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The Best Songs of 2013 (So Far)

37. Rhye "The Fall"

Album: Woman
Producer: Rhye
Label: Polydor

The arrival of Rhye was shrouded in secrecy, a trope that has become commonplace in the oversaturated Internet-meming music scene of the past few years. But this slouching R&B slow-pop act composed of Robin Hannibal and Mike Milosh insisted on the subterfuge, a move that led to one of the funniest mishaps of 2013: multiple critics mistook Hannibal's voice for that of a woman. Even in hindsight, his tender vulnerability and yearning croons reflect a side of love that isn't often associated with masculinity, but paired with the minimalistic piano, strings, and brassy trumpet yelps, Hannibal and Milosh make intimacy seem desirable and strong, regardless of gender.

Murky basslines and crisp high-hats build a strong backbone that contrasts with the sinuous vocal lines and dramatic string movements-this is a love song of majestic proportions. Yet, Rhye makes music personal enough to perform in a personal setting for a loved one, as Robin did with the duo's other loved-up single "Open" . Despite the simplicity and desire of that track, though, "The Fall" surpasses it in terms of finely-tuned technique-their second single manages to simultaneously beg and fulfill, chase and embrace-it's a fall for both sides of the love affair. —Caitlin White

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