Songs of 2013

Songs of 2013

A few years ago, I decided to get in on the whole year end music list game. I mean “in on the game” in the sense that I wanted to make a list of my favorite songs, not that I wanted to compete with all of your favorite/least favorite music publications to name the “best” songs of the year.

So, here’s the list of my favorite songs of 2013. I had a lot of fun making the list this year. I ranked my top 50, even though I feel ranking gets kind of arbitrary, and linked to videos where possible. I also included 25 “Honorable Mention” songs because after #50 it got really hard for me to decide if I liked one song better than another.

I included all of the songs I could on this Spotify playlist: Haley’s Songs of 2013

*****

50. Courtney Barnett: ‘Avant Gardener’
49. The Knife: ‘A Tooth For An Eye’
48. Wavves: ‘Demon to Lean On’
47. Neko Case: ‘Night Still Comes’
46. Bleached: ‘Outta My Mind’
45. Fear of Men: ‘Seer’
44. Toro Y Moi: ‘Rose Quartz’
43. A$AP Ferg: ‘Hood Pope’
42. Blood Orange: ‘Chamakay’
41. Classixx feat. Nancy Whang: ‘All You’re Waiting For’

40. White Denim: ‘New Blue Feeling’
39. The Preatures: ‘Is This How You Feel?’
38. Lorde: ‘The Love Club’
37. Grouper: ‘Vital’
36. Colleen Green: ‘Only One’
35. Speedy Ortiz: ‘No Below’
34. Jessie Ware: ‘Imagine It Was Us’
33. Ciara: ‘Body Party’
32. Toxie: ‘Newgate’
31. Miley Cyrus: ‘We Can’t Stop’

30. 2 Chainz feat. Pharell: ‘Feds Watching’
29. Julia Holter: ‘Maxim’s I’
28. Mount Kimbie: ‘Made to Stray’
27. Disclosure feat. AlunaGeorge: ‘White Noise’
26. Chance the Rapper: ‘Chain Smoker’
25. Mariah Carey & Miguel: ‘#Beautiful’
24. Torres: ‘Honey’
23. Sophie: ‘Bipp’
22. A$AP Rocky feat. Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson and Big K.R.I.T: ‘1 Train’
21. Liquor Store: ‘Vodka Beach’

20. Rich Homie Quan: ‘Type of Way’
19. Rhye: ‘The Fall’
18. Danny Brown feat. Purity Ring: ‘25 Bucks’
17. Kacey Musgraves: ‘Silver Lining’
16. My Bloody Valentine: ‘Only Tomorrow’
15. Eleanor Friedberger: ‘My Own World’
14. Angel Olsen: ‘Sweet Dreams’
13. Giraffage: ‘All That Matters’
12. Marnie Stern: ‘Nothing Is Easy’
11. Young Galaxy: ‘Pretty Boy’

10. Waxahatchee: ‘Coast to Coast’
9. ScHoolboy Q: ‘Man of the Year’
8. Laura Marling: ‘Master Hunter’
7. Ariana Grande: ‘Honeymoon Avenue’
6. CHVRCHES: ‘Recover’
5. Sky Ferreira: ‘I Blame Myself’
4. Kurt Vile: ‘Wakin On A Pretty Day’
3. Haim: ‘The Wire’
2. Autre Ne Veut: ‘Play by Play’
1. Vampire Weekend: ‘Don’t Lie’ / ‘Hannah Hunt’

Honorable Mention:
Ariel Pink feat. Jorge Elbrecht: ‘Hang On to Life’
The Belle Game: ‘River’
Charli XCX: ‘You (Ha Ha Ha)’
Daft Punk feat. Panda Bear: ‘Doin’ It Right’
Drake feat. Majid Jordan: ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’
J.Cole feat. Miguel: ‘Power Trip’
Justin Timberlake: ‘Mirrors’
Kanye West: ‘Blood On the Leaves’
Kevin Gates: ‘4:30 AM’
Little Boots: ‘Motorway’
Majical Cloudz: ‘Bugs Don’t Buzz’
Mas Ysa: ‘Why’
Mikal Cronin: ‘Weight’
Mutual Benefit: ‘Advanced Falconry’
The Range: ‘Metal Swing’
Rihanna: ‘Stay (Branchez Bootleg)’
Roosevelt: ‘Elliot’
Parquet Courts: ‘Stoned and Starving’
Pure Bathing Culture: ‘Pendulum’
Pusha T feat. Kendrick Lamar: ‘Nosetalgia’
Solange: ‘Cash In’
Swearin’: ‘Watered Down’
Washed Out: ‘It All Feels Right’
Willow Smith: ‘Sugar and Spice’
Zola Jesus: ‘Fall Back’

