Best songs of 2013

Left Foot Forward founder Will Straw picks his songs of 2013.

Every year my wife and I impose our songs of the year on our friends and family. You can listen to the selection on Spotify and read why we picked them below. Happy new year!

“The Mother We Share” – Chvrches: An uplifting and catchy opener from this Scottish trio. In a better year for albums than singles it was hard to pick out their best song with “Guns” and “Lies” deserving honourable mentions.

“Entertainment” – Phoenix: Their album was a disappointing follow up to the outstanding “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” but this track hits the dizzying synth-pop heights we’re used to.

“Wings” – Haerts: Another band – like Chvrches – who throw spelling convention to the wind, this is a real feel good track that hasn’t had the airplay it’s deserves in the UK.

“Step” – Vampire Weekend: The outstanding band and album of 2013. There’s too much to choose on “Modern Vampires of the City” but this one gets the nod for clever lyrics and reviving the harpsichord!

“Royals” – Lorde: There’s already been so much written about this Kiwi wunderkind but she’s worthy of the hype and the undisputed “Queen Bee” of 2013.

“Get Lucky” – Daft Punk: No 2013 mix would be complete without the song of the summer. It’s just a pity the rest of the overhyped album failed to live up to it.

“If I Could Change Your Mind” – Haim: Another brilliant album with a number of tracks worthy of inclusion on this list (plus the blinding Duke Dumont remix of “Falling”). But this is my favourite for its uber-80s sound.

“No Destruction” – Foxygen: Aptly described as the best modern reincarnation of the Rolling Stones. Full of hipster slouch & disdain.

“Mute” – Youth Lagoon: Ethereal and somnambulistic. There wasn’t enough new music like this in 2013.

“In the Kingdom” – Mazzy Star: It took 20 years to replicate the warm fuzziness of “Fade Into You” but well worth the wait.

“Ceilings” – Local Natives: A sweet and simple song.

“Will You Love Me” – Matthew E. White: Builds like one of the best by Van Morrison complete with his own big band. Lovely track.

“Oh My Lord” – Steve Mason: Arguably his best material since the Beta Band’s “3 EPs”. The album is well worth a listen.

“Taking Over” – Joe Goddard: Downbeat electro number from one fifth of Hot Chip. One for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

“Elliot” – Roosevelt: Late summer anthem much beloved by the Pitchfork crowd.

“Afterlife” – Arcade Fire: The biggest band in the world does it again with another singalong crowd pleaser.

“Song for Zula” – Phosphorescent: A beautiful song to conclude the mix which saunters along with a heartbeat of a baseline. Magical played live.

Bonus track: “Love Lost – Hello Steve Reich Mix)” – David Bowie: Hugely original remix by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy who had a brilliant year producing Bowie and Arcade Fire. The bit where “Ashes to Ashes” comes into the mix is genius.

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