Monday, 9 December 2013

Top 113 Songs of 2013, #40 - 31

Good times with Ngaiire, The Paper Kites, Eliza Hull and Arcade Fire.

#40. Dirty Hercules
by Ngaiire ft. Nai Palm

You live your life, I'm just passing by...

I love the loungey groove of this song. And the sweet, slick harmonies that Ngaiire produces. Ngaiire is an exceptionally talented and versatile vocalist and this shines through on 'Dirty Hercules'. I love the bassy step down into the chorus. It’s definitely a sassy groove that gets the hips swinging and the head nodding. This song is a sing-along for me whenever it gets to the chorus. I thought that the clip for this track was a bold experiment that had me remembering movement classes back at drama school (minus the body paint and nudity). I love the power play and status shift that comes across in the video (as mentioned, drama school trained – I’m forever seeing a story even in the abstract). Ngaiire herself explains the clip (in the YouTube comments section): 

Notes from NGAIIRE: "This clip is not supposed to be sexy. I wanted it to represent the struggle between two women and to the covetous aspect of human nature especially in regards to women and the need to be skinnier, taller, fitter, BETTER, more successful. The rope represents the tangled mind games we can play with each other and ourselves." (Lou Endicott)

'Dirty Hercules' is such a powerful song, from a powerful woman with a powerful and achingly gorgeous voice. You may remember Ngaiire from such reality shows as Australian Idol season 2, where this talented lady first showed us what those vocal chords are capable of. Fast forward nine years and we are finally graced with her presence again but this time we are able to gobble up her extra tasty electro-soul/nu-jazz treats with no hint of reality TV cheese. In fact there’s no cheese on this menu whatsoever, consider it dairy free.

Do you remember being a kid and playing with cornflour putty? Undisturbed it was flowing and smooth but became hard and seemingly indestructible when it was subjected to excess force. That’s how Ngaiire and Nai Palm work together on 'Dirty Hercules'. So smooth, silky, flowing and any other analogy you can think of to describe the softness until the intensity rises, then BAM, it’s all grunt and gravel. The Dirty Hercs is a writhing, beautiful and challenging piece driven by electro funk beats. I can feel Erykah Badu being channeled (what an awesome collaboration would that be?) and the strong imagery in the video questions our ideals of beauty, identity and strength. I can’t get enough of this track, and Ngaiire, I want to touch your beautiful face while you sing to me (in the least creepy way). (Nayt Housman)

Ngaiire is one hell of a singer. I was introduced to her album Lamentations by Matt earlier in the year, and ‘Dirty Hercules’, the first single from that album, has definitely been one of my faves of the year. So unpretentious, so straightforward, the beats are basic, but the real sounds are in the incredible voice of Ngaiire herself. Stunningly simple, there’s a real message about humans and competitiveness and insecurities and women and empowerment and I love the way those messages have been presented in such a sleek and kind of sexy way. When I saw Ngaiire in Melbourne earlier this year, I was totally blown away by her talent; her voice is just something else. She does everything all the amazing r’n’b singers we love like Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu and Alicia Keys do, but with a PNG/Australian accent and there’s something really, really awesome about that. (Jo Michelmore)

Ngaiire, you are amazing. ‘Dirty Hercules’ is filled with a soulful edge and beautiful harmonies thanks to the also talented Nai Palm. There’s a simple, delicate quality to the sound that builds into an infectious groove. There’s passion and attitude to the lyrics, said to be about not getting along with someone. Ngaiire spits “if you want to pick a fight, why don’t ya?”. Team Ngaiire! (Katie Langley)

2013 was a huge year for fans of future-soul. While the electric lady, Janelle Monaé was killing it in the States, Ngaiire Joseph was matching her every step of the way over this side of the planet. ‘Dirty Hercules’ was just one of many knockout tracks that made up the long awaited debut, Lamentations, but with a powerful clip and the vocal talents of Nai Palm joining forces with Ngaiire’s own, it stands out. Ngaiire defiantly growls, “said if you want to pick a fight, why don’t cha?” and you’ll believe this is one lady you don’t want to be messing with. Strong, powerful and beautiful… Ngaiire’s got it all and ‘Dirty Hercules’ is all the proof you need. (Matt Bond)

#39. The Wire
by Haim

And I'd give it all away, just so I could say that,
I know I know I know I know that you're gonna be OK anyway.

I’ll leave the ham jokes to Jo (I hope she makes one, or this could be awkward). Gags aside, Haim have been getting hammered (badoom-tish) with positive reviews, and for good reason! ‘The Wire’ is unbelievably catchy and if you’re not at least humming or moving by the end of the song then I recommend seeking medical attention. This is a bouncy, feel-good track complete with hand clapping. I’m buying into the hype. (Katie Langley)

This song started out as one of life’s mysteries to me. A couple of days before that guy from Portishead tweeted something poorly spelt about Haim sounding like Shania Twain, a friend and I had breakfast together and she asked me if I’d heard that song on the radio that sounded like Shania Twain, but wasn’t Shania Twain. I don’t listen to a lot of commercial radio, so I had to say no, but when I did find out what song she was talking about, I was amazed. Amazed because it mysteriously did sound remarkably like Shania Twain and amazed because I mysteriously didn’t really care. This was good pop music so what’s it matter who it does or doesn’t sound like? Beside all of that, can someone please tell me if they’re called Haim as in ‘hay’, like dried grass plus an ‘m’ or Haim as in H with an ‘eye’ in the middle then ‘m’. Also, why don’t more people (other than K-Tizz) appreciate my Haim not Ham jokes? Ah, life’s great mysteries. (Jo Michelmore)  

‘The Wire’ is one of those incredible songs that had me hooked from the very moment it began. One second was all it took for me to know I was going to love this song without knowing a single thing about it. And I’m not a Haim band-aid or anything (sort of, kind of, maybe), but I knew ‘The Wire’ was going to all kinds of amazeballs. It has that timeless ‘California rock’ edge, the smoothest in sibling harmonies and line after line of singalong goodness to enjoy. The comparisons to Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles have been endless, but really, if you were in a band and someone was saying, “hey you’re giving off some Fleetwood Mac vibes,” would you be cut up about it? Nay. Catchy as anything released this year, ‘The Wire’ has me excited to hear what comes next from the sisters Haim. (Matt Bond)

70s-esque flat ironed long locks seem to be smack bang on trend at the moment (for those under 25 anyway – no not me, I’m forever 28 - give or take a few years). Haim have more locks than a Schwarzkopf ad. It’s like Alanis Morissette is the style guide for this band and a whole generation of young chicky babes. But it’s not just their locks that have me a little fascinated by Haim. Their music is the exact brand of catchy delicious girl pop that I adore. As a kid I was a huge fan of The Bangles for their rock pop tunes (as well as their hairstyles). Haim seem to pick up for me where The Bangles left out but with a little more synthy poptasm thrown in (yes, poptasm – I’m allowed to make up words). 'The Wire' is on high repetition in my house for its catchiness and upbeat 80s vibe. Love it. Listen to the album and have your own poptasm. (Lou Endicott)

#38. St. Clarity
by The Paper Kites

I don't know you, but I know what you do...

That banjo, it does something to me. I really adore banjo when it’s not used in its cliché bluegrass format or near thereby (I’m looking at you Mumford And Sons). “Breaking you in, breaking you in, I don’t know you, but I know what you do.” This is my favourite line, coz it’s super creepy and makes the whole thing sound like a stalker's diary. It’s not though, more like a lil story about someone you might work with in the same building but never really know personally that you might want to get with. Or something. Either way The Paper Kites make the whole endeavour sound beautifully romantic and the imagery of the video takes it in a totally different direction, with the homeless guy and bubble.

Graceful vocals over the repeating banjo ditty are the heroes in this instrumental soundscape and everything else just adds to the ‘rainy day’ kind of feeling it evokes for me. Like a down tempo, sombre lullaby, 'St Clarity' takes me away from my present surrounds and delivers me to a realm of pure sounds and words. One where I can truly lose myself and reflect on my own experiences where I felt disconnected but longed for something more. So deep. (Nayt Housman)

The Paper Kites have one of my favourite video clips of the year in their song 'St Clarity'. It features a homeless man being inspired by a single bubble that floats into his makeshift shelter as he lies on a bed of rags. The clip then follows this character as he makes his own bubbles of extraordinary size and shape. Sound bizarre? Actually no. The clip is touching and very human. It’s also exquisitely filmed. And a short film in itself. 'St Clarity' is a gentle and soothing track with soft harmonies and beautiful guitar. Watch the clip if you haven’t already, you wont regret it. (Lou Endicott)

Seriously, how could you listen to ‘St Clarity’ and not run a gamut of emotions? Every aspect of the song is crafted so expertly by The Paper Kites. You might be happy one second, sad the next and then a combination of the two after that. You might be all over the place emotionally, but at least you’ll know for sure that you love music. It’s the best. And so are The Paper Kites. ‘St Clarity’ really speaks for itself, so go listen to it. Then you won’t be able to stop listening to it. (Matt Bond)

When I heard the familiar banjo twangs I started to get worried that I was going on some kind of Mumford and Sons type journey. Thankfully (for me, at least) that’s not what happened. The vocals for ‘St Clarity’ were ethereal, and sullen, proving to be the perfect equilibrium for the banjo. There is real depth and passion to the song that warms the cockles of my cold heart. (Katie Langley)

It’s almost spooky, the start of ‘St Clarity’, just a lone banjo, which of course means I’m going to like it. The haunting continues with the slow layering of sound, the voices, the bass, the percussion, it all builds in a way that’s both welcoming and distant, like watching the waves of the ocean without actually going for a swim, but watching the waves of the ocean can be incredibly peaceful and calming, which are both things that 'St Clarity' is. I adore this song, its complexity is captivating, its simplicity is enchanting and beside all of that, there’s a lyric in here I inexplicably love; “I don’t know you, but I know what you do”, which is maybe because that’s how I feel about The Paper Kites themselves. (Jo Michelmore)  

When we spoke to The Paper Kites' Sam Rasmussen back in Ju-ly, we asked what it was like working with acclaimed director Natasha Pincus on the 'St Clarity' video...

Sam Rasmussen: It was a privilege working with Natasha. She is an absolute professional and a very talented visionary. Originally it was Sam (Bentley) that found our bubble artist online and he was really keen to get him down to Australia and use him for the video. From there it was between Sam and Natasha that the concept came to life.

#37. Paradise
by Cub Sport

Paradise, sadness in the sun,
Other people's problems, other people's joys.

I’m going to refrain from referring to anything using the word ‘cute’ for this little band and this little song. Instead I’m just going to say that where I live, which is also where Cub Sport hail from, is kind of a nice place in the world. The mid tempo pop of ‘Paradise’ kind of suits that place and sometimes, on a good Sunday afternoon it’s a bit cruisy and chilled and sometimes a cool beverage under a shady tree is in order. All of those things are things I picture when I hear this song and all of those things are quite good things, so therefore, this is quite a good song, isn’t it? Yes, yes it is. (Jo Michelmore) 

You will feel like you’ve been taken away to paradise by the oh-so-dreamy pop beats of Cub Sport. ‘Paradise’ breezes on by in just over two and a half minutes and works its way into your brain. It’s a summery assortment of delights from a Brisbane band that keeps on getting better that will leave you longing for sunny days at the beach with your pals. What seems like an upbeat boppy number is made all the better when you look a little deeper and start questioning lines about, “sadness in the sun,” and all that jazz. Maybe not so much the jazz, but 'Paradise' is certainly a multi-layered track that, when you allow yourself to scratch the surface of it, pays off time and time again. This is another great track that gets better with each listen. Tim Nelson and Co. did good. Again. (Matt Bond)