Geeking Out

On Sunday, I met my friend Alli in my old neighborhood to do some writing. I’d intended on working on a short story that I’ve been revising – well, mostly deleting and rewriting – for a few months. Of course, I didn’t end up deleting or writing another word of it. Instead, I started writing a sort of sad sack essay on being lonely in Paris when I was studying abroad there in the fall of 2007. I’ve been thinking a lot about that recently because, well, it’s fall and I was in Paris in the fall and I just happen to be thinking about that time rather than the falls of my childhood or high school or college. Anyway, I mention this because someone else published an essay on Paris and loneliness this week. You can read the beginning on The Hairpin but to read the rest you have to buy the story – it comes with all of the other ones in the same series about travel – on Amazon. (After I’m done writing this post up, I will go back to trying to turn my own essay into a not-super-depressing piece of garbage.)

Also on Sunday, I went to The Strand, as I like to do when I’m in that neck of the woods, to buy my book club’s next read. We’re reading Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, which I read, I think, after my freshman year of college. It’s one of my favorite books, but somehow I’ve never acquired my own copy. Now I do have one of my own, which I got by asking one of the booksellers at The Strand to climb a ladder and take it from one of the higher shelves. I usually don’t even get books from the high shelves because I mostly  go to the Strand to browse and end up with too many books anyway, so I always tell myself that I don’t need the ones I can’t reach. (Also, I am afraid of ladders.)

Anyway, I started rereading Geek Love yesterday and was flooded with memories. First of all, I am still in awe of the prose. I think I got the same giddy feeling I had while reading the first chapter when I was 18 or 19. And secondly, I have been thinking about Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea pretty much constantly since I opened the book. I happened to be super into that album while I was reading Geek Love the first time and it was perfect. Like, I have never been simultaneously obsessed with two pieces of art that, I thought, so complemented one another. But I’m staying away from that album for now. Making the same magic happen again seems pretty unlikely and I don’t want to be disappointed.

While I’m on the subject of music…I don’t write enough about it. I usually write about what I read here every week, but what I’m listening to takes up just as much space in my brain. My fall soundtrack has been inspired by a few things:

1. Music for Maniacs: I’d totally forgotten about this blog. But then I noticed that WFMU was linking to it on Twitter and…I fell down a Music for Maniacs black hole. This dude mostly covers eccentric/outsider music and puts together some pretty great mixtapes. He also made me see Annette Funicello in a whole new light.

2. Kurt Vile’s KV Mixtape: I saw this on Stereogum yesterday and haven’t stopped listening to it. Well, haven’t stopped listening to most of it. The songs on here inspired his recent album, Wakin’ On a Pretty Daze, one of my favorite albums this year. (Back in April, I wrote something about going to a Kurt Vile show.) I highly recommend! (The mixtape and tracklist are at the link, on Soundcloud).

3. Wikipedia: Sometimes I just re-go-through this list of Jangle Pop Bands. Like you do.

4. Modern Vampires of the City: I have listened to and seen a lot of Vampire Weekend in the last few years. (Most recently, I saw them perform at the Barclays Center this past Friday.) I didn’t really listen to Modern Vampires of the City until the middle of this summer, but I’ve found that it’s one of very few albums released this year that I keep going back to, so.

5. Stuff that sounds like Broadcast: So, mainly Broadcast. And also The Postmarks. (Who, incidentally, I was very into when I was in Paris six years ago.)

That’s that. Except I have a few other quick links to share today!

I read a two week-old New York Magazine on the elliptical last night…I got through an article on the GOP’s plot to kill Obamacare and this other one on Rebel Wilson (which was not as good or as enlightening as I had hoped, though I found out that she also likes Hello Kitty, so that’s a thing).

And today I’ve been reading this Paris Review interview with Woody Allen, which was conducted between 1985 (mostly at his table at Elaine’s) and 1995.