Best Songs of 2013, Vol. IV – Hospital, Groupelove, Sebadoh, Cults, Best Coast, Dr. Dog, Fuzz, Glasvegas, CAVE

Since 2013 is still somewhat fresh (but fading) memory for most people, we decided to publish as part of the Best Songs of 2013 series, the last Top 10 Songs playlists of 2013. If you’re not familiar with Indie Rock Cafe’s popular Top 10 Songs playlist series, we collect the statistics on the songs published on the site for a given month, and sometimes by the week, or every two weeks. Those stats tell us which songs receive the most streams and downloads from IRC listeners. While we didn’t get the final Top 10 Songs’ playlists done until later than usual, the final results are still amazing.

This collection alone features a bunch – 45 altogether – of some of the greatest singles of the year, including spectacular tracks from Cults, The Avett Brothers, Best Coast, Dr. Dog, Grouplove, Said The Whale, The Chills, and many others. There are also DIY bands that struck a chord with all of you, such as Gang of Brothers, The Sun Club, Cold Country, and The Bynars. You can click the play button in the bottom right of your browser or the first track on this page and it’ll stream all of the songs uninterrupted while you do other things. And if you like a track enough, you’re album to save it in MP3 format.


Yet it was a fantastic single from a little-known DIY band, Manchester, England’s, The Unassisted, that rose above all other singles posted in December to take the No. 1 spot. It wasn’t a crazy big surprise in the cafe when we saw that the band’s track, “Hands Dance Hands,” was popular with IRC listeners, but we sure didn’t expect it to be the number one song of the month. Still though, it’s an infectious and memorable song originally featured in the latest volume of the 5 Overseas DIY Bands to Watch series. In fact, that bands to watch series made up all of the top ten songs for December, but two.

Accomplished unsigned artists like Hospital, Get Intuit, Mary Goes Wild, Rascal Experience, and the rocking lads of The Unassisted. Most of the bands ranked in the top ten playlist for December for not one, but both songs we featured in the original post. The rising rock band, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, who made quite a splash at SXSW last year, ranked for their single from the album Wild Child, which was one of our favorite DIY debuts of 2013. Another one of IRC’s – and obviously many listeners’ – favorite under-the-radar DIY debut albums of 2013 was Ear To The Sky from the New York unsigned band Mild Mannered Rebel, who ranked for the inspiring single, “The Climb.”

“Hands Dance Hands” – The Unassisted from The Yellow Guitar Chronicles

“Time Will Tell” – Hospital from When The Trees Were Higher

“Cutie Pie, I’m Bloated” – Get Inuit from Cutie Pie, I’m Bloated

“The Climb” – Mild Mannered Rebel from Ear to the Sky

“Last One Leaving” – Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown from Wild Child

“Everything” – The Unassisted from The Yellow Guitar Chronicles

“Fake Interest” – Rascal Experience from Bad Luck Experience

“Redheaded Chain” – Mary Goes Wild from Next Time, Analog

“Tailspin” – Hospital from Tailspin

“My Oh My” – Get Inuit from Cutie Pie, I’m Bloated

Note: There is no Top 10 Songs playlist(s) for November


Top 10 Songs for October 2013, Vol. II

The No. 1 spot for the second half of October’s Best Singles from New Releases was taken by The Avett Brothers‘ new single, “Another Is Waiting,” which  out matched the No. 2 song, “You Know What I Mean” by Cults by some 32 votes (number of streams and downloads). At No. 3 was the latest single, “This Lonely Morning,” from Best Coast‘s new EP, Fade Away, followed at No. 4 and No. 5 by The Chills and CAVE respectively. We couldn’t help but to notice all of the top five songs were from bands that start with “C” or “B” and “A.”  The second half of the Top 10 Songs for the second half of October were, from No. 6 to No. 10, respectively, singles by Luke Temple, Cass McCombs, Crystal Antlers, Heavenly Beat and Dean Wareham.

“Another Is Waiting” – The Avett Brothers from Magpie and the Dandelion on American

“You Know What I Mean” – Cults from Static on Columbia Records

“This Lonely Morning” – Best Coast from Fade Away EP on Jewel City

“Night Of Chill Blue” – The Chills from Somewhere Beautiful on Fire Records

“Shikaakwa” – CAVE from Threace on Drag City

“Florida” – Luke Temple from Good Mood Fool on Secretly Canadian

“There Can Be Only One” – Cass McCombs from Big Wheel And Others on Domino Record Co.

“Rattlesnake” – Crystal Antlers from Nothing Is Real on Innovative Leisure

“Complete” – Heavenly Beat from Prominence on Captured Tracks

“Love Is Colder Than Death” – Dean Wareham from Emancipated Hearts on Double Feature


Top 10 Songs for October 2013, Vol. I

The second half of October’s Top 10 Songs featured an array of artists and bands  from both ‘mainstream’ indie and DIY artists. In the end, it was Dr. Dog‘s new single, “Love,” that beat out the stiff competition to take the No. 1 spot for the month. The No. 2 song, which trailed “Love” by a wide margin (over 20 ‘votes’ based on the number of streams and downloads) was a killer track, “Get Up On Ya Feet and Testify,” from a DIY-featured band, Gang of Brothers, who were profiled in the latest installment of 7 Bands You’ve Gotta Hear.  Clocking in at No. 3 was the single, “What’s In My Head,” from the breakout 2013 band, Fuzz, founded by the prolific musician Ty Segall followed at No. 4 by the latest single from the popular band Teen Daze and No. 5 by the DIY band The Sun Club‘s break-through single, “Beauty Meat.”  The second half of the Top 10 featured, in order, singles by Blitzen Trapper, DIY band The Bynars, Polvo, DIY band Kid Cadaver, and Yuck.

