MTAF’s Top 20 Tunes of 2013

20. Kings Of Leon – Supersoaker — I’m eating my words from earlier this year after I heard this tune for the first time and said something along the lines of “Do KOL even care about making music anymore?” Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed with Supersoaker, but the hooky, summery tune actually grew on me.

19. J. Roddy Walston & The Business – Heavy Bells — The first time I heard J. Roddy Walston & The Business crush this tune, I couldn’t help but think I’ve heard this voice somewhere before. Turns out I hadn’t, Mr. Walston was simply doing his best Caleb Followill impression, while cranking out Nirvana-esque power chords. It all sounded pleasantly familiar yet remains evermore refreshing. In a world drowning in putrid, disturbing, talentless, autotuned pop filth, this is music to my ears.

18. Volcano Choir – Acetate — I’m not the biggest Bon Iver fan, although I do enjoy some of his tunes. This tune by Justin Vernon’s side project is pretty great. Pretty great indeed.

17. Monster Truck – My Love Is True — What can I say? I’m a sucker for 5+ minute-long, heavy rock ballads. Sue me?

16. CHVRCHES – Recover — I may have posted this song a little higher on my list, but I saw the live performance by this Scottish trio on Jian Ghomeshi’s Q radio show and it was pretty uninspiring. This is a group I most definitely do not aspire to check out live. Great recorded track nonetheless!

15. Aidan Knight – Dream Team –– Although never the most exciting act to watch, Aidan Knight’s musical offerings remain splendid with his latest album, Small Reveal. Dream Team tip-toes out of the gate, building around plucked guitar strings and Knight’s velvet vocals. The song’s second act kicks in near the 5-minute mark of the tune, raising the tempo and splashing watercolour on a black and white canvas.

14. Typhoon – Young Fathers — Hipsters from the birthplace of the trend, singing like they’re from the birthplace of the Beatles. Doesn’t get much better, except for the 13 songs I picked ahead of it.

13. Queens of the Stone Age – I Sat By The Ocean — Josh Homme plays a mean slide guitar in this tune that has quickly become my second favourite QOTSA track.

12. Good For Grapes – Era’s End — The band that should have won the 2013 Peak Performance Project. Say no more. Big things coming for these young folksters from Surrey. And damn, this song. Just damn.

11. Lucius – Wildewoman – The harmonies, the old-timey sounds. The arrangement. Love this song.

10. Foals – Milk & Black Spiders — Late night drive, this song is a requirement. At 3:45, I can’t not turn the song up.

9. Tough Lovers – Kids Go Out — Technically a late 2012 release, but I couldn’t leave it off this list. Hoping to hear more stuff from these Vancouver dudes in 2014, if they’re still around..

8. Vampire Weekend – Diane Young —  Easily the best track from VW’s 2013 Modern Vampires of the City, which is kind of too bad as it was the first single released and pumped me up for a solid album filled with tunes of this tempo, energy and effort. Sadly, this was one of a small handful of good tracks and the only *great* track on the album.

7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Despair — Karen O. ‘Nuff said. (Tune actually starts around the 1:30 mark in the video)

6. Biffy Clyro – Black Chandelier Another Scottish band? This has got to be a first. But well deserved, as Biffy Clyro rocked their way into my Top 10 this year. The early 2013 release of Opposites saw lead off single Black Chandelier get radio play and catch my attention. It’s probably due to the fact it reminds me of some of my favourite 90s rock, but even more so for the fact Black Chandelier is heavy and melodic, which is a guaranteed crank-turner for yours truly. This album also won the Mercury Prize in the UK, and was engineered by Canadian legend Garth Richardson.

5. Tom Odell – Till I Lost — Man, the UK keeps pumping out the gems as Mr. Odell is also from the land of tea and biscuits. It was a legitimate toss up as to which of Odell’s tunes I should put on this list until I saw this live performance of Till I Lost. Piano rock ballads are apparently also my thing. PS – get this album if you dig this track.

4. The Belle Game – RiverFresh out of Vancity, eat your heart out, Toronto. Andrea Lo is a phenom and her backing band ain’t to bad, neither. Don’t get me started as to why this tune isn’t flooding the radio airwaves.

3. Little Green Cars – The John Wayne — I discovered this band thanks to iTunes, purchased their album post haste and fell in love with every track, but this one just a little more. It is intense and I dig it. I dig it a lot. Once they polish their live performance, look out for these guys (and gal).

2. Royal Canoe – If I Had A House The first runner up. The honourable mention. If it weren’t for my #1 track, this’d be it (no shit, Dylan). It’s hard to deny the creative genius and talents of the gents of Royal Canoe, and I would never try to do so. This gem of a tune has some of my favourite lyrics of the year, and it’s a fantastic ear worm. Listen to this tune and try to get it out of your head, it likely won’t happen: don’t you ever think about, think about, think about it.

1. We Are The City – Baptism — *no words; pure reverence*


~ by DR on December 21, 2013.

3 Responses to “MTAF’s Top 20 Tunes of 2013”

  1. Really enjoyed your reviews… Just one correction… Little green cars are from Dublin….

  2. It’s been a good ride. A job well done.

  3. Agree completely with your #1 song pick . I often hit replay just to stay ‘lost’ in the beauty of everything WATC brings to this song. I say thumbs up for most of the rest of your top 20 except for The Belle Game; just can’t get into them even though I have heard them live several times. Can’t say enough good things about Royal Canoe. It’s quite an event to see them live! Thanks for sharing your top 20…I need to check out Biffy Clyro and Foals 🙂

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