Just about everyone could agree on “Get Lucky” and “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” but there were lots of other great singles and album cuts released this year. Here are 21 you can download from Amoeba.com right now. Pretty sure these could just top out a 120-minute cassette tape, if my high school calculations are correct. Check out my top 50 albums list, too!
Kurt Vile – “KV Crimes”
Kurt Vile's Wakin on a Pretty Daze is a great, melodically hazy stoner-rock record, but "KV Crimes" hits hard, like a song Tom Petty would kick out in five minutes and decide he was too stoned when he wrote it and leave it on the cutting-room floor for some bullshit like "Free Fallin'." Kurt Vile is like our more enlightened Petty, one who knows that off-the-cuff tracks can be the best.
From the album Wakin on a Pretty Daze
Savages – “I Am Here”
"I Am Here" builds its post-punk dread carefully, unleashing into a climax that'll leave you feeling hot and disoriented.
From the album Silence Yourself
Foxygen – “No Destruction”
From the album We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic
Veronica Falls – “Teenage”
Veronica Falls make perfectly scrappy post-punk pop, encapsulated on this sweet single.
From the album Waiting for Something to Happen
Deerhunter – “The Missing”
Deerhunter guitarist Lockett Pundt (also of the great Lotus Plaza) takes over lead vocals on this intricate, pulsating pop song.
From the album Monomania
Kelela – “Bank Head” (Prod. Kingdom)
Kelela's debut mixtape Cut 4 Me serves as a smorgasbord for a number of talented producers. This cut, produced by Kingdom, emanates sexual paranoia.
From the album Cut 4 Me
AlunaGeorge – “Your Drums, Your Love”
AlunaGeorge's futuristic new jack swing is never more appealing than on this sweet jam.
From the album Body Music
AlunaGeorge - Attracting Flies (Live at Amoeba)
Watch and comment on YouTube
Darkside – “Heart”
Blues filtered through new machinery, reminscent of great trip-hop tracks of the '90s.
From the album Psychic
Weekend – “It’s Alright”
Weekend throw an industrial throb behind their laid-back shoegaze guitars, making for an intriguing, split-personality jam.
From the album Jinx
Mazzy Star – “Lay Myself Down”
First released as a single b/w “Common Burn,” this standout from Mazzy Star’s excellent reunion record livens things up with a country shuffle.
From the album Seasons of Your Day
Grouper – “Vital”
Grouper creates a warm, melodic haze on The Man Who Died in His Boat, but this song cuts through the fog like a lighthouse.
From the album The Man Who Died in His Boat
Chelsea Wolfe – “The Waves Have Come”
Chelsea Wolfe’s excellent Pain is Beauty has many highlights (like the house-beat-infused “The Warden”), but this extended piano ballad is absolutely paralyzing.
From the album Pain is Beauty
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “So Good at Being in Trouble”
UMO fuse their ramshackle psychedelia with classic soul on this solid single.
From the album II
Camera Obscura – “William’s Heart”
There are lots of great songs on Camera Obscura’s Desire Lines; I’m partial to this swoony, Smithsy ballad.
From the album Desire Lines
Mikal Cronin – “Shout It Out”
The title is exactly what you want to do with this song, an irresistible slice of power-pop.
From the album MCII
Zola Jesus – “Avalanche (Slow)”
The greatest moment on Zola Jesus’ album of reworked songs with a string quartet happens at the outset, when the glacial beauty of “Avalanche (Slow)” knocks the air out of you.
From the album Versions
Soft Metals – “Tell Me”
The dizzying synthesizers of “Tell Me” help make the L.A. minimal wave band’s track a dreamy late-night treat.
From the album Lenses
Sigur Ros – “Brennisteinn”
Sigur Ros roar back to life on the explosive opener to their latest album.
From the album Kveikur
Vampire Weekend – “Diane Young”
Even if all of Modern Vampires in the City didn’t work for you, it’s tough to deny the appeal of this weird rocker, a kind of subversive surf-rock throwback with a punk beat and warped vocals.
Joanna Gruesome – “Sugarcrush”
For fans of shoegaze, college rock, C86 and what-have-you, Joanna Gruesome’s “Sugarcrush” is almost too on-the-nose (that title alone screams My Bloody Valentine B-side), but its perfect execution of a singular idea is no reason to not love it. Pairs well with Veronica Falls, hating going to class and starting a band with your friends, regardless of musical skill. (Check out the single's B-side, too, a killer cover of Galaxie 500's "Tugboat.")
From the album Weird Sister
Yo La Tengo - "Is That Enough"
Any time husband and wife Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley interlock their vocals, it's pretty magical. "Is That Enough" is the latest in a long line of georgeous songs of devotion.
From the album Fade (recently re-released in a Deluxe Edition)
See all of our ongoing Best of 2013 lists
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