Monday, 2 December 2013

Top 113 Songs of 2013, #113 - 101

Bonjah, The xx and Eminem... three of our 2013 faves.

2013 has been another amazing year for music. It seemed like every single day (maybe more like week) there was something new being unleashed upon the world that was making jaws drop in astonishment. With so many heartstopping, twerk-inducing, party starting, soul shaking and/or tearjerking tracks released throughout the year, choosing 113 as the best was no easy feat. But it's a tradition around these parts, so we weren't going to let you down and leave you hanging without us putting our stamp on the songs of the year market. So, It's My Kind of Scene is excited to present to you our Top 113 Songs of 2013 countdown. Let's enjoy some music!

#113. Champagne
by The Stiffys

Because when you pop that bottle I have a really, really nice...
Now do the sexy dance. 

I remember the exact time I first The Stiffys. I was standing in Matt’s kitchen and he was sitting on his lounge, laptop on lap, as one does. He pressed play on ‘Champagne’ and we both said, almost at the same time, something along the lines of “Katie” The rest is history, really and although the sounds of ‘Champagne’ eventually grew on me, a little bit, it’s their other number ‘Katie/It’s My Kind Of Scene’ which I really love. That one was stuck in my head for days after I heard it. Why that didn’t make the top 113 is a conversation I think I need to have with Matt… (Jo Michelmore)

This song was brought to my attention late one night via IMKOS. I almost spat out the wine I was drinking at the time with laughter when I heard the lyrics. The guitar and rhythm got me hooked but the lyrics had me laughing every time. I love the vocal delivery and backing wails and the classic bluesy turn around. I have had it playing before with guests around and almost every time someone will say “What the HELL are we listening to?” To which I normally respond “Champagne anyone?”
“Now do the sexy dance”… I love these lyrics because those drinking too many champagnes may THINK they are sexy…. But evidence stacks up to say drinking while releasing inhibitions does not lead to great body coordination.

'Champagne' is a little bit naughty, a lot cheeky and a great little rockin’ late night anthem and one of my fave novelty songs from 2013. And it should be a jingle for a champagne ad. Definitely. (Lou Endicott)


Cocks and liquor. It was obvious I was going to love this song. I was prepared for the novelty factor that a band called The Stiffys with a song called 'Champagne' would offer, but I was pleasantly surprised by the talents of Jason and Adam. And I don't just mean their drinking talents. Or penis talents.

This Melbourne two-piece had me hooked with the opening riff. And with the reference to champagne being like sexy lemonade I couldn't help but nod in agreement. It really is. Why haven't I realised this sooner? I've found my new drinking song. It makes me want to windmill my hair whilst guzzling champagne from the bottle. I guess it had the desired effect. (Katie Langley)

The Stiffy's explained their love of champagne when interviewed by Katie earlier in the year...

Katie: In your song "Champagne" you liken those delicious bubbles to sexy lemonade. If that's the case then rum is like... ?


#112. Black Cat
by Deep Sea Arcade

She's just a black cat, she lands on her feet.

This song is just so damn cool. How could you not like it? ‘Black Cat’ reminds me of an era gone by. A little bit of the Beatles. A little bit psychedelic. (Katie Langley)

This song always gets me rocking my head to and fro and pretending that I am driving a vintage car through the streets of London in the 60s. There is a distinct Kinks feel to this track. It’s gorgeous guitar, vocal effect and yummy upbeat drums make this one of the feel good songs of 2013. Deep Sea Arcade have there sound down pat with their delicious rock pops and easy to listen to lyrics and oh-so-groovy rhythms going on. This song is a fun one to listen to and has some air guitar worthy licks through out that makes for fun times. Essential for a summer party mix. (Lou Endicott)

There’s an intentionally and intensely catchy riff that starts this track, which continues all the way through the two and a half minute song. It’s bluesy and psychedelic, it’s 60s and 90s and it sounds somehow American and somehow British and funnily enough, Deep Sea Arcade are not from either of those places. Regardless, they smash all of those sounds together and somehow come up with super catchy little bluesy-rocky-indie numbers like this one that I was lucky enough to see live earlier this year. They were fabulous then and re-pressing play on this track now has reminded me just how good they are and how much I can’t wait to hear the rest of their sophomore album which will be released next year. Hurry up 2014! Want to hear it now!  (Jo Michelmore)

#111. Better Days
by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros

I seen better ways, some won't believe,
But I don't need much more than faith. 

