Year In Review: Top 100 Tracks & Top 20 Albums of 2013

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Last year delivered an impressive year of music with TNGHT’s ‘Higher Ground‘ topping my ‘Top 100 Tracks‘. With 2014 just hours away, it’s time to present my Top Tracks of 2013!

From Daft Punk’s infectious ‘Get Lucky‘ to brotherly duo Disclosure’s superior reign, it’s safe to say the future of music is  in good hands – And with news that Justin Bieber has officially retired, it’s already a good start to the year! Roll on 2014 and here’s to another exciting year in music!

Top 100 Tracks of 2013

  1. Disclosure ft AlunaGeorge – White Noise
  2. Daft Punk – Get Lucky
  3. James Blake  – Retrograde
  4. Arcade Fire  – Reflektor
  5. A$AP Rocky ft Skrillex  – Wild For The Night
  6. Kanye West – Black Skinhead
  7. Lorde – Royals
  8. Just Blaze & Baauer – Higher
  9. Haim (Duke Dumont Remix) – Falling
  10. Haim – The Wire
  11. Disclosure ft London Grammar – Help Me Lose my Mind
  12. Busta Rhymes – Thank You
  13. James Vincent Mc Morrow   – Cavaliere
  14. Banks – Before I Ever Met You
  15. Arcade Fire    – Here Comes The Night
  16. TNGHT – Acrylics
  17. Jay Z & JT – Holy Grail
  18. Major Lazer ft Ezra Koenig – Jessica
  19. London Grammar – Strong
  20. Pharell  – Happy
  21. Janelle Monae ft Solange – Electric Lady
  22. John Hopkins – Open Eye Signal
  23. Disclosure (Flume Remix) – You And Me
  24. Robin Thicke ft TI & Pharrell – Blurred Lines
  25. Breach – Jack
  26. Danny Brown  – Dip
  27. Drake ft Majid Jordan – Hold On, We’re Going Home
  28. James Blake ft Chance The Rapper – Life Round Here
  29. Queens Of The Stoneage – My God Is The Sun
  30. Drake ft Sampha  – Too Much
  31. Disclosure – F For You
  32. Katy B – Crying For No reason
  33. London Grammar – NightCall
  34. Showtek ft We Are Loud and Sonny Wilson  – Booyah
  35. Miles Kane – Don’t Forget Who You Are
  36. Banana Clipper Ft Big Boi – Run The Jewels
  37. Lorde – Tennis Court
  38. Duke Dumont – Need You (100%)
  39. Jacob Plant  – Fire
  40. Katy B – 5AM
  41. Danny Brown  – Drinkin And Smokin
  42. The 1975 – Chocolate
  43. AlunaGeorge  – Attracting Flies
  44. Arctic Monkeys   – Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High
  45. Chvrches – The Mother We Share
  46. Rudimental ft Ella Eyre  – Waiting All Night
  47. Jake Bugg – Seen It All
  48. Banks – This Is What It Feels
  49. DJ Fresh & Diplo ft Ms Dynamite  – Dibby Dibby Sound
  50. Robert DeLong – Global Concepts
  51. Vampire Weekend    – Diane Young
  52. Kanye West – Blood On The Leaves
  53. Pryda – Powerdrive
  54. Major Lazer   – Watch Out For This (Bumaye)
  55. Laura Welsh  – Unravel
  56. Villagers – My Lighthouse
  57. Knife Party  – LRAD
  58. Justice (Gesaffelstein Remix) – Helix
  59. John Newman  – Love Me Again
  60. DJ Fresh & Diplo ft Dominique Young Unique – Earthquake
  61. Sivu – Over and Over
  62. Kanye West – I Am A God
  63. Jessie Ware – Sweet Talk
  64. Ruen Brothers – Aces
  65. Vampire Weekend  – Step
  66. Klangkarussel Sonnentanz –  Sun Don’t Shine
  67. Sivu – Better Man Than He
  68. Disclosure (Baauer Remix) – Attracting Flies
  69. Two Door Cinema Club – Sun
  70. Kelela – Enemy
  71. Bondax – Giving It All
  72. Chris Malinchak  – So Good To Me
  73. Josh Record  – For Your Love
  74. Childish Gambino – IV Sweatpants
  75. Katy B – What Love Is Made Of
  76. Monsta – Messiah
  77. Lorde – Team
  78. Martin Garrix – Animals
  79. Breach ft Adnreya Triana – Everything You Never Had
  80. MO- XXX 88
  81. Gesaffelstein – Persuit
  82. Lil Salva ft Sampha   – Salient Sarah
  83. RY X – Berlin
  84. Phoenix – Entertainment
  85. Metronomy – I’m Aquarius
  86. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Major Lazer Remix)   – Can’t Hold Us
  87. Kavinsky – Roadgame
  88. Knife Party    – EDM Death Machine
  89. The Weeknd – Kiss Land
  90. Julio Bashmore  – Peppermint
  91. Le Youth – Cool
  92. The Strokes  – One Way Trigger
  93. Jake Bugg – Slumville Sunrise
  94. Hozier – Take Me To Church
  95. Gallant – Manhattan
  96. Daughter – Still
  97. Childish Gambino – Bonfire
  98. Yogi – Christian Bale
  99. Kings of Leon – Supersoaker
  100. The Child Of Lov – Fly

