Well! It was quite a year not just for American pop music, but for tunes from around the globe, too — and as I was looking back on my favorite songs that we featured in Pop Goes The World (that thing we did where we scoured weird K-pop blogs and Finnish news stories to dig up the most interesting, undiscovered tracks breaking in other countries), it occurred to me that there were quite a few that I had on heavy rotation all year long — and even a few that ended up breaking through to the mainstream months later.
Passports out? All good!
Lorde, ”Royals” (April 29, 2013)
This year’s breakout songstress Lorde had already topped the charts in her native New Zealand with “Royals” by the time I wrote about this song (it debuted at #1 in March 2013), but it wasn’t until August that she managed to snag the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 stateside. Still, I can’t help but feel a fond nostalgia for the first time I heard this song, months before its ubiquity had made me resent it: Those spare, eerie finger-snaps; that curious, chanting voice; that indelible hook. “Royals” felt magical, and if you listen carefully, it still does.
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