1. Vampire Weekend - “Step”
With their attention to detail, classical musicianship, and quirky sense of humor, the once Columbia classmates have always embodied a certain auteur-like identity among their peers. Their most cinematic work off Modern Vampires of the City, the year’s best album (sorry, Yeezus), unspools before the listener with both the twee surrealism of Wes Anderson and the New York intellect of Woody Allen. With mortality at the heart of the indie darlings’ latest LP, the record is as much a thesis on existentialism as it is a covetous love letter to music herself (in other words, the “girl” in the song). It’s a weighty, inspired, at times ethereal piece, with an unexpectedly positive outlook on death: all humans pass on, but music lives forever.
"Wisdom’s a gift, but you’d trade it for youth / Age is an honor - it’s still not the truth"