Category Archives: Best of 2013

disclosure-scribble

#10: Disclosure – Settle

There are only certain dance/electronic albums that speak to me. Most of them require a singer put in place to add melodies that can tone down the redundancy of some of the beats in the background music.

Disclosure is a little different, though. Settle is BY FAR the best electro album of the year… or at least of the techno acts that aren’t known for vocals being layered as well. You’ll find out later in the countdown that there are plenty of those still to come.

“When a Fire Starts To Burn” is a great example of what this electronic duo has to offer. It’s insanely creativity and the redundancy isn’t painful at all. It’s actually one of my favorite songs of the year.

Below is an embed of the video for the song that I hope you enjoy as much as I do.

You can find the album here.

baths

#11: Baths – Obsidian

I find it very difficult to classify Baths‘ music. It’s kind of like The Postal Service but with a little more of an electronic feel.

I’ll admit that I need to go back to some of Baths’ older music to call myself a hardcore fan, but I do know that once I invested myself into Obsidian, I was hooked. The beats are catchy and easy to dance to and his voice is fragile yet moving (in a good way).

I’ll make it my duty to go back and check out his older stuff while you do yourself a favor and listen to this one to get as hooked as I

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Below is an embed of the video for the song “Miasma Sky.”

You can find the album here.

sanfermin

#12: San Fermin – San Fermin

San Fermin entered onto the music scene this year with the amazing song “Sonsick.” I instantly did a double take when I first heard the song. Who was this and why is the song so good?

I quickly did my research and learned that San Fermin isn’t just the female singer that slays that song. In fact, it’s not one girl at all. It’s actually the brainchild of Ellis Ludwig-Leone. Everyone else on the album are just his friends and partners in crime.

His self-titled debut is close to perfect. It’s filled with a blend of indie favorites that will make it hard for fans of indie rock to resist. To be more precise, I think a description of a blend between The National and Dirty Projectors is quite fitting.

Below is an embed of the video for the aforementioned song “Sonsick.”

You can find the album here.

arcade

#13: Arcade Fire – Reflektor

Arcade Fire released their highly anticipated follow-up to their LP that won the Grammy award for “Best Album.”

The new album, Reflektor, is a bold attempt at re-creating such magic. As a double album, there’s plenty of good music to listen to that should tide any huge Arcade Fire fan over for another few years.

I’m always impressed with some of the innovative things that Arcade Fire is able to pull off. No wonder they’re such an immense indie favorite.

Below is an embed of the video for the song “Afterlife.”

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can find the album here.

city

#14: City and Colour – The Hurry & the Harm

I’m a huge fan of City and Colour. There’s not much else to say other than he is an incredible songwriter with a very pleasing voice.

On The Hurry & The Harm, he returns with the same type of songs that have made him so popular to the indie hipsters around the world.

I was fortunate enough to see him live last year and was blown away by his talent and showmanship. Dallas Green better not stop doing what he’s doing anytime soon.

Below is an embed of a lyric video for the song “Thirst.”

You can find the album here.

kanye

#15: Kanye West – Yeezus

Again, only a few hip-hop albums make this countdown every year. It’s not that I’m not a fan of rap and hip-hop. It’s actually because not a lot of hip-hop albums lay out albums like a piece of artwork. Instead they create songs and hope that they can throw them all together to make a few bucks.

Kanye West is known for his passion for his work. So much so, that it comes off as narcissistic and rude. But if you actually listen to what he puts out, it’s thoughtful and extremely well-made. Year after year, he graces the majority of “Best of” countdowns such as this one. That, my friend, is no coincidence.

Yeezus is filled with versatility and musical flexibility. Black Skinhead is aggressive and electronic while his latest single “Bound 2″ focuses on a trippy groove-oriented beat and rhythmic rhyme schemes.

Below is an embed of the official music video that has garnered so much attention recently – “Bound 2.”

You can find the album here.

coheed

#16: Coheed and Cambria – The Afterman: Descension

It’s a known thing by now that Coheed and Cambria is my favorite band, possibly of all-time. Therefore, it might be a little surprising to some to see their latest release, The Afterman: Descension, listed at #16 on this countdown. Some might have expected it to be much higher due to my bias, while some may have expected me to bash it and exclude it as one of the band’s worst efforts.

Well, fortunately, for them, the second part of the 2-part Afterman album series was much better than the first part, Ascension, which was released in 2012. Descension features some of the integral Coheed elements that have made me love them so much over the years.

Below is an embed of the official music video of the song “Dark Side of Me.”

You can find the album here.

milk

#17: The Milk Carton Kids – The Ash & Clay

The Milk Carton Kids are a folk duo that I instantly fell in love with upon first listen this year. Their delicate sound is somewhat of mashup of Iron & Wine and Jake Bugg. There is just something about stripped down music with just an acoustic guitar and two harmonies. I think that’s why I love the Civil Wars so much.

The 2013 album, The Ash & Clay, is a nonstop journey of emotional melancholy melodies. Good solid music that would be perfect for a somber movie trailer is featured throughout the entire album.

Below is an embed of the official music video of the amazing self-titled song off the album.

You can find the album here.

weeknd

#19: The Weeknd – Kiss Land

I can’t get enough of The Weeknd. There is something about the sweetness in his voice that draws me in every time.

Kiss Land is no different. It’s an incredible album of tame electro beats behind the same old vocals that made the music world fall in love the first time around.

I wish I could have placed this album a lot higher than #19 this year, but unfortunately for him (fortunately for us), 2013 witnessed more amazing albums than any of the years prior.

You can find the album here.