Each year follows the same pattern. There’s the indie hit, the summer jam, the latest dance craze and the new pop starlet. These artists are always remembered by their singles, which could be a positive or negative thing. At the end of the year though, there’s always the debate of which single was the best. Here are the CU Independent’s top singles of the year.
12) Best Coast– “The Only Place”
A short and sweet example of what indie pop can be, “The Only Place” is much cleaner in comparison to other songs by Best Coast. The absence of shoegaze-style reverb is a blessing in this instance, allowing all of the song’s intricacies to be heard.
11) Gotye – “Somebody That I Used to Know”
This Australian singer made his name known in the U.S. with his baroque-pop song, “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Plucked strings with a guest appearance by fellow Aussie, Kimbra, make this song one to remember.
10) Mumford & Sons – “I Will Wait”
It may be like every other song by these English troubadours, but “I Will Wait” is a rollicking, foot-stomping good time. With crystalline harmonies and perfectly syncopated banjo rolls, Mumford & Sons has figured out their niche in today’s cutthroat music world.
9) Fun. – “Some Nights”
Not as big as “We Are Young,” the title track from this New York-based trio is more energetic, riding atop a steady march accompanied by melodic “ohs.” Although their sophomore album may not have been as strong as their first, Fun. will be sitting atop the charts for a very long time.
8) Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa – “Payphone”
Although Maroon 5 may have abandoned their rock-oriented roots, they can still write an incredible catchy pop song. This song’s chorus soars over a delicate pad of synths and guitars and is a made-for-radio hit.
7) Psy –“Gangnam Style”
It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand the Korean language, “Gangnam Style” is the best dance song of the year. Now everyone can ride their invisible pony all across town while watching the constantly hilarious music video. The song also recently became the most watched video in Youtube history.
6) Macklemore and Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert – “Same Love”
More beat poetry than rap, “Same Love” is a song that voices the opinions of millions of people. Macklemore takes a subtle beat and simply tells his story – the best song writing technique. “Same Love” is a song that speaks for those who do not have the voice or courage to. Lyrics may not be what everyone looks for in a song, but the words are what makes “Same Love” wonderful.
5) The Lumineers – “Ho Hey”
Whether we like it or not, acoustic, guitar-wielding folk bands are here to stay. This Denver-based group has captured a wide audience with a short and sweet burst of pop expertise. Clocking in at just under three minutes, “Ho Hey” takes the best parts of today’s mainstream folk and smashes it down to foot stomps and a hooky chorus, perfect for the untrained ear.
4) John Mayer – “Queen of California”
After his onstage breakdown, Mayer took a little time off to collect his thoughts, and are we lucky that he did. “Queen of California,” the second single off of “Born and Raised,” is a song that takes everything that was good about Mayer and makes it better. Dropping in pedal steel guitar, “Queen of California” is a low key song that is quietly making its case as one of the best singles of the year.
3) Of Monsters and Men – “Little Talks”
Following the trend of indie rockers making it big, Of Monsters and Men has unleashed its own brand of acoustic pop on American listeners. Behind a trumpet-driven horn section, “Little Talks” is an infectious pop song that could drive even the biggest metal fan crazy for more.
2) Jack White – “Sixteen Saltines”
Jack White is back, only this time it is alone. Releasing his first solo record, White continues his perfect streak as a musician, proving that he has yet to release a bad album. “Sixteen Saltines,” from his album “Blunderbuss,” is a song that is classic White, with raging vocals and an addictive guitar riff.
1) Taylor Swift – “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”
If any pop artist today knows their audience, it is Taylor Swift. Writing songs that would bring any high school girl to tears, Swift is able to tell their entire life stories in just under four minutes. Her latest single, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” from her newest album, “Red,” is another sugary venture into the dating world of Taylor Swift, and she does it better than anyone else.
Contact CU Independent Copy Editor Patrick Fort at Patrick.firstname.lastname@example.org.