10 Hype Songs of 2013
It took Daft Punk eight years to produce their fourth studio album, Random Access Memories, but only four minutes to conquer the planet the old-fashioned way: with a brilliant tune of disco music. Get Lucky reached cultural omnipresence without an accompanying viral video, featuring the year’s earworm-iest hook, career-enlivening vocals by Pharrell and Nile Rodgers’ funkiest guitarwork since Chic. Released in April, Get Lucky became the hit of the summer before summer even had begun.
2. David Bowie // The Stars (Are Out Tonight)
Who needs a record company anyway?! Surely not David Bowie who tricked the media that proclaimed the Thin White Duke had left biz for good. Bowie’s second single after more than ten years of silence came out to wake everybody up with a blast of electric guitars and an incredible video featuring Tilda Swinton beside supermodels Andrej Pejic and Saskia De Brauw.
3. Kate Boy // Northern Lights
Rumour has it that Swedish electro quartet Kate Boy recorded their single Northern Lights within three hours of meeting each other. The result is a screeching synthpop hymn revolving around Kate Akhurst’s piercing vocal harmonies.
4. Alicia Keys feat. Nicki Minaj // Girl On Fire
Glad, Alicia has become a feminist icon for anthems like Superwoman, refusing to twerk her booty in Beyoncé-style. This year’s Girl on Fire came with thrilling energy and an irresistible melody, even if nobody found out if Nicki Minaj’s rapping about Marilyn Monroe had anything to do with Alicia’s main lyric.
5. Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX // I Love It
Hardly the saccharine crap that might have been expected from its title, this break-up song surprised as a breath of fresh air: agressive, hostile and catchy – probably too cool to be labelled pop.
6. Arcade Fire // Afterlife
Released with Arcade Fire’s new album Reflektor, Afterlife made Win Butler finally sound like a guy who found a way to make music without losing his mind.
7. Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell & T.I. // Blurred Lines
No, sleazy Robin will not be a stately Prince successor, though his falsetto in Blurred Lines reaches Prince’s pitch easily. Thanks to Pharrell Williams’ production skills and its uplifting vibes, Blurred Lines became the summer fun(k) track of the year.
8. Wild Disclosure feat. AlunaGeorge // White Noise
This elegant electro-inflected dance collaboration between British duos AlunaGeorge and Disclosure was just the stuff to finsh off a rather underwhelming year in pop: slinky and airy and moving.
9. Lady Gaga // Applause
Hapless Gaga delivered the bomb flop of the year with Artpop, a collection of mediocre electronica and unimpressive euro dance. The applause went somewhere else, though its namesake release was an inordinately catchy tune.
10. Janelle Monae feat. Solange // Electric Lady
Cannot understand the hype around Beyoncé, though she really knows how to make every step of hers a chief event. However, authentic R&B lovers listen to Janelle’s Electric Lady.