Well, since the world never ended and we're all still here, it's about time we started thinking about how to bring in the New Year. Some of you have had an elaborately planned night out on the books for months now, some of you are pulling the last minute scramble to rally your friends and find something relatively cost-effective (and far, far away from Times Square), and some of you are planning on completely winging it that night. Regardless of how far along our plans are, we will all end up doing the same things -- drinking, dancing, and listening to music as the world celebrates its only universal holiday.
I've picked out 10 songs I think are must-haves on every NYE playlist to help you bring in 2013 the right way. From classics to soon-to-be hits and from electro to rap, there's something for everyone on this list, so make sure to add these tunes to your soundtrack for the night and have a Happy New Year!
Hear the tracks -- and read my blurbs on each -- below. A Spotify playlist is available at the end of this article for your easy listening enjoyment. Unfortunately, "22" isn't available on Spotify, because Taylor Swift likes to play hard to get.
1. Taylor Swift - "22"
The 22-year-old country-crossover superstar will surely continue her reign of the pop charts in 2013 when she releases the 4th single from her Red album, aptly titled "22." This Max Martin masterpiece is an excellent kick-off to any New Year's playlist on a night where you will drink (and most likely act) like your early 20's self, with lyrics like "it seems like the perfect night to fall in love with strangers" providing the soundtrack for your search to find someone to kiss at midnight.
2. Rihanna - "Phresh Out The Runway"
Whether you find yourself in a crowded club or at a friend's cozy apartment, you'll want to dress your best to bring in the New Year. Rihanna's latest collaboration with David Guetta is sure to inspire many a faux catwalk on the dance floor as we sashay our way into 2013.
3. Jimi Hendrix - "Auld Lang Syne (Live at Fillmore East)"
Although there are thousands of renditions of this traditional New Year's tune, one of the most notable is Jimi Hendrix's performance at Fillmore East, December 31st, 1969. It was the last New Year's Eve Hendrix would ever see, and the apex of his career. His guitar solo, which is glorious in its melancholy, is as crucial to his legacy as it should be to your New Year's playlist.
4. Death Cab for Cutie - "The New Year"
With the opening line "So this is the New Year...I don't feel any different," Death Cab's "The New Year" has found its place as the hipster NYE anthem of choice. The critically acclaimed "Transatlanticism" track also makes for a great listen the next morning when you're nursing your hangover and trying to piece your life back together.
5. Daft Punk - "One More Time"
Long before the rise of EDM in mainstream media, Daft Punk's "One More Time" held its own special place in house music history. Something about this feel-good tune brings people together on the dance floor and it's perhaps the most fitting song for celebrating the turning of the year whether it's with your closest friends or a group of complete strangers.
6. Cazzette - "Beam Me Up"
This intergalactic dance anthem is slowly making its way from cyber space (earlier this month it was the No. 2 most viral track on Spotify) to radios and discotheques world-wide. We might not be living in a Jetson-esque futuristic utopia quite yet, but thanks to electronic music duo Cazzette (with hauntingly smooth vocals from Madame Buttons), we certainly have the music for one. Let "Beam Me Up" take your NYE playlist to infinity and beyond!
7. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - "Thrift Shop"
Macklemore is the newest rapper to feel the warmth of the Hot 100 chart this year. His pop-infused single "Thrift Shop" recently cracked the Top 10, quite the feat for a rookie hip-hop artist in today's EDM dominated music scene. Catchiness aside, the real reason Macklemore belongs on your NYE playlist is because he is the ultimate representative of the new generation of rappers. His support of gay rights, expressed in "Same Love," created his original buzz and afforded him the viral success that landed him a record deal in the first place. We can look forward to hearing lots more from this fresh-faced newcomer in 2013.
8. Kanye West (ft. Jay-Z & Big Sean) - "Clique"
You'll most likely be watching the ball drop this year with your own clique, so what better song to play while sipping champagne with your inner circle? Welcome 2013 by awkwardly dancing around to Hit-Boy's heavy beat and swapping out "Bey, Rih, and Ye" with your own names as you rap to your 2013 crew.
9. will.i.am - "Scream & Shout" (ft. Britney Spears)
As can be expected of all things will.i.am., this song is quickly climbing the charts and is well on its way to hitting No. 1 by the turn of the year. America has watched Britney Spears through the years as though she were our national toddler -- ever since the K.Fed era we've held our breath as she tried new things, fell down, and got back up again, all the while willing her to succeed. It's thus our collective relief that she is back on the pop charts with a hit single. Scream and shout your way into the New Year with this infectious tune.
10. The Script - "Hall of Fame" (ft. will.i.am)
What would a New Year's playlist be without at least one inspirational jam to motivate you for 2013? The Script's latest (and most successful) record encourages people to live out their dreams and do something with substance rather than trying to be famous just for sake of being famous. Nothing like a great, positive message in a fun catchy song to start your year off right!