.
#12 Arcade Fire-Reflektor (Amazon)
So Arcade Fire makes dance records now? Not necessarily, but “Reflektor” was a fun lesson in new wave and featured David Bowie. When Bowie commands you to dance, you dance.
#11 The Belle Game-The River (Amazon)
When lead singer Andrea Lo pleaded “Take a little more, take a little more from me”, it felt like listeners were eavesdropping on hurtful break-up. The lead guitar on “The River” seemed like a stand in for the antagonist on one of the most entrancing, yet addicting songs of 2013.