Club Fonograma's Best Songs of 2013 (50-26)

100-76 75-51

050. Joe Crepúsculo - 
Mi Fábrica de Baile
After two very alienating albums, Joe Crepúsculo returned to the front lines of Spaniard pop music this year. Baile de Magos is his most accomplished work since Supercrepus and he made sure to have a huge, not-just-a-song-but-a-statement as a first single. “Mi Fábrica de Baile” is as grandiloquent as it can get. From the uncouth vocal performance, to the assaultiveness of its techno sequencers, watching this moment of musical aggression unfold is as fascinating as it is perverse. Carlos Reyes

049. No Somos Marineros - 
“Violencia River” ♫♫♫
“Violencia River” was released a few days following Beta. After going through a suspended, larger-than-life experience like that provided by BFlecha, hearing No Somos Marineros’ breakthrough single squashed my senses back to the concrete. Although it follows a general hard rock narrative, it’s riveting to see the elegance and coolness of the band’s songcraft. It’s also one of the few moments of rock and roll relevancy distilled from revivalism this year. Its structure: a progressive entrance, a beating-to-a-pulp roaring climax, a moment for regrouping, and a brutally engaging encore.  Carlos Reyes



048. Lainus - Montañitas” ♫♫♫
In an article for Noisey, I had described Lainus’ electropop approaches as “landscapist.” Undoubtedly, the song that mostly adjusts to this definition is “Montañitas.” With the assistance of wobbling synths, the Chilean maximalist musician traces pretty detailed, almost tangible panoramas where splendor, calm and peace invade the being. If you’ve watched the spectacular clip, then you definitely must know what I’m talking about. Truth is, Lainus understands how to efficiently heighten ears and mind. Enrique Coyotzi 



047. Kinetica - “Halo ♫♫♫
Beautifully bare "Halo" slowly seeps into you for two minutes, gradually relaxing your breathing and steadying your heart before startling you with a burst of urgency that just as abruptly ends to make way for the warble of horns and an unsettling bleeping that fades into the background but never really leaves you. By the end of the song, you feel like Kinetica just toyed with your emotions for four minutes. - Blanca Méndez




046. Arcángel - “Cuando tú no estas
“Si alguien habla mal de mi, le tira.” That might be the most romantic line Arcángel has ever written. Him singing about his sweetheart stepping up for him on the battle is heart wrenching. A rap ballad of sorts, “Cuando tú no estas” yearns and departs from tiraea. In this particular episode, we see him progressing that reggaeton element by exposing his emotional discourse wide open. The lyrics are uncomfortably simple, favoring the arrestingly smooth vocals and whispering synth melodies for the benefit of his grand scope. Carlos Reyes




045. Julieta Venegas - 
“Nada Importante
The big news to come out of Los Momentos was that our chanteuse had managed to change how she phrased her particular brand of canción, tweaking her sound, adding to the character of the album. “Nada Importante” is perhaps the best mash up of all of Venegas' past and present lives: the disappointed, the self-effacing, the snide, the flippant, the romantic. She can be simultaneously upbeat and defeated, tapping into our honest, contradictory selves, all stuck at the point of connection.  Sam Rodgers


044. Arca - “Pinch
Yeah, so we weren’t supposed to, but I couldn’t help myself and fragmented Arca’s &&&&& for the sake of playing its peak chapters again and again. The schizophrenic and plain obtrusive “Pinch” is the clear standout. "They're coming!" the song whispers at one point. It’s virtually impossible to articulate on the track’s design as either a conception or a deconstruction. Attempting to do so, will take a toll on your sanity (or at least getting a bruise from the gripping of the flesh). This might be Alejandro Ghersi's most uncompromising and unapologetic assault yet. Who knew human detachment tasted this good. Carlos Reyes



043. Füete Billēte “La Moda
Life is raw. Pepper Kilo and Don Severo are not afraid to use concrete punch lines to shamelessly say what they have to say, serving as the antithesis to the full of good feelings and vapid hip-hop out there that flirts with variety. With “La Moda”, Füete Billēte has its Egomaniac-anthem. The beat is slow and properly installed and FreeBass doesn’t hesitate to sample Biggie Smalls, making the statement even clearer.“Tu queres hanguear con nosotros ahora porque sabes que somos la moda” they bluntly let out. These MCs do not care for sympathetic capital or self-righteous censors and won’t indulge in second degree. Souad Martin-Saoudi


