Tegan and Sara – Closer
Although this catchy piece of synthpop was released last year, it didn’t quite catch on until half way through 2013! However, once it finally caught fire, Closer lit up the charts with its bubbly synths, catchy chorus, and its upbeat and carefree lyrics.
Kelly Clarkson – People Like Us
Celebrating ten years at the top of the charts, the original American Idol released her greatest hits collection this year. Along with it came a powerful new single, People Like Us. A rally cry for the freaks, the geeks, the misfits and the outcasts, this power-pop anthem was a definite high point Kelly’s career.
Mikky Ekko – Pull Me Down
Mikky Ekko found his breakout success thanks to his feature in Rihanna’s chart dominating Stay. However, his original material far outdoes the soppy ballad. His smooth and haunting vocals are absolutely gorgeous on this spacey alt-pop ballad. With any luck, Mikky will score huge success without the help of Rihanna in 2014.
Avenged Sevenfold – Hail to the King
Some fans would say that Avenged Sevenfold was mimicking the great metal bands that came before them. I saw it more as a tribute to the genre’s roots. Pulling influences from Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Metallica, Hail to the King became a powerful thrasher that reminded us of metal’s glory days. Telling the story of a tyrannical king, the song was a dark and powerful classing in the making.
Armin Vaan Buuren – This is What it Feels Like (ft. Trevor Guthrie)
Teaming up with vocalist Trevor Guthrie, Armin Van Buuren gave us one of his best singles to date. This shong showed Armin at his best, with velvety smooth synths, a pulsing dance beat, and vocals that rang clear and true. It was trance-pop song that topped charts world wide, proving Armin’s status as an EDM legend.
Drake – Hold On, We’re Going Home
Drake is best when he isn’t trying to imitate the more popular rappers currently in the industry. For 2013, he gave us one of the most gorgeous RnB tracks to be released in many years. With his smooth as silk voice, Drake crooned his love to a woman, praising her and vowing to treat her right. Its a welcome change of pace from the sex driven music industry, and really set this song apart from the rest. This is definitely a classic in the making.
Panic! At the Disco – This is Gospel
Although Miss Jackson was the catchier of Panic’s 2013 singles, it was Gospel that made a bigger impact. There’s just so much to love about this anthemic pop-punk song! The wailing vocals, the brooding lyrics, the haunting arrangement…it all just comes together brilliantly.
Skillet – Sick of It
Skillet continued making kick ass rock music this year with the release of their album, Rise. Leading the album was an aggressive but inspiring song called Sick of It. Not only does the song compel listeners to head bang along, but it also tells them to take control of their lives, and get rid of the things that bring them down. Its a powerful message that we can all take into 2014.
Ellie Goulding – Burn
Ellie’s pixie like vocals shone through yet again in the glorious Burn. The elctro-pop muse simply emerged from this smokey track like a siren rising from the sea. Her gorgeous voice and an off beat, ethereal electro beat prove to be a winning combination, bringing us one of the most unforgettable tracks of the year.
The Neighbourhood – Sweater Weather
The Neighbourhood had one hell of a debut with their single, Sweater Weather. Their mysterious and brooding sound combined elements of hip-hop, alternative rock, and hipster pop. Add to that a unique vocal delivery and ambiguous lyrics that are simultaneously dark and upbeat, and you have the perfect combination of style and substance.