Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Musical Year in Review: 2013

I am not as good at keeping up with new music as I used to be in my teens when I would obsessively search for new bands and artists, but every so often I will haphazardly stumble across something and fall madly in love with it. I did that with a few new artists this year, and also a few artists that have been around for a while but I only really discovered or grew to appreciate in 2013.

MS MR were my absolute favourite musical discovery of last year. I heard one of their songs on an episode of Pretty Little Liars (yes I have flawless taste in tv I know) and had to seriously flex my lyric googling skills at the time to find a minute or so long rip from the episode that someone had put on youtube in order to find out who the song was by. I listened to their EP Candy Bar Creep Show an obscene amount and actively counted down the days until their debut album Secondhand Rapture was released in May. It was even better than I was hoping it would be really. In fact Last.FM tells me the only artist I listened to more than MS MR this year was Beyoncé (more on her later), which means I listened to them an awful lot indeed. I love how weird & wonderful the videos are too. I'm not entirely sure what's going on in this video for Fantasy but it's got cheerleaders vomiting glitter so that's all you need really. Listen to them here on Spotify.

I feel like Haim have the potential to rub people up the wrong way but I really love them and their sound. In a way their image feels a bit contrived, and they have garnered quite a lot of hype in a small amount of time which often means the end result is a bit of a let down but I kind of totally love them so I dunno what that says about me. They look a bit like they have been dressed by Company magazine but I buy Company every month so make of that what you will. Most importantly though, the sound is great and totally worth the hype. They sound a little bit Stevie Nicks, a little bit Phil Collins and musically they kind of remind me a bit of Best Coast's laid back California-vibe sound so that's all bloody good to me. My Song 5 & Don't Save Me are my favourite songs off the album and two of my favourite songs of last year to be honest. Listen to them here on Spotify.

Alex Winston has been around for a while but I'd never really properly listened to her until earlier in the year. Her music is sweet and quirky but the lyrics are a bit darker or usually not typical of what you'd expect from happy, cheerful pop music (the Velvet Elvis lyrics are lols). This video for Sister Wife is another one where I don't really know what's going on but I think it's about a poltergeist and there's some bread in a toilet at one point which is a good bit. This is one of my favourite songs I heard last year, but I also loved Run Rumspringa too, and you'll probably have heard Choice Notes before but not realised who it was by. Here is some more stuff by Alex Winston.

SVĒ has only got this one song but it's REALLY GOOD, especially the chorus and the 'talk talk talking talk talk talking' bit at the end. One of my top songs of 2013. I don't really know what's going on in this video either so there appears to be a trend in music videos I liked last year. Anyway this is a very good song so I hope 2014 is a good year for SVĒ. You can listen to this song on Spotify too.

So on Friday 13th January 2013, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter ie. the greatest human of all time, redefined the meaning of life by casually dropping her new album with no warning and no promotion. Not only did we get an album of brand new tracks, she also made a video FOR EVERY SONG I mean really, she just made everyone else look lazy. I actually think I died for 7 seconds & my heart stopped but luckily it was restarted again by the otherworldly magic of this album. Beyoncé is my favourite pop star of all time and I had given up hope on seeing the new album that she's been promising us all of last year when she just dropped it out of nowhere (which was the best stunt of the year let's be real). This album is basically an empowering call to women everywhere, and Flawless is my FAVOURITE song of the year but the whole album is full of corkers, Drunk in Love, Mine, Blow, Partition, Pretty Hurts, Haunted are my favourites which is basically half the album, and the other half is bloody good too. I saw her in May in Dublin and she was UNREAL, the best performer I have ever seen, so I am bankrupting myself to see her again in March which will 100% be worth it. You cannot listen to this on Spotify because that's just how Bey rolls and we all have to deal with it, but you can buy it on iTunes.

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