What would we class this as? Music that will bring a smile to you dial? What about music that will put a spring in your step? It’s definitely music that will you brighten your mood. Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros have the ability to do that probably more than any other act in music. Ever since they were singing about how, “home is wherever I’m with you,” they’ve been delivering little slices of musical joy to the whole world. ‘Better Days’ is no exception. You’re having a pretty crappy day? Don’t worry… this cult-like band sees better days ahead. I believe them and so should you. (Matt Bond)

I love Edward Sharpe’s voice. It has that distinct little trill thing going on at the end of each phrase. It’s very raw, very earthy and just a little bit sexy. The lyrics are honoured and sung with clarity and conviction in this track that I can't help but be engaged. The layering of sounds such as the bells, the backing choir, the men shouting “Huh!” underneath and the gorgeous drum rolls make this song feel like a classic not new music. I love hearing stuff like this still being made. It’s about crafting a journey within a song not just providing an atmosphere. This song is a pick me up for a blue day when the clouds are just too too much. Thank you Mr Sharpe! (Lou Endicott)

#110. Elevate
by St. Lucia

There's no way to wake up now...

Ok. I am a little bit in love with the sound of St Lucia. I think it reminds me of my childhood listening to the AM radio as I went to sleep. As a pre-teen laying in my bed at night, I used to imagine teenagers and young adults out there in the world going to see concerts and dancing the night away while I lay there on my bed listening to late night radio. I SO wanted to join them…

There is a sweet 80s slickness going on with the treatment of “Elevate” (as with all of St Lucia’s tracks). Cool little rhythm breaks, tight harmonies, a balance of male and female vocals and a killer chorus are just a few things I love about this track. I could imagine this song sound tracking a movie of the 80s era.

Singer/songwriter Jean-Phillip Grobler has that quintessential warmth and tone of an 80s leading vocalist. This music live would absolutely produce a sea of happy faces dancing and celebrating the night. I am so happy to hear that music like this is being made again as it makes me feel like I can still have wild imaginings and I now I can JOIN the party if I want!

"No one elevates you, elevates you now. No one's going to take you, going to take you there".

I disagree here, St Lucia - YOU take me there. (Lou Endicott)

#109. Together
by The xx

You said you don't have to speak,
I can hear you, I can feel all the things you've ever felt before. 

Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim take the tension of ‘Chained’ and ramp it up with even lusher production than usual from Jamie xx, to create a ballad like no other. ‘Together’ was the perfect fit for Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby, capturing all the right elements of what make it such a compelling and tragic love story. Like many of The xx’s songs, you feel like you’re intruding on an incredibly private moment between the two vocalists, which makes us all dirty, dirty voyeurs. Especially YOU. Sim’s opening, Croft’s reply and their vocal union make way for a sweeping orchestral arrangement that was made for the cinema. And our listening pleasure.  (Matt Bond)

I didn’t see The Great Gatsby, because, well, let me just admit it, I’m not a big fan of film and more especially the Baz Luhrmann film. There’s one thing I’ll admit Baz does do well though and it’s the soundtrack. If it wasn’t Garbage or The Cardigans or any other number of artists from Romeo And Juliet, then it was Christina and the rest on the Moulin Rouge soundtrack. While I couldn’t quite see how the stripped back minimalist sounds of The xx could have possibly fit into the elaborate story and sets and times of The Great Gatsby, who was I to ask, really? I had no intention of seeing the film earlier in the year, so I just enjoyed (some of) the soundtrack, and as a fan of The xx, this is one I couldn’t help but like. It’s just like The xx is; subtle but strong and moving enough to grab my attention in a non-forceful way. With this track, it was the strings, the fabulous strings three quarters of the way through that grabbed me by the throat and took my breath away. The xx, simply, they’re just really, really good. Simple but true. (Jo Michelmore) 

