12.) Kendrick Lamar – “m.A.A.d city”
Coming out of Compton, California is young rapper Kendrick Lamar. He gained notice in 2010 and 2011 when he released his fourth mixtape known as Overly Dedicated and his first independent album Section. 80. He released his first studio album good kid, m.A.A.d city in 2012. The album hit the Top 40 hits as well as reached number two on the Billboard 200. It also received a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. Lamar’s single “m.A.A.d city” has over 13.6 million listens on Spotify. The track is about Lamar’s life growing up on the streets of Compton and how it made him the person he is today.
11.) Arcade Fire – “Reflektor”
Originally from Montreal, Quebec, Canada is indie rock band Arcade Fire. The group met one another through friends and classmates back in 2001 and formed Arcade Fire in 2004 when they released their debut album Funeral. Their latest album Reflektor released this late October with their hit single “Reflektor,” with over 7.6 million listens on Spotify! The album itself was influenced by Haitian rara music, the 1959 movie Black Orpheus, and Soren Kierkegaard’s essay called The Present Age. The song is about an ending love, with lyrics, “I thought I found a way to enter, it’s just a Reflektor. I thought I found the connector, it’s just a Reflektor.”
10.) Major Lazer – “Bubble Butt”
Electronic American group Major Lazer was formed by DJs and producers Diplo and Switch back in 2008. In 2011 Switch left the group and Diplo added DJs/producers Jillionaire and Walshy Fire to the group. In 2013 they released four EPs known as Laser Strikes Back Volumes 1-4 as well as their album Free the Universe. Their single “Bubble Butt” peaked at number 56 on the US music charts and has 5.5 listens on Spotify to this date.
9.) The Neighbourhood – “Sweater Weather”
American rock band The Neighbourhood came together in 2011. The band released a free EP I’m Sorry… in 2012 when recording their hit song “Sweater Weather.” They released their debut album I Love You in April and reached number 39 on the Billboard 200. “Sweater Weather” topped as number one in June on the Billboard’s Alternative Chart as well as number one on the Billboard’s top ten Heatseekers Chart. Today the song has over 25.2 million listens on Spotify!
8.) CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”
Coming out of Glasgow, Scotland is the synthpop band known as CHVRCHES. The band started in 2011 and made their way onto the BBC’s Sound of 2013 list of promising new music talent. This past year they have also released the EP Recover and their debut album The Bones of What You Believe. Their song “The Mother We Share” reached number 17 on the US Alternative Charts and has reached over 7 million listens on Spotify. The song can be interpreted as the bond between siblings and how each one is there for one another.
7.) Avicii – “Wake Me Up”
Tim Bergling better known as his stage name Avicii, officially began his musical career back in 2007 when he was signed to Dejfitts Plays. In 2010 he released a collaboration with John Dahlback as well as also worked with internationally acclaimed DJs such as Tiesto and Sebastian Ingrosso. In June of 2013 the international launch of the song “Wake Me Up” was played by Pete Tong on BBC Radio 1. It was later released on iTunes and reached number one on the Spotify Global Chart and was the second most streamed artist with over 166 million listens!
6.) Disclosure – “Latch”
English electro duo Guy and Howard Lawrence began their electronic music project back in 2010. Their debut album Settle released this past June and was nominated for Best Dance Album for the Grammy Awards. Their hit “Latch” reached number 11 on the UK Singles Chart and has been certified Gold by the ARIA and BPI. The song has over 16 million listens on Spotify and is about someone who is deeply in love. We hear this with lyrics, “you lift my heart up when the rest of me is down, you enchant me even when you’re not around, if there are boundaries, I will try to knock them down, I’m latching on, babe, now I know what I have found.”
5.) Capital Cities – “Safe and Sound”
Los Angeles electro pop duo Capital Cities, was created by Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian in 2008. Their single “Safe and Sound” was released on their debut album In A Tidal Wave of Mystery in June 2013. The single peaked at number one on the US Alternative Songs Chart along with their album reaching number 66 on the Billboard 200. The song currently has over 48 million listens on Spotify.
4.) Imagine Dragons – “Demons”
Las Vegas band Imagine Dragons gained attention after the release of their 2012 debut album Night Visions. The album charted at number two on the Billboard 200 and the band made the top rankings for 2013. “Demons” is the band’s third hit single and has reached number one on the Billboard Pop Songs Chart and number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100; in total it has sold 2 million copies in the United States alone and has 63 million listens on Spotify. The song is about someone fearing closeness to another person because of their past wrong doings.
3.) Bastille – “Pompeii”
London band Bastille started off originally as a solo project of lead singer Dan Smith, back in 2010. In February of 2013 their fourth single “Pompeii” released and charted at number two in the United Kingdom. The single was later released on their March 2013 album Bad Blood, which topped the UK Album Charts. Today the song has over 78 million listens on Spotify.
2.) Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams – “Get Lucky”
Parisian electronic duo Daft Punk started performing house music together back in 1993, and are well known for producing songs that are considered very important in the French House music scene. Their 2013 hit “Get Lucky” was the group’s first UK number one single and remained number one for one month. The song also became Spotify’s most streamed new song with over 100 million listens!
1.) Lorde – “Royals”
Seventeen year old New Zealander, Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’ Connor, better known as her stage name Lorde signed to Universal Records at the age of 13. She released her EP The Love Club in 2012 with her hit single “Royals,” which reached number one on the New Zealand Top 40 and Billboard Hot 100 in 2013. She is the first solo New Zealand artist to have a song chart number one in the United States. Her debut album Pure Heroine released in September of 2013. “Royals” received the 2013 Silver Scroll Award and is currently nominated for Song of the Year for the Grammy Awards, along with three other nominations. “Royals” currently has over 83 million listens on Spotify.