Passenger – Let Her Go
Even though this song was technically released last year, it didn’t hit airwaves until April…and it didn’t even catch on until just recently. Its easy to see why this song was such a slow grower, with its easy going melody, heart breaking lyrics, and soft, crooning vocals. Yet, once this song hits is mark with its unforgettable lyrics, it’s sure to leave a lasting impression.
Cold War Kids – Miracle Mile
After a disappointing 2011 release, I was ready to write this band off completely. Thank god I didn’t, because Miracle Mile was solid! Energetic, quirky, lively, and uplifting, this song dominated my playlists in the early half of the year! This was definitely the Cold War Kids at their absolute best!
Talib Kweli – Come Here (ft. Miguel)
Talib Kweli proves that he is one of the most forward thinking rappers in the game with this gorgeous track. With its easy going melody and some smooth vocals courtesy of RnB crooner Miguel, this was one urban track that got easier and easier to listen to. Plus, the unique music video really makes you appreciate Talib’s art.
Jessie J – Wild (Ft. Big Sean)
With its hard hitting dance beat, empowering lyrics, and powerful vocals from the pop diva herself, Wild was easily one of the best pop songs of the year. I’m quite disappointed that it never caught fire in the US. Unfortunately, the song is held back by a rather irritating rap verse, courtesy of Big Sean. Without it, Jessie J would have easily been in the upper tiers of this countdown.
Phoenix – Entertainment
Phoenix brought something new to their sound, and it produced one of their most memorable singles to date. Asian synths, a huge choir, and a staccato guitar all ensure that Entertainment was….well, entertaining! The song’s music video also adds a rich story to the already rich lyrics.
Matt Hires – Restless Heart
Listening to this uplifting piece of American pop-folk becomes all the more enjoyable when you realize the stark contrast between the colorful and joyous sound, and the dark and bitter lyrics. Still, there’s something absolutely mesmerizing about that flourish of mandolins and that soaring chorus. This is just one of those songs that pop radio should absolutely regret ignoring.
The Civil Wars – The One That Got Away
Well….this is….awkward. After achieving massive success with Barton Hollow, this duo just seemed to unravel at the seams. What resulted was a 2013 release that probably would have been better off left on the production room floor. And yet, its the bitterness and estranged relationship that makes this song all the more real. As the duo sings “I wish you were the one that got away”…you genuinely believe them. With this song, you can almost hear the awkward stares and betrayed trust in their voices…that’s something that not many songs can achieve.
Mumford and Sons – Babel
Mumford and Sons largely left their formula of rousing folk music untouched for their most recent album. While Babel may not have tread any new ground, the band still makes some of the most compelling music around! This song was a gritty and powerful tune that reminded us why Little Lion Man became such a massive success in the first place.
Hadouken! – Levitate
One of the best rave-rock bands around released a killer single this year with Levitate. This high octane track will have you reaching for some glowsticks with its pounding bass, pulse racing synths, and its rapturous highs that suddenly send you plummeting onto the dancefloor.
Rizzle Kicks – Skip to the Good Bits
If you want good hip-hop music, you should try looking overseas. The UK has one of the best rap scenes in the world, and Rizzle Kicks are clearly at the top of the chain. With samples of EMF’s one hit, Unbelievable, the song is instantly memorable, energetic, and radio friendly. Add in some witty lyrics and smooth delivery, and you’ve got a hip-hop record that is simply off the chain! This is definitely a crowd pleaser!
Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines
Is there really anything that I can say that hasn’t already been said? This song…its just ridiculous. And yet, its on every single radio station. All the time. Like…always! Its inescapable! It probably doesn’t help that the song has an irritatingly repetitive beat, a hook that gets stuck in your head for days, and a music video that’s such a hot mess that you can’t look away. Seriously…this song is a calss-A clusterfuck that pop radio just seemed to be infatuated with. And, well….the whole thing is pretty much a lesser version of Get Lucky, which itself was overplayed to hell.
Congratulations, Robin. Now hurry up and release a song that isn’t god awful.
Check out the rest of the countdown…