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Monday, December 16, 2013

MY Top 50 Tracks of 2013

Ah, it is that time of year in music. A year has passed and it is time to reveal my choices for the 50 best songs of 2013. There was a lot of great music from a lot of great artists and I enjoy every single one of the songs on this list. The mix of genres that released great music in 2013 really amazes me to this day and so I created a playlist of all the songs on this list on Spofity which you can find right here (But why spoil it for yourself? Keep reading.) https://play.spotify.com/user/1229129250/playlist/5tXjsExBpNrwrHlwTXGoO6

And finally before I start, an obvious yet tired disclaimer. These songs are MY favorites from 2013. Not the most popular songs and not even the best songs I'm sure of the year. If this was the case, 'Get Lucky' would be my top track because it was everywhere this year. But sadly it is not my top track. Is it on the list however? Well, you'll have to scroll down and find out. BEGIN!


50. Villuminati - J. Cole


 "It's way darker this time." A cryptic message from one the country's most promising hip-hop artists on this wonderful opening track from his second album, Born Sinner. J Cole's production on this beat is flat out incredible. Epic strings, harmonies and the Biggie sample in the verses. As for the rapping itself. Quite honestly it takes a back seat to the beat on this one but still very stellar. Cole is a superstar in the making and while he can be inconsistent at times, "Villuminati" is the perfect intro for an album.



49. Fairweather Friends - Queens of the Stone Age


 On QOTSA's darkest and most profound record yet, frontman Josh Homme brings in musical legend Elton John to add piano to this track. While Sir Elton's presence is heard here, this song flourishes in the verses with Josh Homme's vocals and guest drummer Dave Grohl's incredibly off-kilter fills. The song builds to a very climactic point towards the end when Homme shows off his inner cool again saying "I don't give a shit about them any how."





48. Mac Miller - The Star Room


The trippiness of this song will never cease to amaze me. Mac Miller's transformation from radio friendly clean cut MC to psychedelic experimental artist was complete with his latest album and the production on The Star Room proves this greatly. It also proves that Mac Miller has been doing a lot of drugs while writing music but that's not relevant. This beat is very well done and tasteful. Guitar sounds in the background with a doleful bass and various effects on Mac's voice give the trippy goodness that it goes for.



47. The Knife - A Tooth For An Eye


House-Electronic group, The Knife, broke through with their album Shaking the Habitual and the single "A Tooth For an Eye" really stood out to me on this record. It's a very textured, colorful and rhythmic-based electronic track. Some of the song elements and instrumentation are very percussive and others are very synthy like the effected chimes. The song's groove brilliantly plays with the variation of an almost conga like beat constantly messing with the time signature. It's one of the more interesting tracks of the year.



46. Entertainment - Phoenix


I think this is the song that will make Phoenix one of the biggest bands in the world. "Entertainment" has some glorious synthesizer melodies with a fantastic energy that really benefits Phoenix when this song is played live. Thomas Mars has a unique voice and hits some very interesting notes on the pre-chorus of this track. The Bridge of this track is an amazing release and build towards the final chorus. Excellent songwriting from Phoenix that caters to an audience of pop fans and indie snobs.



45. Mirrors - Justin Timberlake


It's safe to assume that this is the biggest that Justin Timberlake has ever been. Maybe the biggest that any artist has ever been. JT broke iTunes sales records with The 20/20 Experience and "Mirrors" was his anthem. Constant radio play, publicity and success and all deserved. Mirrors has groove but more importantly it has Timberlake's vocals. While the track progresses for 8 minutes, each second is catchy. This melody didn't leave my head for months and I found myself and lots of other singing it to myself whenever I heard it on the radio.


 44. Dope Fiend Rental - Danny Brown ft. ScHoolboy Q


As great of a rapper as he is, Danny Brown is just a fun person to listen to on the microphone. His unpredictability and wackiness never fails to amuse me. Danny Brown's drug fueled EDM rager tracks may seem hollow due to their absurdity but they often portray images of the modern drug culture that Danny Brown is a part of that he often talks about trying to get away from. On "Dope Fiend Rental"Danny Brown is off the walls just like the production on the track. Schoolboy Q's verse is fitting as well as he tries to get as crazy as Danny Brown, but who can top the king?


