I had forgotten to put it all together…
I had forgotten to put it all together…
(Click here to read a prettier, mirrored version of this letter)
On New Years Eve I made what I thought was a harmless joke http://dailym.ai/1crNs71
Here is my response:
Well hello America!
It’s been a busy few days but rest assured, I have received all of your messages and have been…
Without further ado here is THE BEST SONG OF 2013. #1 is “A New Life” by Jim James. It starts with an acoustic guitar and Jim James sounding very Jim Jamesey and then little by little it builds into a percussion heavy celebration of love. Watch him perform it live on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. After playing it, Questlove called it epic and the “most beautiful song i ever played on latenightjimmy”.
James says the inspiration for his first solo album came from Lynd Ward’s 1929 visual novel God’s Man. “Regions of Light and Sound of God” is an essential album everyone should own. I HIGHLY recommend you listen to “God’s Love to Deliver,” “State of The Art (A.E.I.O.U.)”
The song at #2 on the Best of 2013 was also the best dance song of the year. “La que me gusta” by Los Amigos Invisibles did not reinvent the wheel but man can this song get any party going. They sing about that wonderful but often elusive point where the girl you like likes you back.
When Los Amigos Invisibles released “Repeat After Me” I was a bit skeptic since I hadn’t really heard them sing in English. And although the best song of the album is in Spanish the record has some great tracks in English. Just like Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories,” “Repeat After Me” is full of disco dance songs. But unlike Daft Punk’s album, Los Amigos Invisibles has a sexy, even dirty, edge to them that continue on this CD. Listen to “Río porque no fue un sueño,” “Sex Appeal,” “Mostro,” and “Stay.”
In case there were any doubts before 2013, reports of disco’s death have been greatly exaggerated. This was the year of Daft Punk and “Get Lucky,” the #3 song on the Best of 2013 reigned supreme over the summer. With some help from Pharrell Williams (who was either producing or featured on every other song played on the radio on 2013) and disco legend Nile Rodgers, this song with a simple honest message was not only the song of the summer but it helped propel the robotic French duo to new heights.
They’re heavily hyped (justifiably so) “Random Access Memories” is essentially a valentine to disco but it doesn’t get stuck in yesteryear. One of my first favorites from RAM was “Instant Crush” featuring Julian Casablancas
Then you have “Fragments of Time" featuring Todd Edwards, and the trippy and luscious "Touch" featuring Paul Williams. We also had the song at #83. If you own only one Daft Punk album (which is likely the case since this record brought in a lot of new fans of the band) make it this one.
Here’s a song that sounds like something Los Panchos played with Eydie Gorme. #4 on the Best of 2013 Music Countdown is “Mi Negrita” by Devendra Banhart, whose completely different sounding “Never Seen Such Good Things" appeared earlier on the list. This song has such a classic Latin sound with an added layer of spookiness that made it one of my favorite songs of the year.
I’m late to the Devendra Banhart party but I’m glad I got here. His album “Mala” has some excellent tracks like “Hatchet Wound,” “Won’t You Come Over,” “Your Fine Petting Duck" (which starts as a cute little duo and transforms into a kick ass dance track).
OK 2014 just hold on a little bit, let me get to the Top 5 songs of 2013 and then we’ll move on. #5 on the Best of 2013 is the flawless “Alive” by empireofthesunofficial . There’s a certain magic to this song, no matter what your sucky life situation may be it just makes you feel better, alive. This is one that will have me turning up the volume whenever it plays in the years ahead.
"Ice On The Dune" is full of instantly accessible great indie dance tunes. It’s like an album of guilty pleasure songs that you don’t need to feel guilty about at all because Empire of the Sun still has some cred left. Check out "Keep a Watch" (an incredible little ballad), "Disarm,” “I’ll Be Around,” “Awakening,” “Concert Pitch" (which kind of sounds like a really great Cars song), and "DNA" (whose video takes place in the future… 2014).
One more and then I’ll go to bed. At #6 on the Best of 2013 is your typical anti-love/pro-love dance song with some Marxist rhetoric for good measure. Here’s the perfectly constructed “Love Is a Bourgeois Construct” by Pet Shop Boys. I’m not going to contradict the sentiment of the song but I do love that after the tune celebrates the end of a relationship, and evolving beyond silly matters of the heart, the lyrics at the end say he’s giving up the bourgeois construct…. “until you come back to me.” So much for this guy’s anti-love conviction. This 6:42 juggernaut of a pop song is the third single from one of the best records from PSB, “Electric.” It was an absolute honor to see them perform this song live on mbekcrw and to get to shake Neil Tennant’s hand after some gentle egging on from Jason Bentley. That will forever be one of my favorite memories.
As far as “Electric” is concerned, not only does it have the song at 66, but it also has the very pure and raw instrumental dance track “Axis”
(whose single release comes with the superb “Odd Man Out" as a B-Side).
How did this song not become the biggest thing in Spanish radio since Maná released their 37th identical album? It’s seriously upsetting that if it wasn’t for Nacional Records samplers or English speaking radio stations like kcrw this song would’ve gone completely unnoticed in L.A. Hear what may be one of the best Latin pop song you’ve ever heard, “Tormenta” by Alex Andwandter. #7 on the Best of 2013 countdown. This song from the Chilean artist has been around for a while but it wasn’t until 2013 that it was released as a video here in the U.S. It sounds like Latin R&B indie alternative, if that’s even a thing.
So far in the countdown we’ve had bigblackdelta sounding like ELO, and sounding like NIN. Now on this one they kind of sound like Dead Can Dance or Pink Floyd. “Dreary Moon” is #8 on the Best of 2013 countdown and the reason Big Black Delta has become a favorite of mine this year. I first heard it, once again, while boarding Chris Douridas’ Program on kcrw. If you haven’t heard their self titled CD you should get to downloading right now. You’ll get the songs we’ve mentioned and “Huggin’ and Kissin’,” “Capsize,” “Money Rain Down”