Year In Review: Glen Byford's Ten Tracks For 2013 [Playlist]

on Thursday, January 09, 2014
Words: Glen Byford

Whilst it would have been nigh-impossible to give my definitive top tracks of 2013, I gave it a little thought and threw together a list that reflects some of my listening habits and memories over the past twelve months. Listen to the tracks together in a YouTube playlist below.

10. Paul McCartney - 'Queenie Eye'

A humble, hummable pop ditty inspired by a playground game from a living musical legend, it's hardly set the world ablaze or lifted Macca high above The Beatles' legacy, but it's catchy simplicity is infuriatingly commendable.

9. Daft Punk - 'Giorgio By Moroder'

Part autobiography, part epic 80s synth homage, and an entirely worthy compounded electronic legacy that was a collaboration between synthesiser pioneer Giorgio Moroder and dance duo Daft Punk, from the latter's fourth studio album. The summer may have belonged to 'Get Lucky', but my heart belonged to 'Giorgio By Moroder'.

8. Lorde - 'Royals'

With Kanye West's 'Yeezus' aiming to raze tired rap music to the ground, it seems unlikely that a 16 year old Kiwi would be a post- hip-hop star and a voice of a dissatisfied generation. Whether it's scathing name-dropping refrains will fulfil their purpose waits to be seen, but its on trend minimal beat made it a chart topper across the globe.

7. Avicii - 'Wake Me Up'

A country tinged EDM barnstormer of a track that made no apologies for its simple premise, a guitar, a soulful vocal and a monstrous, hands in the air, breakdown and Avicii has his sights set on the omni-present David Guetta's pop crown.

6. Miley Cyrus - 'Wrecking Ball'

The track that made the ubiquitously twerking Miley Cyrus completely unavoidable. Forget the sledgehammer, the white vest and panties and the titular wrecking ball of the video, constant rotation on air waves reveal a heartbreaking tale of parting ways with a chorus that smacks of over the top eighties power ballads.

5. David Bowie - 'Where Are We Now'

Despite not truly reflecting the more full-on musical approach of 'The Next Day', the stealth release of the fragile 'Where Are We Now' took the world by surprise, and what a pleasant surprise it was. Bleak and emotional and unexpected, Bowie gave a moving masterclass in hero worship that came out of the blue.

4. Kanye West - 'New Slaves'

Destroying expectations with his 'Yeezus' album, one of any number of tracks could have made my own personal top ten, but this vicious commentary on the materialistic lifestyle West and his peers have been portraying combined with an unrelenting musical production has paved the way for a new era for Yeezy.

3. Benin City - 'Wha Gwan'

Another album where the stand-out track constantly shifts in my own mind, Benin City's debut 'Fires In The Park' provides a wealth of highlights, 'Wha Gwan' provides not only the albums title, but a focal point, with its unique instrumentation and sparse production highlighting a heartbreaking remembrance of a relationship and the way things used to be.

2. Arctic Monkeys - 'Do I Wanna Know'

'Do I Wanna Know' announced the arrival of AM with a flurry of scuzz-rock, a leather-jacket donned swagger that borrowed heavily from Queens Of The Stone Age, yet, like everything the Arctic Monkeys touch, felt uniquely theirs. Previous albums had become a little wayward, but this track packed full of intent marked yet another welcome return in 2013.

1. Arctic Monkeys - 'Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?'

Various road trips have been spent discussing the strongest track from AM as the album plays over, for me, this pips 'Do I Wanna Know', but only just. The lazy slinking beat, the unexpected nod to turn-of-the-century Dr Dre production, the classic Arctic Monkeys style narrative, all add up to what is most likely the track that sums up 2013 for me.

Find more at @glenbyford.

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