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“What really matters is what you like, not what you are like… Books, records, films — these things matter.”
— High Fidelity

Etcetera

Best Songs of 2013

I have two simple rules when making my "Best of" song lists. First, an artist can't appear more than once. Second, I will not rank my lists. The first rule makes the list-making harder, and the second makes it easier. This paradox creates a happy medium.

For all of 2013, I have been working on lists representing 30, 20, and 10 years ago, along with a list for this year. The weird thing about making those lists after the fact is the use of hindsight, for I have discovered new artists and new songs in the interim years and, in some cases, during this process of trying to fill out a 100-song list.

Making my 2013 playlist, however, proved difficult in its own right. I started with a HUGE list of nominee tracks and whittled them down over the course of the past 12 months, finally putting together the 100 songs featured here, just a matter of days ago.

For these year-end lists, I like to undertake the seemingly impossibly task of creating an hours-long mix. The order you see below represents that effort, which you can listen to via Spotify. Sadly all 100 tracks aren't available, but you get the general idea. Track notes to come eventually or maybe never.

  1. Happy

    Happy

    Pharrell Williams

    Happy

    Columbia

    Notes

  2. Blurred Lines

    Blurred Lines

    Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams

    Blurred Lines

    Star Trak

    Notes

  3. Yeezus

    Bound 2

    Kanye West

    Yeezus

    Roc-a-Fella

    Notes

  4. Cupid Deluxe

    You’re Not Good Enough

    Blood Orange

    Cupid Deluxe

    Domino

    Notes

  5. Apocalypse

    Heartbreaks + Setbacks

    Thundercat

    Apocalypse

    Brainfeeder

    Notes

  6. Silver Wilkinson

    You

    Bibio

    Silver Wilkinson

    Warp

    Notes

  7. Paracosm

    It All Feels Right

    Washed Out

    Paracosm

    Sub Pop

    Notes

  8. Apar

    Destitute Time

    Delorean

    Apar

    Mushroom Pillow

    Notes

  9. Hanging Gardens

    Holding On

    Classixx

    Hanging Gardens

    Innovative Leisure

    Notes

  10. Heza

    Put a Light On

    Generationals

    Heza

    Polyvinyl

    Notes

  11. Don't Talk To

    Let Go

    RAC featuring Kele

    Don’t Talk To

    Cherrytree

    Notes

  12. Optica

    Walking in Your Footsteps

    Shout Out Louds

    Optica

    Merge

    Notes

  13. Sing to the Moon

    Green Garden

    Laura Mvula

    Sing to the Moon

    Columbia

    Notes

  14. The Nextwave Sessions

    Obscene

    Bloc Party

    The Nextwave Sessions

    Frenchkiss

    Notes

  15. The Electric Lady

    Primetime

    Janelle Monae featuring Miguel

    The Electric Lady

    Bad Boy

    Notes

  16. #Beautiful

    #Beautiful

    Mariah Carey featuring Miguel

    #Beautiful

    Sony

    Notes

  17. Shulamith

    Tiff

    Poli├ža featuring Justin Vernon

    Shulamith

    Mom and Pop

    Notes

  18. Anything in Return

    Say That

    Toro y Moi

    Anything in Return

    Carpark

    Notes

  19. Amok

    Default

    Atoms for Peace

    Amok

    XL Recordings

    Notes

  20. Overgrown

    Retrograde

    James Blake

    Overgrown

    Universal

    Notes

  21. Anxiety

    World War

    Autre Ne Veut

    Anxiety

    Software

    Notes

  22. Ultramarine

    New Summer

    Young Galaxy

    Ultramarine

    Paper Bag

    Notes

  23. Dungeonesse

    Shucks

    Dungeonesse

    Dungeonesse

    Secretly Canadian

    Notes

  24. Wings

    Wings

    Haerts

    Wings

    Columbia

    Notes

  25. Night Time, My Time

    I Blame Myself

    Sky Ferreira

    Night Time, My Time

    Capitol

    Notes

  26. Static

    I Can Hardly Make You Mine

    Cults

    Static

    Columbia

    Notes

  27. The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas

    Avant Gardener

    Courtney Barnett