042. Lucrecia Dalt - “Glosolalia” ♫♫♫
Kundera wrote “vertigo is something other than the fear of falling. It is the voice of emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.” Delivered in an unlearned language, “Glosolalia”, lead track from Syzygy, lies beyond eerie experimental electro. It oozes with anxiety and loneliness as it creates a rupture in the reassuring rationality of everyday life. Dalt epitomizes the voice of emptiness leaving us fascinated by our own weakness, unable to resist it. Souad Martin-Saoudi


041. O Tortuga - “Palma Linda” ♫♫♫
I feel very happy for O Tortuga. Since releasing their Palma Linda EP, the four-piece band has enjoyed reasonable radio airplay and media recognition. The EP’s sunny eponymous track has become a favorite. Even if you don’t fully pay attention to the peculiar narrative (guy meets girl at the beach, everything seems cool, until she transforms into a siren), “Quédate a mi lado, sólo sonríe” is the one line you’ll surely be chanting over and over. Enrique Coyotzi

040. Tego Calderón - “Colabore
Tego Calderón acute self-awareness may be his strongest muscle as an emcee, and in “Colabore,” a solid, old school-feeling reggaeton cut where he reclaims the throne in message and execution, he nails it (i.e. him) again: “Flow añejo/moderno pero viejo/To’ el mundo ya lo dice Tego es Tego.” Since Tego is his own most perceptive music writer, let me just leave this right here: Universe, please let 2014 be the year that we (finally) get to hear Tego’s new album. Monika Fabian



039. quieroStar - 
Bolas de Fuego” ♫♫♫
Based on the two newest appetizers from their long delayed second album Lo haré público, quieroStar are certainly making a leap forward in style terms, especially in the flashing “Bolas de fuego.” Here, Sofía Oportot’s heavily vocoded vocals sound robotic yet sublimely warming. Italo-disco continues to be quieroStar’s presentation card, but this time around every element is wonderfully buffed, executed and accommodated (think of Robyn’s Body Talk). “Bolas de fuego” is tears-on-the-dance-floor majesty. Enrique Coyotzi



038. El Último Vecino - 
Un sueño terrible”
"Un sueño terrible" is not a song about a dream. It's a love song, a poem about desire and expectation masked in a light synth pop sound mix: fast, brilliant and revolving music for a declaration of absolute dependence. Barcelona’s El Último Vecino proves that good music isn’t always innovative and transports us back to the eighties with a low dark voice, electric guitars and an overwhelming use of synthesizers.  Glòria Guirao Soro




037. Fonobisa - “12:68” 
(feat. Marinero) ♫♫♫
Fonbisa’s 12:68 EP was a record about as claustrophobic and murky as we heard all year. Its eponymous track is heavy on the bass, starts with spooky piano chords, and is all cloudy atmospheres -- more like what you hear on the stairs on your way to enter the club. But it’s the vocals that eventually make “12:68” an uplifting track, acting like those glowing bits of light that start to invade the club at sunrise.  - Pierre Lestruhaut

036. Installed - “Confundido” ♫♫♫
“Hay algo dentro de ese disfraz tan raro” sings (or rather quavers) Installed at the beginning of “Confundido.” We’ve gotten used to seeing him dressing up his off-kilter lullabies in these sort of misfit-yet-seductive costumes, with the bedroom quality production and the sonic inventiveness always drawing most of the attention. But behind that, there’s the memorably poignant lines. The one mentioned above doesn’t measure up against the chorus in “Siempre,” but it certainly sums up well enough what’s so alluring about him.  - Pierre Lestruhaut


035. AJ Davila y Terror Amor - “Lo que no será” (feat. Alex Anwandter) 
"Lo que no será" is soundtrack to your life quality, urgent guitar hooks balanced with distorted anthemic singing. But where it really earns its year-end spot (apart from backing vocals from an A-list Chilean heartthrob) is the devastating emotional punch delivered through its lyrics. In listening I oftentimes found myself mindlessly singing along then suddenly made aware of how, as once put by Enrique Coyotzi, the song screws you over with heavy lines like "ya no importa si no quieres verme / tú no sabes cuanto yo te extraño." All the more reason to love it, though. - Giovanni Guillén


034. BFlecha - “Mundo Bizarro” 
(feat. Arufe) ♫♫♫
A big part of BFlecha's appeal is how current and, at the same time, familiar her sound is. “Mundo Bizarro” takes us back to 90s UK house, stripping off to skeletal beats and clicks. These synths and shell suits are not afraid of guest rappers (Arufe), and tagging love hearts on school property during summer. This song is all triangles and squiggly lines, purple, green and yellow. It's almost the real deal... But framed in a tumblr window. Hashtag throwback. Sam Rodgers


