As promised in last week’s Top Shots 2013, I have painstakingly culled my precious music selections from the past year and whittled down a top ten list for 2013’s Needle Drops. It was no simple task. I hummed and hawed, listened and relistened, made lists and reversed them and eventually came up with the following.
Am I obsessive? Probably.
Did I put too much time into this? Most likely.
Am I happy with the results? Yes… I think so… Yeah…………. Yes.
i) “Closer” by Tegan and Sara
ii) “Live a Little” by Florrie
iii) “Wild Country” by Wake Owl
iv) “Step” by Vampire Weekend
v) “Youth” by Daughter
10. “Waves” by Electric Guest from Happiness: Rhythmicized
“An exceedingly happy, hand-clappin’, summer tune.”
Come on, get happy.
9. “Blush” by Wolf Alive from Slow Blow
“‘Blush’ which shares the same name as their EP, starts off slow, with an The xx feel. About halfway it climaxes into natural high that really takes hold and endeared me to the whole piece.”
You know if it’s good if I start prattling on like a high school English teacher.
8. “Ripetide” (acoustic) by Vance Joy from Running down to the riptide
“…managed to listen to this track about 30 times in the last 72 hours. An instant favourite.”
Anyone up for a ukelele jam sesh?
7. “Cold Coast” by Secret Sun from Close to the Cold Coast by Emily
“This is a classic end of summer song – boppy and electro-poppy enough for breezy days, but with a cool, nostalgic, ‘80s feel to it.”
A great find from the then-new blogger Emily! The band was even fantastic enough to give Snapshots and Needle Drops some shout outs on their facebook page this year.
6. “Dancing in the Dark” ft. Yael Naim and “Old Pine” by Ben Howard from Dancing in the Dark and Old Pine
I fell in love with Ben Howard this year. He was my morning commute to work, my go-to advice for new album recommendations as well as my quasi-ballet, dancing-at-in-the-living-room inspiration.
“[T]he dance and the song are so incredibly, exquisitely, mind-bendingly good that I just had to make sure you all saw it.”
“[This] music selection has been taken from the only album I’ve been listening to in the last two weeks, Ben Howard’s Every Kingdom. Every time I listen to it- which is often- I find a new gem.”
In the spirit of shout-outs and finding new gems. David McLean, who is teaches at my dance studio, got me to start listening to this track when I saw this routine with Eamon Cross to “The Fear.” I go bananas for the move at 1.14.
5. “Bear Mountain” by Congo from The ‘Yes’ Feeling
“The ‘Yes’ Feeling. The ‘Yes’ Feeling is when, on first listen, you grin like a fool. The ‘Yes’ Feeling is a new song on your itunes. The ‘Yes’ Feeling makes your day. The ‘Yes’ Feeling makes tireless music hunting worthwhile… Really great, relaxed summer jam.”
Yes, yes, yes, yes.
4. “Daydreaming” by Groenland from Let Your Mind Wander & Your Heart Soar by Emily
“This week’s track, by up-and-coming Montreal band Groenland, is the perfect song to daydream to. Let lead singer Sabrina Halde’s gorgeous, sultry voice take you away. And when this band makes it big, don’t forget who told you about them.”
Alright, so these next three songs all have a similar sound to them- but they’re SO GOOD, it doesn’t matter. Another thank you to Emily for finding this track that makes me want to go lay out in vibrant green grass and watch the clouds float by…
3. “Song for Zula” by Phosphorescent from White, Gold, Wild
“I’ve really been enjoying this mellow tune; it echos the same pace my mental synapses have been firing at.”
Love the space this one creates. Beautiful soundscape.
2. “Concrete Wall” by Zee Avi from Boom, She Clack-Clack
“The following song has been my saving grace [from the land of Top 40]– I haven’t been able to get it out of my head for a month. It’s by a Malaysian artist (I know! Get out! So cool!) Zee Avi. I hope you like it as much as I do.”
I haven’t been able to get this song out of my head for four months now and I’m loving every minute of it.
1. “Royals” by Lorde
“My enjoyment of this song grew in an exponential manner. At first listen, I thought it was was alright. The second, a few days later, had me thinking it was pretty cool and different. A couple hours after that, the third, had me singing along. And the fourth quickly fed into the fifth, sixth and seventh as it was repeat-central for the next few days.”
Alright, it’s pretty obvious why this song is number 1, Royals has completely taken the world by storm this year– it’s fun, insightful, groovy, addictive, catchy, offbeat– it is sensational. And she’s not just a one-hit wonder, Lorde’s entire album offers up delicious track after delicious track. A Kiwi with a poet mother, counter-culture style, she listens to Arcade Fire and she has a record deal– Lorde is pretty much the coolest 17-year-old on the planet.
Here’s to a happy, music-filled 2014!!
Much love from Snapshots and Needle Drops xo
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