Basically, when it gets to June, the midway point in the year, even if you don’t actually sit down and write it, you tend to think which songs are going to be in your personal top ten of the year by the end in December. The problem is that sometimes you hear a song and don’t realise how much you like it straight away, and so it will probably miss the list, and it won’t make much sense to include it in next year’s list. For whatever reason, this year it happened to me more than any other time. There were lots of songs from 2012 I ended up listening to more in 2013. So I’ve decided to make a top 5 of songs which fall into the Mid-Year Limbo, too late to be included in my 2012 list, but far too early to be included in my 2013 list as well.
5) Metric – ‘Breathing Underwater’
I first heard this song by Canadian band Metric in December 2012, but it’s much more suited to summer and warmer weather. It makes me think of cooling off in a swimming pool, possibly because of the underwater references in the title, but also the languid electro-indie backing track.
4) Christina Aguilera – ‘Your Body’
Oh, music buying public, why did you make that awful Pitbull collaboration a hit and overlook this? An energetic Max Martin penned electro-pop track, with an almost Quentin Tarrantino-ish video featuring multicoloured breakfast cereal, a spacey retro video game complete with arcade controller, and TV showing an old cartoon with 3 Big Bad Wolves and a Lucille Ball film. Then there’s Xtina herself, all leopard print leggings, silver star earrings, a necklace saying “Rich Bitch” and pink, purple and blue hair. That’s before you even get to the serial killer plot with bright pink explosions and blood and gore replaced by blue paint and pink confetti. It’s gloriously camp and all the better for it.
3) A*M*E – ‘Play The Game Boy’
British-Sierra Leonean solo singer A*M*E was included on the BBC’s Sound of 2013 shortlist and was the vocalist on Duke Dumont’s number one single ‘Need U (100’%)’ earlier this year, but I still think this fun electro track released in late 2012 which references ’90s games console Game Boy is her best work to date. I don’t know if Badass Adorable was what A*M*E was going for, but she achieved it with this track.
2) The Getaway Plan – ‘Phantoms’
OK, this one is a bit of a cheat as it was first released in 2011, but I first heard it in 2012 and I’ve listened to it mostly in 2013. Anyway, this track is by Australian rock band The Getaway Plan and is from their second album Requiem. This is a rather classy track with powerful guitar solos and lyrics creating an eerie atmosphere speaking of ghosts, monsters and nightmares.
1) Ed Sheeran – ‘Give Me Love’
For me this is Ed Sheeran’s strongest single since ‘The A Team’. Much like that song, the video features a troubled fallen angel type young woman played by an actress who manages to express so much about a character despite having no lines to speak. In ‘Give Me Love’ the actress is Isabel Lucas. She plays a lonely woman who becomes Cupid and starts giving love to people while feeling unable to find it herself. I love the video for Isabel Lucas’ performance, as she shows the sadness of the character, and the Black Swan inspired artistic direction by Emil Nava. Another thing I love about the video is that it features same-sex couples and interracial couples, and it is refreshing to see that, as it is still all too rare that happens.