Friday, December 27, 2013

DrogeMiester's Top 10 Songs of 2013

Not to be confused with my Top 10 Songs of 2013 post that I posted last week, this list here is my list of personal favorite songs of the year, whereas that list was of the most popular songs of the year. Last year when I posted my list of the most popular songs of the year, I had a friend ask me what MY favorite songs were. Great idea. I created said list, but didn't publish it here. This year I am. For various reasons, I have limited my choices to released singles that were popular in 2013. Popular as in on the Billboard charts, played on the radio, etc. Usually that means they were released in 2013 or in the end of 2012, but that's not always the case as some songs get released a year or two previously but for one reason or another don't gain popularity until later. Anywho, this was a really difficult list to create because there was a lot of good music from 2013. I probably spent more time than I should have spent coming up with this list, but now that I have done that, I feel comfortable with what I have come up with, so I hope you enjoy! If you haven't known what my musical tastes are, you should have a good idea after reading this.

10- "Young and Beautiful" -- Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey was introduced to me by the movie The Great Gatsby, which was released early this summer. The song Young and Beautiful was the main theme of the movie and is now looking at a potential Oscar nomination for best original song. By itself the song is still a great, catchy pop song. In context of the movie, the song becomes bone-chilling and just plain awesome. The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite movies of 2013, and while I'm not here to review the movie, I will say that Young and Beautiful fits the tone of the movie perfectly. Thus every time I hear the song, I think of the movie and all the moral dilemmas that the movie brings up.

9- "Safe and Sound" -- Capital Cities

When I first heard this song, I was thinking it was a fun, but slightly generic pop song. And then suddenly the trumpet hit my ears. Holy boss! It took me a few seconds to register the awesomeness that my ears had experienced. Yeah, Capital Cities is super creative with this song, and I love it when a band does things like that. It reminds me of the first fun. album and how creatively they implement your non-typical rock/pop instruments into the music. How often do you hear a pop song blast a trumpet anthem? Doesn't usually happen. Props to Capital Cities.

8- "Wake Me Up!" -- Avicii

I call this folk music. Aloe Blacc, the uncredited vocalist in the song, actually referred to it as country (just no one tell that fact to a certain friend of mine who I've been having this argument with for several months). I still think it's more folk-like than country-like, but whatever it is, this song is genius. Avicii really is a genius, and if you listen to his whole album TRUE, you will realize it. Avicii is not a singer. He is a DJ. But yet while some DJ's stay strictly to the electronica genre, which I certainly don't mind, Avicii crossbreeds. With Wake Me Up! he goes back and forth from folk to electronica throughout the song and the result is this masterpiece of a song. And just to clear a few things up, yes this is the original. And no Aloe Blacc doesn't mind not being credited. He enjoys the anonymous hit and the reaction that ensues when people realize who the singer actually is. So no, you shouldn't be bothered either. But you should go check out the acoustic version Aloe put out of this song afterwards. It's quite beautiful.

7- "Burn" -- Ellie Goudling

I don't shy away from the fact that Ellie is my girl. I enjoyed Lights. Then Anything Could Happen was released and I fell in love with that song. I quickly listened to the whole Halcyon album and totally fell in love with the whole album. One of the best parts of this past year was when Ellie released the extended version of Halcyon called Halcyon Days, which I also quickly fell in love with. Burn is the lead single from that and brilliantly shows off why I love Ellie so much. Ellie has one of the most beautiful soprano voices I have ever heard. Not only can she hit those high notes, but she does so effortlessly that the the ensuing sound you hear is certainly the sound of angels. That and she so perfectly implements the right amount of electronic sounds into each of her music. So it's the perfect equation for making music that will just melt me.

6- "Beneath Your Beautiful" -- Labrinth feat Emeli Sande

Maybe it's because I've met a lot of girls with their walls built so high that I can't climb them or maybe it's because I've built my own wall so high that girls can't climb it. Whatever the case is, I feel this song is speaking right to me every time I listen. That strong message attached to a such a beautiful song makes me fall in love with this. Also the duet between Labrinth and Emeli Sande is amazing. Sometimes I feel that artists feature other artists just to make monetary gain, but in this instance these two combine perfectly for one of the best duets I've heard in a long time.