For me ‘Paradise’ feels like a nod to an era gone by. A time when bike pants worn under skirts was sexy, and plastic streamers on your bicycle made you ride faster. I love the keys, the sugary sweet sound of the vocals and can’t help but wonder if this is what a rainbow would sound like. Seriously, think about it. (Katie Langley)

The catchy keys at the beginning of 'Paradise' won me over immediately. Cub Sport are a fun and rhythmically pop band that get me in the happy place immediately. 'Paradise' features a quirky little synth throughout that does arpeggios up and down like something out of the sound track for the film The NeverEnding Story. But the band never lets this electro twist take away from the fact that they are a tight band with great musicianship. (Lou Endicott)  

These kids are pumping out the summery carefree pop this year and this makes me super happy. Without trying to pigeonhole them, their super bubbly pop is rather queer-centric and is the kind of music I’d prefer to dance like a loon to at the local glitter palace (aka queer club). Maybe because it makes me think of rainbows, unicorns, bunnies, puppies and all things bright, sunny, soft and fluffy (please forgive me for stereotyping gays as lovers of all these things)? Also the Queen influenced video and snappy fashion probably add to the queer friendly vibe. I WANT to date them ALL.

Tim Nelson’s voice is so sweet and ‘childlike’ which makes an interesting contrast to the lyrics that seem almost longing. Against the light, airy, key-heavy backdrop, the youthfulness in Nelson’s voice and the almost sad, longing lyrics create a wonderful bittersweet air to their sound. So while it all seems sugary and bright on the outside, you know there’s a deeper layer to the message being communicated. “Paradise here right there on the road, the evidence it’s all our hands and toes and when you leave it’s like a test, paradise there upon your chest.” Now I don’t know about you but those lyrics are something ‘creationist’ or something really sexy, right there, upon your chest. Hahaha nothing suss O : ) (Nayt Housman)

Restraining order being served in 3... 2.... 1. (Matt Bond)

#36. Beach
by San Cisco

Who's gonna catch you now, who's gonna catch you now,
Running so far away, so far away.

San Cisco stopped being all awkward in 2013 and became confident masters of pop with ‘Beach’. Much like ‘Paradise’ above, San Cisco have created something that just makes you want to pack your bags and head to where you’d rather be. The music has a sense of wonder and romance, while the lyrics are in direct opposition to that, as a crushingly hopeless picture is painted in the words. If, like me, you’re a fan of those sad little love songs, you’ll be adding ‘Beach’ to mixtapes for broken-hearts for years to come. I don’t do that. Jordi Davieson and Scarlett Stevens continue to be the best male/female vocal band combo around, setting hearts around the world to a swooning beat. I’m doing it right now… sigh. (Matt Bond)

When I see all these young kids making fantastic music and being all successful, it makes me feel very old and unsuccessful, but then I remember how lazy I am and how I’m not very organised and everything falls back into place. Also I bet anyone who was a teen or twenty something during the 80s probably feels very old too, coz it’s all come full circle again. Kids exploring their parent’s music collections and scrounging for records at their local op shops. 

Long winded intro aside, S.C. are part of the bubbly indie pop scene, though 'Beach' takes the sugary edge off with a more bittersweet sound and heavier theme. “I made a mixtape, with all the songs that you hate, can’t read your mind I give up this time.” That doesn’t mean it’s devoid of that delicious joyful vibe they do so well. Far from it. If I were 80s dancing to this it would be like Seinfeld’s Elaine but slower and probably with some body rolls and a serious, maybe slightly sad look on my face. I wouldn’t be sad though coz 80s dancing makes me happy, REALLY happy. Therefore San Cisco makes me really happy and have you seen how cute they are? I want to pinch each of their cheeks and give them all sloppy grandma kisses. (Nayt Housman)

