Music is great, you guys. Really, it is the best, and each year brings an insurmountable pile of new music to sift through. We can't say we've heard it all, but we do know what we like. Here are the TMS crew's choices for the Best Songs of 2013, in a playlist/running order divined by Dylan [posted at the bottom of this article]**. This is not a ranking of these songs, merely a collection. We hope you enjoy it. Hip us to any songs we've missed in the comments.
"Stare at the Sun" - Eleanor Friedberger
"I'm far from the towns and the suburbs of your pleasure / I've been in exile so long"
This is the daylight song of the year - I became so unbelievably obsessed with this song when I first heard it that I was playing it nearly nonstop. Listen to that melody, delivered without flaw. - Brian Salvatore
"Don't Swallow the Cap" - The National
- Kelly Cashman
"Weight" - Mikal Cronin
"Time is right I'm only getting older"
The second full-length Mikal Cronin is full of these moments of realization and contemplation. "Weight" could be on the soundtrack to your twenties - it is for me. - Dylan Wise
"Shadow" - Julian Lynch
This is the evening/nighttime song of the year - dense, full of harmony and discord, and ultimately fragile and beautiful. The woodwinds add a feeling of fragility, innocence and nostalgia, yet I'm not really sure why. - Brian Salvatore
"Young and Beautiful" - Lana Del Ray
- Kelly Cashman
"The Wire" - Haim
- Lindsay Bluher
"Swimming Pools (Drank)" - Kendrick Lamar
"Some people want to fit in with the popular / that was my problem"
Kendrick Lamar delivers one of the most honest albums of the year. This song in particular, slamming those who brag about drug and alcohol use, helped to solidify his position as the new voice in hip hop (and it bangs). - Dylan Wise
"Song for Zula" - Phosphorescent
I heard this song early in the year and ever since it has brought me nothing but joy, when I needed it. It is one of those beautifully written, beautifully composed, beautifully emoted pop songs that truly brings out the mounting joy, that youthful vigor, that heartbreaking, tear engulfing, mad with joy and love fever that life sometimes presents to us, and for that I am forever thankful. - Chad Foltz
"Down Down the Deep River" - Okkervil River
There were plenty of great albums last year (The National, Frightened Rabbit, Arcade Fire…) but none made me happier than Okkervil River’s latest, with this song in particular standing out as an especially triumphant moment. After their overly somber 2011 album it’s great to hear them cut back on tracks like White and Pink Slips without sacrificing emotional impact in the least, and for me Down, Down the Deep River is both an emotional and artistic high water mark for not just the album, but the band as well. - Max Castleman
"Until the Morning" - Akron/Family
- Linsey Bluher
"Nitrous Gas" - Frightened Rabbit
This song has captured exactly, a philosophy that adulthood has taught me in spades. That being: that life is always going to be hard and sad and depressing for more reasons than I can count here, but that through all of that we must find a way to find happiness, because it's really all we can do. - Chad Foltz
"Honesty" - Editors
The studio version of this song is pretty good. The live version is so unbelievably, terrifyingly great that there are no words yet made available by the English language which can accurately describe its greatness. - Max Castleman
"Touch (Feat. Paul Williams)" - Daft Punk
"(Home..) Hold on / If love is the answer you're home."
I'm honestly not sure if anything will top the legendary Paul Williams teaming up with Daft Punk to sing a song about how it is difficult for robots to experience real emotion while dancing through at least eight genre variations on a theme. Why would anything even want to? - Matthew Meylikhov
"III. Life: The Biggest Troll (Andrew Auernheimer) (Feat. Donald Glover)" - Childish Gambino
"Where's the line between Donnie G and Gambino? ... We were childish but had to grow up / When you spitting real shit eventually you throw up / Realities like allergies, I'm afraid to go nuts / Life's the biggest troll but the joke is on us"
The closing track/credits music to Because the Internet aka The Donald Glover Experience, "Life: The Biggest Troll" is perhaps the most poignant and introspective track that Childish Gambino has ever put out, actively touching on fears and doubts shared by many in an age where we're all connected but still can't connect. That the song "features" Donald Glover alongside Gambino only further recalls one of the major themes of the concept record and its dissociative identity and illustrates through the lyrics the palpable isolation every adult who refuses to grow up and accept responsibility feels from time to time. - Matthew Meylikhov
** new songs added