Top 42 Songs From 2013

Top Indie Songs 2013

Our 8th annual retrospective and this year’s best songs compare wonderfully what has passed before. 2013 was certainly the year where I markedly left albums behind, not because I particularly wanted to but because time was in such short supply. That said I gave the biggies like MBV a good rattling before casting it aside quite mysteriously. And if that Dublin band’s return was a pleasant surprise so was the return of the baggy Madchester sound which boasts two entries on our Top 42 below (see if you can spot them). As with previous years the same rules apply in 2013 with an artist only appearing once despite how many good songs they have may have released this year. You’ll also notice the stream below playing back to front in an effort to build a modicum of tension on the way to the number one slot. Thank you 2013, you’ve been great! KD


This is how our 2013 sounded (playing in reverse order)


42) Knocking Ghost – Independent Girl

…plenty of acts plummeting to recreate a laborious 80′s sound and for the most part they are excretable…remembered to include a memorable tune…


41) Ancient Astronauts – Break My Heart In 2

…rarely has retro reinvention sounded this good…


40) Coastal Cities – Summer Reign

…a few more of these and Coastal Cites could form the fulcrum of the next big wave…


39) Cull – World Inside Your Head

…like Ride (and often the Boo Radleys too) you could say and it comes as no surprise to see that Oxford quartet loaded into Cull’s list of influences…


38) Only Real – Blood Carpet

… it has the necessary pills, thrills and bellyache’s required to kickstart any Friday night of debauchery…


37) Swimming in Speakers – Mind Does Take

…can’t be fogging up those thick rimmed spectacles now can we…


36) Camp Counselors – Attean (Feat. Psychic Twin)

…a little bit more interesting that a piece of flatbread from Norway…


35) Telekinesis – Ghosts And Creatures

…it is Lerner’s friendly ghost vocals that propel the tune skywards…


34) Is Tropical – Dancing Anymore

…its attendant promo vid raising eyebrows as well as a few other things…


33) Belle Mare – The Boat Of The Fragile Mind

…ever so subtle, sounding like the closing throes of a wake for no one in particular…


32) Swim Deep – She Changes The Weather

…not until his vocals kick in that you realise that there is something special afoot…


31) Shad – Fam Jam (Fe Sum Immigrins)

…no swear words or controversial angles just a gifted musician telling his life story…


30) TV Girl and Monster Rally – Average Guy (Blame)

…they’re coming together has yielded yet more tropical preciousness…


29) The River Cry – Honeymoon

…For much of the time Woods’ ethereal vocals and a sparse piano line are all that stands between you and a room full of silence…


28) Afterparty – Jungle Dreams

…this could well stick in your head like the snaking advances of a tongue from a 3am disco admirer…


27) Locas In Love – Bushaltestelle (The Bus Stop Song)

…a big hooray for creativity breeding creativity…


26) Braids – In Kind

…brave, complex, innovative and about as devastating as music gets…


25) Local Natives – Breakers

…hands are held aloft and those vocals, boy do they soar…


24) Desert – Desert

…while the words are not decipherable they seem a perfect fit for the cascading electronica all around…


23) Candy Claws – Transitional Bird (Clever Girl)

…approximates a MGMT style wind tunnel of sound that is emblazoned with bright melodies and Ryan Hover’s out of reach vocals…


22) Eastern Hollows – Summer’s Dead

…a grand illustration that fey indie boys and their guitars still have a place in an urbanised and over produced industry…


21) Alex Bleeker And The Freaks – Don’t Look Down

…the conceit may appear simplistic but Bleeker’s untamed vocals hint at the madness welling up inside…


20) Rachel Zeffira – The Deserters

…distant, alluring and almost off-balance on occasion…


19) Sans Chateaux – Holy Venus

…early uncluttered Belle & Sebastian also springs to mind…


18) Childhood – Solemn Skies

…boasts a great chorus, the punishing beat propelled momentum of a Doves tune…


17) Veronica Falls – Buried Alive

..a little triumph, a glint of light in a tsunami of forgettable noise…


16) Scarlet Chives – The Timber Will Fall

…a free spirit full of angst and possibility…


15) Tandem Felix – Third Degree Burns

…a mouth-watering blend of early Verve, mid-period Radiohead and latter day Sigur Ros…


14) Turtle Giant – Orange Grape

…like a coil unwinding or a storm brewing…


13) Ducktails – Honey Tiger Eyes

…their parents liked what happened to Spacemen 3 once they turned into Spiritualised…


12) Washed Out – All I Know

…freshness as played through a ghetto blaster that has recently been painted in vintage sepia…


11) MGMT – Alien Days

…quite odd, unnervingly psychedelic and a zig-zagging experimental ride…


10) Splashh – All I Wanna Do

…straight-ahead fuzz pop, the way the Strokes used to do it circa their first 1 1/2 albums…


9) The Eastern Sea – The Match

…heartfelt, euphoric and a shot in arm for those looking for something more meaty to bite into…


8) Empire of The Sun – Alive

…the best might yet be to come…


7) Jagwar Ma – The Throw

…the psychedelic baggy soundtrack to create a hypnotic mix that could only be bettered were there a Cressa or Bez to lend their physical contortions…


6) Alice And The Glass Lake – Lumunious

…could have broken it up and made a wonderful album out of its various parts…


5) Alela Diane – The Way We Fall

…a throwback to another time of fuller artforms and radiant voices…


4) Two Door Cinema Club – Changing Of The Seasons

…rather than regress to expected blandification they’ve proven that at their core they are a brilliant set of songwriters…


3) Program – Waiting

…trigger thoughts of Joy Division but it has the incendiaries of a long lost Adorable track…

Program – Waiting


2) Laura Mvula – That’s Alright

…a song full of personality, hooks and sky high jinks…

Laura Mvula – That’s Alright


1) Satchmode – Old Fears

…could be a play on Louis Armstrong’s nick and it would be a nice fit given the smooth connection between vocals and music…

Satchmode – Old Fears




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