We heard thousands of songs this year. These are the 99 best.
We would be lying through our teeth if we told you we heard hundreds of songs this year because we heard thousands of songs this year. Some of them were inescapable for everyone -- Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky,' Avicii's 'Wake Me Up' -- and some songs were inescapable for only some of us - clipping.'s 'Outro,' Rich Homie Quan's 'They Don't Know.' But these are the 99 songs of 2013 we loved the most. Tell us what you hate, tell us what you love. We shared numbers 99-67 yesterday. Today is 66-34, and we'll post 33-1 tomorrow.
66. Torres – 'Honey'
Squeaking out right in the beginning of the year, 'Honey' will probably be unfairly snubbed thanks to unfortunate scheduling. Doesn’t matter: Torres’ guitar was like a stallion, her words cut like nails. (Luke Winkie)
65. Zedd – 'Clarity' ft Foxes
Even without the four-on-the-floor and the blippy EDM interludes, 'Clarity' would have still become the dominant anthem it was in 2013. "If our love is tragedy then why are you my remedy?" Has the relationship conundrum ever been so succinctly wrapped up in a single question? Sure it has, but it's also easy to see why Lady Gaga tapped 24-year-old Zedd for 'ARTPOP.' (Richard S. Chang)
64. Ariana Grande -- 'The Way' ft Mac Miller
This was the 2013 version of Mariah Carey and Jay Z's 'Heartbreaker.' (Elliott Moran)
63. Lady Gaga – 'Sexxx Dreams'
The sound that began this dirty 'ARTPOP' gem might have been a whiplash. The only thing more perfect than the key-and-bass dialogue during the chorus was the home-wrecking night Gaga imagined. But she also mocked the very idea of her desires: “I can't believe I'm telling you this but I've had a couple drinks and....Oh my god!” Her giggles lashed like a whip. Think about it. (Elliott Sharp)
62. Grand Hallway - 'Horses'
Can earnest indie ballads that ask if it's a blessing or a curse to be found still survive in the post-irony age? If the ballad was written and sung by Tomo Nakayama of Seattle band Grand Hallway, it sure could. 'Horses,' which Nakayama performed on screen in the Lynn Shelton film 'Touchy Feely,' went as far as his alluring voice took it -- which could have been to the moon and back. (RSC)
61. Phoenix - 'Trying To Be Cool'
Don't believe the lyrics. There was not a single hair out of place in this very cool song, unlike frontman Thomas Mars's do. (RSC)
60. Vampire Weekend - 'Ya Hey'
Do you like the gently oscillating pitch of Ezra Koenig’s impossibly brisk vocal snaps? Do you like being aware of the inevitability of death without letting it control you? Are you a yuppie and proud? (LW)
59. kitty - 'ay shawty 3.0'
Kitty might forever be most well-known for last year's viral hit 'Okay Cupid,' but her 'D.A.I.S.Y. rage' EP showed she is taking her music more seriously than she had originally let on. The production was fantastic, especially on 'Ay Shawty 3.0,' which featured her and Lakutis rapping over some deliciously dreamy beats. (Yu-Cheng Lin)
58. Sia – 'Elastic Heart'
Ingredients: Sia wailing as only she can, a Diplo beat and The Weeknd taking care of the second verse. Mix to taste. (RSC)
57. Oneohtrix Point Never – 'Chrome Country'
A post-apocalyptic, pre-utopian synth anthem with piano twinkles and bass ruptures and shredded voices and uplifting organs that was proudly cheesy and post-human and filled with glory and hope. (ES)
56. Zelooperz - 'Hit A Lick'
Zelooperz, part of the Bruiser Brigade crew with Danny Brown, put on a breathtaking show of versatility and creativity on 'Hit A Lick,' helped in large part by the flawless production. (YL)
55. Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Electronica – 'Control'
This was more of a verse than a song. You know, that Kendrick verse that nobody could stop talking about for about two weeks. It was good. (ES)
54. Potty Mouth – 'Damage'
We hadn't had that spirit here since 1991. But this jangly, fuzzy, captivating grunge-y song managed to capture a type of youthful frustration of its own. (ES)
53. Baauer – 'Harlem Shake'
If you didn't hear this song at least 100 times this year then you probably don't have a pulse or right now is your first time on the Internet. (EM)
52. Young Thug - 'Picture Baby'
Young Thug released one of the best mixtapes of the year in '1017 Thug.' 'Picture Baby' showcased his surreal rapping combined with absurd singing, all of it sitting awkwardly atop infectious, upbeat production. (YL)
51. FKA Twigs - 'Water Me'
