The Best Songs of 2013 (So Far)

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It's very rare that you can ever fully appreciate a moment until it's gone. A moment usually seems insignificant until you can look back on it, put it in context, and realize how important it really was. Moments aren't these magical things that pop up and just matter. What matters is what happened before that moment, what happened after it, and what circumstances made that particular little flash of time so bright.

It's rare that you're standing in a room and thinking, "Shit, I'm witnessing something amazing right now." Usually, you're just taking in the little things—the lights, the buzzing sounds, the rim of your plastic cup vibrating with the bass—and you don't notice that you're a part of something that you'll look back on in 10 years and wish you could have back. This applies to a concert just as much as it does to, say, a year in music.

How will we look back on 2013? When you try to step outside of it and peek in, it looks pretty crazy. From the business side of things to the creative end, everything is dancing around in the air like a colorful mess of confetti. Labels are trying to keep up with the Internet, independents are figuring out how to make an impact, genres are eating themselves alive, brands are throwing money in the air and trying to convince everyone that they're down, music itself is having a wild and beautiful identity crisis, and the people writing about music for a living are like, "What the fuck, what are we dealing with here?"

In all this madness, we might be missing something: this is an incredible time for music. There is more innovation, experimentation, and open-mindedness than most listeners have seen in their lifetime, and things are more uncertain than ever. Every teenager with Internet access and a trace of skill thinks they can be the next star—and fuck, they can be.

We're not even halfway through 2013 so while we're still in it, let's at least try to appreciate it. Here are the 25 best songs of 2013 so far.

Click to start the list