As we call this year to an end, sing a holly jolly Christmas and wish everyone a Happy New Year, how about we take a look at how the music industry changed our lives in 2013.
First in line…
Although its politics are ‘iffy’, the “Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece” that Lorde decries aren’t only hip hop symbols, they’re simply out of date. But, boy! Did the 16 year old Ella Yelich-O’Conner debut single ever connect with people.
“Cups,” Anna Kendrick
The mere fact that a lesser Carter Family song from the 1931 became a hit single in 2013 simply because of a musical from the last years musical comedy “Pitch Perfect” that inspired one heck of a viral video, which was itself inspired by another video.
Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy),” David Bowie
At first, Bowie’s age crinkled voices seemed like just another sound element in the form of an LCD sound system, it’s where Murphy’s crisp, ricocheting ten minutes of a remix, which is less important that the rhythmic motifs it borrowed by the 1972 Avant-garde landmark Steve Reich’s “Clapping Music”.
“We Can’t Stop,” Miley Cyrus
If you don’t listen to the words of Miley’s surprisingly downbeat party upper music, you’d assume that it’s was a heartsick Rihanna style lament. What she’s actually singing is about an tooth-grinding, exhausted, 3 AM kind of non-stop partying anchored with hip hop tropes from eight years ago before she was even born.
“Cut Copy Me,” Petula Clark
Yes, that Petula Clark of “downtown” fame, who was 80 years old when she first released this amazing little song. Aside from the romantic conceit of the title, she could have sung it half a century ago, but its recording is entirely of this moment.
I Got A Boy,” Girls’ Generation
The nine women South Korean group called the Girl’s Generation is ridiculously an effective hook machine and has become a major phenomenon in Asia, whose biggest pop acts make Katy Perry and One Direction sound like audience alienating experiments.
“Ohm,” Yo La Tengo
An Ohm is a unit of electrical resistance; an “om” is a mantra that means encompassing everything around. The crown jewel of the Hoboken rock trio Yo La Tengo’s Fade album, and maybe their 29-year career to date, is this song about surrendering to change and maybe mortality, and no longer “resisting the flow.”
“Control,” Big Sean Feat. Jay Electronica & Kendrick Lamar
Perhaps, the most talked about hip hop track of 2013 which wasn’t officially released, and the news spread that Kendrick Lamar’s verse. In the course of his 600 word atomic blast, he declares war on his entire generation of MC’s and shows off his mastery of decade’s worth of lyrical techniques.
“The Wire,” Haim
This trio of sisters provides us with a whole skewed history of Californian guitar music into one deliciously wordy bundle. Fleetwood Mac harmonies, Laurel Canyon style lyrical self analysis, soloing and desert rock riffing along with a beat lifted from ah, the Eagles, “Heartache Tonight”.
“Get Lucky,” Daft Punk
Like this year’s other inescapable party jam, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”, “Get Lucky” is built on the scaffolding of 35 years of disco staple and features a guest appearance from Pharrell Williams. However, Daft Punk enlisted an actual disco hero Chic’s Nile Rodgers, for the amazing, flickering guitar part, which is the secret to this lighter than helium tune.