BEst of 2013 music Mike XWHY

XWHY XMAS: Guestlist – #1

XWHY Musical Guestlist – the experts select the best of 2013…

We’ve had a great couple of months leading up to XMAS – we’ve met some amazing musicians and DJs and been introduced to a fantastic stream of new music.

SO, in the spirit of giving, we’ve decided to rope in some of the music maestros who’ve supported XWHY to bring you a whole week of guest playlists.

Our seven experts have each picked 5 of their favourite 2013 release tracks, with a little explanation of their choices.

As it wouldn’t be a Monday without him, we’re letting resident XWHY expert Michael Thomas kick the week off. Here’s what he had to say….


2013 has been an incredibly strong year for music, with more and more young talents being given a chance or, in some cases, just grabbing one. We still live in an age where much of the best music won’t chart or even get airplay on the big stations, but you can’t keep a good song down. Here are my top 5 tracks from the year that was 2013.


 A$AP Ferg ft A$AP rocky – Shabba

The lesser known member of the A$AP Clan and self-professed “Trap Lord” A$AP Ferg blurred the genre lines with this Dancehall-come-Trap single, featuring his better known stable mate A$AP Rocky. The A$AP duo surely scored a musical first with this ode to Rexton Gordon. Shabba Ranks is straight Carnival vibes!

Typesun – The PL

I first time I heard this track was at Worldwide festival in the South of France with some of the other XWHY crew. Those seven days in Sete heralded so many amazing tunes and it was a close run thing between this track and Laura Mvula’s ‘Father’. But this edged the win purely because, even five months later, I find myself randomly humming the chorus at bus stops. This soulful and sexy track from Bristol based Typesun is as catchy as it is smooth, close your eyes and let it wash away your cares.

Typesun the PL

Jungle – The Heat

Try googling “Jungle Music” and the top results are still dominated by the mind-melting outputs of such luminaries as M Beat, General Levy, Apache Indian and the like. However, by my reckoning, it won’t be long before they are knocked off the top spots by this production duo and their unique and nostalgic style. The funky single ‘The Heat’ has had heads bobbing most of the year and i’m sure this will continue into the new year.


James Blake – Retrograde

After his debut record, there were always going to be huge expectations surrounding Blake’s sophomore album, but thankfully for us, he did not disappoint. As we’ve come to expect, he delivers faultless production and vocals throughout. This is a cinematic and intricate single. If your feeling it then give it some air horn!


James Blake XWHY Magazine

FKA Twigs – Water me

Recently nominated for the BBC’s Sound of 2014 prize, FKA Twigs has been storming our airwaves. Her debut single ‘Water Me’ is an eerie and somber affair that had me and several million others completely transfixed.  If the voice of FKA Twigs wasn’t dreamy enough for you by itself, then the video for the track provides a succulent cherry on top. Haunting, heartfelt and beautiful.


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