Hi everyone. I know I say it every year, but damn 2013 flew by. It’s a little hard to look back on the year because it started on a really high high. Then some sad things happened and needless to say, I am happy to see 2013 go. Reminiscing is something I always do this time of year and I didn’t want to skip writing this list again because I enjoy doing it.
Also, don't feel too bad for me. I had some really great memories and experiences this year, including an internship at an amazing organization. I got to travel to Chicago and Minnesota, as well as meet some great people who will have lasting impacts on my life. On top of that, I became an uncle very late last year and have loved watching my niece grow.
As always, music takes me back to specific memories and that has had a lot to do with the ranking of these albums. There were some great releases this year but I’m going to keep this list short. So here it goes.
****DISCLAIMER REGARDING BEYONCE****
I felt like Beyonce's decision to release a secret album at the very end of the year was her way of saying screw you to top release lists and I have decided to respect her decision. Also, some of the songs are amazing but I just haven't listened enough yet to consider it a top 10 album of the entire year.
Top Tracks of 2013:
1. Arcade Fire – Afterlife
2. Farewell Milwaukee – Let Me Sleep Tonight
3. Sky Ferreira – You’re Not the One
4. Empire of the Sun – Alive (my summer 2013/falling in love anthem)
5. Charli XCX – What I Like
Best Music Videos of 2013:
1. Arcade Fire – Afterlife
2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Sacrilege
3. Beach House – Wishes
4. Digits - Say Goodbye
5. Atoms for Peace – Ingenue
Biggest Flops of 2013:
1. Phoenix - Bankrupt!
2. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Self-Titled (I give up on defending them. Up From Below was a great album, but that's been about it)
3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito =x
Honorable Mentions of 2013:
1. Cold War Kids - Dear Miss Lonelyhearts
2. Work Drugs - Delta
3. The Naked and Famous - In Rolling Waves
Top Albums of 2013:
10. Someone Still Loves You Yoris Beltson - Fly By Wire
I don't follow this band religiously. Every so often I'll check to see if they have a new release out. I stumbled upon this album and was hooked by the end of the first song. The album reminds of me the past month or two, a time that I have dedicated to allowing myself to feel however I feel and not beat myself up about it. Thanks SSLYYB for the support.
9. Chris Garneau - Winter Games
Let me just start off by saying this album is not the Chris Garneau I am used to hearing. It took me a while to accept that the old sound will probably never be back. Once I did, I was really able to embrace this album. I mean, what's not to love about this man? He's cute, has killer pipes, and makes dreamy music that I listen to late at night when I'm sad. I suspect this release will get more play once we enter the dead of winter.
8. CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe
CHVRCHES reminds me of my roommate. He first introduced me to them. This album just plays well from start to finish. I don't have any specific memories attached to the album but it was really solid so I felt that I had to include it.
7. STRFKR – Mirace Mile
Yeah, they probably don't have the best reputation (especially with a name like that). But this album was SO fun and takes me back to riding my bicycle all day or going on extended runs. I miss the early spring. Those were certainly the best days of 2013. SIGH
6. Arctic Monkeys – A.M.
This is probably their best release in my opinion. I find the mood of the album to be really dark, which has helped me through my recent rough patches. His voice is so sexy. Am I the only one to think that? I doubt it.
5. Born Ruffians – Birthmarks
Holy crap this band is a lot of fun. I was honestly shocked by how much this album was in rotation this year. Listening to it while compiling this list definitely took me back to late spring/early summer. Ah, those were the days. Thanks for the memories Born Ruffians. Keep up the good work. I have yet to be disappointed by any of your releases.
4. Lorde – Pure Heroine
This girl really blew me out of the water. Yes, Royals was super played out (even though you’d be lying if you said you didn’t LOVE it before that happened). I listen to this album at least twice a week from start to finish. My only beef is that it’s just ten tracks. I hope all of this attention doesn’t mess with her style and that her future releases are just as brilliant.
3. Arcade Fire – Reflektor
This album was so highly anticipated that I think I kind of ruined it for myself. Don’t get me wrong…the album is amazing. It just took a few listens to grow on me. I will say that I doubt that this will be my favorite release by them. With that being said, Afterlife is hands down my favorite song they have ever made. The video is also phenomenal. Seriously, I could spend 15 minutes talking about Afterlife and how much it means to me. This album sounds both classic Arcade Fire and a new direction. I love that about them. I am looking forward to seeing them in concert in 2014, even if it means having to go to Barclay’s.
2. The National – Trouble Will Find Me
The latest album by this band proves just how great they are. Sometimes I feel like their songs all sound the same…and then I listen and realize how not true that is. There are some great standout tracks on this album. It reminds me of late summer and has been getting more attention now that the winter is here. It has proven especially helpful when I want to sit in bed and sulk in my sadness..but that's The National for ya.
1. The Head and the Heart – Let’s Be Still
I have been looking forward to this album for a VERY long time. I am glad to report that it was worth the wait. They are quickly becoming one of my favorite bands. This entire album is solid. I am glad to hear a wider range of style and instrument use this time around. I listen to this album from start to finish all the time. It came out right around the time shit began hitting the fan, so I think it is safe to say that this album will always be remembered as "the break up album". I think I am okay with that.
Here's to 2014: great new music, great new experiences, and great new memories.
The Head and the Heart, The National, Arcade Fire, Lorde, Born Ruffians, Arctic Monkeys, STRFKR, CHVRCHES, Chris Garneau