Yes, would you believe it, we’re already half way through the year!? To celebrate the passing of the first six months of 2013 here is part 1 of my top fifty singles of the year so far. They may not have been the biggest sellers or indeed troubled the top forty, but these are the songs that have excited me the most since January…
50. Lucy May – ‘Paper Heart‘
This touching retro-sounding cover still sounds like the soundtrack to an emotional ending to a hit drama. Beautifully sung and suggests great things for the country-inspired singer.
49. Leanne Mitchell – ‘Pride‘
It may now be the buzzword for the failure of artists on the Voice to make an impact on the charts, but as a song its beauty and power is hard to ignore, with a female singer in Mitchell who showcases a strong voice without submitting to key-changing wails.
48. Travis – ‘Where You Stand‘
The return of one of the best modern British bands was quite muted and it’s a difficult song to grasp on first listen, but it’s a definite grower and highlights a greater maturity to the group.
47. Izzy Marie Hill – ‘Chuck Norris‘
A summery hit released in the throes of the winter, this is worth rediscovering as the sun makes a re-appearance. Even Chuck Norris would approve of this cracking pop hit.
46. Clean Bandit – ‘Mozart’s House‘
On paper this hodge-podge of elements shouldn’t work but after a few listens to it the crazy and off-the-wall nature grabs you, hopefully introducing a new generation to classical music but with an eccentric twist.
45. Johnny Hates Jazz – ‘Magnetized‘
It’s always tricky for a band to return after a lengthy hiatus but JHJ proved it is popular with this corker of a comeback.
44. Tegan and Sara – ‘I Was A Fool‘
Canadian siblings Tegan and Sara followed up their late 2012 hit with this ballad that immediately grabs you on first listen.
43. Biffy Clyro – ‘Black Chandelier‘
With three strong returning singles from their latest album, this debut back in January is probably the best, though ‘Biblical’ gives it a run for its money.
42. MKTO – ‘Classic‘
One of the newest entries on the countdown, this retro sounding bouncy pop hit is catchy from those first few seconds, which is a sure sign of a potential hit.
41. The Saturdays – ‘Gentleman‘
From a similar time as number 42, this is quite a change of direction for The Saturdays and the mix of styles, innuendo-snatched lyrics and fast-paced rap works well for them.
40. 2 Chainz feat. Wiz Khalifa – ‘We Own It (Fast & Furious)‘
To be found over the opening credits of the new ‘Fast & Furious’ film, this ballsy hip-hop track mixes singability and attitude in a fun way.
39. Nelly – ‘Hey Porsche‘
Much poppier and commercial than we have had previously from Nelly, this comeback was quite muted in the UK but it’s still a warm slice of hip-hop-pop.
38. Justin Timberlake – ‘Mirrors‘
Arguably a contender for the longest single of the year, ‘Mirrors’ makes up for the disappointing ‘Suit and Tie’ with a much more traditionally sounding Timberlake hit.
37. Ke$ha – ‘C’Mon‘
She may be getting her usual amount of vocal help on the record, but it’s another catchy balls-to-the-wall track from Ke$ha.
36. New Kids On The Block – ‘Remix (I Like The)‘
This comeback may have sunk without trace in the UK, but it’s still worth listening to as they follow the path of ‘Take That’ in creating a credible man-band tune.
35. Gabrielle Aplin – ‘Please Don’t Say You Love Me‘
The best original song from Aplin, in what has otherwise been a weak set of singles, is one that will stick with you and surpasses her Christmas debut cover.
34. Mint Royale – ‘GTFU‘
Most famous for their ‘Singin’ In The Rain’ adaptation from a few years ago, this mostly instrumental single has the power to really strike a set of dance moves into you.
33. Michael Bublé – ‘It’s A Beautiful Day‘
Bublé certainly knows how to nail a great pop song and here he is on top form with a summer-soaked ode to romantic revenge.
32. Calvin Harris feat. Ellie Goulding – ‘I Need Your Love‘
I think it’s fair to say that much of Harris’ recent work lacks the originality and variety of his first album hits and though this song shares much of their characteristics there’s something very grabbing about it, showcasing some strong vocals from Goulding, who shines on collaborations.
31. CHVRCHES – ‘Recover‘
This debut hit works thanks to the great balance of music and vocals and the building nature of the song.
30. Olly Murs – ‘Army Of Two‘
Olly Murs is one singer who can usually be relied on to create a stonking pop song and here he is with a brilliant hit from earlier in the year that follows up ‘Troublemaker’ perfectly.
29. AlunaGeorge – ‘Attracting Flies‘
With a haunting musical riff and some well produced vocals, this is a stand out hit from the first quarter of the year.
28. Alison Moyet – ‘When I Was Your Girl‘
As mentioned before, comebacks can be tricky, but here is proof it can work again. With a powerful voice and a hauntingly catchy chorus, this was a strong return hit.
27. Bebe Black – ‘Deathwish‘
From the first few weeks of the year, Bebe Black’s powerful vocals carry the song but don’t detract from its musical brilliance.
26. Fall Out Boy – ‘My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark‘
This much awaited comeback from FOB split opinion but this is as strong as any of their big singles and it’s a shame it didn’t get the exposure they deserve.
Obviously in picking my top fifty some songs just had to miss out in what has been a strong half-year for underground hits. So it’s a shame that ‘Bellowhead – Roll The Woodpile Down’, ‘Booty Luv – Black Widow’, ‘Hot Natured – Reverse Skydiving (feat. Anabel Englund)’, ‘Josephine – Portrait’, ‘Josh Groban – Brave’, ‘Peace – Follow Baby’, ‘Stooshe – Slip’, ‘The Goo Goo Dolls – Rebel Beat’, ‘Thirty Seconds To Mars – Up In The Air’ and ‘Willy Moon – My Girl’ narrowly miss out on inclusion.
But what will be in my top 25? Let me know your thoughts on my countdown so far in the comments below.