Say Lou Lou – Beloved
I can’t quite properly convey how much love I have for Beloved. Suffice to say Beloved is one of the finest songs of decade. It deserves every applause and every appraise. It is beautiful. I truly hope Say Lou Lou have plans to upgrade its current b-side status to a-side. It is absolutely stunning. There are songs. And there are songs like Beloved. Amazing. Listen

Broods – Bridges
Setting blogworld alight with their debut, it was incredibly difficult not to fall in love Broods. It helped they were, as duo’s go, pretty nice to look at. This facet aside, Broods released one of the finest songs of the year. Cosy, warm yet anthemic Bridges became one of signature songs of 2013. Listen
Style Of Eye with Soso – KIDS

I love Soso. I love Style of Eye. Kids was always going to become one of favourite songs of 2013. And it did. The lyrics are amazing especially the lines about generic hipsters. Pop world shines ever brighter with Sophia Somajo in it. Listen  

Wild at Heart - Saving All My Tears
I love Erik Lindestad and Li Stanley! I am so pleased they decided to reform into Wild At Heart after Cleast Eatwood decided to splinter up. While Saving All My Tears is sadly not a cover of the Cher anthem, it is pretty amazing nonetheless. Featuring gorgeous vocals from Erik that glide over the delicate fabric of the tender song which sounds gentle to touch.  With its tremendous cosmic arpeggios the rather majestic Saving All My Tears has emerged as one of my all time favourite songs of recent years. It is glorious. Listen

Museum Of Bellas Artes – Abyss
It was a trip to Eurovision earlier where I first discovered on the beauty that are Museum of Bellas Arte so yes I’m a little tardy to the party. Yes, again another Swede outfit make the list. Abyss easily stabbed itself deep into my heart and refused to leave. Taking me hostage for about 2 months. Then came my borderline obsessive love for their debut album which is out now. Listen

Hanna – Rain Dance
Okay, so I put my hands up! I adored Cat5 so I was an instant but biased fan of Hanna’s solo efforts and with her Lioness EP she didn’t disappoint last year. This year she gave us two trinkets in the form of the amazing North Star and Rain Dance. Both could’ve been on the list here today but the tasty unusualness and abnormal pop of Rain Dance circled itself around my head and is why its here over the disco-tastic North Star. Cannot wait for Hanna’s album. Listen

Marlene – Bon Voyage
Produced by French friends Tepr and Myd, Bon Voyage by Marlene is a wonderfully designed pop fuelled R&B anthem that you could imagine on the 3rd Little Mix album.  Great synths and uplifting vocals Marlene’s debut single instantly became one of most deliciously overplayed songs of 2013. Listen

Club 8 – Stop Taking My Time
Nothing to do with the S Club 7 spin-off  band, the Swedish duo delivered one of the finest synth-driven debut albums of the year in the form of Above The City via Labrador Records. Stop Taking My Time sounded like felt like beat in the stomp of every fierce supermodel during the 1990s. It growled, prowled and roared. Listen

Xenia Kriisin – Firearms
Putting aside the rather brilliant name, this anthem stopped me in tracks and wore me out. I get the sense this is the sort of song Loreen tried to attempt with her Warrior release earlier in the year. Xenia’s Firearms was every bit epic as the title suggests. Pretty much fucking amazing. Listen

Niia – Generation Blue
I am an absolute sucker for layered and delicious string ballads and murky hints of electro synths  marauding at the back. Generation Blue arrived around December and consequently I’ve been doing my Christmas shoppin and hoppin with Niia firmly on constant repeat. Absolutely beautiful. Listen

Sirena – Don’t Fear The Water
Don’t fear the Water is one of my favourite songs of the year. But I intensely dislike the fact that it as finishes far too soon. Way too soon. I want it to last longer. Anyho, the anthem by the Spanish-Swedish Sirena constructs her stunning anthem with a  beautiful prologue in the form of a acapella before interweaving sweeping arpeggios that breathed life into the Monday morning when I first came across it. I can’t wait for her album next year. Truly magnificent. Listen

Icona Pop – I Love It
Overlooking the fact that the song came out in 2012, Icona Pop delivered an immense set of pop anthems pretty much the moment they landed here on planet pop and I Love It was simply the tip of a huge iceberg. They stormed the charts with their debut single that was used in a multitude of syncs from big Hollywood films to trashy beer companies all of which proved the high addictivity – is that even a word? – of the anthem. It just couldn’t be denied. It soared into 2012 and stamped itself all over 2013 as well.  Illustrating that they are not simply about I Love It, their two recent albums are full of bombastic pop anthems. If you want to find a twin to their global smash, let me suggest On A Roll. Listen

Mmm - Volcano of Diamonds

Volcano of Diamonds is a smoky explosion that illuminates and ruminates like a good rum on a very cold winters day. In other words, it was it was more of a slow grower rather than an instant pop firework.  Nonetheless, it glows gloriously. Hailing from Norway, Mmm masterfully create a sparkly production with dreamy ethereal high-pitched falsettos and vocoded trinkets that twists and turns, all of which made sure Volcano of Diamonds eventually wrapped itself around me. Listen

