Que sara sara…
So this has been a bit of a testing year for me, but otherwise, a much better year than the shitheap I call 2012. It’s been a meh year, 2013. But in comparison to the 12 months before it, I’ll happily take a meh year compared to an incredibly shit, hair-pulling, craptastic year like 2012. It basically means that – hopefully – it’ll improve from here on out.
At least, that’s what I hope.
Anyways, I’ve seen a few people put together a few playlists on Spotify that tells their story of 2013. And my friend Alex Donaldson – who has been a massive confidant and friend to me this year – put together a blog featuring twelve songs that have gone on to define his year.
I put together a much larger playlist – 67 songs in total – over the weekend. That entire playlist you can find here – to name the other events around it: The Last of Us! Grand Theft Auto V! Arrested Development! Daft Punk! My Eurogamer Expo soundtrack! New Killers material! – but I made a condensed playlist of 12 songs that are standout points for my year.
Here it is. Link at the bottom for the playlist on Spotify.
January: Death Cab for Cutie – The New Year
This is always one of the first songs I listen to at the start of a new year, but this held more significance to me than it has in previous years. I was overly glad to have 2012 behind me the second it went midnight. It’s one of my favourite songs and I was just glad to have it be one of the first two songs I’d listen to at the start of 2013 (the first being a song you’ll see further down this list).
February: Tom Tykwer – Cloud Atlas’ End Title
I caught onto the Cloud Atlas train, so to speak, just at the end of 2012. The movie had released in the US near the end of 2012, but wasn’t set to launch in the UK until February and I hadn’t even read the book (though I acquired it after I watched the film). When the film came out, I loved it – I picked it as my favourite movie of this year, after all – but I was moreso overly enchanted by the music. Especially when it came to the film’s final piece of the music score. It was lovely.
March: The Beach Boys – God Only Knows
If there was one song in my head at the end of March, it was this. Admittedly, it wasn’t the original and rather a barbershop version performed at the very start of BioShock Infinite, but considering the Infinite version is not on Spotify (though it’s here on YouTube), this is as good as it’s going to get. Not that the original isn’t brilliant, mind.
April: M83 – New Map
New Map has been one of my favourite songs since I first heard it at the end of 2011 when I first got into Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, especially when it’s played at a faster tempo. It’s such a cheery song too (in fact, if anything, a good portion of that album is cheery). And earlier this year, in March, I finally got over my fear of pitching to the one place I always wanted to write something for – Eurogamer – after being a freelancer for nine months at the time, but I always made a ritual (a stupid one, but one nonetheless): if the pitch bombed, I’d play Sigur Rós’ Ekki Mukk. If successful, New Map.
Twice beforehand, I’d played Ekki Mukk in March. On April 26, I played New Map. I can’t even begin to tell you the feelings I went through when I saw that email. They were powerful, ecstatic feelings of happiness that I’d give anything to experience again. But then again, I experienced much higher, bigger, incredible feelings two months later.
May: Daft Punk – Get Lucky
Oh come on, you can’t be surprised this made the list. Say what you will about the album itself – I loved it – but Get Lucky is catchy as fuck. That song – and a few others from Random Access Memories but mainly that song – were the soundtrack to my London visit when I was over in May to see The Last of Us/see awesome friends/TANKCAT! Get Lucky was not only the soundtrack for one London visit but it was the soundtrack of the year for most people.
June: M83 – My Tears Are Becoming A Sea
For some silly reason, I remember listening to this on the morning of June 26. This was the day my Eurogamer piece with Jennifer Hale was set to drop (ironically, it was dropping a year to the day since I announced my departure from VG247) . And this song just happened to be playing, of all the times it was playing on, just as the article went live. Then I just completely broke down in tears (happy tears) – seeing what I’d worked to achieve within eight years, from enthusiast to specialist games journalism – was one of the most proudest, happiest feelings I’ve ever felt and easily my moment of this year. I’d like to think the song contributed in part to this.
I’ll never forget it for as long as I live. It was marvellous.
July: Rachel Yamagata – Quiet
After all the hubbub around the Eurogamer piece and The Last of Us died down for me, my mind wandered to other things throughout the Summer. June was great, but the rest of the Summer drove me crazy due to thinking of a lot of things, one thing in particular, that this song perfectly summed up what I wanted my mind to be – quiet. I’ve been a small observer of Rachel Yamagata’s music since The O.C. but this song perfectly matched me at the time.
August: Gabrielle Aplin – Start of Time
I first listened to this thanks to a tip from someone who I follow on Twitter. I remember listening to this for the first time whilst there was still some semblance of light at night back in the Summer, sitting out at a doorway next door to my house. Aplin’s guitar work in that song is terrific to behold in the song that I completely fell in love with it. I went to Ebrington Square the next day and listened to Aplin’s entire debut album that released this year in the sun, not clocking on she actually did The Power of Love cover from last Christmas’ John Lewis ad. The album was brilliant itself, but Start of Time is the one song that sticks out to me from it.
September: Sigur Rós – Ég anda
There was a few other songs that I listened to when I was in London back in September for Eurogamer Expo. But this was the one that defined my September London visit. I was a bit scared (or nervous perhaps instead) for past Expos – 2011 Expo, because it was my first time in London. 2012 Expo, my first as a paid freelancer. It seems I was still scared, but a lot more scared this time for one particular, personal reason. Without getting too much into it, Ég anda was that song that played in my head where it seemed like time stood still when walking down a South West London street on a Saturday night.
It’s the one song that has defined my year.
October: Imogen Heap – Between Sheets
Shock. The very first song I had started playing after I met Imogen Heap in October was Between Sheets. The next song that came up on random was Frou Frou’s Breathe In. I remember listening to both of them as I ran across the Peace Bridge into the Waterside part of it from the Cityside in sheer giddyness of what just happened listening to them. But Between Sheets was first, so it gets the billing.
November: Murray Gold – I Am The Doctor
Doctor Who month! It was my first Doctor Who episode in two years after I stopped watching at the end of Season 6, but I figured it might be worth watching. Not to mention, Capaldi’s eventual ascension to the role. Oh what an amazing episode it was to come back to. Baker! Capaldi’s cameo! Tennant! Pity, beside the last fifteen minutes, the Christmas special was a pile on wank, then.
December: CHVRCHES – Lies
I got into CHVRCHES this month. I like them. They’re cool.
Playlist link on Spotify. Happy new year!