5- "Summertime Sadness" -- Lana Del Rey and Cedric Gervais

Lana Del Rey is the lucky artist of the year that made it on my list twice. After winning me over with Young and Beautiful towards the beginning of the year, she totally blew me away with this song. The thing that catches me with this song is that it is so sad that the sadness just emanates from the song and completely envelops me with emotion. While the lyrics are vague enough to mean several different things, Lana's music video she recently released sheds some light on the song in my opinion as it features a girl committing suicide. This makes me believe that in the song, Lana has recently lost a good friend or a sister to suicide and each time the anniversary of that events roll around, Lana gets sucked into depression. Whether or not this is something Lana actually experienced in real life is irrelevant because the song is just beautiful. And yes, I have the attached the version of the song that you need to listen to, the seven-minute-long Cedric Gervais remix. At least that's the one I love. This song is originally a 2011 song that became popular this year due to Cedric Gervais creating a remix, which was a timely choice for him with Lana coming off the success of Young and Beautiful. Lana was nice enough to give him a co-billing on the song.

4- "Clarity" -- Zedd feat Foxes

If you didn't know by now, you will quickly learn what time of music just hits me to the core, and that is the genre with about a hundred different names. I call it electronica. You call it what you want. This year one of my favorite artists has been Zedd as Clarity has been one of the most played songs on my iPod throughout the year. I don't really know who Foxes is, but I'm glad Zedd brought her on for this because she is great. Also the lyrics in this song are quite intriguing. "If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy? If our love's insanity, why are you my clarity?" Love just makes no sense in many instances. With some couples, it makes no sense for them to fall in love. They are very opposite people with their lives going in completely different directions. But no matter how hard they try to fight it or figure out the logic, they just can't and thus fall in love anyways. Also that music video you just watched is pretty boss. But I'll get to that on another post.

3- "Alive" -- Krewella

Alive and Clarity came out at about the same time of the year and I love both songs. I wanted both songs to get super popular, but unfortunately Alive got left in the dust while Clarity went on to bask in the limelight. Oh well. I can't exactly recommend Krewella as after listening to their whole album Get Wet, I learned they enjoy being sensual and vulgar with their music. You can kinda figure out that out by watching this music video. However, this song standing alone from the rest I feel is perfectly user-friendly. I debated throughout the whole year as to which song would get the nod over the other on this list. While Clarity is lyrically superior, Alive wins out in my mind because it is musically superior. To me it is a beautiful example of the electronica genre that I love. If you are one of my many friends that think I am crazy for liking electronica, Krewella did release an acoustic version of the song that you should check out. Voices, guitar, piano, drums. Typical band-like instruments. Let that show you that there is a lot more to electronica music than you may think, and there is a ton of talent involved.

2- "Levitate" -- Hadouken!

Yes, people are awesome. That video right there is pretty boss. At first glance you may think that a random YouTuber threw that together with an awesome song that goes along with it. And right there you'd actually be wrong. Hadouken! is an actual electronic band with three albums out that released the song Levitate with this video that they put together themselves. Pretty boss, eh? Not many bands do that. With that said, yes I love the video. But the video aside, I also am in love with the song. I actually had this as my number one song for most of the year, and I even told a few of my friends that this was my top song. They might call me liars now, but oh well. This song is the perfect motivational song in my opinion. It makes me just want to fly. Or take over the world. Or maybe just do well on a test or have a good run. Whatever it is that people do nowadays that they need to do well in. Listen to this song and it's pretty much a done deal.

1- "Animals" -- Martin Garrix 

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to a genre (or sub-genre?) of music that I have loved since I was young. It's called techno. This song was a late entry into my favorite songs of the year list, and the more I listened to it, the more I realized it was going to be really high on my list. In the very end, as you are witnessing, it made it all the way to the top. Why? You can ignore the cheated radio-cut of the song that would be like watching a version of Lord of the Rings that was only an hour and a half long. Also ignore the weird music video that goes along with the cheated radio-cut of the song -- it looks like a preview for that weird horror movie You're Next that no one watched. This song is brilliant because it is the paints the perfect picture of why I have always loved techno. Some call techno boring because it is so repetitive. I call it beautiful because of how layered it is. You start with a simple beat. Keeping that simple beat, you add another beat to play on top of that, so you have two layers to the song. As you go throughout the song, you keep adding and taking away different layers to paint this beautiful picture. Usually that picture includes some sort of phrase with actual words. Also, the middle of the song is usually where you have most of the layers in place, and as you wrap up the song you slowly take away the layers and at the end you are left with that same simple beat that you started with. Now with all that in mind, go back and listen to this song by Martin Garrix and discover the beauty of techno music. Yes, I know that the actual line of lyrics to this song is a bit weird, but if you judge a techno song by its lyrics, then you are missing the whole point. No this isn't the best techno song ever made, but it makes me reminisce on all of the amazing techno songs I have listened to in my life, and thus it gets awarded the best song of 2013.

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