Monday, December 9, 2013

Songs I Had on Repeat in 2013

Everybody's a critic.
However, I didn't want to call this post "The Best Tracks of 2013."  I'm not going to pretend that I listen to a lot of the mind-numbing crap that dominates corporate radio and the iTunes charts.  Just know that these tracks made me keep hitting repeat all year long.

Kenna, “Relations”  Kenna and Chad Hugo got their Bowie on.
Tamar Braxton, “Love and War”  I've got to give her props.  When was the last time someone in American R&B even attempted something this technically difficult?
Georgia Anne Muldrow, “Akosua”  Beautifully revolutionary.  Wake "them sleeping fools," Georgia.
Kaytranada, “At All”  The evolution of house?
Hiatus Kaiyote feat. Q-Tip, “Nakamarra”  The addition of Q-Tip's vocals to this version somehow managed to make the track even more enchanting.
Oddisee, “Own Appeal”  One of my favorite D.C. artists.  Why hasn't he blown up?
Chance the Rapper feat. Childish Gambino, “Favorite SongThere's a playfulness in his raps reminiscent of the Fresh Prince and everything that used to be fun about hip-hop.
Active Child, “
Evening Ceremony”  Hauntingly beautiful.  Leaves fingerprints on your heart.
Snoop Lion feat. Amber Coffman and T.I., “No Regrets”  Don't hate. I was feeling it.
Party Supplies, “Beautiful Girl”  Cute, bubbly fun.
Sleigh Bells, “Bitter Rivals”  This song came along right when I really needed something to yellsing to.  Yesss.
Oskere, “Mama Told Me”  Catchy Afrobeat. 
Arctic Monkeys, “R U Mine”  The Arctic Monkeys could do no wrong this year.  So many sexy, hard-driving, angst-ridden tracks to choose from.
Jean Grae, “F**kery Level 3000”  A comedic anthem for anyone tired of their trifling co-workers.  Way beyond NSFW.
Natalia Kills, “Feel Myself”  Raw and banging.  Couldn't believe that I hadn't heard of her prior to this year.
Izzy Bizu, “White Tiger” (the Star Slinger Remix was on point, too)  Girly, pitch-perfect pop.
Jim James, “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U)”  "The power's goin' out!"  Jim James built his own lane.
Adult Jazz, “Springful”  Late add to the list.  I won’t say I had this tune on super repeat, but they just don’t sound like anyone else.

I won't apologize for not including artists who've gotten tons of critical dap, especially a rapper or two from Chicago, runaway androids, New Zealanders unable to keep their feet out of their mouths, or aging rappers more concerned about their clothes than their lyrics and flow.  These tracks are the songs I kept coming back to, part of the constellation of sounds that kept me optimistic about modern music and life in general this year.  Enjoy.

Stay tuned--I'll post my favorite remixes and covers of 2013 later this week. 

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