Fewer long-winded descriptions this year because I’m a lazy bum. Find the dl link in the comments — and support the artists if you like what you hear. Most of these guys will be on tour in 2014, and all released something cool in 2013 (duh).
70. Drake — Started from the Bottom
69. Osk — The Gesture I Just Made Means I Love You
68. Junip — Line of Fire. Jose Gonzales on vocals.
67. Y La Bamba — Oh February
66. The GO — So Let’s Pinch
65. Pickwick — Window Sill
64. Marc Cary — Throw it Away
63. Parquet Courts — Borrowed Time
62. Fuzz — Loose Sutures. Ty Segall on the drums. Another great year overall for Ty Segall
61. Washed Out — Paracosm
60. Mazzy Star — California
59. Marc Cary’s Focus Trio — Todi Blues. Still a fantastic group, but missing David Ewell on the bass this time around.
58. Leif Vollebekk — When the Subway Comes Above the Ground
57. Chance the Rapper — Everything’s Good
56. The Mantles — Marbled Birds
55. The Moth & The Flame — Sorry
54. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper — Bird Balloons. This one grows on me more and more every time I listen to it.
53. The Sharp Things — Lights
52. Shacklock Meth Party — Chavez
51. Todd Terje — Strandbar (disko)
50. Ghost Wave — Here She Comes
49. Ty Segall — Music for a Film 1
48. Bass Drum of Death — Fine Lies
47. Royal Bangs — Better Run
46. Lost Animal — Say No to Thugs
45. Generationals — Put a Light On
44. Gun Outfit — Young Lord
43. King Khan & the Shrines — Born To Die. These guys have been around for a while, but I was totally sleeping on them. Hope they come tour the US soon, I bet the live show is awesome.
42. Tal National — Zigda
41. Blitzen Trapper — Ever Loved Once
40. Major Lazer feat. Amber Coffman — Get Free
39. Lorde — Royals. Man, I am totally lost on the straight pop music tip these days, but if you didn’t hear this song, you were living in a cave. And it’s so weird that this was a big pop hit — the beat is totally sparse and not particularly danceable, Ella Yelich-O’Connor’s voice is powerful and direct, but not particularly beautiful, and the lyrics pointedly criticize the songs that were played before and after it on KISS FM or whatever. It’s weird — and therefore closer to the more adventurous and trippy stuff you’ll hear on college radio. It’ll be interesting to see where Lorde goes next, and whether you’ll find her next record in the “pop” or “indie” section of your local music dispensary.
38. Tennis — Cured of Youth
37. Thee Oh Sees — No Spell
36. James Blake — Retrograde
35. Ex-Cult — Shade of Red
34. Danny Brown — Lonely
33. Jai Paul — Jasmine. This is a great song.
32. Juana Molina — Sin Guia, No
31. The Tambo Rays — Night Feel. These guys are totally underrated.
30. Toro Y Moi — Harm In Charge. Bay Area people: do you hear anything familiar at the very beginning of this track?
29. Davendra Banhart — Daniel. Love is beautiful and very very sad.
28. Unknown Mortal Orchestra — The Opposite of Afternoon . Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s II is my favorite album of 2013.
27. Vampire Weekend — Hannah Hunt
26. Mikal Cronin — Turn Away
25. Kool A.D. feat. Amaze 88 — Fettucini
24. Thee Oh Sees — Minotaur. Thee Oh Sees might be breaking up? Say it ain’t so.
23. AM & Shawn Lee — Two Times (Colorama Remix Vox Down)
22. Thao & The Get Down Stay Down — Holy Roller
21. The Spyrals — Easy Now. Hard to narrow it down; Out of Sight is a great album.
20. King Khan & The Shrines — Bite My Tongue
19. Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams — Lose Yourself to Dance. Unlike Daft Punk’s other entry on this list (see below), I am totally not sick of this song, and will continue playing it often so I can pretend that I can dance like they do in this video (I cannot dance even remotely like they do in that video).
18. Jim James — State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)
17. Kurt Vile — Girl Called Alex
16. Ghost Wave — Bootlegs
15. Gun Outfit — I’ve Got a Gift
14. Mark Mulcahy — She Makes the World Turn Backwards. This version is ripped from the video for this song, in which Mark and his band play this song in some kind of local meeting room with terrible acoustics. But those same terrible acoustics make the pointy vamp and reverb-heavy chorus all the more filthy. Great stuff.
13. of Montreal — Belle Glade Missionaries
12. Local Natives — Ceiling
11. Arcade Fire — Here Comes the Night Time
10. Mayer Hawthorne — Her Favorite Song
9. The Dodos — Confidence. Still one of my favorite live acts.
8. Cool Ghouls — Natural Life
7. San Fermin — Sonsick
6. White Denim — Pretty Green. Their new album, Corsicana Lemonade, was a little disappointing, if only because I was totally obsessed with 2011’s D. This track is pretty sweet though.
5. Unknown Mortal Orchestra — So Good at Being in Trouble
4. Ty Segall — The Man Man. Segall went (mostly) acoustic for his latest, Sleeper, and it really, really worked.
3. Courtney Barnett — Avant Gardener. I love this track.
2. Volcano Choir — Byegone. Uplifting and expansive.
1. Daft Punk — Get Lucky. I had listened to this song over and over before making this list in late December, and I was all like “wow i could listen to this song forever its soo good!” Then January 1 hit and I became suddenly and completely sick of it. Dammit! But it’s good for the first 30 or so spins, I promise!