Friday, January 3, 2014

Best Of 2013

It's that time of year again. Although I haven't made many posts on this blog this year, that doesn't mean I haven't been listening to tons of music. It was an interesting year as usual, with some welcomed surprises late in the year.  This year was also a strong year for trip-hop and electronica, a lot of really solid releases. Anyway, without any further adieu, here are my favorites for 2013.

Best Albums of 2013:

  1. The Republic of Wolves - No Matter How Narrow
    This album came late in the year, but I've been listening to it nonstop since its release. The Republic of Wolves have really refined their sound, creating an amazing and beautiful album full of sweeping sounds and their signature acoustic touches. The song “Vinedresser” especially stood out for me. If you like this album you should also go buy their acoustic Empty Vessels EP on Bandcamp. It's a nice companion to No Matter How Narrow.
  2. Tricky - False Idols
    Tricky's album immediately won me over. It's full of his signature trip-hop sounds, plus some new sounds. However, what sets this one above some of his previous albums is the coherency and flow of False Idols. It really is the best album he's made in quite some time.
  3. Native - Orthodox
    To be honest, this album caught me completely by surprise. Having heard a couple of tracks before it's release, I didn't expect to like it so much. But, Orthodox is full of pure, raw energy. Now, whenever I start to play the album, I can't help but to finish it all the way through. It's such a solid piece of work. Plus, my two year old daughter loves dancing to this. Who would've thought? I need to post a video of that at some point.
  4. 65daysofstatic - Wild Light
    Wild Light has one of the best openers for and instrumental rock album. It immediately set the mood for the album nicely. What follows is the electro-rock sounds one has come to expect from 65daysofstatic. However, this album felt like they were finally setting themselves apart from other leaders in the genre. This album was definitely the perfect backdrop to many of my workouts and days at work this year.
  5. Bonobo - The North Borders
    Bonobo is the master of organic trip-hop. He has created so many smooth sounds and riffs, in his albums, and The North Borders is no different. Although, this album has less experimentation than previous albums, Bonobo still provides a lush atmosphere of down-tempo jives.
  6. The Company We Keep - Sound / No Sound
    When a former band member of The Receiving End Of Sirens starts a new band, I immediately get interested. So, it was no wonder that I had to check this band out. Sound / No Sound is an amazing rock album at heart. I also really love the fantastic production quality (to be expected). This was the perfect album for a hard run.
    You can stream the album here.
  7. Balance And Composure - The Things We Think We're Missing
    Balance and Composure's new album was yet another surprise. I liked their first album, but it didn't have a lasting value for me. However, The Things We Think We're Missing really hit the right tone. The lyrics and moody rock really felt genuine. And, when the album is produced by Will Yip, you really can't go wrong.
  8. Touché Amoré - Is Survived By
    This year was the year of rawness for me. I can say that the genre in which Touché Amoré sit is not my favorite. I often can't get beyond the screaming. But, I couldn't ignore how much I enjoyed the music and lyrics in Is Survived By. I love it when an album that I wouldn't normally like just completely jives with me.
  9. Hans Zimmer - Man Of Steel Soundtrack
    Ok, so the movie may not have been the best ever. I was still entertained, and the special effects were pretty cool. But, no matter what you may have thought of the movie, one thing going very right for it was Hans Zimmer's soundtrack. Zimmer creates epic themes, which in my opinion, could rival that of John William's original fanfare.
  10. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
    Daft Punk returned with a ridiculously fun album. I especially like it for the fact that I wouldn't normally listen to the type of music presented on this album. But, Daft Punk managed to make it accessible with their signature production quality and electro-dance grooves. Really, I can't listen to this album without moving to the groove.
Honorable Mentions (alphabetical):
  • A Loss For Words - Before It Caves
  • Anthony Green - Young Legs
  • August Burn Red - Rescue & Restore
  • Bring Me The Horizon - Sempiternal
  • Captain We're Sinking - The Future Is Cancelled
  • Caspian - Hymn For The Greatest Generation EP
  • Citizen - Youth
  • Crash Of Rhinos - Knots
  • Daughter - If You Leave
  • Daylight - Jar
  • Emancipator - Dusk To Dawn
  • Enemies - Embark, Embrace
  • Funeral For A Friend - Conduit
  • Hans Zimmer - Rush Soundtrack
  • Kevin Devine - Bubblegum
  • M83 - Oblivion Soundtrack
  • NGHBRS - Twenty One Rooms
  • Paramore - Paramore
  • Reverse The Curse - Existent
  • Sainthood Reps - Headswell
  • The Almost - Fear Inside Our Bones
  • The Wonder Years - The Greatest Generation
  • Turnover - Magnolia
  • Young Statues - Age Isn't Ours EP

Awesome DJ Mixes of 2013:

  1. Jody Wisternoff & James Grant - Anjunadeep 05
  2. Bonobo - Late Night Tales
  3. Sasha - Involv3r
  4. Nick Warren - Renaissance: The Masters Series 18

Awesome Songs of 2013 (alphabetical):

NOTE: This is just a list of songs I listened to quite a bit this year.
  • “Cover Girl” - The Ongoing Concept (Saloon)
  • “Creative Captivity” - August Burns Red (Rescue & Restore)
  • “Elements” - Funeral For A Friend (Conduit)
  • “How Long” - How To Destroy Angels (Welcome Oblivion)
  • “Hymn For The Greatest Generation” - Caspian (Hymn For The Greatest Generation EP)
  • “Impasses” - Clash Of Rhinos (Knots)
  • “Is That Your Life” - Tricky (False Idols)
  • “Let it Go” - Idina Menzel (Frozen Soundtrack)
  • “Lose Yourself To Dance” - Daft Punk (Random Access Memories)
  • “Lost but Won” - Hans Zimmer (Rush Soundtrack)
  • “Monday Night” - Native (Orthodox)
  • “Part II” - Paramore (Paramore)
  • “Prisms” - 65daysofstatic (Wild Light)
  • “Remurdered” - Mogwai (Remurdered Single)
  • “Sick and Impatient” - Citizen (Youth)
  • “The Last of Us” - Gustavo Santaolalla (The Last Of Us Soundtrack)
  • “Towers” - Bonobo (The North Borders)
  • “Vinedresser” - The Republic of Wolves (No Matter How Narrow)
  • “What Are You Going To Do When You're Not Saving The World?” - Hans Zimmer (Man Of SteelvSoundtrack)

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