43. Tap Out - The Strokes


As ordinary and tepid as Comedown Machine was from the Strokes, the opening track "Tap Out" was a groove-induced 80's jam with some great vocals from Julian Casablancas. The guitar riff through the verse is funky as ever and as usual Casablancas has a great falsetto voice. The Strokes have always been one of the coolest bands on the indie scene. While I was turned off by this project overall, I really enjoyed this track and have come back to it throughout the year. It is for the most part the clearest direction of where the Strokes should attempt to aim their music which is in between rock and pop.

 

42. Rap God - Eminem


For me 2013 was the year of Eminem's return to form so this list would be incomplete without anything from The Marshall Mathers LP 2. "Rap God" is Eminem flexing and showing off his most impressive flows and rhymes. Some of these parts are just mind-bogglingly good. Particularly the alacrity with which Eminem often raps on this track. Some of the rhymes may be corny or unoriginal but his flow is undeniable as usual. The really simple beat makes the track about rap where Eminem talks about demanding respect and being the best, and with a track like this who could argue?

 

41. Get Lucky - Daft Punk


With their surprise return in the year of 2013, Daft Punk released the summer jam of the century in "Get Lucky." On a record full of disco-influenced songs, "Get Lucky" grooved harder than the rest on every radio station, Coachella, and even SNL (but not the Colbert Report). Pharrell's voice sounds really wonderful all over the track and the instrumentation is smooth and colorful as ever. Although this song may seem a little repetitive at times, there isn't a person in the country who hasn't heard "that Get Lucky song" on the radio. The robots have done it again. It amazes me how ahead of their time these two are.


40. Bruane Brenn - Kvelertak


Can't quite explain how I found this band, but I just did. Kvelertak are an awesome hard rock band from Norway. All the songs are in Norwegian but that doesn't stop them from rocking the fuck out. This was the track that drew me into the album. It's heavy as ever and very intense but it has melody and creative chord progression by standards of rock music. I noticed that the songwriting of this track was very precise and creative. There were many different varied parts with interesting transitions to the next part. Plus, I just love rock music and this one of the better hard rock tunes of the year.


39. Wave - Crystal Fighters


Quite honestly, this was not an album that I enjoyed from the indie/folk/chill-wave group Crystal Fighters, but the single "Wave" was one that I saved to my collection because it had a nice happy vibe to it. Although it is very indie, it has an original sounding melody to it which is important for any genre. In addition I love the rhythm section and the beat of the song as well. While Crystal Fighters didn't put out one of my favorite albums of 2013, they showcased the power of the single on "Wave."



38. Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys


This has to be the slickest riff I have ever heard. The guitar is so fucking dirty yet so clean. Alex Turner became a heartthrob throughout the journey of Arctic Monkeys and their fame and "Do I Wanna Know" is a sign of maturation. While the entire record AM lacked cohesion and interesting content, this song is very cool and very successful as it is being played in commercials, on the radio and at parties all over the world I'm sure as teenagers love Arctic Monkeys. While I do miss the thunderous energy of "Brianstorm" and "The View from the Afternoon", this song is alright by me.


37. Reflektor - Arcade Fire


The title track of Arcade Fire's new record is a 7 minute long epic with definite roots of disco. The groove on the chorus is infectious and while of course the track sounds great, it is a rather harsh social commentary about the state of modern society and our addiction to new technology. Talks about glamorization through technology in a wonderfully symbolic way that takes a few listens to properly understand. It is not unlike Arcade Fire to make the listener think hard before discovering their true genius.



36. Telescope - Cage The Elephant


What comes off as a playful song with a slightly mellow vibe is actually a very poignant song with some incredibly insightful yet quirky lyrics from Matt Schultz. Cage the Elephant have always had a somewhat abstract take on indie rock music and this song is a beautiful example of how that works for them. The melody on the hook is quite catchy and stuck with me much more after I listened to the lyrics and pieced together the meaning of the song. It really is simplicity in volume.