    The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas

    House Anxiety

    Notes

  28. Carrier

    Destroyer

    The Dodos

    Carrier

    Polyvinyl

    Notes

  29. MCII

    Weight

    Mikal Cronin

    MCII

    Merge

    Notes

  30. Wakin on a Pretty Daze

    Wakin on a Pretty Day

    Kurt Vile

    Wakin on a Pretty Daze

    Matador

    Notes

  31. Big Wheel and Others

    There Can Be Only One

    Cass McCombs

    Big Wheel and Others

    Domino

    Notes

  32. Mark Kozelek & Desertshore

    Mariette

    Mark Kozelek & Desertshore

    Mark Kozelek & Desertshore

    Caldo Verde

    Notes

  33. Love's Crushing Diamond

    Advanced Falconry

    Mutual Benefit

    Love’s Crushing Diamond

    Soft Eyes

    Notes

  34. The Invisible Way

    Just Make It Stop

    Low

    The Invisible Way

    Sub Pop

    Notes

  35. New Moon

    I Saw Her Face

    The Men

    New Moon

    Sacred Bones

    Notes

  36. Adios I'm a Ghost

    One More Chance

    The Moondoggies

    Adios I’m a Ghost

    Hardly Art

    Notes

  37. Grownass Man

    Gallup, NM

    The Shouting Matches

    Grownass Man

    Middle West

    Notes

  38. Corsicana Lemonade

    Pretty Green

    White Denim

    Corsicana Lemonade

    Downtown

    Notes

  39. Muchacho

    The Quotidian Beasts

    Phosphorescent

    Muchacho

    Dead Oceans

    Notes

  40. The Silver Gymnasium

    Down Down the Deep River

    Okkervil River

    The Silver Gymnasium

    ATO

    Notes

  41. Stop Draggin' My Heart Around

    Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around

    Shearwater & Sharon Van Etten

    Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around7"

    Sub Pop

    Notes

  42. The Music Is You

    Prisoners

    J. Mascis & Sharon Van Etten

    The Music Is You (A Tribute to John Denver)

    ATO

    Notes

  43. Sound City

    Cut Me Some Slack

    Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Noveselic & Pat Smear

    Sound City: Reel to Reel

    RCA

    Notes

  44. The Next Day

    The Stars (Are Out Tonight)

    David Bowie

    The Next Day

    Columbia

    Notes

  45. Reflektor

    Afterlife

    Arcade Fire

    Reflektor

    Merge

    Notes

  46. Fade

    Ohm

    Yo La Tengo

    Fade

    Matador

    Notes

  47. Jackleg Devotional to the Heart

    Dog That Bit You

    The Baptist Generals

    Jackleg Devotional to the Heart

    Sub Pop

    Notes

  48. Monomania

    Dream Captain

    Deerhunter

    Monomania

    4AD

    Notes

  49. Give In

    Bad Mythology

    On an On

    Give In

    Roll Call

    Notes

  50. AHJ

    Cooker Ship

    Albert Hammond, Jr.

    AHJ

    Cult

    Notes

  51. II

    So Good at Being in Trouble

    Unknown Mortal Orchestra

    II

    Jagjaguwar

    Notes

  52. Mala

    Never Seen Such Good Things

    Devendra Banhart

    Mala

    Nonesuch

    Notes

  53. Regions of Light and Sound of God

    Of the Mother Again

    Jim James

    Regions of Light and Sound of God

    ATO

    Notes

  54. Victim of Love

    Strictly Reserved for You

    Charles Bradley

    Victim of Love

    Dunham

    Notes

  55. Can't Talk Medicine

    Lady Luck

    Pickwick featuring Sharon Van Etten

    Can’t Talk Medicine

    Small Press

    Notes

  56. We the Common

    Every Body

    Thao & The Get Down Stay Down

    We the Common

    Ribbon Music

    Notes

  57. Move in Spectrums

    Crazy

    Au Revoir Simone

    Move in Spectrums

    Instant

    Notes

  58. Is This How You Feel?

    Is This How You Feel?

    The Preatures

    Is This How You Feel?

    Harvest

    Notes

  59. Days Are Gone

    Honey & I

    Haim

    Days Are Gone

    Columbia

    Notes

  60. Fade Away

    Who Have I Become?

    Best Coast

    Fade Away

    Jewel City

    Notes

  61. Heartthrob

    Closer

    Tegan and Sara

    Heartthrob

    Warner Bros.

    Notes

  62. Bankrupt!

    S.O.S. in Bel-Air

    Phoenix

    Bankrupt!

    Glassnote

    Notes

  63. From Nowhere

    From Nowhere

    Dan Croll

    From Nowhere

    Racquet

    Notes

  64. The Flower Lane

    Under Cover

    Ducktails

    The Flower Lane

    Domino

    Notes

  65. Afraid of Heights

    Demon to Lean On

    Wavves

    Afraid of Heights

    Mom and Pop

    Notes

  66. 180

    Best of Friends

    Palma Violets

    180

    Rough Trade

    Notes

  67. Repave

    Byegone

    Volcano Choir

    Repave

    Jagjaguwar

    Notes

  68. Trouble Will Find Me

    Sea of Love

    The National

    Trouble Will Find Me

    4AD

    Notes

  69. Pedestrian Verse

    The Oil Slick

    Frightened Rabbit

    Pedestrian Verse

    Atlantic

    Notes

  70. Naomi

    Have to Pretend

    The Cave Singers

    Naomi

    Jagjaguwar

    Notes

  71. Nomad

    Aman

    Bombino

    Nomad

    Nonesuch

    Notes

  72. Holy Fire

    My Number

    Foals

    Holy Fire

    Warner Bros.

    Notes

  73. Tog Pebbles

    Macando

    Way Yes

    Tog Pebbles

    Lefse

    Notes

  74. Hummingbird

    Heavy Feet

    Local Natives

    Hummingbird

    Frenchkiss

    Notes

  75. Dormarion

    Ghosts and Creatures

    Telekinesis

    Dormarion

    Merge

    Notes

  76. Delta Machine

    Heaven

    Depeche Mode

    Delta Machine

    Columbia

    Notes

  77. Just Tell Me You Want Me

    Invisible

    The Dismemberment Plan

    Uncanney Valley

    Partisan

    Notes

  78. Mosquito

    Despair

    Yeah Yeah Yeahs

    Mosquito

    Interscope

    Notes

  79. The Stand-In

    Only a Clown

    Caitlin Rose

    The Stand-In

    ATO

    Notes

  80. Wildewoman

    Until We Get There

    Lucius

    Wildewoman

    Mom and Pop

    Notes

  81. The Happiness Waltz

    A Lot Like Magic

    Josh Rouse

    The Happiness Waltz

    Yep Roc

    Notes

  82. Random Access Memories

    Fragments of Time

    Daft Punk

    Random Access Memories

    Columbia

    Notes

  83. Get Lucky (Beats Antique Remix)

    Get Lucky

    Beats Antique

    Get Lucky (Beats Antique Remix)

    self-released

    Notes

  84. Seasons of Your Day

    In the Kingdom

    Mazzy Star

    Seasons of Your Day

    Rhymes of an Hour

    Notes

  85. Torres

    November Baby

    Torres

    Torres

    self-released

    Notes

  86. Pushin' Against a Stone

    Twined & Twisted

    Valerie June

    Pushin’ Against a Stone

    Concord

    Notes

  87. The Worse Things Get

    Night Still Comes

    Neko Case

    The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You

    Anti-

    Notes

  88. I'll Find a Way

    Every Grain of Sand

    The Blind Boys of Alabama featuring Justin Vernon

    I’ll Find a Way

    Masterworks

    Notes

  89. The Ballad of Boogie Christ

    All the Old Heroes

    Joseph Arthur

    The Ballad of Boogie Christ

    Lonely Astronaut

    Notes

  90. Cerulean Salt

    Dixie Cups and Jars

    Waxahatchee

    Cerulean Salt

    Don Giovanni

    Notes

  91. Once I Was an Eagle

    Master Hunter

    Laura Marling

    Once I Was an Eagle

    Virgin

    Notes

  92. I Won't Be Long

    I Won’t Be Long

    Beck

    I Won’t Be Long

    Fonograf

    Notes

  93. Fourth Corner

    Gradual Return

    Trixie Whitley

    Fourth Corner

    Strong Blood

    Notes

  94. Junip

    Suddenly

    Junip

    Junip

    Mute

    Notes

  95. Impersonator

    Turns Turns Turns

    Majical Cloudz

    Impersonator

    Matador

    Notes

  96. Caveman

    In the City

    Caveman

    Caveman

    Fat Possum

    Notes

  97. Woman

    3 Days

    Rhye

    Woman

    Republic

    Notes

  98. The 20/20 Experience

    Pusher Love Girl

    Justin Timberlake

    The 20/20 Experience

    RCA

    Notes

  99. Avalanche

    Hey Love

    Quadron

    Avalanche

    Vested in Culture

    Notes

  100. Settle

    Latch

    Disclosure featuring Sam Smith

    Settle

    Interscope

    Notes