It’s here! It’s finally here! Welcome my friends to the beginning of that magical time of year known as Listmas. For the uninitiated, Listmas is the annual multi-week festival here on the site that celebrates everything list-worthy. Think of it as the year of music in review, wherein everything is ranked. So basically this is just like everybody else does, but with that snappy name of Listmas. In the past, Listmas has extended its reach outwards from the onset of December all the way through Christmas, with three full weeks of list-related programming that included ranking live shows, EPs, and other bric-a-brac. As much as I loved some of those smaller, less important lists, they always functioned as the appetizer to the main course, only more difficult to put together than most anyone realized. For example, I don’t listen to many EPs, so if I had to rank at the very least my Top 5 from this year, the entire list would likely be the only five or so EPs I’ve heard so far in 2013. So I’ve decided to do away with some of those less prominent lists and stick to what truly makes Listmas great: songs and albums. Starting today and running through Friday, I’ll be counting down my Top 50 Songs of 2013, 10 at a time. Next week we’ll do the same thing, but with albums. Some people like to throw full lists at you all at once but provide no context for their choices, nor ways in which you might be able to actually hear some of the music that’s mentioned. The reason the Top 50 Songs and Top 50 Albums lists take a week to fully unveil is because I want to write a little something about each entry, and provide proper links for you to look into the music further should you so desire. It’s a little classier than simply cutting and pasting my list onto the site.
Before we get started with this Top 50 Songs of 2013 list, I want to take a moment, as I do every year, to explain the criterion for what you will see across these entries this week. First and foremost, the reason this list is titled “Top Songs” and not “Top Singles” is because simply restricting the list to singles eliminates the many deep cuts that sometimes prove to be better than whatever choice an artist or their management decided to make to release to the general public for immediate consumption. Of course if you look over this year’s list you’ll find a lot of singles anyways. It was a great year for catchy tracks, to be sure. But allowing deep cuts creates some real curveballs, and I hope you’re surprised by some choices on this year’s list. Secondly, artists are restricted to one song apiece on this list. There were some great records this year, some of which have multiple tracks on them I might call part of this Top 50 list, however the one song restriction is in place solely to maximize the potential and number of artists given credit for their hard work. Lastly, only songs released on full length albums or EPs are allowed on this list. If an album released in late 2012 featured a single I didn’t hear until early 2013, I can’t in good conscience include it here. The same goes for new singles released by artists in advance of a 2014 album. These are the Top Songs of 2013, and I’m going to stick to that. And so, without further ado, let’s get this thing started with songs 50-41 on this countdown of the Top 50 Songs of the Year!