The Best Singles of 2013, #14

band01Goldfrapp, “Annabel”

It wouldn’t be a year-end singles countdown without a Goldfrapp song, would it? After all I’ve been gushing about Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory’s music since 2001 now. Interestingly, “Annabel” is by far the most underrated single the duo has ever released, nothing but Alison, an acoustic guitar, and the subtlest touch of bass. In keeping with the collection of character sketches on Tales of Us, this son is directly inspired by a novel by Kathleen Winter, about a child’s gender identity issues, which Alison depicts with sympathy (“Why couldn’t they let you be both Annabel?”), her singing taking on a latter day Kate Bush feel. It’s a classy, ornate song whose haunting, timeless melody quietly nestles its way into your head.