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Playlist: Top Songs of 2013 [So Far]
From Arctic Monkeys to Justin Timberlake, here are 30 songs that have impressed us over the first half of 2013.
And this isn't just on a single basis, either. Sure there are exceptional songs out, but there are so many good, complete albums being made. My faith in the quality of music today gets restored almost on a daily basis, so with that in mind, I decided to highlight my top songs of 2013... so far.
Here are a few parameters that went into making this playlist. First, I used Spotify to create the playlist so it could easily be embedded in the article. Unfortunately, not everything that's been released this year is on Spotify. That means things that I wanted to include, like Chance the Rapper's "So Good (Good Ass Intro)" or My Bloody Valentine's "She Found Now," unfortunately had to be left off the list.
Second, there was a specific cut-off date for this list. The timeframe was January 1 through June 30. There may have been some singles included that dropped very late 2012, but I tried to stick to those dates as best as I could.
Next, I wanted to kind of keep this list short. I told myself to hold it to 10 songs. But I just kept adding things to it and soon the list ballooned to 30. I initially didn't want to order this playlist either, but eventually I wanted my top songs to actually show up at the top, not the songs that popped into my head first. But with a Top 10 in mind, I'll briefly explain the songs that appear in those first 10 slots.
1. "Do I Wanna Know?" by Arctic Monkeys: This is a recent one, but it's made a strong impression that I can't get out of my head. This song just doesn't mess around. Everything from the soon-to-be signature guitar riff to Alex Turner's lyrics are so direct and to the point. This is my leader in the clubhouse for Top Song of 2013.
2. "Heavy Feet" by Local Natives: Any number of songs off Local Natives' fabulous album Hummingbird could have made this list, but "Heavy Feet" is just so beautifully affecting. Kelcey Ayer's vocals have never been better than they are here, and the song just delivers on several emotional levels.
3. "Recover" by CHVRCHES: This trio is so much damn fun, and "Recover" is the song that started it for me. Synth and Lauren Mayberry's voice were just made for each other. It's pure pop bliss.
4. "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams: It's the song of the summer. Just Nigel Rodgers' guitar would have been enough to get into the Top 10.
5. "Bad Habit" by Foals: Foals keeps improving with each album they put out. "Bad Habit" off their third album Holy Fire highlights pretty much everything they do well. It's wonderfully expansive, beautifully paced and really showcases Yannis Philippakis' great voice.
6. "Song For Zula" by Phosphorescent:
7. "Step" by Vampire Weekend: Vampires of the Modern City has a lot of songs that surprised me, and "Step" delivers big. There's almost a hip-hop feel to it, yet it still carries that irreverence that made us all fall in love with the band six years ago.
8. "Crane Your Neck" by Lady Lamb the Beekeeper: Listening to Aly Spaltrow, the woman behind this band, gives me chills. This song gives you everything from her arsenal: soft and delicate, brash and frightening, but altogether confident and just excellent.
9. Mirrors" by Justin Timberlake: I feel like this is his strongest track of the album, even when it carries on about three or four minutes too long. It's nothing earth-shattering, but JT has the pop game on lockdown.
10. "Compliments 2 the Chef (feat. Lauriana Mae)" by Action Bronson: Big Body hits this one out the park. His rhymes go so well over this Harry Fraud-produced track and Lauriana Mae's hook is so damn soulful. Top-notch Bronson.
To listen to all 30 songs, head to CHARGED.fm the Magazine: http://www.charged.fm/