The initial underscoring of this song makes me think of Chariots of Fire every time it comes on. But then when the chorus comes in with the synthy up and down arpeggio I can’t help but think of the previous song in the count down, 'Paradise' by Cub Sport. So again, I am left thinking of The NeverEnding Story. So I’m going to be bold and say that up and down synthy arpeggios are so hot at the moment. As is 80s inspired synthesizers. And even if perhaps they are over used in indie music, I don’t care. I was a child of the 80s and they make me think of Luck Dragons. Which is surely a good thing. (Lou Endicott)

San Cisco are not from San (Fran)cisco, but Perth. San Francisco does have a lovely beach though. So does Perth, so I hear. I’ve not been to either, yet, so I can’t actually say. I have been to the places the San Cisco song ‘Beach’ takes me to though, which aren’t really fun and beachy at all. They’re actually a bit dark and jealous and scary, but that’s what I like about them. That’s also what I like about a pop song that seems light and airy, but really isn’t so much. Kind of like Perth and San Fransisco, so I hear. Maybe. (Jo Michelmore) 

#35. Reflektor
by Arcade Fire

Now the signals we send, are deflected again,
We're still connected, but are we even friends?

I’ll admit, anything tarred with the “indie” brush tends to have me running away, quickly. Add to that the fact that peeps are trying to call Arcade Fire the U2 of our generation and, well, I start to feel a vomit coming on. However, in saying that, I like to challenge myself from time to time, and found myself doing just that with ‘Reflektor’. You know what? I actually really like it! It’s a busy song – there’s dance, funk, drama, rock – but that’s what held my interest for the 7 odd minutes. And um, hello, did I hear David Bowie in there? Coooool. (Katie Langley)

A couple of weeks ago, if you had have asked me to write about ‘Reflektor’; the first single from Arcade Fire’s fourth album of the same name, I would have said all sorts of great words, like unexpectedly good and a seven minute dance marathon and I might have said something about some awesome drums and a weirdly good clip. But ever since Noel Gallagher said something along the lines of Arcade Fire prying themselves out of their own assholes, I can’t help but laugh, ‘cause whether you like them or not, that really is a good insult. I’d never insult this song though, it’s all the things I described a couple of sentences ago and I think it’s one of their best, as well. (Jo Michelmore) 

Are Arcade Fire music royalty yet? 'Reflektor' is such a refreshing sound from Arcade Fire, it’s almost Bowie-esque dance, super arty, dark, dirty, twisted and one of my fave art-rock-pop-dance songs of the year (How do you categorise genre-hoppers?). 'Reflektor' is all bongo drums, funky geetar, keyboard and sythy goodness. Win flexes his dramatic, wonderful vocals in that “I’m so desperate, please hear me?” kind of way I love so much and Regine flashes her sweet French tongue. “Entre la nuit, la nuit et l’aurore, entre le royaume des vivants et des morts, if this is heaven I don't know what it’s for, if I can’t find you there I don't care.” (Nayt Housman)

Disco’s a thing again, yeah? So this would be Indie-disco. Or disco-indie. And aren’t they embracing it, yeah? Almost obnoxiously, with disco balls and reflective disco men popping up every two seconds in the video. I believe ‘Reflektor’ is the longest running track on our list, possibly the only one over seven minutes. They manage to make the time fly by though. My personal favourite moments are whenever Régine Chassagne sings in French and, of course, David Bowie just hanging out in the background. I didn’t realise he would be on backup when I first listened, so it was a very nice surprise to hear his voice and rush to check if it was indeed Bowie’s voice I was hearing. As for Chassagne, she could be singing about how she just took the biggest dump of her life and I’d still be loving it because I have no idea what she’s actually saying. What? I don’t speak French. Parlez… valez… whatever. (Matt Bond)

#34. No Strings
by Chloe Howl

The novelty's worn, you can't get it for nothing.

