As the year draws to a close, everyone is publishing their best of lists (us included) and most music-related stories are talking about Lorde’s “Royals” or the rise of Macklemore (we’ll take partial credit for that one). That’s great and all, but we wanted to revisit a few songs that you should have been listening to. Check out the other singles this year’s biggest artists released that we think deserved a bit more love.
1. Bastille, “Things We Lost In The Fire”
If you’re not familiar with Bastille then you have some catching up to do. The band recently started getting attention stateside after owning the airwaves in the UK. They also went viral this fall when they released their cover of Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop,” which practically brought down the Internet. But “Things We Lost” is probably their most radio-friendly jam that should earn them more attention in 2014.
2. Daft Punk, “Doin’ It Right”
We all got lucky this year when Daft Punk released Random Access Memories. The album was an instantaneous hit, delivering one of the biggest songs of the summer. But for those not totally into the Nile Rodgers-inspired sound may have found solace in the group’s third single, “Doin’ It Right,” which built on DP’s signature sound. The addition of Panda Bear expanded the group’s vocal appeal. Everything this group did this year was just right.
3. Janelle Monae and Miguel, “Primetime”
While “Q.U.E.E.N.” had us gagging over Janelle Monae’s return, it was “Primetime” that made us purr. The duet with Miguel is a simple R&B record that plays on love and desire. This is the Quiet Storm jam of the year.
4. Lady Gaga and R. Kelly, “Do What You Want”
“Applause” was the song that should have marked Gaga’s comeback but it mostly left people wondering what they were clapping for. Instead, the singer should have led off with this throwback ‘90s R&B sex jam with R. Kelly. Even though it has a retro vibe, it’s somehow the most fresh and modern thing Gaga has done.
5. Lorde, “Tennis Court”
If there’s one song that took over the radio, it’s “Royals.” The song was everywhere and with reason. It’s a damn good song. But it’s the singer’s first single, “Tennis Court,” that deserves some real love. This song captures teen angst better than Catcher In The Rye. Okay that’s a stretch, but you get the idea.
6. Major Lazer, Bruno Mars and 2 Chainz, “Bubble Butt”
It’s safe to say that Bruno Mars ruled the charts this year with disco-heavy pop tracks that recalled some of Michael Jackson’s early work but “Bubble Butt” is easily his most underrated track. The song from Major Lazer is a twerker’s dream, there’s enough bounce to keep you going well in the new year.
7. Mikky Ekko, “Kids”
The man behind Rihanna’s chart-topping hit, “Stay,” has a single all of his own that deserves repeat listening. For anyone who is a fan of Ryan Tedder’s (frontman of OneRepublic) work (ahem, “XO” by Bey) will easily like what Ekko’s working with. Either way, get ready to hear more of him in 2014.
8. Sia, The Weeknd and Diplo, “Elastic Heart”
2013 was Sia’s year and she only released one single of her own (“Elastic Heart” for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack) but it was all the work she did for everyone else that took kept everyone talking: “Perfume” for Britney Spears, “Standing On The Sun” and “Pretty Hurts” for Beyonce, “Beautiful Pain” for Eminem, “Double Rainbow” for Katy Perry and more. But let’s face it, we wanted more of Sia and “Elastic Heart” was easily the best track of the HG soundtrack.
9. Tegan & Sara, “I Was A Fool”
Tegan & Sara’s alt-ballad is the kind of thing you expect to hear in the background of every CW show. The video even featured Mae Whitman. Her? Yes her! And it doesn’t get soapier than that. So if you heart was broken this year, put on this record and grab a book of tissues and cry. Just have a good cry. You earned it.
10. The Lumineers, “This Must Be The Place”
“Ho Hey” is a song that just won’t die. Released in 2012, it still managed to be one of the biggest tracks of 2013. But their third single, a cover of Talking Heads, proves that there are other songs in the Lumineers’ canon. The group strips the song of its New Wave sound but still maintains the emotional appeal.
Like what you heard? We put them all together in one play for your enjoyment: