For the three musicians of multiplatinum band Train, 2013 has been a year on the road bringing their music to fans around the globe -- and prepping new music. The trio recently sat down with Billboard.com editor M. Tye Comer (@MTye) to talk about their world tour in support of 2012's "California 37" and the process of making that album's follow up. They also took a moment to share and listen to the favorite songs by other musicians that soundtracked their year -- a shortlist that included veteran artists like Justin Timberlake and new faces like Hunter Hayes and Lorde.
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"We travelled all over the world, from Asia and Australia through all of Europe," frontman Pat Monahan reflects. "It was absolutely, by far, the most fun we've ever had on tour." By the same token, Monahan also says Train spent some of 2013 looking forward, prepping a new album he has set a high standard for. "The expectations that I have for this are too big right now so it's interfering with everything," he says. "But I think it's because I want it to be the next level."
And while Train toured the planet and began making new music, the group also counted themselves fans of some of the great tunes that made 2013 unique. Monahan includes Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Can't Hold Us" among his favorites. "I hope they win a ton of awards this year," Monahan says, listening back to the song in front of Billboard's cameras.
Another young talent, Hunter Hayes, caught the singer's ear when he had the chance to perform with the 22-year-old this year, making Hayes' "I Want Crazy" stick in his mind in the process. At CMT, "Hunter asked me to go sing with him and we did a mashup of [" I Want Crazy"] and [Train's] "Hey Soul Sister," Monahan explains. "It was really stunning to see how talented this kid is. You haven't even seen anything yet."
Train's Jimmy Stafford, meanwhile, praises the work of a familiar star -- Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors."
"Just Give Me A Reason," Billboard Woman of the Year P!nk's song with Fun.'s Nate Ruess, was a surprise favorite of Train's Scott Underwood. Underwood was also partial to newcomer Lorde this year ("For a 16-year-old her voice is so mature and seasoned, and then her lyrics are pretty sophisticated -- so she's kind of got everything going for her," he muses.) He additionally singled out Daft Punk's jam "Get Lucky." "You know what's great about that whole record is the guys who were at the tip of the EDM movement -- everything was so static and digital -- have the grooviest record right now," he says.
Ashley Monroe, who has toured on the bill with Train, also made Monahan's list wit her song "Like A Rose." "She's got the Pistol Annies of course, but this is where she's real magic, all by herself," he says.