I don't know that I liked this album the first time I heard it, but man is it a grower. The whole album just has such a unique feel to it that I can't explain, and there is nobody else doing this right now.
My 100 Favorite Albums of 2013
Over the course of 2013, I listened to 4 new albums every week that I'd never heard before, and re-listened to two that I'd heard in previous weeks. By the end of the year, I had 104 albums that I listened to at LEAST twice, but most of them many many more times. In december, I re-listened to about 85 of the top 100 in preparation for final ranking. I'm sure I missed some stuff, and my personal ranking is probably very different from yours, but this is in what order they grabbed me. Enjoy!
1. Kurt Vile- Wakin On A Pretty Daze
2. Laura Marling- Once I Was An Eagle
Unexpected. One of my favorite shows of the year, and the most complete thought of an album I've heard in a long time.
3. Arcade Fire- Reflektor
Ambitious as hell and it took a few listens to let it soak in. They never do the same thing twice, and this is really good.
4. Yo La Tengo- Fade
For most of the year, this was number 1. It's everything I like about Yo La Tengo, and such a pleasant listen. "Ohm" is a contender for song of the year.
5. Vampire Weekend- Modern Vampires of...
The fact that we aren't sick of Vampire Weekend yet is a testament to their quality. On paper, this shouldn't work as much as it does, but man, this is a great album.
6. Unknown Mortal Orchestra- II
Hooky psychy folk-pop greatness. This one was on the record player all year long.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II [Deluxe Edition]
7. Cass McCombs- Big Wheel and Others
Sprawling double album bursting at the seams with great folk songs.
8. Torres- Torres
It's rough around the edges, but some of these songs were in my head all year. "Honey" is one of the standout songs of the year for sure.
9. Jason Isbell- Southeastern
Country music that will give you chills.
10. Hayden- Us Alone
The smallest album in my top 10, but brilliantly written. Save for a rainy day.
11. Appleseed Cast- Illumination Ritual
This album cements Appleseed Cast as one of my favorite bands of all time.
12. Night Beds- Country Sleep
Sparse instrumentation and heartfelt indie country chamber pop. Fantastico.
13. Phosphorescent- Muchacho
Soulful indie country / folk from the dude who knows how to do it.
Phosphorescent – Muchacho
14. The National- Trouble Will Find Me
what a beautiful, melancholy album. nearly every song is a winner!
15. Deafheaven- Sunbather
Brutal and moving. Probably not technically death-metal, but "screamo" has such negative connotations. This is really great.
16. Colin Stetson- New History Warfare vol 3
I've never heard anything like this. It can be exhausting all the way through, but this is a crazy sound that has merit aside from just the fact that it's different. I gotta see this guy live...
17. Kevin Morby- Harlem River
Lou Reed died, but this guy is alive and making good music.
18. Rhye- Woman
This is a smooth r&b album worth listening to.
19. Diarrhea Planet- I'm Rich Beyond Your...
This album is a blast!
20. Flaming Lips- The Terror
This is a headphones album, and quite possibly their best since Yoshimi.
21. Yellowbirds- Songs from the Vanished Frontier
This is a near-perfect little psych-rock album.
22. William Tyler- Impossible Truth
William Tyler is a talented instrumental guitar musician dude and this album is exceptional. Good for working / driving especially.
23. The Shouting Matches- Grownass Man
I literally didn't hear this album until christmas day. I've never been much of a blues rock man, but there are some super jams here.
The Shouting Matches – Grownass Man
24. Cate Le Bon- Mug Museum
Timeless, which means it sounds like the late 60's. Reminds me of Nico. Some brilliant songs here.
25. Volcano Choir- Repave
Jusin Vernon is an endless supply of this stuff. I don't care if you're sick of him, he's great.
26. The Lone Bellow- The Lone Bellow
My favorite live performance of the year. The album is mostly a nostaliga machine for that, but the songs are great in their own right.
27. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper- Ripely Pine
This lady has a unique voice and some real songwriting talent.
28. Patty Griffin- American Kid
Masterful songwriting, plus a duet with husband Robert Plant. Killer.
