Monday, December 30, 2013

Best 25 Songs of 2013: #6 & #5

Here are two songs from two albums that I easily consider to be two of the best releases 2013 hosted. A Danish/Canadian neo-soul duo released one of the smoothest, most accessible tastes of R&B I've ever heard (if I've listened to it once, I've listened to it 1000 times), while the forefathers of American indie-rock released their sixth eclectic collection to (more) critical acclaim.

#6. I Need My Girl - The National:
What more is there really to say about The National. The Matt Berninger-fronted group has wowed audiences with their extensive collection of honest indie since they were underdogs in the early millennium, only to stick with their unique concoctions to now effortlessly rule the genre in their middle age. With "I Need My Girl," one of those heart wrenching National ballads that reveals a challenging or impossible kind of love, the flickering guitar loop and Berninger's coined baritone are totally arresting as the beat of the song marches forward into classic National territory.

#5. The Fall - Rhye:
With what I would describe as one of my most overplayed songs of 2013, "The Fall" perfectly embodies everything that allowed Rhye to mysteriously slide onto the scene this year and bring everything around them to a screeching halt. In a year over-saturated with pop-infused everything, the Canadian-bred/L.A.-based duo quietly released Woman, a blend of minimalist funk and soothing soul numbers, to widespread acclaim - keeping everything (including their faces and stories) other than their music out of the spotlight. Confused over the sex of Sade-soundalike lead singer Mike Milosh and where he came from, the industry had nothing to do but sit back and soak in the tender soul classics heard on Woman, ultimately determining that singles like this one are rare diamonds in the indie rough.

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