Listen to the top 10 tracks below:

Top 20 Albums of 2013

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2013 delivered so many great albums and provided  hours of listening pleasure. From California sisterly trio Haim to Mercury Prize winner James Blake,  take a look at my Top 20 Albums:

  1. Arcade Fire – Reflektor (Check out my full review on Glasswerk.)
  2. Disclosure – Settle
  3. Haim – Days Are Gone
  4. Kanye West – Yeezus
  5. London Grammar – If You Wait
  6. James Blake – Overgrown
  7. A$AP Rocky – Long Live A$AP
  8. Chvrches – The Bones Of What You Believe
  9. Jon Hopkins – Immunity
  10. Janelle Monae – Electric Lady
  11. Gesaffelstein – Aleph
  12. Rudimental – Home
  13. Danny Brown – Old
  14. Lorde – Pure Heroin
  15. Villagers – Awayland
  16. Jake Bugg – Jake Bugg
  17. Arctic Monkeys – AM
  18. Foals – Holy Fire
  19. Childish Gambino – Because The Internet
  20. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of The City

Listen to Arcade Fire’s ‘Reflektor‘ below:

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September Selections

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So many great tracks dropped the past month, so here are some of my ‘September Selections‘.

First up is James Blake ft Chance The Rapper with ‘Life Round Here‘. The London based producer & singer/songwriter, has teamed up with rising Chicago based artist ‘Chance The Rapper‘ for a reworked version of ‘Life Round Here‘, taken from his Mercury Prize nominated album ‘Overgrown‘. The track featured as Zane Lowe’s Hottest record where Blake spoke about the collaboration: ‘I really liked his mix-tape (Acid Rap) and saw him at South by Southwest. I just thought his voice would work really well. I never felt the track was finished, even when it went on the album, I always thought there was space for something else’. Blake has certainly found that missing element and the duo deliver a fresh and exciting outlook with Chances’s raw energy and Blakes melodic and atmospheric vocals. Check back soon for their forthcoming video, set to feature ‘Everything from Somalian horses to pirates and Chevy Impalas‘.

A while back I posted about rising New Zealand songstress Lorde (Aka Ella Yellich-O’Connor) and her infectious track ‘Tennis Court’, from her free ‘Love Club‘ EP. Her latest offerings, taken from her debut LP ‘Pure Heroine’, is another exceptional track titled ‘Team , where the 16 year old presents a very mature sound with her upbeat yet bittersweet melodic vocals, that is captivating audiences worldwide. Having recently performed on ‘Later with Jools Holland‘ Lorde is set to embark upon a sold out Australian tour but will first play ‘Vevo’s 2013 Halloween Party’ in Oval Space, London. Lorde also features on the forthcoming ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire‘ Soundtrack with a cover of Tear For Fears 1985 hit song ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World‘.

Is it Gangsta (Yes yes yes) is the first single to be taken from South London rapper Giggs‘ forthcoming album ‘When WIll It Stop‘. Produced by Mark Ronson and Tone P, this is the first new material to surface since his 2010 album ‘Let Em Ave It‘ and delivers a strong return to form from the SN1 frontmnan. Be sure to check out the 9 minute short film video, directed by Reg Traviss, that even had it’s own trailer released. You can also catch Giggs perform at Londons ‘Under The Bridge‘ on October 15th, while ‘Is It Gangsta‘ drops October 6th.

