The end of the year is near and that means that I’m about to finish off my 2013 playlist. I love discovering music, so back in 2007, I started creating monthly playlists. I take the best of the new music I found in that month and make a playlist that reminds me of the different events, moods and memories that I experienced during that time. By the time that Christmas comes along, I have basically a soundscape of my year. 7 years later, I’m still doing it — and I’m going to share my 10 favourites of the 325 (as of today) songs that I’ve come across in 2013.
I love everything about music — I always say there’s a song for every situation, and it’s true! Music can be a shared experience — but it can also be a intensely personal. People complain that music is dying, but there’s always a new artist around the corner, or something from years past that you just haven’t heard yet. Music is beautiful.
A disclaimer: These 10 songs are not listed in any particular order. They were not all released in 2013, I just happened to discover them this year.
"Reality" - Allen Stone
Wonderful sentiment - great artist. The first time I saw a video of Allen Stone, I thought, “This guy does not look like how he sounds!” He’s an amazing vocalist, super soulful — I had the pleasure of seeing him live last year, and it was one the best shows I’ve ever been to! This song, “Reality” is from one of his early albums. Check out his other stuff on YouTube.
"One Sixteen (f. KB & Andy Mineo)" - Trip Lee
I can’t say enough how much I appreciate this song! I first heard this song after I came back from the student missions conference, Urbana 2012, where I saw Andy Mineo perform. Not only are these guys great musically, they are speaking TRUTH! I believe they’re all involved with Lecrae’s label, Reach Records. Doing big things for the kingdom! “Not ashamed!”
"Ain’t It Fun" - Paramore
This female-fronted rock band is one of my favourites! I was a little worried because they just did a major personnel change within the band, but their new album is great. “Ain’t It Fun” is my favourite song on there — I love pop, gospel and rock and this song has influences from all of those genres (my favourite section starts at the 3:40 mark!). Yup, awesome — this is one I play loud in the car!
"God I Look to You (f. Jenn Johnson)" - Bethel Church
I don’t even remember how I came across this one — I think my sister was playing it one day. Whenever it was, I just feel like this is my natural song. Meaning, if I was to open my my mouth and give praise, this song would just naturally come out. These lyrics are so true to me. “God, I look to you, you’re where my help comes from. Give me wisdom, you know just what to do…” I play this song when I’m feeling down and I will always feel better after these 7+ minutes of worship. Forever all my days, hallelujah!
"Worth It" - Tori Kelly
Yes, Tori Kelly is finally getting the recognition she deserves! The girl is crazy talented, I saw her live earlier this year, and she is legit! Her voice is ridiculous, her songs are relatable and I can practice my runs along with her in the car…lol! The clip below is probably my favourite song of hers. Other favourites: “All in My Head” and “Bring Me Home” — check them out on YouTube.
"Bones" - Ginny Blackmore
Songza brought this song to my attention this year and I bought it off iTunes right away. I just feel like its a really honest song. Sometimes us women just want to be told we’re beautiful — it may be taboo to some feminists out there, but it’s true! These are some very honest and brave lyrics, plus Ginny has a great voice. I’m not that familiar with her other stuff, but I had this one on repeat for AWHILE! I’ll keep an ear out for her in the future.
"Pick Up Your Broken Heart" - Newton Faulkner
A redheaded dread man! Yes, Newton Faulkner, the British singer-songwriter, is a ginger with dreadlocks! lol Love it — but that’s beside the point. This song is beautiful and I want to share this song with my friends who’ve experienced a broken heart recently. If you need a shoulder, I’m here to the end. Even when it’s time to pick up your broken heart and start again!
"She" - Laura Mvula
Can I just say that I love how she is rockin’ that shaved head! Yes, ma’am. Okay I read an article about this new artist, Laura Mvula, and I came across her distinct sounding music shortly after. I feel as if I haven’t heard anything like her music before — it’s really unique. Dense chords, intricate patterns — I like! If you want something different than the standard pop tunes, check her out.
"Yet to Find (f. Anthony Hamilton)" - The Robert Glasper Experiment
This is probably the most recent song on this list. Out of an album filled with amazing songs, this one stuck out to me as a favourite. Would it make sense if I just said that this song just feels good? Plus, Anthony Hamilton is great on it, obvs. A+++++
"Colors" - Amos Lee
I just came across Amos Lee’s 2006 self-titled album in August and I can’t get enough! Why am I only listening to his stuff now? Guitar, voice, lyrics — trifecta! “When you’re gone, all the colors seems to fade…” great writing. I pretty much like every song on the album, but this one is especially great. Just so simple and sparse — just enough to really hit the heart. Oh so good.
Well, that’s 10 songs! But I can’t resist — it is almost Christmas!
As a bonus, I am including a version of “Christmastime is Here” by Afro Blue, one of the groups from Season 3 of “The Sing-Off”. Their arrangement is amazing - pure jazz. Just sit back, close your eyes and take it in. The harmonies!! I wanna be in a group like this!
Ain’t music wonderful? It was hard to choose only 10 songs (like reeeaaally hard — I could’ve easily done more!) but I’ll leave it at this for now. This was really fun to do — I hope you enjoy and share! Go see a show, support local artists and don’t stay in any genre boxes! Buh-bye!