Don’t miss the first half of the full playlist of MP3 singles for October because there are plenty of terrific songs – that didn’t make the Top 10 – from bands like Tape Deck Mountain, Saint Rich, HAIM, The Fratellis, Raccoon Fighter, The Sadies, Black Moth, Cumulus, Hunters, Those Darlins, Leverage Models (with Sharon Van Etten), Hollow & Akimbo, Quasi, Moby with Cold Specks, Albert Hammond, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., His Clancyness, of Montreal, Parque Courts, Tim Kasher and others.  Plus, check out some amazing tracks from the most recent installment of 5 DIY Solo Artists You’ve Gotta Hear.

“Love” – Dr. Dog from B-Room on Anti- Records

“Get Up On Ya Feet N’ Testify” – Gang of Brothers from Gang of Brothers

“What’s in My Head” – Fuzz from Fuzz on In the Red

“Ice on the Windowsill” – Teen Daze from Glacier on Lefse

“Ever Loved Once” – Blitzen Trapper from VII on Vagrant Records

“Dancing on a Dream” – The Bynars from X vs. X

“Total Immersion” – Polvo from Siberia on Merge Records

“Stable” – Kid Cadaver from Kid Cadaver EP

“Rebirth” – Yuck from Glow & Behold on Fat Possum


Top 10 Songs – September 2013

The results for the Top 10 Songs playlists for September through December have been tallied and over the next couple of weeks we’ll be publishing them all for everyone to enjoy. But first, let’s dive into what IRC listeners chose as the top ten songs for the month of September based on which tracks we featured during the month of September received the most streams and downloads, particularly in Vol. One and Vol. Two of the Best New Singles from New Releases dropped during the month. If you missed either one of those posts/playlists, you’ll definitely want to click through and check them out because there are a lot of great songs – and free MP3s – that did not make the Top 10.

The No. 1 song for September easily went to the band Glasvegas for their single “If” from the album, Later, When The TV Turns to Static.  Following right behind at No. 2 was the track, “Ways To Go” by Grouplove. At No. 3, which was only a couple of ‘votes’ from tying for No. 2 spot was the single, “A Stillness” by the The Naked and The Famous, trailed at No. 4 by Said The Whale for their song “I Love You,” at to round out the top five, at No. 5 was the new Sebadoh song, “I Will.” The bottom half of the Top 10 Songs for September 2013 goes to, in order of No. 6 to No. 10, singles from DIY Artist of the Week Cold Country for the gorgeous single, “Carried Away With The Wind,” followed by singles from Neko Case, Keep Shelly in Athens, Volcano Choir and Cloud Control.

“If” – Glasvegas from Later… When the TV Turns to Static on Go Wow

“Ways to Go” – Grouplove from Spreading Rumours on Atlantic Records

“A Stillness” – The Naked And Famous from In Rolling Waves on Republic

“I Love You” – Said the Whale from Hawaiii on Hidden Pony Records

“I Will” – Sebadoh from Defend Yourself on Joyful Noise Recordings

“Carried Away With The Wind” – Cold Country from Missing The Muse

“Man” – Neko Case from The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You on Anti-Records

“Recollection” – Keep Shelly in Athens from At Home on Cascine

“Byegone” – Volcano Choir from Repave on Jagjaguwar

“Scar” – Cloud Control from Dream Cave on Votiv


The Alternative Christmas Songs and New Year’s Eve Songs Playlists

There were definitely plenty of songs from IRC’s dozens of playlists of Indie and Alternative Rock Christmas Songs, which has been the most popular alternative Christmas songs series on the web for three-plus years now, that populated the top songs for December, but we created, and expanded, that playlist into a separate post, IRC Listeners’ Favorite 25 Indie and Alt. Rock Christmas Songs, featuring tracks from Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Death Cab for Cutie, The Killers, The Kinks and many other excellent artists and bands.

Later in the month, and into the first week of January 2014, songs featured in the latest New Year’s Songs playlist were downloaded and streamed hundreds of times, with The Kinks‘ 1981 track, “Better Things,” (which you can bet is the wish of millions of Americans for 2014) ranking the highest. It’s one of the band’s many excellent songs released over their iconic 25-year run, and was even featured in the 2004 remake of the controversial classic movie, The Manchurian Candidate, with Denzel Washington.

The version used however, for whatever reason, by the producers was the Fountains of Wayne cover of the song (and it is a fine cover), which was played over the last gripping moments of the film (don’t want to reveal the ending for those of you who haven’t seen it – a great movie if you’re looking for a good film to watch that you haven’t seen before). Ironically, the soundtrack also features The Walkmen‘s “New Year’s Eve” track, which was one of the top tracks in last month’s New Year’s Eve Songs‘ playlist.

You might want to listen to the three previous Best Songs of 2013 MP3 playlists, along with song reviews from Devin William Daniels, a musician and contributor to IRC. He chose his favorite songs from Top 10 Songs playlists of 2013 and wrote insightful reviews of each track. As many of you probably know, the Top 10 Songs playlists are determined by which songs posted during a given month IRC listeners streamed and downloaded the most. Therefore, it’s a collaborative effort all the way around. Volume One, Volume Two and Volume Three feature memorable songs of 2013 from artists and bands like Atoms of Peace, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Deerhunter, Phoenix, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, and a variety of DIY artists.

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  1. Dig “Ever Loved Once” by Blitzen Trapper, it’s got a great feel and those story telling lyrics that pull you into the song

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