Thursday, January 2, 2014

Music's My Imaginary Friend

As I have mentioned before, I have a history of becoming mildly obsessed with a specific group of songs that I unofficially dub my playlist of the season. And since the last time I have bestowed these highly useful musical recommendations on you was back in March (so two playlists ago) I figured it was time for an update. Since it's officially 2014, I thought it was a good time to recap on some of the tunes that made the end of my year and are still in heavy rotation on my playlist. 

"The Wire" by Haim
The first thing I thought when I heard that there was a band called Haim that it was an attempt by an offspring of 80's heartthrob turned cautionary tale Corey Haim. Turns out they are three sisters from Los Angeles and it's actually pronounced like "hi-me" (as in rhymes with "time"). So no relation. But besides this super fun song, my favorite thing that I learned about this up and coming band is that they were once in a tween girl group called the Valli Girls, whose greatest claim to fame was an unforgettable ditty, "It's a Hair Thing." I'm not joking. You can watch the video here. It may seem corny, but it just makes me love them even more now that they have been reborn as like supercool folk-rock chicks. Just remember kids- it's 2014. There's no escaping the internet. 

"Best I Ever Had" by Gavin DeGraw
Just when I got tired of hearing from him, Gavin DeGraw goes and puts out another great song that almost negates his appearance on Dancing with the Stars. Plus I like hearing Massachusetts referenced in songs that aren't awful.

"Counting Stars" by OneRepublic
You guys, I don't know if I can express how in love I am with this song. I have listened to it multiple times everyday since I added it to my playlist. Ryan Tedder can kind of do no wrong- do know know how many songs this guy has written? Regardless of his talent as a writer and producer, I really like the stuff that he does with OneRepublic, but unfortunately I think they get totally overplayed (i.e. ruined) by radio stations, making me resentful of their once-revered songs. Even though his super-smooth voice is always on par, for me it's all about the background music. I love the beat in this song, especially when they get to the bridge and it really speeds up. I just can't say enough about this one.

"Demons" by Imagine Dragons
I initially liked the first few songs that Imagine Dragons released, and then quickly grew to despise them when they were totally overplayed. Maybe it hasn't been out long enough, but I still like this one.

"Timber" by Pitbull ft. Ke$ha
Okay, before you completely disregard any credibility this list may have had (and if that's what you were looking for, you are probably in the wrong place to begin with), just remember, that above all things, music is supposed to be fun. This song is pretty identical to every other club-thumper that Pitbull has done, and Kesha's not exactly the Barbra Streisand of our generation, but hello? The main feature of this song is a sick harmonica riff. Because if there's anything the music industry is missing right now, it's more crossover between hip hop and country, amirite?

"Closer" by Tegan & Sara
I'm confused by these two- are they sisters or lesbian lovers? No matter, I die over this song regardless. It reminds me of a really great 80's pop song, which I am always okay with. Bonus points because the video features the duo performing karaoke on a vintage television.

"All Night" by Icona Pop
By the end of the summer, I was slightly over "I Love It," even though it was a really fun song. So I was extremely excited to hear a follow up single from this Swedish female duo, and I think that it's even better than their debut song. It's like the perfect "getting ready" song. It reminds me of something my college girl friends and I would put on while primping for a night out. They also used this song in the promos on E! for their coverage of the Emmys, so I knew it was meant to be.

"Give It To You" by Robin Thicke ft. Two Chainz & Kendrick Lamar
I know we're supposed to be mad at Robin Thicke for agreeing to be a part of Miley's VMA horror show (and for his affinity for supposedly "rapey" lyrics), but I can't get enough of this song. What I can get enough of is Two Chainz. God, I can't stand him. But his presence on this track was somehow not enough to stop me from liking it anyway. 

"We Own the Night" by The Wanted
The Wanted has kind of slipped off my radar since none of them are rumored to be sleeping with Lindsay Lohan at the moment, and also because I couldn't hear "Glad You Came" one more time without wanting to tip over a double decker bus. But after a little break, I was glad to hear this new song. It reminds me of the kind of tune you find yourself drunkenly singing with your friends at last call. It's the perfect tempo for people who have spent the last five hours partying but aren't really with it enough to follow a beat.

"White Walls" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Schoolboy Q & Hollis
I have always liked this song, and by "always" I mean since I first discovered Macklemore after seeing him on SNL last year and downloaded "The Heist" in it's entirety. I know nothing of cars or rap music, but when I listen to this song, I don't feel like I need to. I just sit back and enjoy every second of it.

"TKO" by Justin Timberlake 
I have never been a huge fan of JT, but I do recognize him to be a great performer (no matter how much crap I give my college roommate KB for it). I'm not crazy about all of the songs on his new album ("Suit & Tie" being my least favorite) but for some reason I really took to this one. I think it's something about the tracks he does with Timbaland that are always a win for me, a la "Cry Me a River." 

What were your favorite songs of 2013? I still enjoy these tracks but am totally ready for some new tunes for the new year. 


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