M&T Best Songs of 2013

2013 has been quite the journey and as you reflect on your year, all of us here at M&T are happy to provide you with a soundtrack of 50 tasty jams while you look ahead to 2014. You can find the full list of songs below and also take a listen to each track on Spotify (save for songs by Krill, Phox, and Heyrocco) by clicking the button below.

Full Spotify Playlist

50. Body Language- “Lose My Head”

49. Klingande- “Punga”

48. Miniboone- “Gimme Gimme Gimme”

47. San Cisco- “Fred Astaire”

46. Jay Kill & The Hustle Standard- “Never Seen Runaway”

45. Mikal Cronin- “Weight”

44. Smallpools- “Dreaming”

43. Buffalo Tales- “Oh! My Kingdom”

42. Caveman- “In The City”

41. French Horn Rebellion- “Girls”

40. The So So Glos- “Lost Weekend”

39. Tallahassee- “Old Brown Shoes”

38. Chvrches- “Recover”

37. Heyrocco- “Elsewhere”

36. Savoir Adore- “Dreamers”

35. Houndmouth- “Come On Illinois”

34. Little Comets- “Waiting In The Shadows In The Dead Of Night”

33. Typhoon- “Dreams of Cannibalism”

32. Daft Punk- “Giorgio by Moroder”

31. Speedy Ortiz- “Plough”

30. Cold War Kids- “Miracle Mile”

29. Vampire Weekend- “Step”

28. The Head And The Heart- “Shake”

27. Thee Oh Sees- “Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster”

26. Jonathan Wilson- “Dear Friend”

25. Lucius- “Hey, Doreen”

If it weren’t for Haim, Lucius might be the best female-fronted pop band of the year.


24. Deer Tick- “The Rock”

The first single from Deer Tick’s Negativity starts slow, but by the end John McCauley’s gritty vocals are accompanied by the blaring horns of Grupo Fantasma.


23. Jim James- “A New Life”

Jim James delivers with his spiritual foray into a release of solo material. “A New Life” does a good job of capturing the sound and feel of this album and provides Jim an opportunity to crone and goofily dance on stage, something a touring artist probably needs every once and a while.


22. Sweet Baboo- “The Morse Code For Love Is Beep Beep, Beep Beep, The Binary Code Is One One”

Though the title is a mouthful, you’ll be singing along after just one listen.


21. Krill- “Theme From Krill”

Krill forever!


20. Mapei- “Don’t Wait”

Inspired by everything from doowop to dub-step, Mapei’s big single snapped us into attention on first listen.


19. Sylvan Esso- “Play It Right”

We immediately fell in love with this duo after seeing them open for Volcano Choir, and we know you’ll immediately fall in love with this song.


18. Har Mar Superstar- “Lady, You Shot Me”

Dancin’ Rick is a pretty damn good singer too.


17. Charles Bradley- “Strictly Reserved For You”

Once that thick guitar riff hits your speakers you’ll be hooked.


16. Phox- “Slow Motion”

“Slow Motion” calls clarinets, banjos, and even a dozen Dixie cups off their musical bench on this inventive whirlwind of a track.


15. Arcade Fire- “Afterlife”

It’s tough to pick just one song from Arcade Fire’s ambitious double-album, but “Afterlife” is certainly a standout.


14. Volcano Choir- “Byegone”

Sometimes I like to think Justin Vernon is singing about him and I in this song– “He’s a legend, I’m a legend and we both go tripping through the door.”


13. Little Green Cars- “Harper Lee”

I’m not sure that this song has anything to do with the author of To Kill A Mockingbird, but it’s a damn catchy song nonetheless.


12. The Griswolds- “Mississippi”

The best song on this year’s best EP.


11. Grouplove- “Ways To Go”

Try not to get up out of your chair and dance along to this one.


10. Caroline Rose- “America Religious”

The title track to Caroline Rose’s debut start slow, like a dream, and builds into a rambling folk song. Rose’s storytelling and guitar playing abilities are showcased through nearly five minutes of tantalizing ear candy. Though the rest of Rose’s America Religious makes for an impressive modern day folk record, the title track starts things off perfectly and will keep you coming back for more.


