Saturday, September 27, 2014

Best Songs Of 2013: #25-21

25. "Disintegration" by Monarchy feat. Dita Von Teese

An electronic song that screams lust and passion hasn't exactly hit the market recently but Monarchy has managed to do it. The mysterious duo have been on the edge of achieving legendary pop status for a while but it wasn't until "Disintegration" that they did it. It doesn't hurt that they teamed up with sex symbol Dita Von Teese. Perfect bedroom song in my opinion.

24. "Paper Heart" by Chlöe Howl

Chlöe Howl just gets it. Not only did she make a ridiculously catchy song about telling a guy to fuck off, she made 2013's best music video to match it. Only Chlöe would make an extravagant anti-proposal video! What have you been doing Sam Smith? (Besides getting an internationally acclaimed debut album…)

23. "Move" by Little Mix

Little Mix have never really impressed me post X Factor as much as everyone else. That is, until they released "Move," a Girls Aloudian meets the The Supremes pop tune that did exactly what it sought out to do. MOVE!

22. "C O O L" by Le Youth

This innovative R&B dance song marked the beginning of my love affair with Le Youth. Anyone who can sample Cassie while changing the entire game of dance music definitely has a place in the top 50. And it may just be that his album becomes the best of 2014.

21. "Applause" by Lady Gaga

LADY GAGA CAME BACK! This was the Gaga that all of us fell in love with, an art-obsessed, pop-culture smart lady who knows exactly how to put on a show. "Applause" was exactly how a comeback single should have been and although ARTPOP wasn't the roaring success it should have been, at least we know Gaga still has the hits up her sleeve.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Best Songs Of 2013: #30-26

30. "Wings" by HAERTS

The indie beach-pop stylings of HAERTS surprised me in just how captivating it was. Thanks to the breezy guitars coupled with haertwrenching vocals, the band soon became a staple amongst the underground lovers of alternative. Hopefully, the rest of their debut album shapes up to be like the soaring "Wings."

29. "Marabou" by Antonia

This ridiculously beautiful lady is Antonia, a Romanian singer who makes some pretty good music. The music is so good that it managed to make this list. "Marabou" should be the soundtrack to every romantic summer getaway. Simply magical.

28. "What's Going On?" by Monsieur Adi feat. A*M*E

Why can't A*M*E be on more singles this year? Once again, she touched this slice of classical music turned chic disco-tinged tune with her magic. Monsieur Adi has been an excellent remixer and this song showed he can do just fine with his own stuff. Well until next time Monsieur.

27. "Real Slow" by Miami Horror

Disco rockers Miami Horror returned in 2013 with "Real Slow." One of the most honest songs about just living life as slow as possible with people you love, it really doesn't get better than this. And once again, a rave piano always gets to us good.

26. "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz

Shout out to my friend Andries for introducing me to Macklemore. With "Thrift Shop", we got a cultural phenomenon that wasn't too ruined by social media. Overall, a strong rap song that disguised itself as a dance song. And honestly, when we all look back to 2013, we'll all remember that little girl who asked "Can we go Thrift Shopping????"

Song Of The Day: "Home" by Leah McFall feat.

Leah McFall is a very special girl indeed. The Irish singer came to prominence after appearing on the UK version of The Voice. Now, we have to have a quick discussion about the Voice. As a reality television program, the Voice is great. Celebrities judging normal people, comedy, and occasional diva wails draw in the crowd and makes for good TV. However, as a way to give young talent a chance to make it big in mainstream music, it has no value. Not a single talent has come out and changed the face of music like Kelly Clarkson and Leona Lewis have from their respective shows.

However, Leah McFall has proven that the show has the ability to find true talent. Though I haven't seen the series, McFall's version of "I Will Survive" is sublime and showcases her killer vocal acrobatics. Even though she came in 2nd place, everyone could tell big things were in store for Leah. Now in 2014, Leah has teamed up with her mentor to release her debut single "Home." A rousing anthemic song, it takes all the best parts of Fun. and puts a great pop twist on it. Even though it underperformed on the charts, there's no denying Leah's got the voice to change music and if her debut album follows the same vein as Home, I may finally get into folk pop (what is the world coming to?!).

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Best Songs Of 2013: #35-31

35. "Safe With You" by Alex Metric & Jacques Lu Cont feat. Malin (from Niki & The Dove)

"Safe With You" literally has everything: Pop's premier DJ Alex Metric, superstar producer Jacques Lu Cont aka Stuart Price, singer Malin from Niki & The Dove, the best electronic duo to come out of Sweden, ice skating, video game blips, soulful choruses, and that X factor to make it special. Why couldn't Cheryl Cole have done that for her comeback single?

