Let’s Go Exploring! favorite tracks of winter ’13 mix

In most parts of the lower 48,* it’s chilly, snow covered, and down right unpleasant at times.  But I’ve always had an itch for adventures of all sorts, like my friends below.


Seven weeks into 2013, is enough time to develop a set of favorite tunes and discuss new discoveries from the year.  So, join me this morning for an aural excursion through my favorite tracks to date. (Funny thing about an early winter mix is that a number of tracks (a) were actually released in 2012 (and now getting more (of my) attention) and (b) haven’t been officially released. So there are two playlist links below, on You Tube and Spotify.)

Early observations on 2013…

Phenomenal intermixing of genres and musical eclecticism! See Shugo Tokumaro’s “Katachi”, Darkstar’s “Amplified Ease” (a cross between Animal Collective and Hot Chip), and Foxygen’s “Oh Yeah” (bluesy Rolling Stones meets psych era Pink Floyd).

A return of long form pensive pop and folks songs! See Phosphorscent’s “Song For Zula”, Torres’ “Honey”, Ducktails’ “Under Cover” (love the sax solo!!!), and Local Natives’ “You & and I”

The indie R&B revival continues and just gets smoother and richer! See Rhye’s “The Fall”, Haim “Falling”, Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s “So Good At Being In Trouble”, Amateur Best’s “The Good Life”, or James Blake’s “Retrograde” (bringing soul & depth to dub-step).

Four (new) tracks in particular I can’t quite enough of right now:

  • When you think Scottish Indie rock, you tend to think morose and sulking or bop-y sunshine and cheery melodies. You certainly don’t think of electro dance pop, right? Well, Chvrches’ “Recover” is about to change all that. The third single from this Glasgow group is a scorching electro-pop dance number in the vein of Grimes and Purity Ring but with an undeniably catchy hook. If you haven’t heard “The Mother We Share” from 2012 don’t delay.
  • Speaking of dance able music, Oxford’s Foals have released this amazingly catchy track, “My Number”, off of Holy Fire; feels like a trip back to the early ’00s with a definite Rapture and Radio 4 electro-clash feel. Dance Punk → bringing mods, rockers and club kids together again.
  • San Francisco’s Blackbird Blackbird‘s “Tear” is an all instrumental atmospheric ambient, filmic yet upbeat track that will take you to pleasant reveries.
  • The L.A. sister trio Haim’s “Falling” is the perfect mix of 60s girl group melody, sultry R&B, and 80s pop/synth rock. Another set of female siblings about to light up the pop charts with serious quality. See Tegan and Sara (also included).

…and yes I’m still obsessing over those amazing tracks by Torres, James Blake, and Phosphorescent, but I’ve already discussed them before.  For those on holiday, enjoy, for those otherwise (busily) engaged, may this be a pleasant distraction.


* a phrase that never made any sense to me

2 thoughts on “Let’s Go Exploring! favorite tracks of winter ’13 mix

  1. I’m working on my own 2013 list but we have very similar tastes and I love your playlists! And that entire Holy Fire album is top stuff!! Please please look up The 1975 I think you will love them!

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