9. Phosphorescent- “Song For Zula”

“Song For Zula,” the standout track off Muchacho, isn’t quite a walk in the park. Instead, we find Matthew Houck lost in his thoughts, a waking nightmare where love kills and disfigures. Houck wanders through this chorus-less track while mesmerizing synth and violin lines meander around him. “Song for Zula” is a gorgeous six-minute adventure we’d take any day.


8. Frightened Rabbit- “The Woodpile”

If you want to see a grown man cry, pick Scott Hutchison – he’s the only man on earth who makes pleading and begging attractive. Frightened Rabbit specializes in setting pathetic lyrics to a confident soundtrack, and that unexpected juxtaposition sounds amazing as ever on “The Woodpile.” With a big chorus and bigger guitars, we’re adding “The Woodpile” to the growing Hall of Fame of spectacular Frightened Rabbit tracks.


7. Night Beds- “Ramona”

Winston Yellen aka Night Beds made a name for himself in the world of alt country with the 2013 release of Country Sleep and much of its praise landed right on the single “Ramona.” This song is a beautifully crafted portrait of one Ramona, searching for something to make sense of what seems to be a life devoid of direction. The weepy slide guitar and Yellen’s falsetto lay the perfect backdrop for Ramona’s story, in what may be this year’s best country song.


6. Vance Joy- “Riptide”

2013 was the year of the Australian invasion with bands like The Griswolds, San Cisco, and The Preatures all delivering stellar releases. Singer-songwriter Vance Joy certainly added to the glorious exports of Aussie music especially with the single “Riptide” off of his EP God Loves When You’re Dancing. “Riptide” is an upbeat, folk-pop tune with an infectious chorus that’s perfect for a good singalong. Like the rest of his Aussie counterparts, Vance Joy will be an artist to watch in 2014 following the success of “Riptide.”


5. Haim- “The Wire”

They’re just not that into you. The new guitar goddesses of 2013 turn a tricky break-up into a summery pop gem on “The Wire.” This track is so catchy that even the newly heartbroken will join in on this undeniable clap-along.


4. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper- “Bird Balloons”

“Bird Balloons” is a six minute odyssey that explores various layers of sound careening from verse to verse with vigor and power. Like the rest of Ripely Pine this track oozes a gritty passion that can’t be felt in every word of Aly Spoltra’s delivery. The fervor with which Spoltra attacks each song is what makes it so difficult to pick just one track for this list. The difference maker is the final minute of “Bird Balloons” where Spoltra holds absolutely nothing back and emphatically pours every ounce of her being into the song.


3. Diarrhea Planet- “Kids”

The standout track from Diarrhea Planet’s I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams is a punk rock coming-of-age story, and more specifically about facing events that may push you from adolescence to adulthood before you’re quite ready. In the song’s refrain lead singer Jordan Smith pleads, “We’re just kids,” over and over as the song fades out in a four-guitar cacophony. A big reason why this track climbed so high up our list though is its epic guitar solo. Those 30 seconds of face melting will immediately make you bust out an air guitar and wish you could join the band as the 5th axeman.


2. The Preatures- “Is This How You Feel?”

Yet another product of Australia has climbed its way high onto our list and deservedly so. The Preatures’ “Is This How You Feel?” has a dreamy ’70s vibe that makes you feel cool just listening to the song. When I first heard it, I was immediately hooked as my finger seemed glued to the “replay” button on YouTube. Though there’s not an exact science to our list-making here at M&T, I will say that one gauge of a great song is what we’ll call shareability. What’s shareability you ask? Have you ever heard a song for the first time and you immediately send it to all of your friends and say- “This is going to be huge!” That’s shareability, and it’s safe to say that “Is This How You Feel?” scored a perfect 10 in that category.


1. San Fermin- “Sonsick”

2013’s song of the year is overwhelming in all the right ways. Sonically, the ambitious track bursts at the seams with bold trumpets and feverish vocals. But “Sonsick” is a lyrical feat too; an adept take on just how daft us twenty-somethings can be when it comes to love. Represented by the atmospheric sopranos of the Lucius girls, the female protagonist of the track struggles with the idea of settling down. She feigns maturity, which makes the track’s sophisticated and confident arrangement even more poignant. “Sonsick” compels you to celebrate your youth… and all the growing pains and mistakes that come with it.


Posted on by Eric in Best of 2013

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