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
  • Mike

    You guys got the Drake thing right. He is a laughable, odd character at times – its like he tries to swing the pendulum to far in a certain direction to answer his critics/branding, but no one should forget he’s fucking talented and props to you for backing him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/triplec572 Christian Manuel Londoño

    see ya justin timberlake

  • Mars. Hi

    Not liking this one at all. No Tyler the Creator song? Ghetto Symphony sucks. Even though I don’t know most of these songs, I only like James Blake, Earl Sweatshirt and Pusha T’s track. Kid Cudi’s album I know got bad reviews.

  • Chase

    I agree that Get Lucky and Retrograde deserve the high spots, but I can’t believe Ya Hey got the edge over Step from Vampire Weekend. I would have also given nods to “San Francisco” by Foxygen, “Entertainment” by Phoenix, and “A New Life” by Jim James.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SanYsidroSquirrelyMoles Kyle Littleton

    Whoever put this webpage together sucks..

  • seaburt

    Jai paul should be on here regardless of whether his release was official.

  • Noory

    no disclosure? you & me is the shiiiiiit

  • Sleeve

    Future- Rehab

  • Jetsfoo21

    Not a half-bad list but I agree with some of the people here. Pheonix’s Entertainment should have gotten an honorable mention. And no fyfe :d

  • at

    Seeing as I’m going through a pretty rough time trying to figure out if I’m in love with my friend or not, it was pretty amazing to hear not one but two tracks (Meg Myers, Safe) about essentially the sitch I’m in atm. Both those songs hit me hard. Thank you for including them.

  • DTFILMS

    chance the rapper’s acid rain has to be up there somewhere.

  • http://twitter.com/RastyMontana $$$ R a $ t y $$$

    GUCCI BURRR BURRRRRRRR

  • pjk

    This should be “Our Favorites of 2013 so far” not “the best”. some of these are spot on, but I’m incredibly surprised Lorde isn’t on here…especially after you did an entire write up on her.

  • Hayden

    Yaa foals are the best. Crazy to hear how different this album is from theirs first.

  • HUH

    Jay-z – Open Letter?