What I Listened To in 2013: Part 1: Pop, Rock and Metal

My listening during 2013 was my usual mixture of old and new. To prove I’m not that guy who’s forever stuck in the 1970s, let’s kick off with a couple of songs from albums that won’t even be released until 2014.

St Vincent, Birth in Reverse

Warpaint, Love Is To Die

Over the holidays, Kay and I saw the wonderful movie “Twenty Feet from Stardom”, about backing singers who stood so close to, but not in, the spotlight. My favourite among these singers is the wonderful Darlene Love, who does sometime get to share on the spotlight, as on this all-star cover of Jackie Wilson’s “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher”:

Here’s Jackie Wilson performing the song:

Talking of backing singers, this song may be by Dave Stewart, but it’s when backing singer Amy Keys and the musicians take over proceedings at the 2:34 mark that things really get going:

Onwards! From 2012, here’s rap with a touch of country – B.O.B. feat. Taylor Swift, “Both of Us”:

My metal band of the year has been Arch Enemy: here they are live with an oldie but a goodie, “Silverwing”:

Whereas it’s possible to place Arch Enemy very precisely by genre (Melodic Death Metal, in case you were wondering), Kylesa are a unique fusion of genres with metal somewhere at the core. Here is my favourite track off their 2013 album Ultraviolet, “Steady Breakdown”: