How I Heard 2013

As I sit here and start typing, I have a playlist of my favourite tracks from 2013 playing from the Spotify App on my iPad. <My Tracks of 2013> I’ve typed that because I’m of an age where I remember going into Woolies in Bushey during the mid 1980s and buying cassette tapes with my pocket money. A time where you listened to one album at a time, recorded the Top 40 off the radio & likely didn’t venture that far from what you knew musically; unless you lived near a record shop and had some cash.

Those cassettes I bought weren’t always pop albums though, up until I was about 10 I was into classical and other instrumental music, I can clearly recall one Christmas sitting in my room tuning my radio to BBC Radio 3 or 4, whichever of those plays classical.

In that Woolies I remember buying tapes of TV themes, the Grange Hill Album, New Kids on the Block and a particularly treasured (at the time) album of Paddington Bear songs. Those tapes are now long gone, and there’s many a day where I have wished I’d kept them.

So to have access at my fingertips to tens of thousands of tracks is a wondrous thing, I’m not sure the youngsters of today realise how lucky they are! That said however, I think in some ways, having access to too much music has limited what I listen to, once again I’m not always venturing too far from what I already know. Something that must change in 2014.

This year my music listening has mostly been influenced by a reintroduction of running into my fitness regime, plus I joined a Spinning class in April. Which means I’m hearing modern pop and dance music a lot each week; which is why you’ll find tracks by Miley Cyrus, One Direction, Demi Lovato & their various other contemporaries within the playlist should you check it out.

There are 85 tracks currently on the playlist, it may increase as I remember other tracks I like! But I thought I would highlight just 5 of them, to give a flavour of what has stuck with me the most.

Five tracks I Enjoyed This Year

Woodkid – Run Boy Run
I’ll talk more about Woodkid in a post I’ll do about albums but this is the second track on his debut album The Golden Age. I love the energy, the drums, the orchestration, it never fails to get me boping about. Hearing this played live, as I have done twice this year, is something I’ll never forget.

John Grant – GMF
A song I only heard recently but when it came to the chorus I burst out laughing. Not because it’s funny, but it’s what he says and how he says it. It’s the kind of thing a gangsta rapper would love to say but this is a white dude with a massive beard.

But I am the greatest motherfucker
That you’re ever gonna meet
From the top of my head
Down to the tips off the toes on my feet

I guess it resonated as I’d love to have the confidence to think of myself as the GMF.

Bingo Players ft. Far East Movement – Get Up (Rattle)
I don’t often watch the music channels on Sky but I must have turned on at the right time earlier this year, when the video for this track came on. I watched the video from start to finish not really taking any notice of the music, it was dancing killer ducks after all. After a few repeat showings, I found myself enjoying the music, and I’ve played it many many times since, very bouncy to run to!

Bastille – Flaws
Having been introduced to Bastille like others through their song ‘Pompeii’ I checked out the album and enjoyed it a lot. I’m not one for lyrics normally, if it sounds good then I’ll listen, but the lyrics in this song are worth hearing. It talks about flaws and how we all have them, some people don’t mind them being known, others bury them deep within but without them we wouldn’t be who we are. Nice.

Oscar Isaac – Hang Me, Oh Hang Me
This is a traditional song sung by actor Oscar Isaac in the forthcoming film ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ from the Coen Brothers. It is due to be released in the UK in January 2014. Having really enjoyed the soundtrack to another Coen Brothers film ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?, when I saw that NPR were streaming the entire album for Davis, I sat and listened to it all. Twice. Then I bought it on iTunes as it isn’t all available on Spotify.

So that’s a short look at how 2013 sounded to me. I’m going to do another post about some of the albums I’ve enjoyed this year. As I think about it, there really aren’t that many that I’ve listened to, once again, it’s those pesky pop and dance tracks that have taken me over this year!