The Official Central Track Staff List.

It’s trite to say, but it’s true: Paring down a list like this one is no easy task. And, yeah, we know this heading into this project. Yet, for whatever reason, year in and year out, we attempt it all the same.

Maybe it’s an exercise in made in vain. I don’t know.

But I can say this: Our aim is here is completely full of good intentions. Our hope is that a list like this one can serve as a snapshot of sorts, a litmus test of where the local music world was at any given time, a benchmark of where things were and, perhaps, where they might be headed.

That, without a doubt, is why it’s so difficult an effort to undertake.

How do you know when your list is done? How do you really know that the song you had listed at No. 51 is for sure a better song than No. 50. How do you know that the order in which you’ve listed each of these tracks is the correct one?

You just try your best, I guess. But, the truth is, you don’t know. Not with all certainty. Never.

That’s one of the beautiful things about music, I suppose. Favoritism at any given time is, for the most part fluid — dependent on mood, circumstance and, well, a whole litany of other factors. Looking back on our attempt to pick out the 50 best songs of 2012, I see that firsthand. I’d probably re-order some of those songs now if I took to that task again.

There’s little point, though. Because there’s also something to be said for the fact that these songs were, in fact, listed the way they were, in the order they were, at the time they were.

And I think that’s valuable. It shows… well, I dunno what it shows.

But it shows something. I know that.

See also: THE 30 BEST LOCAL ALBUMS OF 2013. // The Official Central Track Staff List.

So, that said, here we are, presenting this year’s list, which was compiled, as always, in collaboration with a whole bunch of our music-covering contributors.

As with last year, a few acts show up in the below list more than once — A.Dd+. Dark Rooms and Yung Nation, but also undisputed area garage punk king Mark Ryan, whose efforts in fronting Mind Spiders and Radioactivity are each recognized, as is his work in producing Pink Smoke’s debut LP.

And, as with every year, a number of potentially deserving area acts don’t show up here at all. To those acts, we offer the following, not-nearly-as-empty-as-it-sounds consolation: It was a really strong year for North Texas music.

The 50 songs posted here below prove that. Of that much, we are certain. — <em>Pete Freedman</em>

50. Pink Smoke — “E.T.”

49. The Polyphonic Spree — “What Would You Do?”

48. Danny Rush & The Designated Drivers — “Starting Fires”

47. Sam Lao — “Pilgrims”

46. Buffalo Black — “Enter The Void”

45. Kaela Sinclair — “Original Sin”

44. Mga-Czar — “Children of the Corn”

43. The Relatives — “Your Love is Real”

42. New Science Projects — “Secret Lover”

41. RC and The Gritz — “Leave Me Alone (feat. Erykah Badu)”

40. Datahowler — “Hidden Kingdoms”

39. TEAM* — “Am I Alive”

38. Mel from The Outfit, TX — “isyagonshakeit?”

37. Nite — “We Were Strong”

36. Black Milk — “Sunday’s Best / Monday’s Worst”

35. Calhoun — “Fatal Flaws”

34. Tony Vice — “DNLD KRMP”

33. Mind Spiders — “Inside You”

32. Blackstone Rangers — “Frozen Echo”

31. Party Static — “Sex in the Neighborhood”

30. Pinkish Black — “Kites and Vultures”

29. Botany — “Quatic”

28. Ice Eater — “Flood of Families”

27. These Machines Are Winning — “Fornication”

26. A.Dd+ — “Where You Been?”

25. Kacey Musgraves — “Follow Your Arrow”

24. The Dividends — “Fool’s Gold”

23. Mega Drive — “Maniac”

22. Quaker City Night Hawks — “Fox in the Hen House”

21. Yung Nation — “Shawty Wassup”

20. Catamaran — “All Around”

19. Lord Byron — “L’Chaim”

18. St. Vincent — “Birth in Reverse”

17. Sealion — “All We Know”

16. Zhora — “Lights”

15. A.Dd+ — “Audio Day Dream”

14. The Birds of Night — “I Don’t Know What You Want”

13. Dark Rooms — “Keep It Inside”

12. Dustin Cavazos — “3:44am”

11. Cutter — “Hypothetical Particle”

10. Daniel Markham — “New Blood”

9. Power Trip — “Heretics Fork”

8. Yung Nation — “AWDIB (Ball)”

7. True Widow — “HW:R”

6. Booty Fade — “F#$k Like A Stripper”

5. Rania Khoury — “Sweet Apple Pies”

4. The Baptist Generals — “Dog That Bit You”

3. Radioactivity — “World of Pleasure”

2. Son of Stan — “Noxeema”

1. Dark Rooms — “Dans Le Noir”

No more articles