It’s the accent and the attitude that makes you automatically think Lily Allen when you hear Chloe Howl, and although I don’t like making comparisons, I certainly wouldn’t complain if I was being compared to Lily Allen, so let’s just stick with that one. When it starts, you could be mistaken in thinking it’s a throw away pop number by another English girl, but then the chorus kicks in and you realise Chloe means business. I like the attitude, I like the lyrics and I like the fact that Chloe’s not twenty yet, ‘cause she’s managed to keep the youthful, playful way pop music should be and thrown enough teen angst in to make it memorable. I look forward to lots more. (Jo Michelmore)  

Not quite Adele, not quite Lily Allen… Chloe Howl is more like the best of both and even more pop-tacular. I know comparisons are sometime unfair and generally unnecessary, but come on, you’re picking up what I’m putting down. ‘No Strings’ has been part of my 2013 soundtrack since the very start of the year, with the song coming in at #1 on our first Top 25 in January. Since then, the very British ‘if you’re gonna have a one nighter, actually make sure it’s just a one nighter’ anthem has had me tapping the feet along and loving Howl’s sweet and soulful pipes. “They’re playing our favourite song, you come dance near me, but not for long.” Definitely one of my favourite songs of 2013. (Matt Bond)

There’s no denying it – ‘No Strings’ is an uber cool song. The upbeat almost Dizzee Rascal-esque vibe to the chorus and no nonsense lyrics have won me over. Chloe’s quick wit and reluctance to sugar coat anything have drawn comparisons to fellow Brit Lily Allen. And although that’s hard to deny, there’s something more raw and relatable to Chloe. In ‘No Strings’ Chloe gives the proverbial middle finger to a guy only looking for a casual hook up. Or, as she puts it “fuck your no strings, and your hey I'll ring”. Yeah! What she said. (Katie Langley)

#33. Christopher
by Eliza Hull

I'm a fool in your web,
Loving a ghost of a man.

One of our very favourites here on the blog this year, Eliza Hull has been impressive in every sense of the word. She has a voice from another world, truly beautiful and while every track on her EP The Ghosts You Never Catch was a song to adore, there is something about the sounds of ‘Christopher’ that catch my breath in the back of my throat every time I hear it. Such a journey of sound, such a sound of heartbreak and the lyric “I’ll be there for you, Christopher” is as haunting now as it was the first day I heard it. Eliza Hull is such a special and talented artist, I can’t even imagine where she’ll be taking me next, but I know it’s somewhere I’ll want to go. (Jo Michelmore) 

This slow and beautiful track from the talented Eliza Hull is one that I enjoyed listening to in 2013. There is no shortage of talent here. Eliza’s beautiful soaring voice in 'Christopher' is an ethereal trip to the heart's emotional centre. It comes from the EP The Ghosts You Never Catch which was produced by another talented artist Hayden Calnin who I was lucky enough to catch live earlier this year. (Lou Endicott)

Oh, isn't this just a beauty? Although 'Christopher' has a gentle sound, it's packed full of emotion. Eliza's voice is almost angelic as she announces, "I'll be there for you Christopher". It's absolutely captivating and I can't help but wonder who Christopher is. It's easy to get lost in this song, and I mean that in the best possible way. There's a dream-like quality and I'm left wanting more each time I listen to it. (Katie Langley)

Well, I said I would only use the term 'hauntingly beautiful' to describe Eliza Hull's voice from now on, so I'll take full advantage of that here. 'Christopher' is an enchanting, otherworldly track that breaks my heart in the verses and puts it back together again with each chorus, a promise that our narrator will be there for the mysterious title character. The warmth in Hull's delivery of the chorus holds hope so strong, it transfers right over to me. That warmth, it warms my heart too. A striking achievement from a unique and inspiring performer, the woman with a hauntingly beautiful voice - Eliza Hull. Thank you for the music. (Matt Bond)

#32. Perth Girls
by Abbe May

Once more on the bathroom floor,
To let you know I still think that you're beautiful...

