Welcome to the first installment of Best Songs 2013. The self-imposed rules: only one song per artist. Todd Terje broke the rules ever-so-slightly, but only because he’s not the sole composer one of the tracks. Don’t worry, you’ll see.
Come back tomorrow for the second part of the list. Did I miss any songs? Is there a great track you think deserves more attention? Let me know in the comments!
50. GMF by John Grant – This is both an instant hit and a grower, and given a few more weeks it might climb toward the top. Man, those lyrics though. “But I am the greatest m*********** that you’re ever gonna meet.” Believe it.
49. Strandbar (disko) by Todd Terje – The first 3:40 are a great buildup, but that piano kicking in demands some kind of physical movement. Add in a late-half breakdown and rebuild? Funky.
48. Take Back the Night by Justin Timberlake – When he’s on point, Timberlake delivers pop gems that stick. This track is no exception, an infectious dancey delight.
47. Empathetic People by Telekinesis – This song is a driving, fuzzed-out garage stomper with teeth enough to grip your mind long after the brisk 2:32 is over.
46. Ramona by Night Beds – Gently weeping guitars pull you in, but you’ll stay for the whole ride thanks to beautiful singing and dynamic control.
45. Rebirth by Yuck – The lo-fi sound of the band’s debut is gone in favor of this MBV homage at the center of Yuck’s second record. The result is great as notes bend and swirl.
44. You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now by Parquet Courts – You’ll bounce along to this one, with a pleasantly deep guitar and drum cut hiding below the lo-fi exterior.
43. Gold by Wake Owl – The song starts as a quiet, reflective piece. But slowly the sound builds, eventually hitting a powerful refrain. A great transformation.
42. Line of Fire by Junip – Best known for its use in ads for the Breaking Bad finale, “Line of Fire” sets a haunting tone thanks to ethereal vocals and an organ that hums just below the surface.
41. Casanova by San Fermin – The tenor brings The National to mind, but that’s good thing. Quiet piano slowly gives way to strings and the song hits a memorable climax as the singer croons “I’ll prepare a place for you.”