34. "Need U (100%)" by Duke Dumont feat. A*M*E

Collaborations just keep getting better at this point. "Need U (100%)" gave Duke Dumont a trend-setting hit single, A*M*E got her first #1, and MNEK got a Grammy nomination for helping to write it.  Here's to more hits for all of you!

33. "Bon Voyage" by Marlene 

Sweden once again brings us a great new talent in Marlene (infinity sign). "Bon Voyage" is a classic Scandinavian pop song that combines strong organic beats with that undeniably catchy chorus. Makes you want to take a trip over there doesn't it?

32. "Lost In The Mix" by YYZ

The English by Canada pop group that is YYZ made a huge splash with bonkers song "Lost In The Mix." Nothing beats a good four on the floor beat and YYZ has made a dance song that has enough attitude to slay all the soul queens in the world. Should have asked for a song like this while you could Adele!

31. "I Wish" by Cher Lloyd feat. T.I.

Cher Lloyd is an underrated pop star and "I Wish" was an underrated pop single. A cute song about wishing to change for a hot guy always has a place in my heart and will have a place in yours too. Probably would have made the top 10 if T.I. hadn't ruined the bridge with his craziness. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Best Songs Of 2013: #40-36

40. "Here's To Never Growing Up" by Avril Lavigne

Queen Avril Lavigne returned last year with this sick song about young revelry and bad decisions. And in all honesty, we needed a song like this. The summer after high school graduation made me realize just how short youth lasts and Avril was there to show that you could be 40 and still be young at heart.

39. "Closer" by Tegan & Sara

Tegan & Sara surprisingly left their indie roots behind to create of the best pop albums of 2013 with Heartthrob. The first single "Closer" was a sugary synth-filled hit about crushing on someone hard (Been there, done that) that managed to set the tone for the twins' new sound and also got a lot of airplay as well. A classic 2013 success story.

38. "Love Song" by Vanessa Paradis

French actress Vanessa Paradis may have been famous for her movie roles and past relationship with Johnny Depp, but she is also a rather good musician. Though most of her output is classical French love songs, strings and guitars and that crap, the first single from her last album "Love Song" was a funky, electro single that gently announced Vanessa as a force to be reckoned with. Congrats on taking the best French single of the year Ms. Paradis.

37. "The Mother We Share" by CHVRCHES

This shimmery echo-filled single caught my attention and got me really excited about Glaswegian band CHVRCHES. And thankfully, all their output has been consistently pristine, smart, and exciting as "The Mother We Share."

36. "You're Not The One" by Sky Ferreira

Sky Ferreira's comeback single was everything she wanted it to be, a scuzzy pop-rock kiss-off. Though not my cup of tea to begin with, eventually "You're Not The One" worked its way into my Heavy Metal Heart (REFERENCE!) So in the end, everyone was happy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Best Songs Of 2013: #50-46

We are about to enter a very special time. The first day of October not only signals the fact that we're close to the end of the year, Christmas, and overall magic, but this magic extends to music as well. Such is the time known as Q4. Here is a quick summary of why Q4 is so amazing and to honor this magnificent time where tastemakers make Best Of Lists, I have decided to put up my Best Of 2013 list for Songs! Unlike my Best Albums of 2013, I will be posting 5 songs in descending order for the next 10 days until October 1st. Hope you enjoy!

50. "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams

Daft Punk finally got a major hit after working so hard and this also began Pharrell's takeover at the end of 2013. It may have been higher up on the list if the radio hadn't overplayed it to death. But that guitar riff tho? A+

49. "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell & T.I.

Despite the huge amount of anti-feminism and douchebaggerie of this song, Robin Thicke did claim the Summer Song of 2013 with this breezy throwback jam. In all honesty, it was just Pharrell doing all the work again, seeing as how Robin's new album wasn't exactly a success #nojusticeforPaula

48. "Pompeii" by Bastille

For all the basics out there, this song was in fact released last year and immediately put Bastille as my favorite semi-indie band of 2013. "Pompeii" was an excellent debut single that showed innovation and guts really. I mean, a gregorian chant in a pop song? Had to make the top 50.

47. "The Apple" by V V Brown

Now don't run away just yet. V V Brown made an incredible return to pop music thanks to her reinvention as a gritty, dark pop princess of the night. "The Apple" evokes all shades of Grace Jones and needs a couple of listens to truly understand the colossal heights this song builds up to. The French version is also rather spectacular, because as Diana Vickers can attest, everything sounds better in French.