Like a Sunday afternoon valium, 'Together' slows the beat of my heart while it carries me into a dark, haunting ocean and leaves me floating aimlessly on the surface. All the while staring longingly into the dark glittery sky and contemplating life and intimacies... Romaaaaaaantic. (Nayt Housman)

My housemate and I were joking about early Architecture in Helsinki music being like playschool tunes for adults (side note – I LOVE early AIH music). “What's teenage music for adults then?” she asked. We thought about it and then decided The xx take the category. Not to say that this music isn’t sophisticated. It’s just that the stripped back sound with its simple layering and solo sounds taking their turns has a feel of something just coming together for the first time. 'Together' exemplifies this with its slightly dark and emotional feel created by simple lyrics, melody and layering of stark sounds. If it were a person it could almost be an angsty teen lying on their bed thinking the world will spin off course if they don’t get together with their true love. The strings at the end bring forth the drama that is sure to follow this teen. In saying all of this my housemate and I both agree that 'Together' is a very listenable track of 2013. (Lou Endicott)

‘Together’ is dreamy, haunting, and beautiful. This song makes me close my eyes so that it can wash over me. (Katie Langley) 

#108. Berzerk
by Eminem

So baby make just like K-Fed and let yourself go, let yourself go.

What is it about Eminem that makes me so happy? I just don’t know, because it shouldn’t make sense that I like Eminem, but when this track was released in the last half of this year, I was just so goddamn happy. It was like everything was back in its place in the world, the sun was shining, the flowers were blooming and Eminem sounded great again. Maybe this is an exaggeration, but the bit about me being happy isn’t. Eminem just sounded like Eminem should, his usual vocal sounding like Eminem, a little cheeky, a little weird, a little funny, a little good. It could have been the little sample of the Beastie Boys that really convinced me this was a track to love, but it wasn’t that alone. He’s just really good ok? Happy face. (Jo Michelmore) 

Guess who’s back? Okay, so Eminem’s not bringing sexy back, but ‘Berzerk’ is a pretty catchy tune! It’s quite different to his old material, and initially reminds me of the Beastie Boys. I think this one is a grower. (Katie Langley)

Super serious Eminem was given a bit of a break as Slim Shady revisited his past self to create the sequel to his most successful album. This was a good thing. For the first time in a long time, it’s sounding like Eminem is having some fun. But not the over the top fun of the questionable ‘Just Lose It’ and ‘We Made You’. This amount of fun is juuuuust right. He’s making fun of “the ugly Kardashian”, rapping about being on his ra-aa-gs and dropping Ren and Stimpy references. It’s a little dated, but it works. ‘Berzerk’ has a distinct Beastie Boys vibe working for it too… and who’s going to say that’s a bad thing? (Matt Bond)  

#107. Blue Tone Black Heart
by Bonjah

Looks like you need some loving,
I can love you day and night. 

Put on your rock socks and your best vintage suit kiddies, it’s time to swing, shuffle, twist, mosh, whatevs, this one is a booty shakerrrr. 'Blue Tone Black Heart' is a full on rock energy bomb embellished with retro riffs and some fiercely appealing pop hooks capable of snagging some seriously “groovy” fish in the big “rock pool”. Think of them as kinda like Wolfmother but with much less annoying vocals. WIN WIN! (Nayt Housman)

Yes! Yes! Well done Bonjah – ‘Blue Tone Black Heart’ had my foot tapping right from the get go. And the husky vocals, well, they had me swooning. (Katie Langley)

There’s a catchy riff to start, there’s a lyric about “you don’t have to like it but I can make you love it”, there’s a really solid beat, they sing about black hearts, they’re a four piece band from Melbourne and they dress well, they know how to work a chorus and know what the perfect amount of blues v rock ratio is. They’re Bonjah and since I’ve somehow earned the reputation of being the blues/rock writer on this blog, I suppose I should like this. Luckily, there’s a little bit more than liking going on with this one, because I kinda love it. (Jo Michelmore)

