A couple of days late (and harder to narrow than my Top 10 Albums), but here are the 20 songs I enjoyed the most in 2013. There are hundreds more that just missed the cut. Read below for details and video, or just head over to the Spotify playlist.
20. Ramona – Night Beds
I simply love the structure of this song and the way it presents lyrics that may not have as much impact in a more straightforward presentation.
19. Unbelievers – Vampire Weekend
Didn’t spend enough time with this critically-acclaimed album (I tend to backlash, perhaps unnecessarily), but love how VW really is progressing in terms of songwriting. Good stuff.
18. Lose Yourself to Dance – Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams
Dance pop had a lot of controversial lyricism this year (damn you Blurred Lines, you’d be on my lists, but y’know, date rape). I can get behind losing yourself to dancing though. Plus this Mad Men mashup.
17. The Fall – Rhye
Beautifully sexy vocals and arrangements.
16. Be Your Man – Ivan & Alyosha
Poppy, happy and delightful. Didn’t spend enough time with this album.
15. Ribbons – Heliotropes
Difficult to pick one song off the album. This one is just sooooo raw – representative of why it’s my album of the year.
14. Dance Apocalyptic – Janelle Monáe
She had a black-tie crowd at the San Francisco Symphony dancing in the aisles. This song captures how. Pure joy.
13. Lady, You Shot Me – Har Mar Superstar
I’ve never been a Har Mar fan, but damn, if this song didn’t get me to stop what I was doing each time I heard it.
12. Do It Again – Camera Obscura
Can Camera Obscura do any wrong? My favorite song off an album full of gorgeous witty earworms.
11. Come Save Me – Jagwar Ma
So happy I caught these guys live. This song perfectly represents the simultaneously super poppy and psychedelic jam sound this band perfects.
10. Northern California Girls – Camper Van Beethoven
Not just my requisite California song, sometimes you just really love a song on a ethereal level.
9. Master Hunter – Laura Marling
Extremely to pick one song off this album, especially since they’re all meant to be a package. This one is tough and unforgiving and I love it.
8. New Lover – Josh Ritter
Heard this song early in the year and loved it, but when it finally landed on Spotify when I actually could identify with it…well, after a really shitty first half of 2013, much needed musical catharthis.
7. Misery Over Dispute – Waxahatchee
Says so much in just 1:46. Listened this whole album a LOT during my first angsty half of 2013. This song in particular spoke directly to a personal situation I was dealing with at the time. If I were 17 I’d probably never stop listening to it.
6. Void – Superchunk
The video probably bumped this song further up on my list (cameo by Heliotropes too!), but again with the frustration/angst theme of my year it resonated well with me.
5. Dead in Your Head – Bleached
The song that made me fall in love with this band and album, as well as inspired my Garage Girls of Summer playlist, which led to me discovering a TON of new music.
4. Song for Zula – Phosphorescent
This song is simply gorgeous. That is all.
3. Change – Mikal Cronin
Easily could’ve picked any song off the Cronin record. Love the frustration-filled opening riffs to this though. I had a lot of frustration in the last year and this song blasted offset some of that!
2. Upstarts – Johnny Marr
This was my jam all last spring/early summer. It’s a jump out of bed and take on life kinda song.
1. When I Knew – Eleanor Friedberger
My favorite movie of 2013 was easily Frances Ha, and this is essentially that in song form.