Is it hot in here, or is it just Abbe May? When May put up a vote on her Faceybook page to determine her latest single and ‘Perth Girls’ was a choice I essentially messed myself with excitement at the prospect of this track that 100% of the time works in terms of successful sexiness (every time) getting the video treatment. When I say ‘essentially’ I mean ‘did not mess myself’, but I was very, very excited. ‘Perth Girls’ was announced as the new Kiss My Apocalypse single and we were treated to one of the best videos of the year. The song was already one of the steamiest of the year, but combined with the video? Sexxxy… everything about it so sexy. Fans of K.M.A's first single, 'Karmageddon' will love how many elements of it and 'Perth Girls' play off each other too. (Matt Bond)

Damn girl this song it out of this world good! I’ve said it before, but it seems Australian electro is at the dawn of a new era and there are three powerful women who have my attention; Michelle Xen, MKO's Hannah Macklin and Abbe May. ‘Perth Girls’ shows us the sharp and sinister side with its militant beats and haunting echoes. May is an extremely commanding vocalist who oozes the kind of sensuality fans of Roisin Murphy would be most familiar with.

Poking fun at Robert Palmer in the video much like Shania Twain did in her hit ‘Man I Feel Like A Woman’, Abbe wears a sleek suit, shirt unbuttoned four buttons down while she leads her army of gyrating real life mannequins. “Hot night under fluorescent light, there you go, down on the tiles chequered black and white, my hands slip down as I navigate you, I knew I’d never stay on the edge of your city.” This is only the opening verse yet it’s sizzling and dripping with desire, sex and I imagine a lot of sweat. It gets hotter from there on and never once is there a need or attempt to communicate in any more than a suggestive way which makes it sizzle so much more. I must tell you Abbe May, what I want and what I want is more of you, your voice, your beats and your unrelenting takeover of Australia’s electro music scene. (Nayt Housman)

#31. Bros
by Wolf Alice

I tell you all the time, I'm not mad,
You tell me all the time, I got plans.

I have only just discovered Wolf Alice, and I know this is a big call, but for me it’s love at first sight. Or sound. ‘Bros’ makes me feel quite nostalgic. The kind of 90’s vibe and lyrics about having best buds takes me on a little trip down memory lane. I’m thinking about some of my own best hoes - playing Nintendo with Amy and karaoke with Alana. Wolf Alice have described their music as sounding like unemployment, but for me ‘Bros’ sounds more like blue jeans, cask wine, and road trips. (Katie Langley)

The unplugged home video at the beginning to the clip of “Bros” charmed me immediately. I love seeing real people doing what they love (and talking in North London accents no less!). Wolf Alice have a delicious rock pop feel to their sound and I really enjoy this track. I have three amazing brothers myself and no one knows me like they do (as the song says). Apart from my sister (who’s also awesome). And there is no one quite like them. Love you guys!! *pumps fist in the air with other hand on heart. Gushy, mushy Lou. But I digress… I really enjoy this song with its full sound, harmonies and stripped back section mid way through. Play it with those you love and you can sing it to each other while you dance about wildly. (Lou Endicott)

I’m just going to tell it like it is. I love this song. I don’t know all that much about London’s Wolf Alice, they’re one of those bands that managed to slip under my radar this year, but the song didn’t and neither did the uber fun clip, all dancing and colour and fun. I love the simple 90s feel of the drums and catchy guitar hook, with Ellie Roswell’s vocal sitting gently over the top and when I hear the opening notes there’s a weird manic swaying thing that goes on which I can’t stop, but then just over two minutes later, they strip everything back, slow everything down and I picture a summer festival and a giant sing-along and bouncing and dancing and smiling and any song that makes me smile has to be a great song, right? Right. (Jo Michelmore)

See you tomorrow for ten more delicious songs from 2013!

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