Favorited ex.fm Songs

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Favorite Albums of 2013 (11-20)

I know it's 2014 now, but I'm gonna focus on 2013 for just a couple days more. If you missed albums 21-30, you can find them here. As of this moment, a bunch of these albums can be downloaded over at Amazon for only $5, so check that out if you're looking to buy any of them. Otherwise, it's on with the list!

20) Telekinesis - Dormarion

Dormarion is the fourth full-length album released by Michael Benjamin Lerner under the name Telekinesis. By now, the Seattle native has figured out how to mix indie rock and power pop to craft songs that beg to be sung along with. The album opener "Power Lines" lulls you into thinking your speakers somehow got turned down somehow before cranking up the noise a little over a minute in. Additional fun fact: if Wikipedia is to be believed, his dad voiced Fox McCloud in Star Fox 64 game.

19) Wooden Wand - Blood Oaths of the New Blues

I wrote about Wooden Wand in my first post of 2013. As I said then, this is just a really nice americana/folk/country album. The track "Outsider Blues" shows off James Jackson Toth's knack for storytelling/song writing and is one of my favorite songs of the year.

18) Bastille - Bad Blood

Bastille are an English indie rock band that first came to my attention when I saw they had a song named "Laura Palmer" (a character from the show Twin Peaks). Their synth-heavy debut, Bad Blood, is filled with catchy, anthemic songs. "Laura Palmer," "Pompeii," "Icarus," and "Flaws" are some of my favorite tracks.

17) CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe

Number 17 is another synth-heavy band releasing their debut LP. CHVRCHES (pronounced churches) had garnered a good deal of buzz by releasing a couple tracks before this album. Fortunately, The Bones Of What You Believe does not disappoint. "The Mother We Share" and "Recover" are both exceptional songs that were released before the album, but the band has surrounded them with plenty of other enjoyable tracks. This is a band that I imagine we'll be hearing a lot more in the future.

16) Los Campesinos! - No Blues

The enthusiastic Welsh band Los Campesinos! released their 5th full length album in 2013. Time has not sapped any of their energy as No Blues is packed full of songs just bursting at the seams. The band could come off as too cute (they refer to themselves as all having the last name Campesinos!) if their songs weren't so catchy and fun.

15) Local Natives - Hummingbird

This sophomore album from Local Natives is much more dreamy and atmospheric sounding than their debut. The lyrics are largely inspired by the departure of a band member and the passing of a mother of one of the members. These two different forms of loss may have led to a less sunny sounding record than their debut, but it certainly didn't affect the quality of their music.

14) Jason Isbell - Southeastern

How the work of Jason Isbell has slipped past me to this point in my life is beyond me. My new year's resolution may have to be to better familiarize myself with his previous solo output and his work with the Drive-By Truckers because Southeastern was an album that grew on me more and more each time I heard it. The album was recorded after a stint in rehab, and Isbell's twangy guitar perfectly backs emotionally powerful lyrics about his recent sobriety. In the process of writing this, I moved the album four spots up my list. If I revisited this list in another few days it may move up even higher.

13) Har Mar Superstar - Bye Bye 17

I guess this is the "What have I been doing?" section of the list. Despite having released several records and hailing from my home state of Minnesota, I didn't know the music of Har Mar Superstar until checking out Bye Bye 17. It turns out I've been missing out. Sean Tillman may not look the part, but this album is full of really wonderful soul/r&b/pop gems. Make sure to check out "Lady You Shot Me" and "Prisoner."

12) Volcano Choir - Repave

Repave is a gorgeous sophomore album from Volcano Choir (a collaboration between Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and members of the post-rock band Collections of Colonies of Bees). The rest of the band has done a wonderful job surrounding Vernon's voice with sparse guitar, piano, and drums throughout most of the album. Repave didn't click with me right away, but sitting here and just letting the sound wash over me now seems pretty perfect.

11) The Shouting Matches - Grownass Man

Justin Vernon may not be giving us new Bon Iver music anytime soon, but he's sure giving us a lot of other really good stuff. The Shouting Matches is a blues-rock trio consisting of Wisconsin natives Vernon,  Phil Cook (of Megafaun), and Brian Moen (of Peter Wolf Crier). The album is really enjoyable and if you've ever been curious what Vernon sounds like not singing in his falsetto, this record answers that question.

Here's a song from each of the albums so you can get a taste for yourself.

Tomorrow I'll post my top 10 favorite albums from what was a very strong year for music.

No comments:

Post a Comment