I've posted "best of" lists for many years (although I can't find them all to reference right now), but this year I was a little reluctant as I hadn't found a lot of new material or hadn't found much that I was really jazzed about. Interesting fun fact that I'm very pleased to share is that the majority of these tracks are getting regular airplay on Toronto's new Indie 88.1 FM. We have not had such a good station since the good CFNY years. I'm also not certain it's because I'm hearing many of these tracks on the radio or that I'm hearing them on top 40 stations, but I definitely feel the weight of pop in this year's list.
As a disclaimer and unlike previous years, not all of these tracks were released in 2013 (if it's ok for the Grammys...). A few 2012 releases but I didn't hear them until this year, so I'm calling this list 2013, best of (incl. newly discovered 2012s). So why 17 tracks ? I used to base the list on what would fit on a CD, but unfortunately quite a few of these tracks have been purchased through iTunes (versus past years of grey market downloads), but I'm not certain how many gift CDs I'll be able to burn for family and friends (sorry). I did some trimming from the original choices and stopped at 17 as it looked like it was about the right amount for a CD, plus my son turned 17 last month. Of the 17, I've seen 3 live of them live this year (Arctic Monkeys, Stereophonics and Fast Romantics). And there are many more American artists in the list than past years and there are 3 Canadian artists (Serena Ryder, Fast Romantics and Arcade Fire).
Instead of embedding on links here, simply go to my YouTube playlist for all the videos together.
Daft Punk - Get Lucky
Arcade Fire - Reflektor
Empire of the Sun - Alive
The Neighbourhood - Sweater Weather
Cayucas - High School Lover
Django Django - Default
MS MR - Hurricane
Lorde - Royals
Serena Ryder - Stompa
Arctic Monkey - Do I Wanna Know
The Generationals - I Never Know
Valerie June - You Can't be Told
Stereophonics - Indian Summer
Imagine Dragons - Radioactive
Fast Romantics - Funeral Song
Bastille - Pompei
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Same Love feat. Mary Lambert