This year, Arca proved he was one of the hottest producers in the game by making tracks for 'Yeezus,' dropping an incredible mixtape ('&&&&&'), and producing this sparse, glitchy pop song for FKA Twigs. Weirdly gorgeous, and gorgeously weird. (YL)
50. E-40 – 'Bamboo'
This was the first track on E-40's gigantic new project, the 3-LP 'The Block Brochure: Welcome To The Soil 4, 5 & 6. He came in fierce on this earsnake, all-up-in-your-ear beat and rapped playfully about speaking money into existence and selling paper to trees. (ES)
49. Nine Inch Nails – 'Find A Way'
Over a crunchy drum machine and minimal piano, Trent Reznor created one of his most memorable, touching songs with 'Find My Way.' It balanced clarity and noise with the expertise that only someone as experienced as Reznor could. (YL)
48. Jon Hopkins – 'Open Eye Signal'
Like Hitchcock, Jon Hopkins is a master of suspense. This sprawling, ominous, cinematic techno banger was Hopkins' 'Vertigo.' (ES)
47. Eminem – 'Love Game'
Even with Eminem’s skill switch turned to the rare notch of fun, he still easily slaughtered this Kendrick Lamar-assisted, retro-beat song off ‘MMLP2,’ ending the narrative with an air-sucking double-dream sequence that lesser MCs only dream of. (RSC)
46. Rudimental – 'Feel The Love'
When is a drum ‘n’ bass song no longer a drum ‘n’ bass song? When the vocal hook is so infectious and perfect you forget entirely about the drums and the bass. (RSC)
45. Ellie Goulding – 'Tesselate'
One of the most stripped-down songs of the year, with barely more than Ellie’s haunting voice over a steady beat of finger snaps. A sax solo straight from the ’80s might not have been the best call, but it didn’t derail everything that came before it. (RSC)
44. Chance The Rapper – 'So Good (Good Ass Intro)'
In which a kid from Chicago put the entire rap world on notice with a song so good it actually made us sad we were listening to it for free. (LW)
43. Party Supplies - 'Beautiful Girl'
Sometimes you just need a good party song. This is that song. (EM)
42. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – 'Can’t Hold Us'
One day 10 to 15 years from now, you’ll be in a karaoke room (if that still exists) and this song will come on and you will point at the person picking up the mic, like, “You da man!” Even if the man is a woman. (RSC)
41. James Ferraro - 'God of London'
People were too busy wondering whether they hated or loved 'NYC, HELL 3:00 AM' to notice James Ferraro released a new EP called 'God of London.' Its title track was a stunner: minimal beats, warped vocals, and a mood that was at once chill and paranoid, hypnotic and anxiety-filled, music for while you held up your Swarovski crystals to the light. (YL)
40. Kevin Gates - '4:30 AM'
Nothing good happens after 2 a.m. (EM)
39. Haim – 'Falling'
In less than 12 months, Haim will be playing this song on a float in a parade. (LW)
38. A$AP Ferg - 'Shabba'
If there's one thing A$AP Mob loves, it's those triplet rhymes. And on 'Shabba,' a nod to Jamaican dancehall artist Shabba Ranks, we got it thrown in our face by Ferg and Rocky, multiple times. (YL)
37. Kacey Musgraves – 'Follow Your Arrow'
Life can be hard sometimes. Society and outmoded traditions make many demands on us, and many of them are unreasonable. But, no matter what, you must follow your arrow, even if it diverts from the dominant path. As simple as this message is, it was not the type of message we normally heard in country songs. Thanks, Kacey. (ES)
36. Kanye - 'I Am A God'
One of the noisiest songs from 'Yeezus' was also one of the funniest. First, the God voice Kanye used was extra-cheesy. And the fact that Kanye's God narrative included ordering croissants at a restaurant and then being mad at the slow service was so un-God-like he must have been undermining himself, right? (ES)
35. Lorde - '400 Lux'
Lorde painted a warm picture here of life in a place where the houses didn't change and everything was so quiet and predictable that you noticed when the heat came on and being brought a glass of orange juice was a big deal. But within this space, there was meaningful speech. You could still talk like there was something to say. (ES)
34. Beyonce - '***Flawless' : 'Bow Down / I Been On'
As we impatiently waited for Beyonce's new album, we got a sweet bifurcated preview called 'Bow Down / I Been On.' The track was easily one of Beyonce's boldest, featuring future-forward production and pitch-shifted vocals. The second half of the track unfortunately didn't make it to her new album, but its first half made it, retitled as '***Flawless,' and it was as glorious as ever. (YL)