Best of 2013 Staff Picks

bestof2013

By Carly F.

sunbather

1. Deafheaven Sunbather

Sunbather was definitely my most anticipated album of 2013 and it exceeded my expectations. Very different from their debut, this album is emotionally raw and invokes all your senses. The ripping guitars and guttural punch vocals truly do put them a level above most bands in their relatable genres, solely because of the eloquent style of Sunbather.

Favorite track: “The Pecan Tree”

ghostbc

2. Ghost B.C. Infestissumam

All I can really say about this album is how indefinitely cool it is. Hauntingly wicked lyrics, almost awkward infusions of poppy/surf rock, black metal and Papa’s crooning voice- not mentioning the allure of the unconfirmed band members, this band kicks ass. Plus, an ABBA cover with Dave Grohl on drums…they’ve got me hooked.

Favorite track: “Monstrance Clock”

bloodorange

3. Blood Orange Cupid Deluxe

“With its fussy textures and lovelorn introspection, the music here feels firmly like the product of a single mind. Often, Dev Hynes sounds like he’s trying to get to the bottom of the 1980s fixation coursing through so much indie-aligned pop and rock right now, working airy, mournful vamps for long stretches to understand the nostalgia they’re triggering. He doesn’t try to conceal the seams between these ideas, either. There’s a bravery to Hynes’vulnerability here. He finds what he’s looking for, and he doesn’t flinch.” SPOT ON REVIEW by Mikael Wood of LA Times

Favorite Track: “You’re Not Good Enough”

counterparts

4. Counterparts Difference Between Hell & Home

This album has solid and hauntingly relatable, beautiful lyrics in every track. A melodic metalcore album that uses the usual drawbacks of the genre to its advantage, sparingly uses break downs and simple yet powerful chorus to verse ratio.

Favorite track: “Witness”

ladygaga

5. Lady Gaga  ARTPOP

Artpop is my feel-good album of the year. Every track is addictive and hasn’t left my head since it came out. A very good come back from Born This Way, featuring an onslaught of amazing artists,  this is easily one of the best pop albums of the last 3 years.

Favorite track: “Do What U Want” feat. R Kelly

Advertisements

Best of 2013 Staff Picks

bestof2013

By Katie M.

segall

1. Ty Segall Sleeper

Ty Segall is known for shredding like a mad man and creating catchy guitar riffs, so when I first heard that he was coming out with an acoustic album I was a bit apprehensive. Luckily, this release only further proves Segall to be an increasingly interesting, multi-faceted musician.  The album’s subject matter is weighty: his father recently died, which subsequently led to a strain in his relationship with his mother.  I never imagined that a Ty Segall album could give me chills, but the intimate subject matter makes for his most heartfelt songs to date.

theeohsees copy

2. Thee Oh Sees Floating Coffin

After hearing Floating Coffin, Thee Oh Sees became my most listened to band of the year. I heard the album in the spring and continued to play it all summer long. At times psychedelic and paranoid and at others melodic, this album makes me excited to see what else this band has in store.

the-national-trouble-will-find-me-608x608-1368715051 copy

3. The National Trouble Will Find Me

The National keep releasing great albums and Trouble Will Find Me is no exception. I’m a sucker for Matt Berninger’s deep, rich vocals and existential lyrics. The album doesn’t stray from their idiosyncratic sound, but I’m perfectly content with that because they do it so well.

youthlagoon

4. Youth Lagoon Wondrous Bughouse

Youth Lagoon, which is the nom de plume of 24-year-old Trevor Powers, has a penchant for making excellent bedroom pop. On his sophomore album, Wondrous Bughouse he explores the human psyche and crafts melodic, poignant songs. For fans of Local Natives, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Animal Collective.

neil copy

5. Neil Young Live at the Cellar Door

This album was kept in the vault for 44 years and I’m grateful that it was finally released this year. The recordings come from six solo shows in late November and early December of 1970 and feature Neil Young switching between acoustic guitar and grand piano. The album is raw, beautiful, and intimate and features some of Young’s best songs, such as “Down By the River”, “After the Gold Rush”, and “See the Sky About to Rain”. You seriously can’t go wrong with this album.

Best of 2013 Staff Picks

bestof2013

By J.C.

kendrick-lamar-good-kid-maad-city-1350679355

1. Kendrick Lamar Good Kid M.A.A.D City

This album sounds like it could have been released 10 years ago and its old-school hip hop style is refreshing.

Key_To_The_Kuffs_Album_Cover

2. JJ Doom Keys to the Kuffs

Keys to the Kuffs showcases a myriad of different instrumentals and has an incredible flow.

Long-live-asap

3. A$ap Rocky LONG.LIVE.A$AP

LONG.LIVE.A$AP is the debut of A$ap Rocky, a hip-hop artist from Harlem. His killer East Coast style and original flow makes for a great album.

thundercat

4. Thundercat Apocalypse 

This album, which was co-produced by Flying Lotus, is one of the most unique albums to come out this year.

Tony_Touch_The_Piece_Maker_3

5. Tony Touch Piece Maker

Piece Maker features many different MCs, each with a distinct  flow. The album also boasts several notable guest artists, including Gangg Starr and Cypress Hill.