Friday, December 27, 2013

Best 25 Songs of 2013: #10 & #9


As we edge into the top ten of the countdown, I'm going to toss out two huge moments in music this year - one which should likely be everyone's cup of tea (who can resist that voice?), and one that might only appeal to a small portion of the music-loving population. In either case, both blew the industry away. Lezgo.

#10. New You - My Bloody Valentine:
In February, My Bloody Valentine crashed the internet with the release of mbv - their first album in 22 years. Following the 1991 release of MBV's seminal shoegaze album Loveless, some of the world's greatest musicians (ranging from Trent Reznor to Billy Corgan) credited the band with forever shaping their approach to alternative-rock music. MBV's famously distorted vocals and droning guitars are only one piece of the puzzle - their dreamy rock melodies (and this uncharacteristically accessible track) are what made coming back to them after two decades simple. For more Loveless reminiscent MBV, download "Only Tomorrow" or "She Found Now."


#9. Retrograde - James Blake:
Let's face it, James Blake is already one of the classics. That effortlessly creamy croon (which doesn't seem like it could possibly belt out of the 25 year-old's frame) has skyrocketed the experimental producer into collaborations with some of the world's reigning musical acts, and led to his exceptional album Overgrown winning the coveted 2013 British Mercury Prize. On "Retrograde," the gloomy, downtempo production is softened by Blake's vocal acrobatics, but don't be fooled - his music has as many challenging dark corners as it does soulful glimmers.

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