1. Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell Williams & T.I., “Blurred Lines” — Without a doubt, “Blurred Lines” can be considered one of the hottest Songs of the Summer. The song’s melody/tune are so catchy, along with the hook, no matter how many times I hear this song, I cannot help but sing along and want to get up and dance. No matter what the implied message of the song is (or isn’t), whenever I hear this song, I am put into a better move, “Blurred Lines” is such a feel-good song!
2. Pitbull feat. Ke$ha, “Timber” — The main reason why I love this song is the catchy hook. Whether or not you like this song, Ke$ha’s hook gets stuck in your head. Surprisingly, the sounds of Ke$ha and Pitbull blended together really well, making this another hit dance song for Mr. Worldwide. This is another song that whenever I hear it I want to get up and dance, just like Ke$ha suggests.
3. Lorde, “Royals” — This song has a bit of an a capella feel to it. The opening verse is somewhat spooky with Lorde‘s sultry soulful voice and a simple beat behind her. I also really like the harmonies of this song. The lyrics of “Royals” really draws you in and the message of the song is a feeling that everyone can relate to. I love that the sound of this song is really simple but also really complicated at the same time.
4. OneRepublic, “Counting Stars” — First, I love how “Counting Stars” starts off slow with just Ryan Tedder singing the hook. The song begins very simple and then suddenly kicks into high gear with a pounding drum and fun melody. The theme of this song is the other thing that I absolutely love about it. In this day and age, everyone is obsessed with making money, buying expensive things, and wanting to live a life of luxury and “Counting Stars” reminds us to forget the materialistic things and focus on what’s more important. Lastly, I
absolutely love the breakdown near the end of the song; it is really catchy and the harmonies just sound really awesome.
5. Fall Out Boy, “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ‘Em Up)” — The intensity of this song is extremely fitting for the return of Fall Out Boy. The sharp sound of the drums and the rigidness of the beat are what I love about this song. “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark” easily flows from the dark, strict sound of the verses to the soulful intro of the chorus/hook before heading right back into the song’s intensity. Whenever I hear this song, I feel empowered and ready to take on the world.
6. Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams, “Get Lucky” — What I love about this song is that it doesn’t sound like it came from this decade. The retro opening and smooth voice of Pharrell is a refreshingly different sound. The tune and simple hook lyrics make this song really catchy. This is another song that whenever I hear it I want to sing along and dance. “Get Lucky” is definitely a great feel-good song.
7. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz, “Thrift Shop” — The topic of this song is absolutely hilarious. Macklemore raps about buying clothing at a thrift shop and how spending $50 for a t-shirt is simply ridiculous. The rich, deep, soulful voice of Wanz is such a drastic contrast to Macklemore’s voice (but it totally works in the context of this song). The lyrics of this song are so perfectly fitted together in a verse and I love the sound of the trumpets in the background. I was so impressed with the lyrics that I took it upon myself to memorize the verses so that I could rap along with Macklemore whenever I heard the song. The breakdown near the end sounds so cool and fits in perfectly. “Thrift Shop” is such a fun and silly song that I could hear over and over again and never get sick of. Plus, the little kid at the beginning and end of the song is priceless and just makes the song even more awesome.
Lorde, “Royals” — There’s a reason why this song and this artist became a global phenomenon: it’s just damn good.
Banks, “Waiting Game” — Banks should be at the top of everyone’s list to look out for in the next year. She’s currently opening for the Weeknd and her sound is a seductive mix of Lana Del Rey and Lorde.
Bastille, “Laura Palmer” — “Laura Palmer” is a song that somehow manages to combine vast amounts of tension with a soaring feeling of enormous scope.
Oscar Isaac & Marcus Mumford, “Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song)” — Sure, it’s a cover of an old folk song for a Coen Brothers film, but the recording seems to musically entwine the nufolk sound that Marcus Mumford has made ubiquitous in recent years with the earnest sorrow of the original folk recordings of the early 1960s.
Janelle Monae ft. Miguel, “Primetime” — This song is a gorgeous sonic seduction.
HAIM, “The Wire” — Of all the singles on this list, this one snuck up on me the most. It’s a complex and yet straight-forwardly honest account of how love goes wrong. Not to mention, and I know it’s been said before, it evokes some of Christine McVie’s greatest Fleetwood Mac ballads.
Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams, “Get Lucky” — This song pretty much made everyone happy this year. [Insert corny joke about how we got lucky getting it this year here.]
Taylor Swift & Ed Sheeran, “Everything Has Changed” — Taylor Swift sometimes gets slack for making country music more pop, but at its core, country music is just an evolution of folk music, which is the original pop music. That’s important because this song is a pitch perfect singer-songwriter duet that can fit into the country, folk or pop categories–and it could have come out in any decade. It’s just a perfectly written love song.
Lana Del Rey, “Young & Beautiful” — Lana Del Rey’s swoony ballad wasn’t the stand out track when I first listened to The Great Gatsby soundtrack in May, but as time wore on, its dark romanticism won me over.
The Neighbourhood, “Sweater Weather” — The Neighbourhood’s catchy, dreamy debut single was technically released in 2012, but it made its big climb on the charts (and to most people’s ears) in 2013.
Little Mix, “Move” — Okay, so technically this song hasn’t been released in the US yet, but it’s quite possibly the most ambitious pop song recorded this year. You can tell where Katy Perry found her inspiration for “Roar,” but you can’t tell how this sassy multi-layered dance song came together. You just know it did.