 

35. Cocoa Butter Kisses - Chance the Rapper Feat. Vic Mensa & Twista


Chance is a drugged out, excited and entertaining MC with as much Lil Wayne in him as there is Earl Sweatshirt. Cocoa Butter Kisses pretty much shows just about every single skill that this formerly underground Chicago rapper brings to the table. The ethereal and light production on the song is met with Chance and his harmonies and vocals on the hook. When Chance raps, it's more like he's singing with a little bit less direction in his tone. He truly sounds excited (not to mentioned drugged out of his mind). This is a rather fresh take on hip hop and I think for that reason this guy saw a good amount of success in 2013 with Acid Rap.


 34. Attracting Flies - AlunaGeorge


Electronic Music with great vocals. That's in essence what AlunaGeorge are all about. Aluna Francis has a high voice with a really pretty, indefinable quality and meanwhile George Reid is excellent at creating interesting beats that perfectly compliment Aluna's voice. "Attracting Flies" is the lead single from their debut, Body Music. The various percussion additions in the verses as well as the synth line really bring out the details of the song. The chorus is extremely catchy and the melody is really well written. The song is perfect for club remixes and even better to listen to on repeat.


33. Numbers on the Board - Pusha T


Pusha T is one of the more talented rappers under Kanye West's GOOD Music label and this track might be one of the best I've ever heard him on in a while. "Numbers on the Board" is full of great rhymes and insight. Pusha's lines are really complex and they flow together so very well. His rapping is helped by the production on this track which is incredibly simple but perfect at the same time. It has a groove throughout the whole song with an almost cryptic rhythmic pattern on loop throughout the track that becomes menacingly delightful after listening to it with Pusha T and his excellent rhymes.



32. New - Paul McCartney


Moving on to one of the most amazing men in the history of music. Now fifty years after 'Love Me Do' and 'I Saw Her Standing There', Sir Paul McCartney is releasing excellent and joyful music. The self-titled track from McCartney's 2013 release, New, is an incredibly strong melody with lots of character. Paul still sounds great on the mic and it's great to see him in primary form this late in his career as a musician. You can easily tell that for Paul it has always been about the music, and his love for the art translates with me very well on this melodious ode to happiness and cheer.




31. I Love It - Icona Pop


Just hear me out. What may come across a loud, blaring, trashy anthem for drunk teenagers across the world is actually one of the more high energy and enjoyable electronic tracks to hit the main stream in quite some times. The simplicity of the lyrics and the quality of the singing from Icona Pop is indeed not the best, but the music itself is very energetic and is very easy to dance to. The synths in the climax of the chorus add to the loud futuristic effect of the song. Icona Pop achieved world-wide fame due to this song and while I can't really speak to highly of their other music, this track is a standout.

 

30. If I Could Change Your Mind - Haim


SO 80's and I couldn't love it more. This has been the year of Haim. They have been blowing up and probably will do really well on the upcoming festival circuit. Their debut album Days Are Gone did really well and this track is one of my favorites from it. Obviously the groove is something that I love on this track but also the detail. For example the hi hats going in the chorus and parts of the verses perfectly match the strumming pattern of the bass and one guitar. This track is funky and shows that Haim are very well versed musically. I love to see great talent recognized which is why I feel Haim absolutely deserves all of their success present and future.



29. My God is the Sun - Queens of the Stone Age


Ah yes. In one of the year's best rock record, Queens of the Stone Age go darker than they have ever gone before with Like Clockwork. My God is the Sun is one of the dreariest yet angriest songs on this entire record. Of course there is that seething guitar riff intro matched with the drum hits into the actual song. Dave Grohl on drums for the track puts down some excellent parts for this track. On the verses, Josh Homme's voice sounds great but when he reaches the chorus, the combination of his tone and the building climb guitar part really adds a huge amount of momentum to this track. It's a song that I have listened to many times and still love after each listen. QOTSA are one of my favorites.

28. Sea Legs - Run the Jewels


"Try to cut the fucking head again but Imma' put a tooth through the hole of the palm that you jack with!" Some of El-P's lyrics take 5 or 6 listens to fully get. He's really one of the most complex lyricists in the game as well one of the best producers in the world. He's also one half of Run the Jewels along with Killer Mike. Run the Jewels released an excellent free album early this year with "Sea Legs" as the stand out to me. The beginning sounds like... well the ocean and as the song picks up, Killer Mike and El-P drop amazing verses with lyrical depth, impressive flow and absolute hype and tenacity. Just two of the best rappers out their showing off their stuff.



