Top 10 Singles of 2013

While we’re currently living in a “singles market” (or at least that’s what I’m told), the ten tracks that landed spots on LA Music Blog’s list of 2013′s best all hail from albums that also made our list of the best albums of the year. No one-hit-wonders to be found here.

That these tracks can stand out not only amongst the other singles that bombarded us on a daily basis in 2013, but also those tracks on their respective albums is a testament to their greatness both individually and as part of a greater whole. These are the singles we couldn’t get out of our heads in 2013.

#10: Portugal. The Man – “Purple Yellow Red And Blue”

This was my first taste of Evil Friends, and suffice it to say it got me excited for the full album. I got the supplemental experience of the video on my first listen, but the song itself never lost the uninhibited, unabashed call to the most basic desires of human nature: “All I want to do is live in ecstasy, I know what’s best for me.” The second you move into the chorus, the magic of Danger Mouse is overwhelming. The bass drops, the drums start, and you’re in, fully consumed by what you’re hearing, and we’re not even halfway through the first minute of the song. – Angelica Corona

#9: Kanye West – “Black Skinhead”

Kanye West isn’t afraid to give listeners a piece of his mind. While this can be a bit annoying in everyday life, when it comes to his music, Kanye’s thoughts are generally accepted with open arms. However, on his 2013 album, Yeezus, Kanye completely challenges our comfort level. He is stark, cocky, and most importantly, angry. These emotions are channeled perfectly on his hard-hitting single “Black Skinhead.”

The track follows the album’s theme of reclaiming and shunning past oppression by rising up to an all-powerful entity that, at times, proves to be the monstrous product of our society. This highfalutin song takes “asshole” to new heights, but in the best way possible. Musically, the song is utterly compelling. With strong beats and unbeatable production value, Kanye once again proves that he is the king of quality, big-budget hip hop. – Sarah Bellman

#8: Vampire Weekend – “Ya Hey”

On one of the finest cuts off their wonderful new album, Vampire Weekend was in a contemplative mood. In the space of five minutes, we find Ezra Koenig in a direct dialogue with none other than God, complete with a subtle but lovely backdrop of angelic vocals. “Ya Hey” also manages to be simply a great pop song with pitch-shifted vocals in the chorus that sounded like a cameo from Alvin and his buddies. It is a perfect representation of what it is that makes Vampire Weekend one of the bands of the year: a fully matured sound that maintains the commitment to originality that made the group so popular in the first place. – Jay Chirinos

#7: Icona Pop – “I Love It”

“I Love It” was undoubtedly one of this summer’s biggest anthems — perhaps its only downfall was that it peaked too soon (happens to the best of us). The song reached the cultural lexicon in January through an episode of HBO’s Girls and the US airwaves shortly thereafter. With “I Love It,” Swedish duo Icona Pop has crafted a mega breakup anthem that simply seethes with palpable anger and rabid frustration. It’s something all us ladies can relate to. And the best part? It’s all set to a tirelessly catchy beat and stratospheric synths. Women’s Lib! – Marni Epstein

#6: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Sacrilege”

If there were any doubts on how the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ fourth album, Mosquito, would fare, “Sacrilege” thoroughly whomped them. Dat Karen O. Dat driving guitar riff. Dat motherfuckin’ gospel choir. Is there anything about this song that isn’t awesome? Add to that a racy and extremely well-executed music video — one of the best of the year, in my humble opinion — and you have the makings of a truly remarkable release. – Lesley Park

#5: Haim – “The Wire”

A break-up song never sounded so sweet as Haim’s breakout single “The Wire.” The empowering seventies-infused rock song tells the story of fumbling a necessary break up with a positive spin. Surprisingly upbeat, the catchy kiss-off track launched these sisters to national attention and has a hook you can’t get out of your head. Spin this track if you’re looking to end a bad relationship or seeking your next favorite single. – Mary Bonney

#4: Daft Punk – “Get Lucky”

It’s the song that brought Daft Punk back into the limelight. It’s also the song that was played to death as soon as LA’s radio DJs got their eager little fingers on it. That said, it’s an excellent dance song, plain and simple. It’s catchy. It’s fun. The lyrics are cheeky without being vulgar. Most notably, this is the song that served as the introduction to the rest of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories. Regardless of what you think of the album, “Get Lucky” is an anthem. – Marcus Slater

#3: Autre Ne Veut – “Play By Play”

The glistening, spiraling keyboard and show-stoping synth pads that open Autre Ne Veut’s “Play By Play” so confidently command the listener’s attention, they can sell this track before Arthur Ashin even utters a word. But when he does step up to speak, we hear a man at his most fragile, and this is where “Play By Play” suddenly reveals its breadth. For all of his desperate, lovesick pleas, Ashin props himself up with a soundtrack that’s sonically upbeat and swells with such intense color and life that it would be practically impossible for Ashin to not win back his lover, whom I can only assume is the woman harmonizing with him toward the track’s end. “Play By Play” is a majorly successful single from this year’s Anxiety and perhaps the most emotionally-charged, best single listening experience of 2013 in my book. – David Fisch

#2: Vampire Weekend – “Diane Young”

I wasn’t sure what to think of the lead single from Vampire Weekend’s third full-length effort upon first listen. What’s with the pitch-bent vocals? And who the hell is Diane Young? The whole thing sounded a bit manic to me at first, but soon I found myself repeatedly returning to YouTube to stare at that burning Saab in the official video stream, mesmerized by the slow-motion fire and unable to keep my head from bobbing in time to the upbeat track (at risk of permanent spinal injury). Needless to say, “Diane Young” proved to be just a small taste of what Modern Vampires of the City had to offer, but that small taste was enough to whet the appetite for what would go on to be LA Music Blog’s #1 album of the year. – Kristin Houser

#1: Arcade Fire – “Reflektor”

Immediately after Arcade Fire announced their new album, Reflektor, the indie music world practically exploded with jubilance. The buzz filled the air. We walked and drove by those cool street-art teasers, waiting for our beloveds to debut new music. We read cryptic articles about the forthcoming album. And then, finally, the band released the much-anticipated single “Reflektor.” Did they disappoint? Hah! Good one. It’s Arcade Fire, silly.

I remember when I first heard their shimmering single “Reflektor.” I almost jumped. I don’t think I’ve ever clicked “play” harder in my life (my computer still hates me for it). The smile-inducing “Reflektor” is one of those funky, utterly addictive songs that you can’t help but get your groove on to while listening. However, it still holds weight with its simple yet rather complex lyrics: “Will I see you on the other side? / We all got things to hide / it’s just a reflection of a reflection of a reflection…”

It seems that Arcade Fire, arguably the biggest indie band of the 21st century so far, can do no wrong. – Sarah Bellman