The toughest list to make every year is most certainly my favorite songs. 2013 was extra difficult with an insane amount of big releases, but there were many tracks that stood above the rest. As always, tracks had to be released in 2013 (or late 2012) to qualify and are based on what I enjoyed most. Look for a mixtape to follow!
52 tracks for 52 weeks in a year. Here we go. Please leave your list in the comments!
#52 Avicii-Wake Me Up ft Aloe Blacc
Hate away, but I can almost guarantee Avicii’s genre crossing worldwide hit had you nodding in approval at some point during 2013.
#51 Quadron-Hey Love
The slow hum and steady percussion initially drew me into “Hey Love”, but Coco’s enticing vocals and catchy chorus made the soul pop single a repeat listen.
#50 Sam Smith-Nirvana
The intoxicating effects of love might be the most used theme in music, but it sure sounds better with Sam Smith is singing about it. “Nirvana” proved Smith could hold his own over an eloquently modern pop’n B production.
#49 Basia Bulat-Tall Tall Shadow
Ms. Bulat’s one of a kind vocals grab me nearly every time I hear them, but “Tall Tall Shadow” was particularly gripping. The way the tempo and instrumentation builds quietly before overwhelming made for an apt landscape for Basia to outline the crushing guilt of a lie.
#48 Rich Homie Quan-Type of Way
As a Michigan State Spartan, I just had to include the soundtrack to the many awesome post-game dance parties put on by the B10 champs! GO GREEN!
#47 Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr-Run
The new wave-inspired formula Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr honed didn’t change much from their debut to sophomore record, The Speed Of Things and didn’t necessarily need to. The Talking Heads-feel on many cuts, including “Run” still felt new and replay ready.
#46 Magic Man-Texas
“Texas” starts with a foreboding, scratchy sample “you’re about to embark on the most wonderful experience of your life” before directing you to “just dance.” The track then soars with a cacophony of synth and dream pop that would line up perfectly next to The Killers on your next playlist. Good luck ignoring the call to the dancefloor.
#45 Mikal Cronin-Weight
The opening of “Weight” lulled listeners into thinking the track would flutter along like so many breezy rock tracks. However, Cronin’s tempo quickens while detailing his hesitation of growing older. The instantly catchy hook maintains a punk rock edge with fuzz and distortion in harmony with the singer’s battle to stay young.
#44 Active Child-Subtle ft Mikky Ekko
The synth/dream pop vocals of Pat Grossi aka Active Child managed to haunt on nearly every cut he released in 2013. “Hanging On”, “She Cut Me” and his cover of “His Eyes On The Sparrow” could have all landed on this list. “Subtle” particularly for the industrial synth, Grossi’s escalating vocals and Mikky Ekko’s faux Michael Jackson-style “na na na na na”.
#43 Vampire Weekend-Step
Some might scoff at Ivy League indie twenty-somethings taking advantage of a technique originating from DJ Screw, but I applaud it. The juxtaposition of a slowed sample from Souls of Mischief with VW’s eloquent production made for clever cut about the love of music.
#42 Empire of the Sun-Alive
Empire of the Sun’s bliss-pop return managed to meet most fans’ unreasonable expectations thanks in part for sticking to what worked on Walking On A Dream. “Alive” perfected that formula with a euphoria-inducing hook, pulsing rhythms and festival closer potential.
#41 Arctic Monkeys-Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?
The blues rock feel of “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” was not only comical, but put a modern spin on the old refrain of woman troubles. I’m also sure many of you can relate to Alex Turner’s predicament.