LA singer Banks has unveiled her new single ‘The Is What It Feels Like‘, taken from her recent 4 track ‘London’ EP. Produced by Lil Silva and Jamie Woon, the single serves as the follow up to ‘Before I Ever Met You’ from the ‘Fall Over‘ EP and the recent Teed collaboration ‘Warm Water‘. Banks has such a unique sound and delivers haunting vocals amidst deep sultry beats and eerie electronic production. Currently supporting The Weeknd on tour in the US, Banks will also support The Weekend in London’s O2 on November 26th.

Danny Brown returns with a new single ‘Dip‘ taken from his highly anticipated album ‘Old’. Produced by Skywlkr, ‘Dip‘ samples Freak Nasty’s 1996 single ‘Da‘ as well as references to Jay Z and Kanye’s Paris‘ throughout. The MDMA fueled video, shot during his European tour, showcases Browns rapid rap skills with some trippy animations to match. ‘Old‘ is set for release Oct 8th through A-Trak’s Fools Gold Records and features artists such as A$AP Rocky, Purity Ring and Charlie XCX.

Sia’s new single ‘Elastic Heart‘ ft The Weeknd and Diplo, is set to feature on the forthcoming ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire‘ soundtrack, alongside previously announced artists such as Coldplay, Lorde, Of Monsters and Men and Ellie Goulding. The sombre synt-driven track, which featured as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record, highlights Sia and Abel Tesfaye’s enthralling and haunting vocals with slick production as always from Diplo.

Having delivered one of the summers biggest anthems ‘Jack‘, Breach (aka Ben Westbeech) has unveiled his follow-up single ‘Everything You Never Had‘ featuring the infectious and soulful vocals from Andreya Triana. Sure to be a dance floor filler with it’s classic house vibes and 90’s rave influences, the Bristolian dj and producer is constantly raising him game with each new release. Be sure to check out the Joe Goddard remix, who once again works his magic on delivering a fresh new remix. ‘Everything You Never Had‘ is set for release October 20th.

Back in May, ‘What Love Is Made Of‘ provided us with the first look from Katy B’s highly anticipated sophomore album and follow up to 2011’s ‘On A Mission‘. Katy has since dropped her latest single ‘5AM‘, which serves as a worthy successor with it’s big room house vibes, infectious hooks and Katy’s smooth garage infused pop vocals. Set for release Oct 28th through Rinse and Columbia, expect her second album sometime in 2014.

Blood Runs Wild‘ is the latest release from Brotherly duo Ruen Brothers (Rupert and Henry Stansall). Having already released their retro inspired ‘Aces’ and ‘Walk Like A Man‘ to high praise, ‘Blood Runs Wild‘ follows the same suit with it’s vintage rock n roll vibes, sweeping vocals and upbeat melodies. The duo deliver such a mature and accomplished sound far beyond their years. With big support from Radio 1, Zane Lowe featured the track as his Hottest Record. Be sure to check out Ruen Brothers headline the Q Awards gig on Oct 19th at London’s Jazz Cafe, before supporting Tom Odell on his UK tour. Having signed a major record deal during the summer, ‘Blood Runs Wild‘ is set for release November 4th via Island Records (UK) and Universal/Republic (US).

Reading & Leeds Festival – Day 2

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Eminem: Main Stage

Guess who’s back, back again. Shady’s back, tell a friend’. Yes, the most successfull rapper in history is set to dominate Main Stage on Saturday for his one and only UK festival performance.

With an impressive 7 UK number 1’s spanning back to 1999’s Slim Shady EP, be prepared to relive some classic tracks such as ‘The Way I Am’, ‘Stan’ ‘Without Me’ and ‘Lose Yourself’.

Having sold over 100 million albums worldwide and winner of 13 Grammy Awards, Eminem is gearing up for the release of his 8th studio album. The first new material we’ve heard from the forthcoming album is ‘Survival’ ft SKylar Grey. With rumours that Kendrick Lamar is set to feature on the album, it will no doubt be one of the most highly anticipated hip hop albums of the year.

Having collaborated with so many artists throughout his career, rumours are circulating as to who will join him on the Reading stage. Last time Eminem headlined Reading in 2001, he duetted with Marilyn Manson on ‘The Way I Am’ , followed by V’s 2011 performance with Rihanna for ‘Love The Way You Lie’. There may also be apearances from Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator or Earl Sweatshirt, having recently performed with them on mini EU tour. 70.000 fans at Slane Castle in Ireland were recently treated to a 28 track set list… So Watch Out Reading – Marshall Mathers is back!

Foals: Main Stage

Indie Rock band Foals are riding high off the success of their third studio album ‘Holy Fire’.

