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

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. 

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. 

Laura Marling – Once I Was An Eagle

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. 

Arcade Fire – Reflektor

 

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.

Yo La Tengo – Fade

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.

Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

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. 

Cass McCombs – Big Wheel And Others

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.

Torres – Torres

 

9. Jason Isbell- Southeastern

Country music that will give you chills.

Jason Isbell – Southeastern

10. Hayden- Us Alone

The smallest album in my top 10, but brilliantly written. Save for a rainy day.

Hayden – Us Alone

 

11. Appleseed Cast- Illumination Ritual

This album cements Appleseed Cast as one of my favorite bands of all time. 

The Appleseed Cast – Illumination Ritual

12. Night Beds- Country Sleep

Sparse instrumentation and heartfelt indie country chamber pop. Fantastico.

Night Beds – Country Sleep

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!

The National – Trouble Will Find Me

 

15. Deafheaven- Sunbather

Brutal and moving. Probably not technically death-metal, but "screamo" has such negative connotations. This is really great. 

Deafheaven – Sunbather

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...

Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light

 

17. Kevin Morby- Harlem River

Lou Reed died, but this guy is alive and making good music.

Kevin Morby – Harlem River

18. Rhye- Woman

This is a smooth r&b album worth listening to.

Rhye – Woman

19. Diarrhea Planet- I'm Rich Beyond Your...

20. Flaming Lips- The Terror

This is a headphones album, and quite possibly their best since Yoshimi.

The Flaming Lips – The Terror

21. Yellowbirds- Songs from the Vanished Frontier

This is a near-perfect little psych-rock album. 

Yellowbirds – Songs from the Vanished Frontier

 

22. William Tyler- Impossible Truth

William Tyler is a talented instrumental guitar musician dude and this album is exceptional. Good for working / driving especially. 

William Tyler – Impossible Truth

 

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. 

Cate le Bon – Mug Museum

 

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. 

Volcano Choir – Repave

 

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. 

The Lone Bellow – The Lone Bellow

27. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper- Ripely Pine

This lady has a unique voice and some real songwriting talent. 

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper – Ripely Pine

28. Patty Griffin- American Kid

Masterful songwriting, plus a duet with husband Robert Plant. Killer.

Patty Griffin – American Kid

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??

Wooden Wand – Blood Oaths of the New Blues

30. Lightning Dust- Fantasy

Saw these guys at pickathon- awesome moody synth pop.

Lightning Dust – Fantasy

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.

Sigur Ros – Kveikur

 

32. Daft Punk- Random Access Memories

Feel good hit of the summer, but mostly just a kickass album.

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

 

33. Sam Amidon- Bright Sunny South

very traditional folk, but in all the best ways

Sam Amidon – Bright Sunny South

34. DJ Koze- Amygdala

Brilliantly weird electronic jams with a lot of contributors. 

DJ Koze – Amygdala

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.

Pure Bathing Culture – Moon Tides

37. Nightlands- Oak Island

Hard to pin down, but some real jams on this thing.

Nightlands – Oak Island

 

38. Mum- Smilewound

More sugary glitchy electronic goodness. After a few off-albums, I think they've found their sound again.

Múm – Smilewound

39. Son Lux- Lanterns

This is a recent find for me, but is awesome. Kind of like a more electronic Grizzly Bear?

Son Lux – Lanterns

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. 

Mark Kozelek – Perils from the Sea

42. Okkervil River- The Silver Gymnasium

Highly pleasant, sounds like the cure to me.

Okkervil River – The Silver Gymnasium

 

43. Kanye West- Yeezus

This album is insane. I respect it, but can't decide if it's actually good.

Kanye West – Yeezus

44. Jesu- Everyday I Get Closer...

Crunchy doomy post-rock with sparse vocals. What's not to like!

Spotify Link: Jesu – Everyday I Get Closer to the Light from Which I Came

45. Beach Fossils- Clash The Truth

Uptemo, hook-laden rocknroll music. Into it.

Beach Fossils – Clash The Truth

46. Washed Out- Paracosm

Dreamy sleepy summertime jams. I like this more than their previous efforts. 

Washed Out – Paracosm

47. Low- The Invisible Way

Slow and pretty.

Low – The Invisible Way

48. Neko Case- The Worse Things Get...

A little uneven and relies too heavy on clever lyrics, but some beautiful songs here. 

Neko Case – The Worse Things Get...

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.

Darkside – Psychic

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!

Jim James – Regions Of Light And Sound Of God

53. Hookworms- Pearl Mystic

This is intense and intensely awesome. 

