I’ll admit that the year 2013 flew by at top speed for me. We had our first baby toward the end of 2012, so last year brought our family to a whole new level of craziness — in the best way possible, though! I didn’t get to listen to as much new music as I’d have liked (infants have a way of depriving you from sleep), but a few songs did stick out for me. Here are my top 10 Brit pop/rock songs from 2013. Better late than never, right?!
What are yours?
1. Knee Socks – Arctic Monkeys
Admittedly, I was unsure of this song upon my first listen. In fact, their entire album AM took me a little by surprise. After maybe three listens, however, “Knee Socks” won me over. It’s a damn sexy song, with Alex Turner’s voice smooth and syrupy during the verses blending into eccentric harmony during the chorus. The song is modern and dark, and highlighted by guest backing vocals from Josh Homme who seems to do his best David Bowie impression. Sexiest song of 2013.
2. Queenie Eye – Paul McCartney
As I grow older, my appreciation for Paul McCartney (my third favorite Beatle) also grows. While I’ve always tended toward George Harrison’s exotic tracks, I will give McCartney credit for writing excellent pop songs. The local indie radio station around here could not stop playing “Queenie Eye” from his latest album, and for good reason. This song is infectious and feel-good. I’m just mad he didn’t ask me to be in the video with everyone else.
3. Instant Crush – Daft Punk ft. Julian Casablancas
Yes, Daft Punk are French and this is not technically Brit pop but it still made my list. The genre went through a phase in the 90s and early 2000s when electronic music absolutely fit within the category. This is possibly the only instance of auto-tune vocals that I will accept. And just look at this video!
4. Don’t Forget Who You Are – Miles Kane
I love Miles Kane’s swagger in this song. I like my Brit poppers to look good and know they look good. Miles is doing us all a favor by single-handedly preserving the mod look in pop music. Lads, take a lesson from Miles.
5. Stop the World I Wanna Get Off With You – Arctic Monkeys
Two AM songs? Yes, it’s my list. It’s only natural. “Stop the World…” is a b-side to “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High” and even superior (and more romantic) to its a-side. It reminds me of Paul McCartney’s pop perfection.
6. The Messenger – Johnny Marr
This song is so nostalgic, I love it.
7. It Starts and Ends With You – Suede
When I heard this song I jumped and down with joy (figuratively). This is the best Suede has sounded in years. THIS is what modern Brit pop should sound like. (If only the entire album sounded this good, though.)
8. After You – Pulp
Pulp’s first release since 2002. We’ve all been waiting for this, and it didn’t disappoint. Well, except that we didn’t get a full album, just one song. That’s disappointing.
9. Colours to Life – Temples
We all need a little psychedelia our lives, and this is on the mark. Also, lead singer James Edward Bagshaw has a wonderful Marc Bolan thing going on with his hair and face. I like. Fellas, if you don’t want to go for Miles’ brand of vintage, maybe this?
10. Blue Collar Jane – The Strypes
These kids are like 18 years old. They may sound a little derivative but I’m all for it. Tell me what you were doing when you were 18, huh?