27. Vampire Weekend - Unbelievers


Ezra Koenig delves into the complications of religion on this track, on Vampire Weekend's most mature and complex effort to date. A strong and driving beat and pretty instrumental guitars, piano and keys but again the boyish charm and clean cut image of Ezra Koenig is the attraction here. His voice has a slight quirk to it that is very interesting and as he sings about star-cross'd love, religion and the afterlife, it's hard not to be intrigued by what he's saying as an artist. Definitely one of the more entertaining personalities in alternative music right now.


 

26. Various Methods of Escape - Nine Inch Nails


Trent Reznor has essentially created one of the most signature and easily recognizable identities as a musician with every project he's ever been associated with. There's darkness and torture in his music but it's real and it's straight from the heart. The new Nine Inch Nails is no exception and as the drum machines and industrial beats rain down upon the listen, 'Various Methods of Escape' seems to be one of the clear cut stand outs on the album because of the use of dynamics from verse to chorus. The verse is understated with almost a whispery quality to Reznor's voice until the electric guitars burst through for the chorus and bring the song and Reznor's pain to life.

 

25. Fortunate Son - Jon Fogerty with Foo Fighters

A cover of a classic, which is already great, usually spells out bad things. When I heard about John Fogerty releasing old CCR songs as covers with new artists, I worried about how it would turn out. For the most part, My Morning Jacket, Keith Urban, and Mariah Carey all really weren't able to live up to the legacy but Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters managed to do 'Fortunate Son' absolute justice. The song is played a little quicker with a certain signature Foo Fighters energy and Dave Grohl splits verses with Fogerty as they both yell "Ain't Me!" in the choruses like some sort of dream front man combination. I still like the original "Fortunate Son" more but seeing my favorite band cover it was very cool indeed, especially since it sounded great.

 

24. Atoms for Peace - Default


Always exciting to get new music from one of the creative geniuses of our time and Thom Yorke did not disappoint with the supergroup, Atoms for Peace that he formed with Flea from RHCP and Nigel Godrich, his Radiohead producer. "Default" is quite an interesting piece of music with a shuffling rhythmic pattern. Thom Yorke's reverbed vocals are light as a feather and the bass of the song really drives it forward through the chorus progressions and verses. Atoms For Peace seem to be creating the kind of music that Radiohead started experimenting with on King of Limbs but it has a bit more of a vibrant and groovy quality to it.

 

23. My Number - Foals


Really great single from british band Foals, with a really catchy chorus and a killer groove. This song was one of my favorites all year long. I constantly found myself drawn in by it's happy and inviting quality. I didn't really like Foals' new album too much but this single was a song that I could groove to just about every single time I heard it. As Foals begin to grow a little more well known, this will be their song for success. The songwriting is detailed and very strong on this one.


 

22. R U Mine? - Arctic Monkeys


This high-energy blast of octane reminiscent of Favourite Worst Nightmare or Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not was released for record store day and found its way onto the Arctic Monkeys new record, AM. Although the pace, intensity and coolness of this track doesn't really match the rest of the mellow and suave AM, it's an excellent song with a great riff. The whole band really goes in quite hard for this song and it sounds killer in a live setting as well. Arctic Monkeys seem to be breaking away from their original style that brought them initial success, but I think 'R U Mine?' was an attempt to salvage what they were once about.'

 

21. Getaway - Pearl Jam


You are looking at the most resilient and reliable band around today. Pearl Jam have put forth quality releases for 20 years and 'Getaway' off of their new album Lightning Bolt is the latest one. The song is just an absolute quality rock song with just about every element of Pearl Jam's music incorporated into it. However, Eddie Vedder's voice is so signature that predictable turns into vintage Pearl Jam. The choruses of this song are the real highlight for me. Eddie Vedder's vocals sound as amazing as they ever have and the band rocks the same riff in an unbelievably edgy way. Still rocking out in their fourties, Pearl Jam prove to the world that they are better than ever before.

