Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Best 25 Songs of 2013: #14 & #13

On the most festive day of the year, I'm happy to give you the gift of ultimate feel-good music. Two songs, in particular: one that will transport you from the snowy stretches of wherever you (most likely) are to the botany-lined beaches of summer, and one that, in a decade saturated with meaningless dance music, reminded us how powerful a genius, thoughtful beat can be. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from me and these guys.

#14. You and Me - Disclosure (Flume remix):
With what I've already mentioned is quite possibly the best remix of 2013, we were gifted a combination of two of the year's youngest, yet most influential, rising electronic producers. On the Disclosure side of things, the barely-drinking-age Lawrence brothers' debut album Settle was a breakthrough game-changer; a fresh, accessible smorgasbord of both up and downtempo beats for any audience. Then there's 22 year-old Flume, the Australian beatsmith who twisted the original into what he calls this "orchestral crunkwave" anthem, proving he and the Disclosure boys - combined or apart - are in this for the long run.

#13. It All Feels Right - Washed Out: 
If this was a 'best albums of 2013' list, Washed Out's Paracosm would have easily been in my top ten. I felt this album in my bones. Ernest Greene, the mastermind "chillwave" pioneer behind Washed Out, practices the musical equivalent of the mantra "act how you want to feel." He paints his paracosm for us with sunny streaks of synth and psychedelic keyboard, resulting in a lush, utopian dreamworld that feels within reach after one song. As his nonchalant vocal sways beside the soaring melody on "It All Feels Right," Greene builds us a glimpse of the minimalistic, romantic daydream he calls home - where the sun always shines and music never stops. To watch a beautiful short video about Greene's music, check this out.

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