This will be the groups 4th appearance at Reading and Leeds, so main stage is sure to be electric with massive hits such as ‘Inhaler’ and ‘My Number’.

Having recently completed their North American Tour, the group are gearing up for performances in Australia as well as further EU dates.  Nominated for Best Live Band recently, there’s no denying Foals belong on Main Stage having recently headlined Lattitude Festival to high praise!

Other acts to check out on Main Stage: Chase and Status

Jake Bugg: NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage

2013 has been a massive year for Jake Bugg, whose self-titled debut album shot to no 1 in the UK as well as being nominated for Best British Breakthrough Act at this year’s BRIT awards.

The 19 year old singer/songwriter has been greatly influenced by classic artists such as ‘The Beatles’, ‘Oasis’, ‘Jimi Hendrix’ and ‘Bob Dylan’ and transports us back to sounds of the 60′s with tracks such as ‘Lighting Bolt’, ‘Taste It’, ‘Two Fingers‘ and ‘Seen It All‘.

Having performed at all the major festivals this summer including Glastonbury, Isle Of Wight, T in the Park, Coachella and  Benicassim, Bugg is set to embark upon some US dates before retrning in Octber for his UK tour.

– Other acts to check out on BBC Radio 1/NME Stage: Alt J, Tame Impala, Theme park

Flux Pavillion: Radio 1/ 1Xtra Stage

Dubstep DJ and Producer Flux Pavillion, is set to shake things up on the Radio 1/1Xtra Stage.

Flux is well known for his track ‘I Can’t Stop’, which was sampled on Jay Z and Kanye’s ‘Watch The Throne’ album for the single ‘Who Gon Stop Me‘. Further singles from his impressive track record include ‘Bass Cannon’, ‘Superbad’ ft Doctor P and ‘Blow The Roof

Co-founder of Circus One Records with Doctor P, Flux Pavilion was nominated for the BBC’s Sound of 2012 poll, which he followed with the release of his EP ‘Blow The Roof’ in January. Having recently played at Lollapalooza, Electric Daisy Carnival and Global Gathering, Flux is set to embark upon his US tour this September.

Others acts to check out on Radio 1/ 1Xtra stage: Magnetic Man, A Trak, Willy Moon

The 1975: Festival Republic Stage

Manchester 4 piece indie band, The 1975, have already released 4 EP’s: ‘Facedown’, ‘Sex’,  ‘Music for Cars’ and the most recent EP ‘IV’. With an already impressive track record including ‘The City’, ‘Sex’ and ‘Chocolate’, The 1975 highlight their alternative mix of genres from electro indie-pop to 90’s r’n’b.

Their self-titled album, produced by Mike Crossey (Foals, Jake Bugg), is set for release this September. Upcoming performances include Electric Picnic in Ireland, UK tour before setting off for the US and Australia.

– Other acts to check out on the Festival Republic Stages:  Lucy Rose, DIIV, Savages.

Casablanca & Ruen Brothers: BBC Introducing Stage:

The BBC Introducing Stage, supports unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar musicians and gives artists the opportunity to perform at major festivals including, Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds as well as recording sessions at BBC Maida Vale Studios. Previous artists that have emerged from BBC Introducing include: Bombay Bicycle Club, Ed Sheeran, Florence + The Machine and Jake Bugg. Two acts in particular to check out are Casablanca and Ruen Brothers.

Indie pop quartet Casablanca, made up of Jacob, Callum, Tom H, and Tom M, are making quite the impact with their upbeat vibes and infectious catchy hooks. With friends in bands such as Foals, Theme Park and Palma Violets, as well as an older sibling in Bombay Bicycle Club, you can see where their thrilling indie-pop influences stem from.

With their debut single ‘Hurricane Season’ receiving great support from the likes of Huw Stephens and Phil & Alice on BBC Radio 1, the group’s new single ‘We Could Forever’ is set to follow in the same footsteps.

From Jake Bugg to the Strypes – the classic vintage vibes are certainly striking a chord in today’s music scene. Ruen Brothers (Henry and Rupert Stansall from Scunthorpe), are constantly gaining momentum with tracks such as ‘Walk Like A Man’ and ‘Aces’, which featured as Zane Lowe’s ‘Next Hype’ record.  Huw Stephens is also a big supporter and the duo and have already performed a session at Maida Value Studio.

Having performed to high praise at Glastonbury Festival, the duo are set to bring their unique vibes to Berlin Festival and Gathering Festival.