 

20. Picasso Baby - Jay Z


Jay Z released a few good tracks on Magna Carta Holy Grail this past summer, but for the most part the album was a disappointing cloud of mediocrity and pretentiousness. 'Picasso Baby' has a beat that makes you realize that Jay Z means business. Sounds like another creation from Rick Rubin because man is it in an explosive beat. The lyricism is decent at best and Jay Z's flow is not terrible really. However, the beat has me returning to this song over and over. Especially when the beat switches up towards the middle/end of the song. It's an amazing transition to a part of the song that really sounds amazing. I was pleasantly surprised to hear something like this off of Jay Z's new record.

 

19. Lose Yourself to Dance - Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams


What a year for both of these artists. For Daft Punk, a record shattering return with Random Access Memories and for Pharrell, numerous features on notable tracks throughout the pop charts, music producer for Despicable Me 2 and of course Daft Punk collaborator on the summer smash, 'Get Lucky'. As catchy and ubiquitous as 'Get Lucky' has become, I would argue that 'Lose Yourself to Dance' is the better Pharrell collaboration on the record. This track has got a great riff from Chic's Nile Rodgers, incredibly falsetto from Pharrell and the steady, futuristic contemporary disco variation that makes this song so danceable.

 

18. Come a Little Closer - Cage The Elephant


Love the energy of this song. The change of dynamics from the rigid verses with echoing whispers of vocals to the flourishing melodies and twangy guitars of the chorus add to the track immensely. Cage The Elephant proved to me this year that they are one of the best rock bands out there right now. The hook on 'Come a Little Closer' is infectiously catchy and it's so centered around the chorus that it's actually kind of genius. The choruses are quite long and are easily the best part of the song. The rest of the song is simply build up or teasing to the chorus. Excellent songwriting that has paid off with a ton of radio play and mainstream acknowledgement.

 

17. Bad Guy - Eminem


No one is better at criticizing Eminem than Eminem. It's why he's been able to push himself to be one of the best MC's of all time and it's also why his music has always had an honest and frank quality to it. 'Bad Guy' is a continuation to the acclaimed story of 'Stan' back from the Marshall Mathers LP. The song is told from the perspective of Stan's brother Matthew who looks to take revenge on Eminem by killing him. The beat is darker than 'Stan' was. It fits the track perfectly and even when the song picks up towards the end and Eminem begins to grow more and more hyped and self-criticizing, it seems like the perfect way to draw Eminem's career to a full circle.

 

16. Demon to Lean On - Wavves


I was really into this particular song off of Wavves' new record earlier in the year for the longest time. To me it sounded a lot like a song that Kurt Cobain would have wrote for Nirvana. I later realized that the originality within it was really great as well. 'Demon to Lean On' is rather simple musically and the lyrics don't seem too substantial upon first listen but it's actually a pretty motivational telling of a sad situation. The purpose of the song to me at least has always been about having someone there for you no matter what you are going through. Whether the members of Wavves had this in mind while writing, it's something that I can relate to and therefore I really love the song.

 

15. Tuscan Leather - Drake

I know right? Crazy! Just joking, all you Drake fans. I've always believed that Drake was a talented artist in some strange, indefinable way. However, the pop industry has forced him to define himself label himself as an artist for the sake of selling records. Some of his songs are weak and his records sound inconsistent to me. However, I loved the opening song on Drake's new record Nothing Was The Same. 'Tuscan Leather' has three beat changes that all flow together really naturally. They all sound incredible and more surprisingly, Drake's rhymes are really solid as well on this song. This is the kind of music that Drake should be making. He has the talent, he just lacks the right mind to realize that he's better than the music he sometimes makes.

 

14. Black Skinhead - Kanye West


Oh how I fucking love this song. The beat is intense as hell. Maybe one of the strongest beats I have ever heard from Kanye West. 'Black Skinhead' talks about modern racism in America and Kanye West makes some really controversial claims (what else is new?) and as usual it seems like he doesn't give a shit if you agree with him, as long as it gets you talking about him. The dark industrial hip-hop style that Kanye embraced on Yeezus quite honestly was not that successfully attempted, with the exception of this track. This anti-radio anthem was actually ironically enough, Kanye's single for Yeezus and is now hilariously finding its way onto Motorola and Under Armour commercials. Who's got the answers for Kanye?

 

13. My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark - Fall Out Boy


I wasn't too much of a fan regarding Fall Out Boy's reunion from 'hiatus' this past spring, but I really love the return single from the album Save Rock and Roll. This is definitely new for Fall Out Boy in comparison to their melodramatic and emotional pop-punk roots. Save Rock and Roll is a pop record with rock roots and this song has some very catchy melodies with a groove that is perfect for the radio (rock and pop stations). This song blew up across America and in my opinion is the reason that Fall Out Boy had such a HUGE 2013. Every reunion needs an anthem to go by and 'My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark' is just that.

 

 12. Goldie - A$AP Rocky


"It's just me myself and I and motherfuckers that I came with." 'Goldie' is the perfect representation of A$AP Rocky's road to fame in 2013. The head of the A$AP and breakout MC had one hell of a year with Long. Live. A$AP. earlier on this year. 'Goldie' has a killer beat as do most projects involving the A$AP mob. A$AP Rocky is not a terrible lyricist but he's not very deep and his lyrics are kind of straightforward. This would only be a real problem if the beats he rapped over were weak but that's really never the case. Rocky is slowly growing into one of the star MC's in the industry today. He lives the life of drugs, partying, sex and fast cars which is alright I guess but I'm more interested in his music.

 

11. Normal Person - Arcade Fire


Easily my favorite song from the double album Reflektor. It's the closest representation to an actual rock song on the album and while most of the songs on the album are still good and very eclectic. Arcade Fire have been good as rocking out whenever they take the time to do so. As usual there's a deeper meaning to the music here. Win Butler doesn't really identify himself with "normal people" and sees himself as an outcast. Definitely a relatable feeling for a lot of people who find themselves listening to Arcade Fire. I love the heavy chorus on this song with the searing guitar riff, but I really love the harmony vocals that come towards the end of the song. They absolutely bring it to life and make it an instant classic for me.

 

10. Trying To Be Cool - Phoenix


No band in the world is cooler than Phoenix right now, which makes the title of this track from their latest album Bankrupt! rather ironic. This song has a great groove and an excellent keyboard melody line that plays throughout the whole song. As Phoenix grew more and more reliant upon electronic elements like synthesizers and keyboards on this record, I started to like them more. 'Trying to Be Cool' is a great song with a vocal melody that is IMPOSSIBLE to get out of your head after the first listen. It is infectious and I absolutely cannot get enough of this song even months after it's been released.

 

9. Royals - Lorde


Everytime I hear about Lorde or even hear the song "Royals", I just think to myself. "Seventeen years old. She is seventeen years old...Fuck." Although Lorde is very young even by the standards of a Billboard topping international pop-star, she is very mature and her music has a clear direction and meaning to it. "Royals" ironically has blown up to become what the very lyrics of the song are detesting. Glitz, glamour, and wealth are unrelatable to us regular everyday civilians so Lorde talks about how most of us can't relate and don't really even aspire to be what most superstar musicians are all about these days. Very impressive and intelligent thought from a star with and EXCELLENT voice.

8. Supersoaker - Kings of Leon


Soulful and vivid rock music that will blow you away every time. Kings of Leon have long been around the rock scene but have never been able to solidify themselves as a premier rock act. Even their latest record Mechanical Bull is decent at best. However, there is something about 'Supersoaker' that I can't really seem to explain. It's different than the rest of Kings of Leon's songs. It has everything to it. A sharp bassline, inviting melodies, great structure but most importantly pure emotion and passion. Caleb Followill's voice isn't for everyone, I'll admit that, but it is perfectly suited for a song written in this style.

 

7. Primetime - Janelle Monae Ft. Miguel


Two of the biggest R&B artists today one track is pretty much a surefire formula for success. As Miguel and Janelle Monae exchange verses and accompany each other on the choruses, one thing that is apparent is that these two both have incredible voices. This song has a mellow vibe to it and some very passionate vocals from Janelle and Miguel. Of course the guitar solo is impressive but I mostly love the string arrangements towards the ending of the song. As long as this song goes on, it seems very epic and climactic in the scope of the very impressive album that Janelle Monae released this year.

