The Best Music of 2013


Every year, ROTI breaks down a definitive (read: subjective and hopelessly flawed) analysis of the best music of the year. We recently wrapped up our 2013 edition. This is a single-page encapsulation of that herculean effort!

For full articles, click the links below — or read on for the results.

The Spotify Playlist

For those who prefer to let their ears decide, ROTI has assembled 200+ tracks from the wonderful musicians touted below (minus a few unstreamable mixtapes and independent releases) in a single, glorious Spotify playlist…

Honorable Mentions

50 outstanding albums that just missed the ROTI countdown, ranked in alphabetical order.
The full article with commentary is here.

  • Ashley Monroe, Like a Rose
  • Atlas Genius, When It Was Now
  • Au Revoir Simone, Move in Spectrums
  • Bastille, Bad Blood
  • Bill Callahan, Dream River
  • The Blank Tapes, Vacation
  • Boards of Canada, Tomorrow’s Harvest
  • Boogarins, As Plantas Que Curam
  • Brendan Benson, You Were Right
  • Brothertiger, Future Splendors
  • Charli XCX, True Romance
  • Cloud Cult, Love
  • Cults, Static
  • David Bowie, The Next Day
  • Dawn of Midi, Dysnomia
  • Deer Tick, Negativity
  • Ducktails, The Flower Path
  • Endless Boogie, Long Island
  • Fear of Men, Early Fragments
  • The Flaming Lips, The Terror
  • Ghostface Killah, Twelve Reasons to Die
  • Guards, In Guards We Trust
  • Jenny O., Automechanic
  • Junip, Junip
  • The Knife, Shaking the Habitual
  • Local Natives, Hummingbird
  • The Lone Bellow, The Lone Bellow
  • Lorde, Pure Heroine
  • Los Campesinos!, No Blues
  • Lucius, Wildewoman
  • Majical Cloudz, Impersonator
  • MIA, Matangi
  • Mutual Benefit, Love’s Crushing Diamond
  • The National, Trouble Will Find Me
  • Neko Case, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
  • Nine Inch Nails, Hesitation Marks
  • The Octopus Project, Fever Forms
  • Palms, Palms
  • Pissed Jeans, Honeys
  • Portugal. The Man, Evil Friends
  • Queens of the Stone Age, …Like Clockwork
  • Rhye, Woman
  • Smith Westerns, Soft Will
  • St. Lucia, When The Night
  • Ty Segall, Sleeper
  • Unknown Mortal Orchestra, II
  • Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
  • Widowspeak, Almanac
  • Yo La Tengo, Fade
  • Young Man, Beyond Was All Around Me

The 20 Best Pop & Hip-Hop Singles

drake cruiser

Because popular music makes life more enjoyable. Listed in no special order.
The full article with commentary is here.

  • Drake, “Started From the Bottom”
  • Lorde, “Royals”
  • Big Sean f. Kendrick Lamar & Jay Electronica, “Control”
  • Beyonce f. Jay-Z, “Drunk In Love”
  • Icona Pop f. Charli XCX, “I Love It”
  • Capital Cities, “Safe and Sound”
  • Kanye West, “Black Skinhead”
  • Janelle Monae, “Dance Apocalyptic”
  • Daft Punk f. Pharrell, “Get Lucky”
  • 2 Chainz f. Pharrell, “Feds Watching”
  • Robin Thicke f. Pharrell & T.I., “Blurred Lines”
  • Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop”
  • Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”
  • Dre Skull f. Megan James & Popcaan, “First Time”
  • Selena Gomez, “Come and Get It”
  • Pitbull f. Ke$ha, “Timber”
  • A$AP Rocky f. Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar, “Fuckin’ Problems”
  • HAIM, “The Wire”
  • OneRepublic, “Counting Stars”
  • Drake f. Majid Jordan, “Hold On We’re Going Home”

Albums #50-#30


20 fantastic record albums. The full article with commentary is here.

#50. King Krule, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon

#49. Hockey, WYETH IS

#48. Various Artists, Saint Heron

#47. Pity Sex, Feast Of Love

#46. Wavves, Afraid of Heights

#45. True Widow, Circumnambulation

#44. The Besnard Lakes, Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO

#43. Run the Jewels, Run The Jewels

#42. Disclosure, Settle

#41. Kavinsky, OutRun

#40. Bad Bad Hats, It Hurts

#39. Waxahatchee, Cerulean Salt

#38. Blood Orange, Cupid Deluxe

#37. Laura Mvula, Sing to the Moon

#36. Arctic Monkeys, AM

#35. Earl Sweatshirt, Doris

#34. Laura Marling, Once I Was An Eagle

#33. PAPA, Tender Madness

#32. Colleen Green, Sock It To Me

#31. Arcade Fire, Reflektor

Albums #30-#21


Really digging into some ROTI faves now. Full article with commentary here.

#30. Crystal Fighters, Cave Rave

#29. Pusha T, My Name is My Name

#28. Typhoon, White Lighter

#27. Beisbol, Lo-Fi Cocaine

#26. Caveman, Caveman

#25. Bent Shapes, Feels Weird

#24. Tegan & Sara, Heartthrob

#23. A$AP Rocky, LONG.LIVE.A$AP

#22. Haim, Days Are Gone

#21. CHVRCHES, The Bones of What You Believe

Albums #20-#11


Everything under the sun. Full article with commentary here.

#20. Deafheaven, Sunbather

#19. Drake, Nothing Was The Same

#18. Youth Lagoon, Wondrous Bughouse

#17. Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap

#16. Foxygen, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic

#15. My Bloody Valentine, mbv

#14. Parquet Courts, Light Up Gold

#13. Fuck Buttons, Slow Focus

#12. Grouplove, Spreading Rumours

#11. Sky Ferreira, Night Time, My Time

Albums #10-#1


The dramatic conclusion. Full article with commentary here.

#10. Speedy Ortiz, Major Arcana

#9. Savages, Silence Yourself

#8. Danny Brown, Old

#7. Bombino, Nomad

#6. James Blake, Overgrown

#5. Kurt Vile, Waking on a Pretty Daze

#4. Janelle Monae, The Electric Lady

#3. Daft Punk, Random Access Memories

#2. Kanye West, Yeezus

#1. Beyoncé, Beyoncé

beyonce bow down

The Best Music of 2012
The Best Music of 2011
The Best Music of 2010


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