Let’s get it straight: 2013 was a great year for new music. Even as the year opened with music critics lamenting the auto-tuned state of pop music and the slow death of the album as an art form, new and creative acts emerged from seemingly nowhere to revitalize the charts (and established acts reinvented themselves as musical vanguards).
2013 will be remembered as the year when a 16-year-old girl conquered the world from New Zealand, three rocking sisters from California lived up to their hype and a viral video from Sweden couldn’t get out of our heads. Oh, and it will also be remembered as the year of “new Miley.”
Yesterday, we successfully brought you the VH1 staff’s favorite albums of 2013 without any bloodshed, and we’re happy to report that no one’s brain exploded while trying to narrow down the amazing albums of 2013 into a concise list. However, now it’s time to talk about how most people listen to music these days: By the song.
When we began compiling our Best Albums of 2013 list, there were many differing opinions, and after briefly toying with the idea of pitting all our staff against one another in a Hunger Games fight-to-the-death scenario against the backdrop of Times Square, we conceded that the most diplomatic and least murderous thing to do would be to each submit our own list. You know, in the name of preserving a civil work environment and whatnot (not to mention our longstanding policy of avoiding contact with the human resources department). So while we didn’t battle it out in a conference room or some such nonsense, each one of us faced an internal battle — choosing our favorite albums of the year.
HAIM joined the VH1 You Oughta Know family this fall, just as their debut LP, Days Are Gone, was about to hit shelves. It’s no surprise to us that this excellent album is racking up tons of positive buzz as critics’ Year-End lists are being compiled, including a #6 ranking by Stereogum and a Top 50 honor from SPIN. As great as critic love is, though, it pales in comparison as to when one of the greatest figures of the last 50 years in music takes the time to remix one of your songs.
HAIM made their Saturday Night Live debut last night and won the crowd at Studio 8H over with killer performances of “The Wire” and “Don’t Save Me.” Oh, and they also popped up in a 1980s music-themed sketch where host Josh Hutcherson lip synched along with Outfield and HAIM rocked out with a keytar.
VH1′s first ever You Oughta Know In Concert went down at the Roseland Ballroom on November 11, 2013, and aired on VH1 last night. It featured performances from a wide-range of You Oughta Know alumni which ran the gamut from brand new artists (Lorde, JOHNNYSWIM, HAIM) and veterans (The Lumineers, Matt Nathanson, Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sandé) alike.
We’ve been fans of HAIM ever since they nearly blew out their speakers during a performance earlier this year at the VH1 headquarters here in New York, and their contribution to You Oughta Know In Concert does not disappoint. Especially their cover choice.
VH1′s first ever You Oughta Know In Concert special will air tomorrow night, Thursday November 21, at 9/8C. If you missed the livestream of the event last week, you’ll finally be able to watch the star-studded grand finale of “Ho Hey,” performed by The Lumineers and an all-star cast of You Oughta Know alumni. Although you won’t be able to see the final cut of that INCREDIBLE performance until tomorrow night, we were able to liberate this sneak peek for you guys while our editors weren’t looking!
HAIM, Kodaline and Lorde are just three artists to emerge this year who have challenged our ability to talk out loud. On paper, each of the artist’s on-stage monikers look simple enough, but all of them are trickier than expected. No matter how hard we try, we always say “HAIM” wrong! Thankfully, these emerging artists sat down with VH1 to teach us how to say their names.