I don’t have a long preamble for this. This list is just my way of trying to pull together a lot of disparate pop culture moments that struck me in some profound way during the year. I think the more you engage with pop culture the more it can feel like you’re always having the same conversations, with the same people, in the same way. So when something disrupts that monotony, frustrates the dominant ways we think and talk about our relationship to one another, I think it’s important.
Here are the 13 moments this year that made me sit up and look at the world just a little bit differently.
For the third year in a row, I felt like this was a better year for individual songs and singles than it was for albums. I suppose it makes a certain kind of sense in a digital era that the industry has returned its focus to singles, rather than albums. But it continues to make for a very frustrating listening experience.
This is not to diminish the great work that I’m about to highlight. It is incredibly difficult to make a great song. Can’t forget that just because most artists today are unconcerned with making complete album experiences.
So without further ado, hit that jump for the 15 songs that I consider the very best songs that I heard in 2013