It was the year when EDM not only solidified its grip on the pop scene, but took creative chances and started to evolve in unexpected ways. Thus, my top single of the year is Avicii’s hybrid hit “Wake Me Up.” The melding of electronica with folk elements is not a completely new idea, of course; just a couple of years ago, Hoffmaestro turned the same trick on his track “Highwayman.” But “Wake Me Up” is a killer song, with a great vocal by Aloe Blacc and thus it’s incomprehensible to me why the song was completely ignored by the Grammys. But hey, the Grammy voters gave Macklemore & Ryan Lewis their due, so you can’t really dis them. Speaking of MackLemore, I should point out that the great “Same Love” made my best-of list last year, which is why its not there this year. Had I not been such an early adopter on that one, MackLemore and Ryan Lewis would have had two songs on my list this time around. As it is, “Thrift Shop” alone makes a strong case for MackLewis (adequate hybrid name) as artist of the year. If nothing else, “Thrift Shop” was the first hit rap record in ages in which the artist acknowledged being strapped for cash, a welcome respite from all the economic gravity-defying bling slingers who have defined the scene in the past decade. Along with the similarly-themed “Royals” by Lorde, “Thrift Shop” gave me hope that pop still has the potential to come out of celebrity worshipping fantasy land and deal with a version of life familiar to its own audience, who really are not spending most of their time rocking the VIP. Anyway, enjoy the list–lots of genres represented: hip-hop, rock, dance, R&B, pop, alt, chutney (look it up), etc. Here are my 40 best tracks of 2013:

Wake Me Up – Avicii
Sonsick – San Fermin
Thrift Shop – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
What I Might Do (Club Mix) – Ben Pearce
Peace and Quiet – Waxahatchee
Royals – Lorde
We Are Common (For Valerie Bolden) – Thao and the Get Down Stay Down
When I Was Your Man – Bruno Mars
Man Like That – Gin Wigmore
Gangsta – Kat Dhalia
Evil Friends – Portugal. The Man
That’s Alright – Laura Mvula
You Can’t Be Told – Valerie June
Indian Girl – Michal Montano (Feat Drupatee)
Lose Yourself To Dance – Daft Punk & Pharrell
Let Her Go – Passenger
Waiting For The Night – Rudimental
Glowing – DA
I’m Ready – AJR
The Wire – Haim
Bassline Junkie – Dizzee Rascal
Timber – Pitbull (Feat. Ke$ha)
All I Want – Kodaline
White Noise – Disclosure feat AlunaGeorge
Is This How You Feel – The Preatures
I’m Tired Of Being Grown – Vic Allen
Retrograde – James Blake
Bound 2 – Kanye West
It Plays On – Diane Birch
Bipp – Sophie
Love Me Again – John Newman
I Could Be The One (Avicii vs. Nicky Romero) – Avicii & Nicky Romero
Afternoon – Youth Lagoon
Slauson – Nipsey Hussle
Move – Little Mix
Pompeii – Bastille
Night Still Comes – Neko Case
XXX 88 – MØ (Feat. Diplo)
The Way We Touch – WE ARE TWIN
Play by Play – Autre Ne Veut