Anana – Island
Anana and her song Island are amazing. I can’t get enough of either. Experimenting in what she describes as her genre of “underwater-pop”, Anana certainly pulls the living and listening under her wave. Incredible. Listen

Mons Montis – Swept
Sounding somewhere in-between Kylie’s Love At First Sight, the soundtracks of Drive and Blade Runner, Swept arrived in September and knocked me over. I found myself swooning and asking for my salts. Can’t wait to hear more from the new Swedish group. Listen

Name The Pet – So Slow
I love absolutely everything that Hanna does. However I must remain detached. Distant, cool and unbiased. Yet, I couldn’t leap for joy when I heard So Slow. It simply sparkled. A little more mature than her previous outings, So Slow sounds as if Name The Pet is certainly finding her feet. Listen

Azure Blue – Time Is On Our Side
Tobias Isaksson (Azure Blue) returned with the absolutely glorious second album this year and the single Time Is On Our Side was its flagship song. I fell head over heels for its dream-like Blade Runner sensibilities. Check out the Azure Blue album Beyond The Dreams There's Infinite Doubt as it could be the best electro-synth pop album to come out during 2013 and one of the finest Swedish releases of the year. Hugely inspirational and sumptuous. Listen
Avicii ft. Aloe Blacc – Wake Me Up
I very nearly put Avicii’s tremendous Eurovision effort with Bjorn & Benny but instead went for the poptastic global smash Wake Me Up. Explosive and tremendous, Wake Me Up smashed together dance & country  making a rather stunning cocktail I’ve not heard since Dolly Parton experimented with disco hit Baby I’m Burnin’. Listen
Betty Who – High Society

I love the Australian songstress Betty Who! Who doesn't? She’s the toast of every pop blog and has appeared in all the right “ones to watch lists” for next year. 2013 has been an immense year for Betty culminating by signing to RCA in September. High Society is one of favourite songs from her so far. Listen

Paola & Chiara – Divertiamoci

It is little bit heartbreaking to list the Italian pop group as the moment they released their poptastic J-Pop-inspired album in July they decided to call it a day after years reigning the Spanish, German and Italian radio waves especially during the summer months for years. They blamed the Italian music business. Which, given its reputation at the moment, you can understand why. Alas, I'm sure they will return perhaps not as a duo though. Divertiamoci was a huge Europop anthem of epic proportions and in many ways a good final single for the sister-group. Take a bow, P & C you were amazing. DSTP will miss you! Listen
Frida Sundemo - Jaguar

When Frida released her amazing Indigo EP, all eyes & ears rightfully fell deep in love with the title song, but for me it was all about Jaguar. It shimmers and radiates as one of my favourite b-sides released this year. It recalls some of her earlier ambient textures realized on her debut album released in 2010. After receiving her second album the other week I get the sense that next year will be Fridas. Listen

W/I - Love Divine

Sounding like a squeezed Sound of Arrows or something from the Drive soundtrack, Love Divine was the first single by WI otherwise known as two film music students Ola Wilhelm Tappert and Sandra Windahl. Check out their dreamy electro pop E.P available on itunes now. It wonderfully borrows from the Blade Runner soundtrack which is amazing considering that it manages in the short space of an EP to create a delicious sci-fi landscape and realm via their atmospheric and tender electric musings. Amazin. Listen

Lady Gaga - Gypsy 

Taken from one of my favourite album's of 2013, Gypsy was one of the strongest songs from Lady Gaga's third album. Pushing aside the huge polemic fanfare that surrounds Lady Gaga and especially this album, ArtPop was another pretty good effort but it was Gypsy that caught my eye perhaps because it was produced by RedOne. Full on poptastic pop with turbo bells. Listen

Join The Riot - Queen Marmalade 
Four rather delicious Swedish boys based in Stockholm produced this bombastic cute ditty in the summer and I was instantly hooked. Such was the sweet candy beauty of Queen Marmalade it sounded somewhat like a cross between Aha and S/A/W. Listen

Laurel – Blue Blood

The trippy-pop beats next to the lush arrangement of course draws similar comparisons to Lana Del Ray but this should not be seen as a slight in any way. Laurel wrote and produced the entire track which is immense considering its rich, mighty and huge wall of sound. Her album promises to be absolutely amazing. Listen

Ask Embla - Einn

By producing the album of the year, it thus became rather difficult to pick the one song from the Norwegian pop legends Ina & Arnthor which was impossible to separate or divorce on first hearing. Northern Light, their album, is weighed down by their pop brilliance and belief that every song should be all thriller and no filler. However, looking at my most played it is Einn that pushes past the rest with almost triple amount of listens than any other song by Ask Embla. In fact, deeper scrutiny reveals that Einn along with Beloved by Say Lou Lou is my most played songs of 2013. If you've ever wondered what the valkyries listened to on their mp3 players as they bring the fallen to the god Odin wonder no more. Einn emerges as a soaring uplifting torch ballad providing warmth from the embers after the burning pain of loosing a loved one.  I was emotionally shaken after my first listen and months on I still cry a little. A powerful moment of remembrance enshrined in one song. Beautiful. Listen

1 comment:

mordi said...

i LOVE say lou lou - and you've given me loads of new music to look into - thank you!