The rules are as follows:
-The collection must be short enough to fit on a standard 80-minute CD.
-The song choices are not bound by “favorites” so much as songs that are, in my mind, distinctively connected to the preceding year.
Without further ado, this year's track list:
1. “My Dear Acquaintance” by Regina Spektor A quiet, hopeful song, for a quiet New Year’s alone, spent assembling a bookcase, then wandering 34th Street flask in hand to watch the the makeshift ball drop.
2. “Stubborn Love” by The Lumineers This was the bittersweet song of recovery after a rough close to 2012, and an unofficial theme for the spring writing project that helped me to the other side of the tunnel.
3. “Madness” by Muse and 4. “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran Two beautifully conflicted favorites from the a cappella season.
5. “Get in the Game” by Cody Martins and Sparky Buddha A late winter favorite, and a core track to the playlist I listened along the walk to work when my car was in the shop.
6. “Show You How To Love” by Pentatonix This Pentatonix original takes me back to a February trip to Rochester, meeting new friends, and the ICCAs at Nazareth College, my second time hosting an event with Mike under the A Cappella Blog banner.
7. “Sons and Daughters” by The Decemberists In March, I took a road trip to St. Louis on a cappella business. Along the way, I stopped off in Indiana to hang out with friends from college, and the way back included my first swing through Kentucky. This song anchored my road mix for the journey.
8. “The Flood” by Katie Melua A favorite from the a cappella show in St. Louis.
9. “Ride On, Right On” by Phosphorescent On an otherwise unremarkable morning drive to work, NPR ran a music segment that highlighted this song. Phosphorescent went on to become one of my favorite bands of 2013. This song started it all.
10. “The Laundry Room” by The Avett Brothers I made my annual-ish Memorial Day pilgrimage to Rochester. I had just discovered this song and couldn’t get enough of it at the time.
11. “Balloons” by Julia Nunes I discovered Julia Nunes in a bout of binge-YouTubing in the spring. This original resonated with me above all the rest of her material, and I played it on repeat through much of what little down time I had in Santa Cruz at the start of the summer.
12. "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke It got pretty hard to avoid this one over the summer...and what the heck, ugly social narrative aside, it was a fun enough pop song.
13. “Chasing the Sun” by Sara Bareilles You said remember that life is not meant to be wasted … so fill up your lungs and just run, but always be chasing the sun. In mid-August, I embarked on my fourth road trip exploring California. I had plenty of stops planned, from the DeLaveaga Disc Golf course, to a visit to Bill Hare’s studio, to the International Sports Bar in San Fran, to a Sing Off taping, to multiple WWE shows, to an adventure in skydiving. I expected some relaxation. Some adventure. I don’t know that I could have anticipated a trip that would affect me so deeply, though, reaching its pinnacle with an unplanned stop in San Diego and the start of a new relationship. “Chasing the Sun,” a new track from Sara, is clearly about New York City, but that didn’t keep it from becoming the anthem of my journey south down the west coast.
14. "Shadow Love Song" by Heather Jones An original song resulting from creative challenge between the songstress and I.
15. “Timshel” cover by GQ My copy of star aca-quartet GQ’s debut album arrived the say day I embarked on a trip to see my mom, witness the wedding of two my dearest friends, and reunite with other close buddies from college. I played the album, and most particularly this track on repeat for much of the long drives that bookended the weekend.
16. "Don't Lose Your Dinosaur" by Upset A fun anthem to individuality, creativity, and staying true to oneself I stumbled upon this fall.
17. "If It's the Beaches" by The Avett Brothers A song to remember a November trip back to San Diego.
18. "Let It Go" by Idina Menzel A post-Thanksgiving viewing of Frozen saw me listening to this track a lot in the weeks to follow, a reminder of the good times ahead amidst an early winter chock full of paperwork.
19. "Christmas in LA" by The Killers My favorite, albeit down-trodden, new holiday find of 2013.
And without further ado, I present my 2013 slideshow.
Happy holidays, all, and my best for the new year ahead.