my favorite songs of 2013

A year is a really long time. I knew that before, obviously, but as I’ve listened over the last few weeks to the massive playlist of favorite songs I’ve been adding to throughout the year it’s been something that’s hit me again and again. This year, perhaps more than any other in my life, has had specific snapshots of time tied very vividly to music. I remember being so, so sad and lost on those first days of the year and hearing Conor from The Changing Colors singing ‘Good Times,’ that line ‘oh I am a mess of a man’ punching me hard in the gut each time. I remember standing next to my two sisters exactly a month after my divorce became final at Josh Ritter’s show here in Chicago as he sang of coming out of those dark clouds in ‘Hopeful,’ feeling so happy to be there with them and feeling for the first time that things were going to be okay eventually. I remember Tyler Lyle telling the story about how his mom didn’t like ‘Werewolf’ because he says motherfucking in it on the night I finally knew I was going to be more than alright. And I remember getting lost in Typhoon’s White Lighter on countless fall days while walking around the forest preserve just down the street from my place. There are a whole lot of other moments, of course, all of which I’ve been reliving lately, all of which are wrapped up in the songs below.

There’s no real order to the songs this year. I mean, ‘Song for Zula’ is my favorite song of the year, but other than that I honestly just threw these songs in shuffle and created 3 separate playlists of 40 songs apiece. These are my favorite songs that came out this calendar year, and placing them in any specific order felt silly (and, frankly, I didn’t have the will). They are all, I think, tremendous tunes, and I hope some of the below were part of the soundtrack to your life this last year too. Enjoy.


Song for Zula- Phosphorescent
I Need A Change- The Shouting Matches
Homes and Photographs- Small Houses
Stay Alive- José González
The Last Night of Summer- Small Houses
Riptide- Vance Joy
Byegone- Volcano Choir
Upon the North- Eliza and the Bear
Hey Mami- Sylvan Esso
Foreign Bodies- Radiation City
Forty Seasons- Pretty Broken Things
Blew My Mind- Dresses
Hopeful- Josh Ritter
Clockwork Heart- The Cellar Door
Dancepack- Volcano Choir
Lungs- Chvrches
Golden Wake- Mutual Benefit
Slow Down- Del Water Gap
Three Months- Local Natives
The Nothing Part II- Lady Lamb the Beekeeper
Obvious Bicycle- Vampire Weekend
Where Can I Go?- Laura Marling
“Let’s Play”/Statue of a Man- Mutual Benefit
Brother Roland- Pickwick
It Keeps Going- Courtney Marie Andrews
At The End of the Line (Alternate Version)- Leif Vollebekk
Fireworks at Night- Campfire OK
The Beauty Surrounds- Houses
Cover Me Up- Jason Isbell
Honey & I- Haim
Half About Being a Woman- Caroline Smith
Life Goes Down- Ang Low
Long As You’re at Home- Houndmouth
Fever to the Form- Nick Mulvey
Tessellate (alt-J cover)- Ellie Goulding
Jumper Cables- WIDOWER
Hammer- Sam Moss
The Breach- Dustin Tebbutt
You Put The Flame On It- Charles Bradley
Budapest- George Ezra
Joy to You Baby- Josh Ritter
Heart Beats- Hey Marseilles
While You’re Carrying The Weight- Patrick Dethlefs
It Can’t Be You- Basia Bulat
When the Subway Comes the Above Ground- Leif Vollebekk
Put A Light On- Generationals
Falling Faster Than You Can Run- Nathaniel Rateliff
Werewolf- Tyler Lyle
The Wire- Haim
Chances- Le Wrens
How To Turn Back Again- Fort Frances
Still Trying- Nathaniel Rateliff
Before the Evening Falls- The Tin Drums
Blurry Nights- Hayden
Are You Satisfied- REIGNWOLF
Motel- Hayden
Old Skin- Olafur Arnalds
City By The Sea- Fort Frances
Come On Illinois- Houndmouth
Young Boys- Sin Fang
Waste of Time- 
Artificial Light- Typhoon
In The City- Caveman
I Saw On Facebook That Mike Proposed- Donovan Woods
Rillo Talk- Wild Child
She Always Takes It Black- Gregory Alan Isakov
Far From Your Arms- Gambles
Will “The Thrill”- Cayucas
Human- Daughter
Royals- Lorde
Lady, You Shot Me- Har Mar Superstar
Terror In The Canyons (The Wounded Master)- Phosphorescent
Chaturanga- Hilang Child
Keep to the Road- Elk and Boar
I Need My Girl- The National
Nightfall- Hollis Brown
Santa Rosa- Pickwick
Verse- Rhye
Love Like This- Kodaline
Thoroughbred- WIDOWER
Crane Your Neck- Lady Lamb the Beekeeper
My Brothers- Coy Man Boy
Heavenfaced- The National
Patterns- Tim Noyes
Dead Man’s Dance- Bradford Loomis
Waiting- Alice Bowman
Second Chances- Gregory Alan Isakov
Dog Physics- Ings
From Now On- Basia Bulat
Weight- Mikal Cronin
Valley Girl- Luvian
Ramona- Night Beds
Blood & Bones- Paper Bird
Recover- Chvrches
Before I Die- You Me & Apollo
Here Comes The Night Time- Arcade Fire
Child of Moving On- Caroline Smith
I Dreamt Blues- Vikesh Kapoor
To The River- Roo & The Howl
Prosthetic Love- Typhoon
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2 Responses to my favorite songs of 2013

  1. nolando says:

    Can’t wait to dig into all of these. I know it’s a cover, but I haven’t heard anything better than this track (Leif’s “Red My Mind”) this year: Many thanks for turning me on to such great music. Here’s to 2014!

  2. CM says:

    I was really looking forward to this just as much as any other end of year list!
    I know and love about 80% of those songs, cannot wait to dig deep into the remaining 20%!!!
    Thanks for posting and Merry Christmas Adam!

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