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It’s unbelievably difficult to pick best songs of any given year. There are a myriad of factors that go into making a song stick: the time of year, the genre, your mood, your situation (at a party, in your bedroom), and more. So while it’s heartbreaking to slough off all the songs that maybe made you cry or had you dancing all night long that one weekend, that’s what we have had to do here. These are the songs that we believe uniquely stood out in the year 2013 as strong, meaningful pieces of art. But of course, this is just our opinion. Let us know what you think by taking the reader survey here, we’ll post your choices next week. In the meantime, here’s the Intersections list of best songs of 2013.

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Arctic Monkeys – “No. 1. Party Anthem”

In all honesty, I just subjectively like this song a lot but ironic titles are also cool and it perfectly captures the bittersweet desperation of partying. - Cailin Hong

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Bastille – “Pompeii”

This song feels as grandiose as its mythos, thanks in particular to the echo-y chorus that features throughout the song. The verses are melancholy with a hint of the dramatic, but when the chorus begins, it becomes a danceable, uplifting song that simply begs for a singalong. - Nina Wade

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Beware of Darkness – “Howl”

Taking a page from Jack White’s old-school, bluesy style of rock, Beware of Darkness has achieved a new rock anthem for the 2010s with “Howl.” This song ruled the rock airwaves this spring and it’s probable this song will be used at many football games or in many video games to come. - Harrison Blackman

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Danny Brown – “25 Bucks, feat. Purity Ring”

Equal parts hood and hipster, Danny Brown’s “25 Bucks” spits a poetic and apocalyptic account of Detroit poverty as he manically flows over a Purity Ring beat. Either that, or “Kush Coma”, also by Danny, which is absolutely nuts. - Jeff Liu

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Mayer Hawthorne – “Back Seat Lover”

This tune is fabulously funky and is the perfect addition to any laid-back party playlist. Expect smooth, sexy vocals and a tight rhythm section. Warning: Addiction is possible. - Lexi Tollefsen

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Hiatus Kaiyote – “Nakamarra”

The effortless, jazzy funk rising from Down Under completely mesmerizes. Hiatus Kaiyote’s distinct but also wonderfully familiar sound make for this smooth and catchy hit. Her vocals are killer. - Amy Garland

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John Legend – “All of Me”

“All of Me” reminded me of how talented this man is. This song is full of feeling and touches one’s heart with its honesty. Legend shows his love for his new wife while I cry watching the music video: their passion and the cinematography are so beautiful. - Jarron McAllister

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Lemaitre – “Cut to Black”

This song manages to combine a simple and relaxed sound with a danceable beat, great vocals, and compelling lyrics. It’s the best of all worlds – somehow it’s perfect for both melancholic and happy moments; it’s subtle enough that I can study listening to it but I always catch myself dancing in my seat. - Lara Norgaard

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Mutual Benefit – “Advanced Falconry”

Heard of this song from Rachel’s fall playlist, had it on repeat for days. - Karen Jin

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The National – “Pink Rabbits”

The National have perfected the art of distilling melancholy into songs that are depressingly beautiful. - Jarred Mihalik

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Streetlight Manifesto – “Toe to Toe”

Rough around the edges, but bittersweet with some powerful lyrics. Also, the horn solos are absurdly slick and catchy. By the time I’m tired of this song I’ll be in a retirement home. - Max Gollin

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Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors”

Sorry guys. I tried to think of something less obvious, but honestly, there’s a reason this song topped the charts in 2013. JT kills it for like 8 minutes – and who wouldn’t want someone to sing this to them? - Lisa Femia

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Vampire Weekend – “Hannah Hunt”

Wow, it’s so quietly beautiful, fresh and new yet reminiscent of other sweet sounds I’ve heard somewhere in the past…damn it, Hannah. - Rachel Klebanov

 

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