As 2013 winds down and I review all the albums that came my way, this list is getting tougher and tougher to make. If you want the obvious choices (Daft Punk, Lorde, Robin Thicke), you've come to the wrong place. I don't listen to the radio or pay attention to sales; I just want to find the best music to soundtrack my crazy life. This list was created by songs that made a real connection, whether that be singing at the top of my lungs or dancing like a fool, I've done plenty of that with the songs below...
20. Telekinesis - Symphony
I'll let Michael B. Lerner, who records under the name Telekinesis, tell you a little bit about this song. One of the many great tracks on his album, Dormarion.
19. CHVRCHES - Recover
Synth-Pop at its best. It was a good year for the band as they released their debut album and toured nonstop, including opening for Depeche Mode.
18. The Strokes - Chances
The Strokes continue to be too cool for anybody, including themselves. They released a surprisingly different album and spent the rest of the year refusing to play a single note. Chances is too good to forget, even if they probably wish we would.
17. The Joy Formidable - Silent Treatment
Their album, Wolf's Law, came out of nowhere for me. I wouldn't even say I was a casual fan before this year, but the talent was too great to ignore, starting with this beauty.
16. Pearl Jam - Future Days
A life-long fan and proud Ten Club member, I managed to see these guys 3 times this year, including their legendary show at Wrigley Field. You can have Sirens, I'll keep this one.
15. Danny Brown - Dip
Danny Brown had a great year and I can assure you his album, Old, will find a spot on my Top Albums post. But for now let's just bask in his genius flow.
14. Kings of Leon - Wait For Me
Amid rumors of infighting and alcoholism, Caleb Followill and Kings of Leon returned with another slow-burning single and all was forgiven. The real test will their upcoming tour with stellar opening act, Gary Clark Jr.
13. Haim - Honey & I
Haim have been receiving all sorts of accolades this year, from VH1's Artist to Watch to musical guest on Saturday Night Live. After hearing their debut album, Days Are Gone, I can tell you the praise is well deserved.
12.Classixx - Holding On
Holding On was my summer jam. I tried playing it everywhere, from barbeques to birthday parties, and I've yet to hear a complaint.
11.!!! - Except Death
Fact: Once Except Death has begun, I will under no circumstances turn it off. "Infectious" isn't even close when that guitar kicks in and rides out.
10. Vampire Weekend - Step
Vampire Weekend sure have grown up. While there is no shortage of energy on Modern Vampires of the City, they spend an awful lot of time in the slow lane reminiscing. Don't we all.
9. Phoenix - Bourgeois
Only Phoenix could make a song like this; from the hazy synth to the "Sha La La's", it made the agonizing wait of 4 years between albums almost worth it.
8. Arcade Fire - Reflektor
Just when you think Arcade Fire can't get any cooler, they release an album produced by James Murphy and single featuring David Bowie.
7. Volcano Choir - Alaskans
The collaboration between Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver) and members of Collections of Colonies of Bees returned with an amazing album. Front to back, Repave, is one of the most cohesive albums to come out in 2013 and Alaskans is warm enough to melt a foot of snow.
6. Chance the Rapper - Favorite Song (ft. Childish Gambino)
I love that Chance the Rapper is from Chicago and gets so much more love than Chief Keef or anybody on that drill scene. A guest spot from Childish Gambino made this the standout track from Acid Rap.
5. John Mayer - Wildfire
Barely a year between albums, John Mayer changed the focus from Folk/Americana to a sound he likes to call "Acid Country". Imagine if the Grateful Dead jammed with acoustic guitars and you might get the idea. Let's not speak of the Katy Perry duet...
4. Major Lazer - Mashup The Dance (ft. The Partysquad & Ward 21)
I can't even describe what happens when this song - and the rest of Free The Universe - comes on. The best part of my year was seeing them at Lollapalooza and realizing I wasn't the only one losing my mind.
3. Justin Timberlake - That Girl
At this point Justin Timberlake could write a pop song in his sleep. What sets him apart is a song like That Girl. A+ on those horns too.
2. Disclosure - F For You
I honestly didn't think these guys could live up the hype. I was dead wrong. It's almost criminal that two brothers barely hitting their 20's should make music this good. Watch this video in full screen.
1. Kanye West - New Slaves
It's easy to hate Kanye, but then he drops something like this. It's a shame people dismiss the message and crazy lyrics because you'd rather see his latest rant on TMZ.