Check back soon for Day 3 Top Picks at Reading!

Lovebox – Top Picks for Friday

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Lovebox Festival returns to Victoria Park tomorrow with an eclectic line-up spanning across 3 days (19-21st July). Headlining the Friday is the one and only Azealia Banks, fresh off her Glastonbury set where she premiered her new single ‘ATM Jam’ ft Pharrell. With a whole host of amazing acts set to kick off Day 1 of Lovebox, here are some of my top picks for Friday:

  1. First on the list has to be the Queen of Dance Annie Mac, making her highly anticipated return since embracing Motherhood. Annie is regarded as the Gatekeeper of Radio 1, kicking off the weekend with her #raving #behaving vibes and closing it on a Sunday night with the mellow #musicalhotwaterbottle. Annie will no doubt deliver one hell of a set having already geared us up for Summer with her free ‘Sunshine Mix‘. Welcome back Annie!
  2. DJ & producer Julio Bashmore was responsible for one of the most infectious house tracks of 2012 with ‘Au Seve‘, which he released under his very own label, ‘Broadwalk Records‘. Previous production credits have included Jessie Ware’s ‘110%‘ and ‘Imagine It Was Us‘. Having made his debut at Coachella festival this year, followed by a killer set at Field Day, expect plenty of ‘Bashmore Bass’ during his extended Lovebox set.
  3. Breach, aka Ben Westbeech, is responsible for arguably one of the summers hottest house records; ‘Jack’. Originally released through Dirtybird and most recently through Atlantic, Breach sure knows how to produce a hit record, having previously written Redlight’s infectious ‘Get Out My Head‘. Expect a big crowd for Breach as he makes his Lovebox debut.
  4. Festival favourites Rudimental are set to cause a stir with their electric live show with crowd pleasing anthems such as ‘Waiting All Night‘ ft Ella Eyre, their new single ‘Right Here‘ ft Foxes and the song that started it all ‘Feel The Love‘ ft fellow Lovebox artist John Newman. With their debut album reaching no 1, Rudimental are sure to receive a massive reception as the crowd soak up the quartets electro summer vibes.
  5. My final top pick comes from the brilliant Duke Dumont who brought us the chart topping ‘Need You’ (100%) ft AME. Having just released ‘Hold On‘ ft Mnek as the highly anticipated follow up, expect a debut album to drop shortly through Blase Boys Club . Be sure to check out his recently released ‘Hard Summer Mixtape‘, as well as the stunning remix of Haim’s ‘Falling‘.

With so many amazing acts kicking of Day 1 of Lovebox, it’s impossible to narrow down my top picks. Notable mentions have to go to Mele, Lulu James, John Talabot, Monki, Amplify Dot, Artwork, SBTRKT DJ Set, Ruen Brothers and Toddla T, all of which I’ll definitely be checking out and highly recommend. Thankfully the weather looks to be pretty hot again, so Wiley’s track ‘Heatwave’ should be pretty apt for his set tomorrow. Check out the full Friday lineup here.

So to get you in the mood for some sun and music this weekend, check out my Lovebox Playlist below. Check back soon for Saturday’s picks!

Ruen Brothers – Aces

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From Jake Bugg to the Strypes – the classic vintage vibes are certainly striking a chord in today’s music scene. Meet Ruen Brothers; aka Henry and Rupert Stansall from Scunthorpe, who are the latest group to emerge from the ever successful BBC Introducing, supporting unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar musicians.

Having successfully submitted their music via Radio Humberside in January 2013, the duo quickly gained momentum with their 60’s rock ‘n’ roll vibes and it wasn’t long before they were featured as Zane Lowe ‘Next Hype‘ record. Huw Stephens is also a big supporter and last week invited them to the legendary Maida Vale studios for a special BBC introducing session. Be sure to check out their 4 track set here.

Their latest track ‘Aces‘, which featured on the BBC Radio 1 playlist for BBC introducing, is an instant classic with its sweeping vocals, catchy upbeat hooks and massive feel-good chorus, that’ll have you singing along to in no time. Such a strong and unique sound that is sure to propel them further into the spotlight.

You can catch Ruen Brothers at the BBC Introducing Showcase tomorrow night at The Borderline, alongside Ady Suleiman and Indiana. The duo are also set to support Willy Moon at London’s XOYO on March 5th. Check out the official video for Aces below and enjoy the classic sounds of Ruen Brothers.