Pushing Play on 2013: WNPR's Favorite Music of the Year

Dec 27, 2013

The Japanese duo Charisma.com.
Credit Charisma.com

In case you haven't read enough "Top Music of 2013" posts on the internet, here's WNPR's contribution.

Did you know that the WNPR staff is pretty musically talented? We have two violinists, a keyboardist, several singers, a drummer, a trombonist, and lots of air-guitarists...

So what do such musical people listen to?

Colin McEnroe (host) recommends:

Album cover from Beyoncé's surprise December release.

"Jealous" by Beyoncé.

Colin says, "It’s song that really shouldn’t be listened to on crap earbuds. It’s really produced and engineered for a high fidelity experience. Those weird echoing mechanistic noises at the beginning. The agonized yell. The wail of a muezzin. And then the confession of helplessness before her own emotions. And the build from the minimal to the orchestral...it’s really something and, coupled with the mysterious drop of this release, part of an interesting statement by the artist."

Heather Brandon (web editor) recommends:

"Jump On My Shoulders (Thomas From Ghostland Observatory Remix)" by AWOLNATION. The original version of this song is spectacular. It didn't come out in 2013 though, so here is a remix that makes it qualify for this list. Enjoy the remix, but fall in love with the original.

John Dankosky (host) recommends:

Da Lata, a London-based band with Afro-Brazilian influences, released an album, Fabiola, described as "a breezy and organic electro skank." Their first single, "Um Amor A Mais," is sung by Luisa Maita of Sao Paulo. It's retro feeling and it's hot and it's current, and it's John's pick:

Faith Middleton (host) recommends:

The re-release of all the Lou Reed music, especially "Walk on the Wild Side," which always "makes me feel way cooler than I am," says Faith.

Tucker Ives (producer) recommends:

Arcade Fire's "Afterlife" from their album Reflektor.

Gene Amatruda (engineer) recommends:

Japan's female duo named Charisma.com, described as electro-rap that "dismantles modern Japanese society with spiteful glee," has a song called "HATE" that Gene thinks you should hear.

Betsy Kaplan (producer) recommends:

David Bowie's "Where Are We Now?" released early in the year.

Chion Wolf (producer) recommends:

Chance the Rapper's "Cocoa Butter Kisses" has captured Chion's interest. "He's got a profoundly unself-conscious way of delivering his lyrics," she says, "impressive breath control, and a warped sense of humor that makes listening to him addictive."

Ray Hardman (host) recommends:

Stupidity's "King Midas" couldn't be left off this list because it's the "coolest song in the world," according to Little Steven's Underground Garage radio show.