Glen Mossop’s voice is just too good. It’s cool. It’s much cooler than your voice or mine will ever be. If Mossop is reading this, then he can just look at his reflection in the computer monitor and say, “hey, Glen Mossop. You’re pretty gosh darn cool.” His Bonjah band mate’s aren’t slouches themselves in the cool stakes, showing on ‘Blue Tone Black Heart’ they’ve got all the right grooves and moves. One of 2013’s biggest rock winners right here. (Matt Bond)  

#106. Midnight Run
by Grizzly Jim Lawrie

We built this tower tall, it was built to fall...

A friend introduced me to this song earlier in the year. It was put in a playlist of new music that I listened to over and over as I was studying complex design software. I was so in the thick of study at the time that I didn’t really have a chance to look at the artist behind the song. But it was one of my favourites none the less and I would nod my head along to the chorus and sing, “Here…. we come… This is a midnight run…” As I worked past midnight on my assignments that were slowly exploding my brain cells, 'Midnight Run' helped put my brain back together. This song was a great antidote for the late night owl that I had become.

A few months later I was sent to review a band called Grizzly Jim Lawrie. I immediately felt I had this intimate connection with the band as a whole. It was only when they played this song that I realised who they were – my late night theme tune saviours! I briefly met Jim after the gig and thanked him for his amazing set and for this great song. So this song reminds me of the universe being smaller than I know it. (Lou Endicott)

‘Midnight Run’ is one of those versatile songs you can enjoy almost anywhere. So, you’re not going to put it on at a rave… but as the wise, mature young men and women that we are not, we wouldn’t be caught dead at a rave anyway. However, I do like long drives (especially at night), chilled hang outs with friends, beach days, hammock days, days in bed, drinks on the balcony and London style park lunches. All of those are appropriate places to play Grizzly Jim Lawrie’s ‘Midnight Run’. I’m sure there’s a million more places too. ‘Midnight Run’ is the right kind of quirky, Jim Lawrie’s voice is the bomb and the track has a sense of adventure that’s sorely lacking in a lot of music these days. It’s a lot smarter than the average deafening doof-doof. Down with raves (if they even exist anymore), up with Grizzly Jim Lawrie. (Matt Bond)

When I first reviewed this track in June this year, I spoke a lot about how I love drummers who turned into singers and sometimes vice versa as well, because Grizzly Jim Lawrie has done just that, put his drum kit aside to play guitar and sing. Let me re-iterate this with you. I LOVE drummers that become singers and now, having declared that, let me say this; I love having discovered Grizzly Jim Lawrie this year. ‘Midnight Run’ is a piece of indie rock perfection, its beats and guitars and lyrics just adorable. If you haven’t seen any of the Tram Sessions on the youtubes, you should. Grizzly Jim sings ‘Midnight Run’ in one of my favourites and ends it by having a lovely chat to an unlikely, unassuming fellow tram passenger. Speaking of unassuming, I think it’s only right I repeat what I said about this song in June, because I think I summed it all up then;

“Besides all of that, can someone look at the guy please? The beard, the glasses the unassuming pose, you're totally not single are you Jim? The cuteness is unbearable...and you drum? Ahem, yes, sorry, love this track.” (Jo Michelmore)

Jim Lawrie tells us a bit more about 'Midnight Run' in his interview with Matt earlier in the year...

Jim Lawrie: The song came out of a bit of a difficult time for me, and in retrospect, seeing others going through similar experiences, I was thinking about how hard it is to be proactive about getting out of negative situations sometimes. There’s this weird instinct to just kind of wait it out until it gets better, and sometimes it never does. The track is about just getting up and getting out. I guess the idea is kind of like a homecoming to happiness, that desertion isn’t always a negative thing.

#105. Gun
by Chvrches

And it's you I'll come for,
And I'm gonna see that you won't go far. 

British synthpop got a nice kick in the janglies in 2013, courtesy of the enigmatic outfit, Chvrches. Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty dropped the sparkly disco-lite romp, ‘Gun’ just before the release of their debut album, The Bones of What You Believe and I think the whole world started shimmying along to Mayberry’s glittering vocals. Seriously, if it wasn’t for the mildly threatening lyrics (that I love), you could convince me that this is the sound a unicorn makes when breaking wind. It’s pretty magical, right? ‘Gun’ is one of the greatest tracks released this year to shake it like a Polaroid picture to. (Matt Bond)

I first heard about Chvrches through another little band from the UK who I adore, Curxes, who remixed another Chrvches track ‘Recover’ early in 2013, but more about that track later in the countdown (maybe, if you’re lucky). As far this one is concerned, I first heard ‘Gun’ mid-way through the year and when I got their debut album in September, it was the track I played first, because there was something about it I couldn’t quite explain, but it’s something that I still can’t get enough of today. Maybe it’s the cold but sweet sound of singer Laruen Mayberry’s voice, maybe it’s the synths and sounds of Iain Cook or Martin Doherty, but more than likely, it’s the strength in the words that have seen me face some personal demons in the last half of this year and done for me what my favourite music does. It stands next to me and gets me through the moments, like these words have done so recently;

“You better run, you better run…I have burned your bridges, I will be a gun and it’s you I’ll come for…hide hide.”

Me? Chvrches fan much? Why, yes. Totally. (Jo Michelmore)

I do love me some 80s inspired pop and how can you resist the bubbly sound of Chvrches? They’re kinda like the Scottish answer to Australia’s Cub Sport. 'Gun' is a bouncy and super catchy pop tune that has YOU in its sights ready to “gun” you down, make you wiggle your bum and shake your shoulders like an 80s troubadour. (Nayt Housman)

I’m fairly new to the Chvrches bandwagon, but oh how I love this amazing electro pop! Very reminiscent of the 80’s. (Katie Langley)

#104. Hung On Tight
by Snakadaktal

I hung on tight,
'Cause I thought I loved her. 

This song again has that 80s throwback that I am digging so much at the moment. It’s the dreamy synth backing with smoothe vocals that I find so appealing. 'Hung On Tight' definitely has an element of a more laid back groove going on that brings me back to listen again to it. This song is one I put on to relax and chill when I feel the brain is overloaded. Although there is a sense of a love lost in this song it never brings me down listening to it. I love the lyrics: “Tell me stories I was to sing, Flying dragons in my sleep”. Just a bit fanciful. Love. (Lou Endicott) 

One of the best parts of 'Hung On Tight', apart from being ridiculously beautiful is the video clip. I’m sure I’ve had the exact same dream/nightmare of having my kidney removed after what seems like a massive party and then singing karaoke at home in a sombrero. Dream-like and surreal seem to be the perfect words to describe High On Tight as they do Snakadaktal in general and youthfully introspective could be used to describe them lyrically; overall intriguing and beautiful. (Nayt Housman)

You know those songs that you think are ok, but then you see the clip and you somehow get a little but addicted? This was one of those for me, because I watched the clip a bazillion times (ok, five or six times, maybe, I do like to exaggerate), partly to try to figure out what’s going on and partly because it’s a little bit addictive. There’s an ice bath, an injury, a girl, a fairy lit staircase, a sleepy kitchen, a band, an emergency and a wheelie bin, in no particular order. Don’t tell me that’s not a clip and therefore a song to love. Addicted. Watching…again. (Jo Michelmore)

But seriously, does it get any dreamier than Snakadaktal? The opening drums of ‘Hung On Tight’ make way for the most serene guitar work and yes, ‘serene guitar’ work may sound strange, you rock and roll powder keg you, but this right here is pure, undiluted fantasy rock. Give it a spin and go fight some dragons in your sleep!(Matt Bond)

#103. Feeling
by Client Liaison

So I don't fight the feeling,
Because feelings they just need to grow. 

There’s something completely cheesy but brilliant about this song. It seems like the perfect way to begin the morning – rolling out of bed, rubbing your eyes, ready to begin the day and take on the world. (Katie Langley)

It’s like, I know they’re a kind of joke band, but not in the traditional sense and that kind of confuses me, because I don’t like the joke band, traditionally. It’s just such a godamn catchy pop song though. It’s everything 80s and even though there’s a heap of the 80s that should probably be forgotten, it’s like the two who are Client Liaison; Monte Morgan and Harvey Miller, found all the good bits and turned them into a pop song. They even found the traditional pop high note at three minutes into the song and followed it with the most happy of synth sounds and 80s dance moves and made it seem so godamn cool. A dream for 2014? To see Client Liaison play live, so I can wear legwarmers and Reeboks and pegs in my hair like Cyndi Lauper and I can crack out the best 80s dance moves and pretend I’m a character in Footloose….or something. (Jo Michelmore)  

#102. Ways To Go
by Grouplove

Don't wanna sleep tonight,
You've got me feeling right. 

Grouplove are one of those groups I’ve never quite been able to work out. I mean, I’ve liked them, but I’ve just not quite been able to figure out how much I like them. Then they’ve done things like write songs like ‘Way To Go’ and I think I’m convinced that I’m a fan, but I’ve never declared it publicly. I can’t deny how much I like their clips, because everyone knows I like a clip with a story and they do those clips so well. This one was no exception. I should just commit, shouldn’t I? If this little song with its repeatable chorus “I got a little bit longer, I’ve got a ways to go” wasn’t enough to convince me to declare myself a fan, I don’t know what would be and the best part is, you know when you sing along, you’re almost definitely going to sound as good as, if not better than singer Christian Zucconi anyway. Let’s just commit now. I like this song, so ok, I like Grouplove, but I won’t commit to love. Grouplove like is enough, for now. I’ve got a ways to go… (Jo Michelmore)

For me ‘Ways to Go’ sounds very Billy Corgan-esque, if that grumpy motherfucker were to have a Coke and a smile. Unlike Billy Corgan I actually rather like this song and find myself drawn in by its upbeat energy. (Katie Langley)

If the ridiculously catchy tune doesn't win you over, the video certainly will. (Matt Bond) 

#101. Shoot You Down
by The Velvets

'Cause I take what I want when I need it,
When I need it, honey. 

If you like your rock and or roll to be of the gritty, down and dirty and no f*cks given variety, then you’ll be a big fan of The Velvets and ‘Shoot You Down’. Jim Stirton pulls off the attitude required on a track that suggests these lads will do what they want, whenever they want and not give two flying f-bombs what you think about it. The band has been influenced by heavyweight acts like Iggy and The Stooges and Led Zeppelin and it shows. ‘Shoot You Down’ is everything you want from a good ‘ole rock track. More please and thank you. (Matt Bond) 

I was hooked on this track from the opening bass line. ‘Shoot You Down’ has these amazing dirty, sexy vocals that make me want to do naughty things, like vacuuming in the nude. I find myself singing along and head banging to the very catchy line, “I take what I want when I need it.” (Katie Langley)

Jim Stirton answered some questions about The Velvets' influences and sound when interviewed by Matt earlier in the year... 

Matt: You've got a great, straight-up rock and roll sound coming through on the tracks 'Shoot You Down' and 'Forty-thousand Scars.' Which influences do you think are carried through the most in your music?

Jim Stirton: Why, thank you! Well, we've all got different influences when it comes to our music. I think that's the best. If we were all like-minded  we'd probably come out sounding like a copy or just plain bland. Our different influences coming together in our song-writing makes for an interesting sound. We all grew up on classic rock'n'roll. Jack's guitar playing is heavily influenced by Hendrix and Stevie Ray. I'm well into my garage rock and punk, as well as Tom Waits. I fuckin' love Tom Waits. It's hard to say what carries through to the music though. I think I'm too close to it. Drunk people at our shows sometimes tell us we sound like Led Zeppelin and The Black Keys. Oh how I wish that were true!

See you tomorrow for ten more incredible tunes from 2013!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Love it or hate it? Agree or disagree? Let me know what you think!