033. Dënver - “Medio Loca” 
(Hasta El Bikini Me Estorba)
When listening to the closing number of Fuera de Campo, I find myself indecisive to either absorb its horror or marvel at its strange beauty. The brash of its melody, the imagery of its lyrics, and that flowering tempo awake notions between desire and deceit. “Medio Loca” (Hasta El Bikini Me Estorba) should’ve been the credits song on Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers. It moves quietly and percolates into our deepest fears (“como un cadaver que flota.”) An observational nuanced song that flirts with a big canvas and fills it up with great small moments. Carlos Reyes


032. Memo - “Separate Leaves
There’s so much going on in this spellbinding song (Deerhunter-like guitars, propelling rhythm boxes, beguiling artificial strings, spacious synthesizers, a snuggling sitar, Memo’s dreamlike performance, et al) yet you never get the sensation of oversaturation. On the contrary, everything flows naturally from beginning to end. The sound virtuoso effortlessly constructs a silky realm of magic—one you’d wish lasted forever. Memo is a talented-ly experimented musician, and “Separate Leaves” is the irrefutable proof. Enrique Coyotzi


031. Arcángel - 
“Me, Myself & My Money
Narcissism in music is a trait that, in and of itself, can easily be off-putting to anyone. Arcángel himself has had his share of polarizing results with it (just try not to laugh at the “mythology” behind OPTIMUS A.R.C.A.), but luckily “Me, Myself & My Money” is his most recent narcissistic triumph. More aching than anthemic, it’s got the whooshing synths perfected by Drake and 40, and lets Arcángel get vulnerable enough to recognize the ugly side of power. It's lonely at the top. Pierre Lestruhaut


030. Selena Gomez - “Come & Get It
Anyone who read the New Yorker profile on Stargate earlier this year can easily see how a track tailor-made for Rihanna being “relegated” to Selena Gomez is sub-optimal for the duo’s carefully crafted plan towards chart domination. However, despite asinine lyrics doing her zero favors, Gomez comes with perhaps her most natural and pleasing vocal to date. Confident, bold, and with pitch-perfect phrasing, Gomez rides along with that bumping beat all the way to dominating your top 40 countdown. And she didn’t have to resort to cheap stunts to do it. Andrew Casillas



029. Siete Catorce - “Flor de Lirio
More than anyone else making ruidosón right now, Siete Catorce is quickly excelling in crafting tunes that classify as both sad music and party music. The ever shifting mood in “Flor de Lirio” is very much in line with his own backstory: having the memories of all-night cumbia parties bruised by the deportation of his mother. Many have felt compelled to call this the future of electronic Mexican music, but “Flor de Lirio” doesn’t feel one bit futuristic. If anything, it feels autobiographical. Pierre Lestruhaut

028. Empress Of - “Hat Trick
Shrill synths prickle before Lorely Rodriguez's haunting vocals soften the edges of "Hat Trick." She sings about laying cards on the table, which is, in a way, what this song does for Empress Of. It's representative of what she does and what she's about. The layers of instruments, stinging and echoing in slight dissonance, the percussion that sounds like it's in another room, and the vocals floating elegantly above it all make up the confounding, yet captivating essence of Empress Of. - Blanca Méndez




027. Mañaneros - 
“Revolver o Pistola” ♫♫♫
You’d think after the full-tilt jungle orgy of “Baby Tropical,” Mañaneros dropping MORE animal sounds into a single would be overkill. But God bless them if they don’t set the perfect mood for this track. Especially when that middle-eighth kicks into gear and suddenly ALL HELL BREAKS FUCKING LOOSE for a spellbinding extended climax/denouement. Look, I’ll be real with you: I had oral surgery today and so this is written before the anesthesia wears off, but I’m pretty sure I saw Tim Duncan within that last breakdown. Andrew Casillas

026. Danna Paola - Agüita”
"Agüita" is like the Newport ad of pop, a brilliant and luminous invention that assures the listener total bliss. Written and co-produced by Javiera Mena (alongside Cristian Heyne), the song delivers all the trademarks of Javiera's best singles but with a notable hint of excess, embracing Paola’s higher-pitched vocal range to display an even wider range of feelings: vulnerable and suggestive, fun yet resolute. Don't even bother thinking of a genre for it, just file under "alive with pleasure." - Giovanni Guillén

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