29. Wooden Wand- Blood Oaths of the New Blues
Plodding, off-kilter moving folk. Standout track is the 11 minute opener. What's with all of this year's albums having a 10+ minute opener??
30. Lightning Dust- Fantasy
Saw these guys at pickathon- awesome moody synth pop.
31. Sigur Ros- Kveikur
It's hard to say this is anything but a return to form. These songs were fantastic live as well, but don't have the repeat listening value of past albums.
32. Daft Punk- Random Access Memories
Feel good hit of the summer, but mostly just a kickass album.
33. Sam Amidon- Bright Sunny South
very traditional folk, but in all the best ways
34. DJ Koze- Amygdala
Brilliantly weird electronic jams with a lot of contributors.
35. Bill Callahan- Dream River
Simultaneously tranquil and unsettling.
Bill Callahan – Dream River
36. Pure Bathing Culture- Moon Tides
This is some weird chill-out kinda 70's feeling stuff. Can't put my finger on it but it has some hooks.
37. Nightlands- Oak Island
Hard to pin down, but some real jams on this thing.
38. Mum- Smilewound
More sugary glitchy electronic goodness. After a few off-albums, I think they've found their sound again.
39. Son Lux- Lanterns
This is a recent find for me, but is awesome. Kind of like a more electronic Grizzly Bear?
40. Mazzy Star- Seasons of Your Day
Breezy slide guitar, classic hooks, and some good ol fashioned rock and roll.
Mazzy Star – Seasons of Your Day
41. Mark Kozelek- Perils from the Sea
Musically and lyrically haunting, but really damn good.
42. Okkervil River- The Silver Gymnasium
Highly pleasant, sounds like the cure to me.
43. Kanye West- Yeezus
This album is insane. I respect it, but can't decide if it's actually good.
44. Jesu- Everyday I Get Closer...
Crunchy doomy post-rock with sparse vocals. What's not to like!
45. Beach Fossils- Clash The Truth
Uptemo, hook-laden rocknroll music. Into it.
46. Washed Out- Paracosm
Dreamy sleepy summertime jams. I like this more than their previous efforts.
47. Low- The Invisible Way
Slow and pretty.
48. Neko Case- The Worse Things Get...
A little uneven and relies too heavy on clever lyrics, but some beautiful songs here.
49. Polica- Shulamith
Still a super unique sound, but not quite as raw as last years album.
POLIÇA – Shulamith
50. Darkside- Psychic
This was my favorite album of this genre for the year I think.
51. Bibio- Silver Wilkinson
organic electronica stuff with a few hooks and some airy singing. I'm into it.
Spotify Link: Bibio – Silver Wilkinson
52. Jim James- Regions of light...
I sat on this one most of the year, but man, its pretty good!
53. Hookworms- Pearl Mystic
This is intense and intensely awesome.
54. Foxygen- We are the 21...
If you like the good rolling stones stuff...
55. James Blake- Overgrown
Minimalist autotuned soul and r &b. This guy has his own thing going.
56. Mikal Cronin- MCII
This guy is a hell of a songwriter.
Spotify Link: Mikal Cronin – MCII
Standout Track: Shout It Out
57. Campfires- Tomorrow, Tomorrow
Great, short lo-fi folk songs.
Spotify Link: Campfires – Tomorrow, Tomorrow
58. World Is A Beautiful Place... - Whenever, If Ever
I don't listen to much self-identifying Emo, but this satisfies me.
59. Waxahatchee- Cerulean Salt
Lots of good singer/songwriter stuff this year. This is one I listened to early and sat on for quite a while.
Standout Tracks: Brother Bryan, Misery Over Dispute
Spotify Link: Waxahatchee – Cerulean Salt
60. Dr. Dog- B-Room
These guys can write a million of these songs. This isn't really a departure, but isn't achieving anything more than the last one or two of theirs. I don't want to penalize them for that, but this one didn't grab me as much.
61. Ty Segall- Sleeper
Encouraging direction for a prolific dude. I like this better than his rocknroll stuff.
62. King Krule- 6 Feet Beneath The Moon
This guy is only 19 years old and totally has his own sound. Part Billy Bragg, part XX part jazz. Damn.
63. Typhoon- White Lighter
This one stayed under my radar most of the year, but is a pretty big record.
