The 2013 Single of the Year

Paramore, “Still Into You” The lead single from Paramore’s fourth album, the dark “Now”, was an odd choice, one that left many wondering if that was the best the new record had to offer. All fears were tossed aside as soon as the follow-up debuted in the weeks prior to the album’s release. Giddy, bouncy, […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #2

Chvrches, “Recover” I could have easily chosen any of Chvrches’ four 2013 singles for this spot on my list – they were all that good – but in the end I decided to go with the second song I ever heard them do, one that’s hung around and hung around all year long to the […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #3

Katy B, “5 A.M.” The debut album by British singer-songwriter Kathleen Anne Brien remains one of my favourite pop albums of the last couple years, and judging by the several tracks that have surfaced in anticipation of her 2014 follow-up Little Red, the new record just might be even better. “5 A.M.” is the best […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #4

Haim, “The Wire” It’s been so much fun seeing sisters Alana, Este, and Danielle Haim evolve from intriguing upstarts to a heavily-hyped band over the course of the last couple years. As good as their early songs were, “The Wire” saw the trio stepping up their game in a big way. Featuring a snappy little […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #5

Daft Punk, “Get Lucky” How cool was it to see a song by Daft Punk blow up and “go viral” this past summer? Usually viral success is centred around novelty, some weird blend of self-aware humour and total ridiculousness that people immediately share the hell out of on social media. In the case of “Get […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #6

Louise 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 […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #7

Sky Ferreira, “You’re Not the One” Of all the eclectic songs on Sky Ferreira’s surprisingly triumphant debut album, “You’re Not the One” stuck with me the most. So much of it is so striking. It has a strange ‘70s feel with its pure lushness, it has a post-punk feel thanks to its clattery production and […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #8

Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, “Mind Crawler” I already mentioned this song’s role in the overall scope of Uncle Acid’s excellent third album Mind Control, but on its own “Mind Crawler” is the most incessant hard rock single I’ve heard all year. A simple but roaring garage rocker, it’s the grooviest moment on the album, […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #9

Veronica Falls, “Broken Toy” This innocuous single by the London band couldn’t be more simple. It’s lively, upbeat British indie pop in the late-‘80s/early-‘90s tradition, with that hint of sadness that makes such music so endearing. Singer/guitarist Roxanne Clifford sings straightforward but affecting lyrics about two misfits finding each other, and when you have an […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #10

Mutya Keisha Siobhan, “Flatline” One of the more surreal stories in music in 2013 was how Sugababes, who had become a joke of rotating members, imploded before everyone’s eyes, yet at the same time the original Sugababes – Mutya Buena, Keisha Buchanan, and Siobhan Donaghy – reunited for the first time since their debut 2000 […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #11

Best Coast, “Who Have I Become” Although it had its charms, Best Coast’s second album The Only Place paled in comparison to the vibrant and fun Crazy For You, which was my 2010 Album of the Year. And it’s as if Bethany Cosentino sensed that album was too tame, too melancholy, because the seven-song Fade […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #12

CHVRCHES, “Gun” The third single in advance of CHVRCHES’ hugely hyped debut album was the one that showed that the Glasgow trio was indeed for real. The richest song they’d ever released at that point added more complexity to their rather straightforward blend of piercing Knife-style minimalist electro and lively pop hooks, and the end […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #13

Zola Jesus, “Fall Back” Nika Roza Danilova’s finest song to date is also her simplest. A straightforward love song, it nevertheless conveys a level of passion that she was never able to fully convey on any previous Zola Jesus album, thanks in large part to a stirring strings arrangement by collaborator JG Thirlwell for the […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #14

Goldfrapp, “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 […]

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The Best Singles of 2013, #15

Paramore, “Daydreaming” At first it doesn’t feel like this track is anything special, but when you listen closely, the deceptively simple “Daydreaming” reveals a great deal of songwriting smarts and production wizardry. Yet another example of how much Hayley Williams and Taylor York have grown as songwriters on the band’s audacious fourth album, it smartly […]

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