46. "Roar" by Katy Perry

Once again, this song may have been higher on the list if the radio didn't play it to oblivion. Still, it's a classic Katy Perry empowerment anthem that displays just how consistent of a popstar Katy can be. A little Bonnie Mckee didn't hurt either though right? Right.

Best Songs Of 2013: #45-41

45. "Team" by Lorde

It's kind of sad that I'm old enough that major popstars are younger than me. It does however make me happy that maturity and wisdom at a young age can actually be appreciated by the public. So Lorde has given us hope for the future and "Team" is the best example of that.

44. "Flatline" by Mutya Keisha Siobhan

Much like how 2012 brought us the brief return of Girls Aloud, 2013 saw the rise and fall of the Sugababes. By that I mean, the current lineup of the Sugababes finally called it quits and the Origibabes returned to us as Mutya Keisha Siobhan. Not only that, they brought us this breezy summer single that makes me very excited for their upcoming album, if only they would BLOODY RELEASE IT!

43. "White Noise" by Disclosure feat. Alunageorge

Disclosure broke through America this year with some help from Sam Smith but "White Noise" was their biggest hit in the UK and is leagues above that Latch song. This may be due to Alunageorge being consistently amazing but considering the rest of Disclosure's album is good too, this just seems like a win all around.

42. "Bipp" by SOPHIE

No, you're computer is not having a malfunction. Those sounds would be "Bipp" by the mysterious producer SOPHIE (apparently it's a man). When a song has you questioning your sanity as you're listening to it, there is probably something really special there so congrats on taking #42 Mr. Ms. SOPHIE.

41. "I Was There (Where Were You?)" by Le Grind

There is no way in hell that this flamboyant, disco-inflected tune would not end up in the Top 50 of 2013. "I Was There" is one of the best debut singles I've heard in the past decade and Le Grind should be up to big things. Imagine if RuPaul used this during a lip synch for your life?!?! As long as the new stuff is just as gay as this song, I think us homosexuals are in good hands in terms of music. #SLAY #WORK #QUEEN

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Next Big Thing: Le Youth Brings 90's R&B To Today's Dancefloor

Now this is something different. Imagine taking your favorite hip-hop and R&B songs, altering the vocals, restructuring the whole beat, add a fun tropical drum, and coming out with a dance floor ready jam that makes constantly makes you move. Now doesn't that sound fantastic? Well this is Wes James, aka the master dance producer Le Youth.

This Ohio native came to my attention last year when he went and released his debut single "C O O L" which as any person alive in 2006 can tell you, samples Cassie Ventura's "Me & U." It may occur to you, "Wait that song was too brilliant for words! How could anyone sample it and make it better?" And you would be half right. "C O O L" is of equal amazingness and only makes you fall in love with the original more.

Upon its release, the song reached number 26 on the UK chart, which surprised everyone really. It's rare for the public to appreciate such a new approach to music, but I suppose if Calvin Harris and David Guetta can get away with it than Le Youth has a place on the charts too.

Continuing with the whole sexy models in slow moving videos, Le Youth decided to take 2014 by storm and teaming up with up-and-coming model turned rapper Dominique Young Unique to release "Dance With Me." Now prepare yourself, Wes just sampled a song by TLC. And not just any song by TLC. He sampled "NO SCRUBS"! Probably the best song of the 90's. I can't even. #SLAYED

If nothing else, this song shows how Le Youth's strength in this new approach to music lies in using classics and shapeshifting them into new pop behemoths that don't sound very close to the original at all. It's very smart actually, as pop nerds like me will instantly take a liking to these edgy R&B esque bangers. Also, their popular appeal is undeniable as "Dance With Me" reached #11 on the charts (that's an upward trend you guys!).

In preparation for an upcoming album, Le Youth has taken the modern DJ route and released many mixtapes and remixes through Soundcloud that display his jack of all trades approach to music. This remix of Foxes "Youth" is pretty great (It's a musical pun). Some may wonder whether this sampling of classic hits will get old real quick. Don't worry, cuz Le Youth has got it covered. His third single "Feel Your Love" appears to be a full Le Youth production and has vocals courtesy of Javeon. It immediately draws you to the dance floor and that house piano is one of my favorite things to happen in 2014. Le Youth has the potential to serve up the funkiest album of the decade and all I can say is keep it up.