64. 65daysofstatic- Wild Light
This is a pretty above-board post-rock jam with some more electronic tendencies. Feels a little cold to be really great, but sets a mood.
65. Atoms For Peace- Amok
I like "Eraser" more than this, but this is a good effort.
66. Youth Lagoon- Wondrous Bughouse
This is a weird kind of MGMT sort of thing but a lot less dancy and still pretty good.
67. So-So Glos- Blowout
These guys are part of the new indie pop-punk explosion, and this is a good album.
68. Chvrches- The Bones of What You Believe
Maybe the poppiest thing I've ever heard. Dancable!
69. Saint Rich- Beyond the Drone
Some fun guitar rock that reminds me of what I like about Ted Leo, etc.
70. Superchunk- I Hate Music
It took me this long to listen to a superchunk record. I can dig!
71. My Bloody Valentine- MBV
By all regards, this is up to snuff. I like at as much as anything else I've heard from them.
not on spotify.
72. Date Palms- The Dusted Sessions
This is some acid wild west stuff that is interesting enough but never really gets going. Good for a groove.
73. Dan Friel- Total Folklore
This is some full on electronic jams. It has it's moments. Reminds me a little of Dan Deacon's 2012 epic "America", but missing something. The first track is so epic, the rest almost feels like an afterthought.
Standout Track: Ulysses
74. Hammock- Oblivion Hymns
Almost exclusively minimalist instrumental, but very pleasant. Strand of Oaks singing on the final track is worth listening to.
75. Wavves- Afraid of Heights
If you like one song on this album, you'll like them all. Stays nicely within the same wheelhouse without feelng like its rehashing ideas. The highs aren't incredibly high, but it's a whole album of pretty high middle jams.
76. Little Big League- These Are Good People
More pop punk goodness from philly
77. Boards of Canada- Tomorrow's Harvest
This is a chill out electro jam, which is good for working, but not very high repeat value.
78. Deerhunter- Monomania
Frantic pop with hooks!
79. Cloakroom- Infinity
A heavy slog from three factory workers.
80. Bonobo- The North Borders
This is fine. Good for working, not too emotionally stirring.
81. Chance The Rapper- Acid Rap
This album would get more credit if I could hear it again on Spotify. I streamed it pre-release and then it went away.
82. These New Puritans- Field of Reeds
Orchestral experimental etc.
83. Grant Hart- The Argument
Interesting concept album with a few good jams.
84. Mountains- Centralia
Very ambient, but sonically interesting. Good for working.
85. Local Natives- Hummingbird
This album never took to me like I thought it might. It's pleasant enough, but maybe just not my style.
86. Julia Holter- Loud City Song
This is fine!
87. Thee Oh Sees- Floating Coffin
More from these guys! Ok!
88. Savages- Silence Yourself
Everyone is losing their nuts over this album. Sounds like Jefferson Airplane to me.
89. Dustin Wong- Mediation of Estatic Energy
This didn't grab me as much as last year's album, but he's still creating some interesting stuff.
90. Mt. Kimbie- Cold Spring Fault Less Youth
mellow tripped out jams. King Krule on a few tracks, which I think I like.
91. Forest Swords- Engravings
This album creates an interesting atmosphere. Not a lot more!
92. Buke and Gase- General Dome
Kinda proggy, but an interesting sound!
93. Frightened Rabbit- Pedestrian Verse
Pretty good indie rock.
94. Steve Mason- Monkey Minds...
i don't really remember this album. Nobody is reading this anyway, right?
95. Danny Brown- Old
This was fine enough.
96. Marnie Stern- The Chronicles of Marnia
Semi-experimental shredding w/ a unique voice.
97. The Men- New Moon
This is some kind of scuzzy kind of poppy garagey stuff. Worth a spin.
98. Grouper- The Man Who Died In His Boat
Atmospheric, but a little too sparse to have repeat value.
99. Jagwar Ma- Howlin
Psychedelic and straightforward jams. Like a less fuzzy Tame Impala meets the beach boys.
100. Olafur Arnalds- For Now I Am Winter
Gorgeous, but ultimately not captivating enough for me.
Ólafur Arnalds – Arnalds: Sudden Throw