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Phil’s Top 100 Music Singles of 2013: #20 – #1

So in this final part, here are my top twenty songs of 2013!

20. Gary Barlow – ‘Let Me Go’ (Released: November, No. 2)
After a few years captaining the reformed Take That man-band, Barlow released his first major solo single in fourteen years. Taking inspiration from Mumford and Sons, this perky, country-tinged number feels like his best effort outside of his famous band.
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19. Taylor Swift – ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ (Released: April, No. 2)
Swift was one of the biggest artists of 2013 and this was her most memorable hit, helped a little by the screaming goat meme at times. Mixing her pop-country sound with an adaptation of something a little more dance and dubstep, this is immediately catchy and cemented her as one of America’s best  pop exports.
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18. Thumpers – Unkinder (A Tougher Love) (Released: June, didn’t chart)
This London alternative pop duo released the ‘Unkinder’ (EP) this year and the title track is one of the catchiest bits of quirky pop in all of 2013. With a singable lyric track and a distinctive piano riff, this bodes well for 2014 for the band.
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17. Swiss Lips – ‘U Got the Power’ (Released: April, didn’t chart)
With ‘Carolyn’ already appearing in the top 100 it was their breakthrough song ‘U Got The Power’ that is still their best, a catchy 80s pop number that is one of the biggest earworms of the year.
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16. Patent Pending – ‘Hey Mario’ (Released: September, didn’t chart)
Possibly one of the most eccentric tracks on the list, this ‘Bowling For Soup’-esque pop-punk song about Nintendo’s famous plumber and his relentless quest for love was both funny but also very listenable. The 8-bit sound is great to hear more of too.
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15. Charli XCX – ‘SuperLove’ (Released: December, No. 62)
Having already appeared in the top 100 guesting on ‘I Love It’ and her less-poppy breakthrough number ‘You (Ha Ha Ha)’ in my top 300, it’s this incredibly catchy ‘Kylie Minogue – Wow’ like pop song that breaks into my top 20. Brilliant.
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14. The Killers – ‘Shot At The Night’ (Released: September, No. 23)
The lead single from their scattergun best of compilation ‘Direct Hits’, this is the Killers with their more modern low-key and slightly miserable sound, but it’s still as good as ever with a strong stadium-friendly singable chorus held together by the appealing vocals of lead singer Flowers.
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13. Texas – ‘Detroit City’ (Released: August, No. 161)
In their comeback year where ‘The Conversation’ and ‘Dry Your Eyes’ also appeared in my top 300, this was their best release in 2013. Uptempo, driving forward and sounding like golden era Texas, this is immensely catchy.
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12. The Wanted – ‘Show Me Love (America)’ (Released: October, No. 8)
With ‘We Own The Night’ and ‘Walks Like Rihanna’ being potential contenders and appearing in my top 300, this most recent single is the one earning a place in my best. Abandoning the cheesy crowd-friendly pop of their earlier releases and replacing it with a more production-focussed power ballad, ‘Show Me Love (America)’ is arguably their best track ever. If only more of their releases were like this.
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11. Katy B – ‘5 AM’ (Released: November, No. 14)
Katy B’s original run of singles were good but not always my cup of tea but this lead single from her upcoming second album is her best yet. Sometimes the lyrics are not the most inspired ever but as a fast-paced, memorable pop-song brilliantly sung and involving this wins.
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10. Robbie Williams – ‘Go Gentle’ (Released: November, No. 10)
From his second swing album ‘Swings Both Ways’ this was a big change from last year’s big release ‘Candy’ and is a much gentler, slower track but is also more beautifully written, a song dedicated to his daughter. As well as the strong writing the production and performance is spot on and feels both modern and retro in the same breath.
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09. Chvrches – ‘The Mother We Share’ (Released: September, No. 38)
It’s been an excellent debut year for Chvrches and this is their best song from a strong album. Taking what was great about ‘Gun’ and ‘Recover’ and whipping them into one well produced and sexy song, led by the sultry vocals of Lauren Mayberry. The best song of this band who are my favourite new band of the year.
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08. BΔstille – ‘Pompeii’ (Released: February, No. 2)
In what has been a big year for Bastille, it was this breakthrough hit in the earlier part of the year that still sticks with me. With plenty of hooks in the record from the chanting to the great drum work, and of course the lead vocals, this still feels fresh ten months on.
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07. Martin Solveig & The Cataracs feat. Kyle – ‘Hey Now’ (Released: July, didn’t chart)
Though it has echoes of his big hit ‘Hello’ this is superior thanks to its summery synth riff and perky, happy lyrics. Throw in a fast-paced singable rap this just succeeds on all levels and how it didn’t chart in the UK is a mystery to me.
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06. Jay Brown – ‘Keep Talking’ (Released: September, didn’t chart)
Another incredibly underrated track from 2013, this short and sweet perky pop tune from Jay Brown is the perfect package: brilliantly sung with a production style that builds it up to an enjoyable crescendo. Here’s hoping for more exposure in 2014.
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05. Ivy Levan – ‘Hot Damn’ (Released: June, didn’t chart)
Another song that starts with a determined opening; this retro-inspired thumping pop number with swing stylings will immediately grab you. Led by the visually strong Levan if you don’t get this stuck in your head there’s something wrong with you.
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04. Miley Cyrus – ‘Wrecking Ball’ (Released: September, No. 1)
After the frankly awful ‘We Can’t Stop’ a re-imagined Cyrus came back with this stonking pop-ballad. Forget about all the controversy and the unnecessary video, this song stands as a powerful ballad that grabs you. It’s a shame she felt she had to take her clothes off to achieve this.
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03. MKTO – ‘Classic’ (Released: June, didn’t chart)
Another song that brings retro-back, this mid-tempo swinging number deserves to get some big success in the UK in 2014 after some strong showings in Australia and New Zealand. Poppy, catchy and with a strong production style, it’s a great tune.
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02. Chlöe Howl – ‘No Strings’ (Released: August, didn’t chart)
Featured on the ‘Kick Ass 2’ soundtrack (probably the best thing about a disappointing film) Howl is now one of the fifteen ‘Sound of 2014’ contenders so next year should see big things for her following her second single ‘Paper Heart’. But it’s this breakthrough number that wins it for me, with enough balls and attitude and a distinctive enough voice to make her stand out.
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01. Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams – ‘Get Lucky’ (Released: April, No. 1)
There could only really be one song at number one. As a long-time fan of Daft Punk if someone said after ‘Human After All’ that they’d have a 2013 number one I would have laughed. But in tweaking their sound they came up with a modern-retro dance hit that appealed to both their established fan base and a whole new audience. Yes, it could be called a sell-out for the duo and it was over-heard in the summer, but it’s still a brilliant, funky, singable composition and deserves the top spot.
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So what do you think of my top 100 and this golden 20? Let me know with your comments below.