The last 12 months produced some truly awesome tracks. It was tough to pick favorites. Some of them are single songs that shone through lackluster full-length albums and others are the standout track on overall fantastic records.
I’m a little late to the game on this one, but it’s better late than never.
I made a Spotify playlist of those tracks — more than 35 of them — and I then narrowed it down to my 10 favorites.
Looking over these tracks, I realize how much of 2013 was dominated by female artists (Lorde, Miley Cyrus and Haim were be the biggest pop artists of the year.) and how much of it was rooted in the past (How many good albums channeled old artists, “Rumours” and/or disco?).
“The Dream’s in the Ditch” by Deer Tick — There’s a point in most people’s lives that one reaches and begins to realize that all those things he always dreamed of doing are not going to happen. “Is this it?” is one of the most haunting lines in any song.
“Roar” by Katy Perry — The year’s best radio pop song was an empowering and bouncy tune that this indie-rock-loving music critic couldn’t get enough of.
“Get Lucky” by Daft Punk — Daft Punk went disco. It was awesome.
“We Can’t Stop” by Miley Cyrus — Few people seemed to realize that while Miley Cyrus was being criticized for “outrageous” behavior, one of the year’s best pop songs was an already-written response to her critics: She and her friends are here to have a good time and they don’t give a damn what you think. It’s her party and she can do what she wants. La-da-da-dee-da-dee, indeed.
“Younger Days” by Mount Moriah — Heather McEntire’s best-written song is at once a vivid picture of wine, rouge and summertime and a detail-thin tale of romance that appears to have stuck tight to the bumps of summer — its highs, its lows and its end.
“Now I’m All Messed Up” by Tegan & Sara — A lot of fantastic breakup songs dot this sister duo’s album, “Heartthrob,” but only this one perfectly captures all thoughts that run through anyone’s head after being left by someone they love.
“The Wire” by Haim — Was this written by a California girl group sometime in the ’70s? It could have been, but it wasn’t.
“Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake — I didn’t love Timberlake’s double-album comeback, but this song is pure prog perfection. I don’t care that the refrain is repeated so many times because you can’t beat the handclaps, Timberlake’s falsetto and all those perfectly placed “Oh-ohs.”
“Diane Young” by Vampire Weekend — Baby, baby, baby, baby this is a great tune.It showcases everything I love about their record.
“Shout It Out” by Mikal Cronin — I have no way of finding out, but this is probably my most-played song of the year. Cronin’s got something here that perfectly toes the line between pop and garage and I love it.
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