Arcade Fire

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2013 Singles Header

So we had so much fun putting together our Top Albums list, we decided to go ahead and make a Top Songs list too! Hopefully this kind of makes up for not posting all year! This list basically collects the songs that really killed us this year, whether they were world-conquering disco anthems, churning electronic chamber pieces, Billboard Top-40 hits, covers of Billboard Top-40 hits, or slowed-down versions of Dolly Parton classics – these are all just amazing songs.

Our rules for inclusion were simple: only one song per artist (Sorry “Afterlife”!), songs could come from one of our Favorite Albums, but couldn’t have been included in our Favorite Album post (Sorry “Holy”!), and finally, every song had to be unequivocally awesome. I promise they all qualify.

They’re listed below in alphabetical order by artist, because we don’t hate ourselves and weren’t about to rank these in any kind of favorite order. That being said, my favorite song of the year was hands-down “Song For Zula” by Phosphorescent. That song is my 2013 jam. Here’s hoping you find your 2013 jam below.

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Top 21? But weren’t there 25 last year? Well yes. And it was only 15 the year before that. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re not that rigid around here – all we really care about is letting you know what we’re loving right now and that’s about it. If we only fall for one record next year then you can probably expect “WiAC’s Top 1 Album of 2011”. It’ll be a good one, though. We promise.

That said, this year was a great year for music. But it was great in a different way than the last couple years. In 2008 and 2009 we fell hard for debut records by new bands (Grand Archives and Harlem Shakes, respectively), but this year our top 5 went to nearly all familiar faces. In fact, I think when we look back on 2010 what we’ll remember most was how artist after artist that released an anticipated album just seemed to deliver – and not just by making good records, but often by making the record of their career. In a year where we listened to more music than ever, we just couldn’t deny that these were the albums we enjoyed the most. Period.

Finally, remember that this list represents our favorite albums of the year, and not necessarily the best albums of the year. If we had to pick what we thought were the very best albums critically, this list would probably look a little different. But we’re not critics, so we’re going to skip all the posturing and taste-making mumbo-jumbo. These are simply our very favorite albums of the year – the ones that made us laugh, cry, dance, smile, press repeat, wet our pants, etc. Basically, this is what we’ll remember when we look back on 2010…

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I’ve been wanting to write my feelings about The Suburbs – how it’s not only an incredible collection of amazing songs by an unstoppable band, but how each song is so intricately woven together with the rest in such brilliant detail, how several songs even distinctly answer one another, and how the record reflects so perfectly the feelings of growing up in suburbia, and really, just growing up in general. But I haven’t yet.

Instead, I’d like you to read what Kristin wrote last week on her blog (it’s called A Little Because Because, and it’s great) about growing up in the suburbs, and how well Arcade Fire has captured that:

Link: The Suburbs on A Little Because Because (by Kristin)

I think we can all agree that she did it much better than I ever could. Agreed? Agreed.

mp3: Arcade Fire – We Used To Wait
from the album The Suburbs (buy it here)

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I’m not going to write much about this album, except that you really need to be listening to it. And I mean that. As in you really need to be listening to it. In a year that’s produced some stunning albums, this one might actually be my favorite of the year (and maybe even my favorite of their catalog). I know, I know. Those are lofty claims, and I’ve only had the album for a little over a week – so we’ll just have to wait and see if I’m simply enamored or if this thing holds up over time… but I have a hunch this is gonna last. And trust me. You need to be listening to this.

mp3: Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
from the album The Suburbs (buy it here)

mp3: Arcade Fire – Half Light II (No Celebration)
from the album The Suburbs (buy it here)

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I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s noticed this… but a lot of the artists who made records that rocked my world in 2007 have happened to also make records that are rocking my world in 2010. It’s like they’re on the same creative cycle or something. I thought I’d throw a few of them together for you:

mp3: Spoon – You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb (2007)

mp3: Spoon – Written In Reverse (2010)

mp3: LCD Soundsystem – North American Scum (2007)

mp3: LCD Soundsystem – Pow Pow (2010)

mp3: Josh Ritter – The Temptation Of Adam (2007)

mp3: Josh Ritter – The Curse (2010)

mp3: The National – Green Gloves (2007)

mp3: The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio (2010)

mp3: The New Pornographers – Challengers (2007)

mp3: The New Pornographers – If You Can’t See My Mirrors (2010)

mp3: Arcade Fire – Intervention (2007)

mp3: Arcade Fire – The Suburbs (2010)

mp3: Panda Bear – Comfy In Nautica (2007)

mp3: Panda Bear – Tomboy (2010)

So admittedly, those last two are a bit anticipatory – I’m only hoping that their new albums are as amazing as their 2007 counterparts… but I’m not too worried. Now we just need another record from Feist, The Moonbabies, and Radiohead (maybe!?) to round off my list…

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Arcade Fire recently posted the above postcard on their website.

Here is our response:

Dear Arcade Fire,

Thank you for wishing us luck on our finals. We will need it.

Oh! And the news about a new song is super awesome too! You guys are so great.

Love always,

WiAC

PS – YES we will be seeing you this summer. At Lollapalooza! Hopefully! *crosses fingers*

mp3: Arcade Fire – Keep The Car Running
from the album Neon Bible (buy it here)

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