Year In Review: Rajan Lakhani's Top Tracks Of 2013 [Playlist]

on Sunday, December 29, 2013
Words: Rajan Lakhani

Following Simon FG's top albums of 2013, here are my top tracks of the past year. Listen to all thirteen of these 2013 picks in the YouTube playlist below, alongside some words. End of year polls collating the choices of several FG writers will follow soon.

13. Wampire - 'Trains'

After taking on a new secondment, I spent a large proportion of my 2013 on trains so this song has a particularly personal meaning for me - its lyric "Always waiting for your train" kept popping into my head as I was experiencing yet another delayed journey on my way home.

12. Youth Lagoon - 'Raspberry Cane'

I love how this track grows and grows into such a colossal piece. You're taken on a spellbinding musical journey, with the song made up of different sections which wouldn't work in their own right but when brought together make 'Raspberry Cane' so special.

11. The Virgins - 'Flashback, Memories And Dreams'

The Virgins ended their four-year hiatus with this delicious slice of funk-punk pop. There's bits of various great artists - the Mark Knopfler vocals, the Robert Fripp squawling guitars, the John Taylor bassline - that make this song destined to be an indie-disco staple.

10. Kanye West - 'On Sight'

The opening song on 'Yeezus', 'On Sight' starts abrasively before giving way to a fantastic beat. Kanye is in a very different place these days from the start of his career, no better demonstrated than his far more desperate recall of the refrain from 'Stronger' ("I need you right now"), and he's a far more arresting artist for it.

9. Pet Shop Boys - 'Love Is A Bourgeois Construct'

Only the Pet Shop Boys can so seamlessly bring together Marx's theory on relationships and composer Michael Nyman's 'Chasing Sheep Is Best Left To Shepherds' to create something so irresistible. It's such incomparable combination of wit and melody which makes PSB one of the all time great British groups and a national treasure.

8. The National - 'Pink Rabbits'

I'd unfortunately forgotten about 'Pink Rabbits' until I was reminded about it when I saw The National live at Ally Pally - it's a powerful slow-burner of a song with a moving chorus that showcases a band at the height of its songwriting ability.

7. David Bowie - 'How Does The Grass Grow'

While some of the hype around 'The Next Day' had thankfully come down, there's no denying that this is Bowie's best album since 'Scary Monsters' thanks to songs like this this which have an unpredictability and unique structure that had sorely been missing.

6. Disclosure - 'You & Me'

Disclosure were inescapable in 2013 and rightly so given the quality of their debut album 'Settle' - it had some many great songs but 'You & Me' is the stand out.

5. Cut Copy - 'Free Your Mind'

While the album might have been a little disappointing, the title track is terrific - a psychedelic brew of 90s dance and hedonism . Whenever I hear this, I'm transported back to the summer which is exactly what you think Cut Copy is aiming for.

4. Drowners - 'Long Hair'

When I first heard this, I thought it was some by an early noughties New York 'The' band. To my pleasant surprise, Drowners are a new band and I can't wait for their debut album if they continue to serve up such nuggets of indie-pop perfection.

3. Vampire Weekend - 'Step'

"Wisdom's a gift, but you'd trade it for youth" - this lyric alone would make 'Step' an interesting song but allied with such a beautiful, almost classical, epic arrangement, it's unstoppable.

2. Paramore - 'Still Into You'

Paramore returned with a more commercial sound and they've not sounded happier following the departure of the Farro brothers. 'Still Into You' is their most realised pop song yet and you can't help but be swept in by the sheer joy of the chorus.

1. Suede - 'Barriers'

'Barriers' delivered everything you wished for from Suede's first new song in a decade. All the band's signature elements are there but this isn't a simple facsimile of past glories - 'Barriers' is the sound of a band reinvigorated and the contemporary stadium-sized production suits them well. When Brett Anderson hits that key change asking "Will they ever love you like I loved you", resistance is futile.

Read more from Rajan here.

msn spaces tracker