The Best Singles of 2013, #6

band01Louise Burns, “Emeralds Shatter”

I was a great admirer of Louise Burns’ solo debut Mellow Drama a couple years ago, but her follow-up The Midnight Mass knocked my socks off thanks to a much stronger vision and consistent tone. This time around she’s closed the shutters and embraced the darkness, and the end result is a beautiful, dusky, seductive record that’s equal parts Scott Walker and Angelo Badalamenti. Produced by Sune Rose Wagner of the Raveonettes, “Emeralds Shatter” is a prime example, its minimalist guitar evoking ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll atop a luxurious backdrop of ambient synths. David Lynch soundtrack music. All the while Burns in turn metamorphoses into a younger version of Stevie Nicks in her measured singing and enigmatic lyrics. It’s the best moment on a horribly underrated album, one that already has a place saved on my 2014 Polaris Prize ballot.