Best of, Music

Best of 2013: Songs

Before we begin this year’s Best Of season, a brief word from our editor, Nathan:

It’s the time of year again. For those in the critical profession, this year always brings with it a sense of stress, as sometime in history it became our moral obligation to confine all the culture released in 365 days to a small list of 10, 25, maybe 50, and sometimes even more. For many, this task comes naturally, but for others, it’s really a Sophie’s choice, like picking between children. One must constantly weigh the worth of different pieces of art against one another, and ultimately, it can become more frustrating than anything else. Yet there’s also a sense of joy, or maybe even sick pleasure, in these lists. For critics, these lists are more than summations of a span of time, they are metaphorical lanyards on which we hang the press badges of our identities. They represent who we are not just as critics, but as connoisseurs, as consumers, and ultimately, as people. These lists, regardless of length or format can be used as VIP passes to that exclusive club called “taste,” or they can be used as tattered banners in the constant struggle for “great art.” No matter how the writer chooses to make use of these lists, one thing is for certain: the reader always seems to have a good time. Whether they are in agreeance or not, the “Best of” season provides an endless forum for debate between critics, readers, and everyone in between. So without further ado, let’s begin.

Up first are some of our favorite songs of 2013. While many of our lists are categorized in some way, whether by ranking or other means, this list is much more informal. We choose to let the songs stand for themselves instead of devoting slabs of text to each one. Additionally, this list often tilts more to what we liked the most rather than what we necessarily thought was best. This list is also kind of incomplete (just as a warning). And yes, there are two Open Mike Eagle songs. He’s just that good. Check it out after the jump!

Action Bronson- “Contemporary Man”

ASAP Ferg- “Dump Dump”

Black Milk- “Sunday’s Best / Monday’s Worst”

Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip (feat. Birdman, Kanye West, & Lil’ Wayne)- “Thank You”

Chance the Rapper- “Paranoia”

Charles Bradley- “Strictly Reserved for You”

Daft Punk- “Get Lucky”

Darkside- “Golden Arrow”

Danny Brown (feat. Purity Ring)- “25 Bucks”

The Dillinger Escape Plan- “Prancer”

Disclosure (feat. Sam Smith)- “Latch”

Esben & the Witch- “Deathwaltz”

FIDLAR- “No Waves”

HAIM- “Don’t Save Me”

Isaiah Rashad- “Shot You Down”

Jackson and His Computerband- “Glow (Hudson Mohawke Remix)”

James Blake- “Retrograde”

Janelle Monae- “Dance Apocalyptic”

Kanye West- “Black Skinhead”

King Krule- “Easy Easy”

Local Natives- “You & I”

Lorde- “Tennis Courts”

Los Campesinos!- “Avocado, Baby!”

M.I.A.- “Bring the Noize”

Milo- “Ecclesiastes”

Migos- “Versace”

Mount Kimbie (feat. King Krule)- “You Took Your Time”

My Bloody Valentine- “New You”

Old Gray- “Wolves”

Open Mike Eagle (feat. Busdriver)- “Degrassi Picture Day (Hellfyre Jackets)”

Open Mike Eagle- “Qualifiers”

Phoenix (feat. R. Kelly)- “Trying to be Cool (Remix)”

Phosphorescent- “Song for Zula”

Pusha T- “Numbers on the Board”

Queens of the Stone Age- “My God is the Sun”

Rich Homie Quan- “Some Type of Way”

Savages- “She Will”

7 Days of Funk- “Faden Away”

Schoolboy Q (feat. Kendrick Lamar)- “Collard Greens”

Son Lux- “Lost it to Trying”

Sonny & The Sunsets- “Green Blood”

SOPHIE- “Bipp”

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks- “Lariat”

Thundercat- “Oh Sheit It’s X”

Toro Y Moi- “Say That”

Touche Amore- “Harbor”

Vampire Weekend- “Step”

Vic Mensa (feat. Thundercat)- “RUN!”

Volcano Choir- “Comrade”

Wavves- “Demon to Lean On”

Young Fathers- “Queen is Dead”

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