Another year is coming to an end, and in honor of 2013, here are a few of my favorite albums of 2013.
1. Wavves | Afraid of Heights
favorite track: Afraid of Heights
The popular surf rock band, Wavves, released their second studio album on Mom + Pop Records earlier this year, and was a larger commercial success than their previous LP, King of the Beach. On this record, Nathan seems to drop the whole ‘California skater’ state of mind, though it does seem to make its occasional appearances, and embeds himself in sorrow for the majority of the record. Afraid of Heights found its way to the top of my 2013 list due to its instantly catchy hooks and powerful grungy anthems. 10/10 in my book.
The long awaited sophomore LP of Brooklyn’s own Beach Fossils, finally came around and after listening to this album, I remembered why Beach Fossils remains as one of my favorite indie rock bands of this time. This record definitely came out with a bang a long with some good intentions. The album comes jam packed with a large collection of dreamy, post punk tracks that could be played for hours on end. With more rising bands playing in this similar style of dreamy, note by note riffs, Beach Fossils really set themselves apart with this record.
After a large amount of success coming in from their first few EP’s, Daughter released their debut album, If You Leave, on 4AD records. From its ambient textures to its powerful lyricism, If You Leave is definitely one of 2013’s most chilling albums.
4. FIDLAR | FIDLAR
favorite track: No Waves
“Fuck It Dude Life’s A Risk”, might be the perfect way to sum up FIDLAR’s (yes, it must be all caps) debut LP. The no good, modern day rock n roll, self titled album comes out locked and loaded for a solid forty minutes, and covers a good portion of a day in the life of FIDLAR. Wether it be indulging themselves in narcotics, surfing, or drinking cheap beer with friends, this album really keeps the energy flowing through a good fourteen tracks.
19 year old singer songwriter, Archie Marshall released his official debut album on XL Recordings, and it really seems to set the level for most modern day musicians. The album features a collection of both new and old songs that feature strong chord progressions, hard hitting textures, and above all, strong lead vocals. The mix of influences really adds to this masterpiece from quiet and subtle songs to intense expressive ballads. There’s even a little sax solo.
Probably on everybody’s best of 2013 list is Deafheaven’s second studio LP, Sunbather. Whether you’re a fan of metal or not, this album will definitely hit you hard. The album stretches out to an hour long on seven tracks, each filled with a dreamy feel that will have the listener mesmerized. This album without a doubt is a big highlight of 2013.
7. The Growlers | Hung At Heart
favorite track: One Million Lovers
The Growlers hold very distinct attributes to their name. It’s their own genre really, and Hung At Heart is a perfect example of this. This is the 3rd album by the popular beach goth band, and it seems to be their best. Though their music hasn’t really seemed to evolve since their first album back in 2009, it holds a certain quality to it that keeps it fresh and exciting. Hung At Heart features fifteen incredibly catchy tunes that kept me entertained from beginning to end.
8. Smith Westerns | Soft Will
favorite track: Varsity
Soft Will is the third studio LP of Chicago rockers, Smith Westerns. It features the lovable qualities of their previous records, such as catchy choruses, groovy guitar solos, and ambivalent songwriting. The Smith Westerns definitely have come a long way since their first album though, more than just production wise. Soft Will features a large handful of tracks that really put their best and catchiest work away. Did I mention it was catchy?
2013 was definitely a good year for bands to release their debut albums. Most of them rose to the top, and Bleached was no exception. The Los Angeles, indie rock girl squad, released their first full length on Dead Oceans records and was quickly praised by everybody. The album features the common indie rock sounds that you would expect would hail from the California area, but with memorable hooks that make each song as good as the next. The album also features a mix of influences that lets Bleached stand out from any other indie rock band currently out on the market.
10. Pity Sex | Feast Of Love
favorite track: Drawstring
With many new bands coming up, the emo revival era is still growing strong. Pity Sex being one of those bands, released their debut earlier this year on Run For Cover records. The Michigan band released an EP, Dark World, last year that gathered a lot of buzz and also got them a deal with RFC. Feast Of Love is now their follow up and stretches out on ideas Dark World couldn’t. This album shows growth and development from their previous work and it seems as if they branched out into a more shoegazey type of atmosphere. Along with sound and production improvement, the album features fantastic songwriting accompanied by a mix of the band’s lead singers. Definitely a band to keep an eye on.
coming of age - foster the people // wake up - arcade fire // breakers - local natives // take care - beach house // easy easy - king krule // itchin’ on a photograph - grouplove // always like this - bombay bicycle club // everybody wants to rule the world - tears for fears // when did your heart go missing - rooney // something good can work - two door cinema club // honolulu - last dinosaurs // apocalypse dreams - tame impala // come on eileen - dexy’s midnight runners // glockenspiel song - dog is dead // you - the 1975
❛❛ an arrangement as random as your revision notes ❜❜
Hurry Hurry - Air Traffic Controller // This Is Gospel - Panic! At The Disco // Reflections - Misterwives // All You Had To Do Was Stay - Taylor Swift // Wind Song - Revolver // Cozy In Space - Andrew Dost // Undercover Martyn - Two Door Cinema Club // Are We Electric - The Kooks // Take Shelter - Years & Years // W.D.Y.W.F.M. - The Neighbourhood // Weirdo - The Vaccines // Fuck Loadsa Dubstep - Rizzle Kicks // Crystallize - Lindsey Stirling // Like Swimming - Foals // Tu geografía - Indios // Arrows - Vampire Weekend // Breakers - Local Natives // The Love Club - Lorde // Horchata - Vampire Weekend // Anaconda (cover) - Pekoe // Blood - The Middle East // Bloom - The Paper Kites // Grow - Rae Morris
Local Natives are one of the best indie bands out right now and after their last album Gorilla Manor, they are really getting popular. Their creative brew of vocals and instruments would make this an epic song to listen to when it’s pouring rain or even while staring up into the clear sky. Utilizing sounds that can all be traced to an instrument rather than a computer/electronic device, is something special….it’s something i think everybody can appreciate.
01. west coast - the neighbourhood // 02. just what i am - kid cudi (ft king chip) // 03. 3005 - childish gambino // 04. settle down - the 1975 // 05. glory and gore - lorde // 06. everything is embarassing - sky ferreira // 07. pursuit of happiness - kid cudi (ft mgmt) // 08. of the night - bastille // 09. tessellate - alt-j // 10. breakers - local natives // 11. mad sounds - arctic monkeys
Since purchasing this record last week, I have been largely unable to listen to anything else (aside from my continued Tegan & Sara binge…that’s lasting awhile). the Natives have a dreamy quality to their rock, even in the darker spaces of it. "Breakers" is a highlight for me due to the springy riff preceding each verse before that galloping chorus. I really can’t say anything about this fantastic record that hasn’t already been said, but listen to it, and put Local Natives on your radar if they aren’t already.