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Top Ten Songs of the Year

Independent Clauses is a wide-ranging blog, but it still comes home at night to folk and indie-pop. So those genres are very well-represented in the Top 10.

10. “Song for Zula” – Phosphorescent. Yup, I’m thoroughly on board with all the love this is getting. Just beautiful.

9. “Home Sweet Home” – Russell Howard. The sound of loss and longing rarely sounds so sweet as in this singer/songwriter tune.

8. “The Mantis and the Moon” – Son of Laughter. Clever lyrics, sprightly arrangement, poignant performance: I hummed this a lot in 2013.

7. “Aaron” – JD Eicher and the Goodnights. Sweeping, widescreen folk-pop that leveled me with a great melody and this line: “I don’t write sad songs/they just seem to write me.”

6. “Judah’s Gone” – M. Lockwood Porter. It’s a tough thing to pack nostalgia, disillusion, and rage into one folky tune without any yelling, but Porter navigates the wildly varying emotions deftly.

5. “American Summer” – Jared Foldy. Gentle fingerpicking and reverb create a strong atmosphere, as Foldy offers the sound of beloved summers that sadly have to end.

4. “The Riddle Song” – The Parmesans. Poignant yet flirtatious, this bluegrassy love song is wonderful.

3. “For the Sky” – Wolfcryer. The opening riff of this folk tune, optimistic and yearning, sets the stage for an inescapable tune.

2. “Creeping Around Your Face” – Novi Split. The most tender, gentle love song I heard all year, steeped in the reality of hard times but the hope of good to come.

1. “Everything Is Yours” – Jonny Rodgers. Wine glasses cascade and swoop through the quiet indie-pop arrangement, giving Rodgers a fascinating canvas on which to paint lovely vocal melodies and descriptive lyrics. I couldn’t stop listening to this for weeks.

The Top 50 Songs of the Year Mixtape

Here are my favorite 50 songs of the year in a vague, mixtape-ish sort of order. This was one of my favorite years of Independent Clauses, so this is one of my favorite lists that I’ve made in the many years that I’ve been doing this.

1. “Concrete” – New Lungs
2. “Love Your Friends, Hate Politicians” – The Suicide of Western Culture
3. “Endless Fantasy” – Anamanaguchi
4. “Beta Love” – Ra Ra Riot
5. “Roosevelt Hotel” – Cocovan
6. “Lazer Gun Show” – Hey Geronimo
7. “Little Lucy” – The Worriers
8. “Primitive Style” – Johnny Delaware
9. “Griping” – Dear Blanca
10. “Listening to TPM” – Brook Pridemore
11. “Love is Not Allowed” – Gap Dream
12. “Holy Infinity” – GOVS
13. “California Analog Dream” – Vondelpark
14. “Lakeside Trust” – Brave Baby
15. “Come Back to Life” – Hospital Ships
16. “Aaron” – JD Eicher and the Goodnights
17. “Crag” – Human Behavior
18. “Cabin Fever” – Cameron Blake
19. “Judah’s Gone” – M. Lockwood Porter
20. “New World Blue” – Eoin Glackin
21. “Do You Ever?” – Phia
22. “Simplify” – Brendan James
23. “Hiding and Seeking” – Little Chief
24. “Together Through It All” – Kye Alfred Hillig
25. “Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin” – Lord Buffalo
26. “You Are the Apple” – Lady Lamb the Beekeeper
27. “Diamond” – Lightning Dust
28. “Song for Zula” – Phosphorescent
29. “An Ancient Voice” – Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders
30. “These Days” – Martha Marlow
31. “American Summer” – Jared Foldy
32. “Tender is the Night” – Old Man Luedecke
33. “The Mantis and the Moon” – Son of Laughter
34. “Clean as a Whistle” – Slim Loris
35. “Cada Ano” – Fiery Crash
36. “Breath” – Filbert
37. “Suitcase Full of Sparks” – Gregory Alan Isakov
38. “In Your Arms Awhile” – Josh Ritter
39. “Let’s Get Married” – The Gray Havens
40. “The Riddle Song” – The Parmesans
41. “Everything Is Yours” – Jonny Rodgers
42. “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” – Fiery Crash
43. “Home Sweet Home” – Russell Howard
44. “For the Sky” – Wolfcryer
45. “Married” – Venna
46. “Glow in the Dark” – Destroy Nate Allen
47. “Lost Here” – Fauntella Crow
48. “The Fires of Time” – David Ramirez
49. “Kid Gloves” – Cavepainters
50. “Creeping Around Your Face” – Novi Split

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