This is the time of year when we get bombarded with lists of the ‘coolest 100 songs of 2013.’ Most of these lists are plucked out of the air, and I can guarantee you won’t have heard half of them.
So I’ve put together my own playlist. These are the four tracks that have made the biggest impact on me this year. You’ll definitely have heard one, and I hope you’ll give the others a try…
Howling (Âme Remix)
This year I decided to move back to London after almost two years in Spain.
I missed my friends back home, but I was nervous about coming back to the city that had left me worn out and disillusioned.
I heard ‘Howling’ playing from my flatmate’s room in Barcelona, a huge 200metre, city-centre apartment with lots of old furnishings, big book shelves and ceramic tiles. It was an awesome place to live.
‘Howling’ would echo down the corridor and I’d lay back and think about the crossroads I was at while the haunting beat got stronger and stronger until the crisp vocal hit.
It’s the kind of song that just washes over you and totally takes you into its world. I still play it all the time, it still gives me goosebumps, and it instantly takes me back to my summer in Barcelona. It’s melancholy, heartbreaking, but uplifting at the same time. It’s about becoming powerless to love, and how that feels. I even did a cover of it at the GMF party with DJ Mike Kelly in Berlin after Folsom Weekend.
Worth every second of its 8 minutes.
Thanks Jo for playing it all the time!
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Get Lucky (Daft Punk)
Maybe an obvious choice, but I love it. The opening bars are so hopeful, energetic, and FUNKY, and with the lyrics: “We’ve come too far to give up who we are, so let’s raise the bar, and our cups, to the stars,” I defy anyone not to feel instantly uplifted.
It brings back happy summer memories of dancing around my flat with mugs of tea with my flatmate Mel, and exciting moments of performing the song at London music festival As One In The Park and later that night at the super-club Fire – a truly epic summer weekend.
Thanks Mel, for the tea and the dancing!
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All In White (The Vaccines)
This song became a very personal anthem in the final weeks of my Barcelona life.
It was mid-August and Matinee Circuit Festival was in full swing. I was moving back to London as soon as it finished, and I was determined to go out with a bang!
Why this song suddenly jumped out at me from my drunken iPhone shuffling, instead of countless Dance and House tunes, I have no idea. But it stuck with me, and I played it at every high and low moment during those last days in Barcelona.
It gave me a lot of strength, and it still does.
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Secret Love (Doris Day)
I’m lucky enough to still have my two grannies alive and well going into 2014.
One is 93, and over the past year has become increasingly affected by Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
On my last visit home, I spoke to my Gran about the war, and asked her what her happiest memory was.
She told me about a boy she met, and the song they used to sing to each other. I found it on YouTube on my phone, and she knew it almost word for word. Suddenly her problems were gone, and she was happy and young again, thinking of her ‘Secret Love.’
I’d not heard the song before, and now it’ll always be close to my heart, a reminder that happy moments can stay with us forever, however long ago they were.
Thanks for always being there for me Nan.
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