Hookworms – Pearl Mystic

54. Foxygen- We are the 21...

If you like the good rolling stones stuff...

Foxygen – We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic

 

55. James Blake- Overgrown

Minimalist autotuned soul and r &b. This guy has his own thing going. 

James Blake – Overgrown

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. 

The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – Whenever, If Ever

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.

Dr. Dog – B-Room [Deluxe Edition]

61. Ty Segall- Sleeper

Encouraging direction for a prolific dude. I like this better than his rocknroll stuff. 

Ty Segall – Sleeper

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.

King Krule – 6 Feet Beneath The Moon

 

63. Typhoon- White Lighter

This one stayed under my radar most of the year, but is a pretty big record.

Typhoon – White Lighter

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.

65daysofstatic – Wild Light

65. Atoms For Peace- Amok

I like "Eraser" more than this, but this is a good effort. 

Atoms For Peace – AMOK

 

66. Youth Lagoon- Wondrous Bughouse

This is a weird kind of MGMT sort of thing but a lot less dancy and still pretty good. 

Youth Lagoon – Wondrous Bughouse

 

67. So-So Glos- Blowout

These guys are part of the new indie pop-punk explosion, and this is a good album.

The So So Glos – Blowout

 

68. Chvrches- The Bones of What You Believe

Maybe the poppiest thing I've ever heard. Dancable!

CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe (Special Edition)

 

69. Saint Rich- Beyond the Drone

Some fun guitar rock that reminds me of what I like about Ted Leo, etc. 

Saint Rich – Beyond the Drone

70. Superchunk- I Hate Music

It took me this long to listen to a superchunk record. I can dig!

Superchunk – I Hate Music

 

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. 

Date Palms – The Dusted Sessions

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.

Dan Friel – Total Folklore

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.

Hammock – Oblivion Hymns

 

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. 

Wavves – Afraid Of Heights

76. Little Big League- These Are Good People

More pop punk goodness from philly

Little Big League – These Are Good People

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.

Boards of Canada – Tomorrow's Harvest

78. Deerhunter- Monomania

Frantic pop with hooks!

Deerhunter – Monomania

79. Cloakroom- Infinity

A heavy slog from three factory workers. 

Cloakroom – Infinity

80. Bonobo- The North Borders

This is fine. Good for working, not too emotionally stirring.

Bonobo – The North Borders

 

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.

These New Puritans – Field of Reeds

83. Grant Hart- The Argument

Interesting concept album with a few good jams.

Grant Hart – The Argument

 

84. Mountains- Centralia

Very ambient, but sonically interesting. Good for working. 

Mountains – Centralia

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.

Local Natives – Hummingbird

86. Julia Holter- Loud City Song

87. Thee Oh Sees- Floating Coffin

More from these guys! Ok!

Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin

88. Savages- Silence Yourself

Everyone is losing their nuts over this album. Sounds like Jefferson Airplane to me.

Savages – Silence Yourself

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.

Dustin Wong – Mediation of Ecstatic Energy

90. Mt. Kimbie- Cold Spring Fault Less Youth

mellow tripped out jams. King Krule on a few tracks, which I think I like. 

Mount Kimbie – Cold Spring Fault Less Youth

91. Forest Swords- Engravings

This album creates an interesting atmosphere. Not a lot more!

Forest Swords – Engravings

92. Buke and Gase- General Dome

Kinda proggy, but an interesting sound!

Buke & Gase – General Dome

93. Frightened Rabbit- Pedestrian Verse

Pretty good indie rock.

Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse

 

94. Steve Mason- Monkey Minds...

i don't really remember this album. Nobody is reading this anyway, right?

Steve Mason – Monkey Minds In the Devil's Time

95. Danny Brown- Old

This was fine enough. 

Danny Brown – Old

 

96. Marnie Stern- The Chronicles of Marnia

Semi-experimental shredding w/ a unique voice. 

Marnie Stern – The Chronicles of Marnia

97. The Men- New Moon

This is some kind of scuzzy kind of poppy garagey stuff. Worth a spin.

The Men – New Moon

98. Grouper- The Man Who Died In His Boat

Atmospheric, but a little too sparse to have repeat value. 

Grouper – The Man Who Died in His Boat

99. Jagwar Ma- Howlin

Psychedelic and straightforward jams. Like a less fuzzy Tame Impala meets the beach boys. 

Jagwar Ma – Howlin

 

100. Olafur Arnalds- For Now I Am Winter

Gorgeous, but ultimately not captivating enough for me.
Ólafur Arnalds – Arnalds: Sudden Throw