 

6.  Diane Young - Vampire Weekend

'Diane Young' immediately kicks into full gear from the beginning as Vampire Weekend brings forth one of their most high energy tracks in recent memory. However, this song really plays upon the ideas of tension, build up and dynamics as it constantly switches from slow paced to almost a robotic sense of quickness. The drum machine turns to a distorted beat and Ezra Koenig's voice jumps to higher registers. Also this song is a cute little play on the phrase "Dying Young." Hardy fucking har, but I will say that this song blew me away when I first heard it. I haven't been a huge Vampire Weekend fan but this song really changed my view of them as artists as I noticed their inclination to experiment and be weird.


5. Bound 2 - Kanye West

 Although this song did become famous for the wrong reasons in that hilariously pitiful music video with Kim Kardashian, this is a great song and fun listen. The lyrics on this song are reminiscent of the old Kanye with the witty word play and playful controversial remarks. The sample in the background is absolutely beautiful and Charlie Wilson's parts in the chorus were a bit strange to me initially, but I have grown on it. As big of an egotistical person as Kanye West is, he is a great MC and a very innovative musical mind. He knows how to ruffle feathers and he knows how to be a talked about artist. 'Bound 2' may not have been the style that Kanye wanted to push forth on Yeezus but it is a really great track.

4. Instant Crush - Daft Punk ft. Julian Casablancas

 Yep that's right, the robots are on the list again. This time with Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas as a collaborator on the funky, synth infused love ballad 'Instant Crush'. There are many reasons I love this song. The autotuned vocals were something that I was against at first because I think Casablancas has a pretty good voice but I think it really helps add to the robotic yet melodic effect of the song. The falsetto is beautiful on here especially right before the guitar solo on the second verse. The song kicks into the chorus and adds a layer of funk that is beautifully colored in by the slap bass line fills and that excellent keyboard melody. Daft Punk have outdone themselves once again with stellar production on a very catchy track that I have been digging just about all year.

3. Hive - Earl Sweatshirt Ft. Casey Veggies & Vince Staples

Better than his lyricism, better than his flow, better than his beats and better than his indie status, Earl's best quality is his paranoia. His music is some of the grimiest, uninviting and occasionally offensive that I have heard in quite some time. But if this is true, then why the fuck do I love this song so much? It is because of the badass, terrifyingly simple beat or is it the disgusting lyrics of Earl? For me, I really love the verse of Vince Staples who I was really exposed to as a result of his various appearances on Earl's album Doris. I personally I think Earl is the most talented rapper in Odd Future and it's really not even close. 'Hive' is fucking genius. I love every second of this song and the mood that it exudes. It makes me want to burn down a gas station for some reason.

2. The Wire - Haim

Of all of Haim's songs, 'The Wire' sounds the most original and it is by far the most impressive. All three of these wonderfully talented sisters sing on this track during the verses and they all sound very good as vocalists. My favorite part of this song would have to be the choruses that are just so colorfully filled in with various instrumentation to compliment the excellent main melody of this song. The 3/4 feel of the song adds a very excellent groove and presence to this song. Haim's fame is 100% deserved and it's because of songs like this that they appeal to fans of just about every genre of music. Anyone can recognize great music when they hear it.

1. I Appear Missing - Queens of the Stone Age


There was not an album I enjoyed more than the new Queens of the Stone Age record and 'I Appear Missing' is one my favorite QOTSA songs ever even more than the best track of 2013. The creativity, ingenuity, and pure brilliance on display through the stylistic desert rock of Queens of the Stone Age is simply a style that I have come to love very much. Dave Grohl's drumming is perfect for the swing and feel of this song in it's trudging triplet feel. As the chorus approaches, the guitars explode and Josh Homme's vocals soar through again. I love the small details and intricacies of this song that just prove this band's versatility. For example the random intense drum syncopations in the middle section of the song or the small bridge where the bass drum and the bass line rhythm match each other perfectly. But I think undoubtedly, my absolute favorite section of this wonderful rock song is the guitar solo ending into the fade out. The way the drums pick up and the way all of the instruments add a certain energy to the song, and then especially as Josh Homme's falsetto vocals bring it completely over the edge as one of the most epic pieces I have EVER heard. Bravo, brilliant. Absolute masterpiece and a song I will be listening to for the foreseeable future long after this list is published and 2013 is over.