My oh my what a crazy fun year I’ve had! but more important, surviving this year without music would have made it pretty shit, right? right! so let’s go over the 10 best albums who made 2103 AWESOME.
1. Tyler The Creator – Wolf
If Tyler’s 2011 album Goblin was “almost there”, then 2013’s Wolf scores the “shit is right there!” title.
The kid is a musical genius, hands down. He laughs at everyone including himself, doesn’t take anything too seriously (except for when he does – then the show turns cynically darker) his lyrics are a mix & match between words that doesn’t even exist, all while rhyming to the best of beats and a much more refined sound than his previous albums.
I’ve listened to this album about a million times this year and I’m still not tired/bored, I just want more of it! a good enough reason to put this rascal up first.
2. Jamie Lenman – Muscle Memory
In 2008 a huge hole created in my heart, musically speaking, when one of my all time favourite bands Reuben has called it quit. since the UK trio demise, except for anxiously waiting for a reunion that never came, I’ve also searched for that unique sound they had in other musicians, but to no avail.
My heart skipped a bit when I heard that Jamie Lenman, lead singer of Reuben, is releasing his debut solo album Muscle Memory. Jamie is deff my favourite singer/songwriter ever, his new album which is split to two consist of one heavy/dark side (and trust me, it is heavy) and in a sharp contrast, a light/styleish side.
It is a fine demonstration of juggling between a verity of styles, from heavy metal to swing jazz, which are all done in such effortless way… this album is an explosion of creativity which shows how Jamie evolve amazingly as a musician during the years. I was lucky enough to attend the last gig of a small UK tour he just did a couple of weeks ago, and let me tell you, it sound as good live as it is on the record, the room exploded with energy that left me smiling a week afterwards!
3. Keaton Henson – Birthdays
“A lump in my throat” is possibly the best way to describe Keaton Henson’s album Birthdays – a tortured little masterpiece by this very odd musician. i’d be lying if I said this album is not depressing, because it fucking is. there’s nothing happy about Keaton’s music, but it touches you deep down til’ the point your eyes are starting to fill with a weird watery substance.
He’s a vulnerable man and it translate in every note and every line in this album, but also leaves you stunned about his ability to make you feel this way, a quality reserved to only a handful of musicians.
4. Lorde – Pure Heroine
Being a music-nerd who obsessively stroll the web in search for new and exciting acts have certain advantages, like discovering awesome artists long before the rest of the world does (I’m not a pretentious cunt, I just simply hate humans) disadvantages? well, they come in the form of the world discovering those said artists and turning them into the mainstream favourites, a thing I grew to despise.
That was the case with darling miss Lorde, a 16 y/o toddler from NZ with a voice that knocks you off your chair and Electro-pop hits to die for. Ever since she released her debut EP last year, I’ve been playing it over and over again, anxiously waiting for her actual album Pure Heroine to drop – and it did, and it delivered every inch of the cleverly crafted hits I thought it would bring, and it was so so good that the world took her from under my Indie wings and kicked her ass straight to the mainstream world.
but it’s okay Lorde, no hard feelings. your album is still amazing and I love you nonetheless.
5. No Omega – Shame
Sweden has a tendency to export excellent hardcore/punk bands, with a melancholic/angry/cold sound that usually sits quite well with those dark winter days (yes, I was totally thinking Refused) which is just the case with Stockholme’s trio No Omega. Their 2013 album Shame is a mind blowing combination of crust, post-metal, sludge and hardcore all combined into one album that hits you in the face with a mighty powerful fist.
6. Listener- Time Is A Machine
Listener are AWESOME – fact.
Not only they are awesome, they are also the nicest guys with the nicest attitude and approach (based on a real life event that happened earlier this year involving the band and yours truly) their music is honest, emotional – but not in a gay way, and very intense. when you listen to their new album Time Is A Machine you truly get the essence of the people behind these great tunes and what they are here to deliver.
7. The National- Trouble Will Find Me
I have avoided listening to The National since the release of their 2005 album Music For Robots (geez, I almost got these cover robots tattooed on me) for the simple fact that most of the things that came after that sounded very boring, almost like Leonard Cohen & Nick Cave’s unsuccessful child who are just trying to hard, you know? but then came 2013’s Trouble Will Find Me and has restored my faith in them as band.
unlike their previous records this one is a cliche’ you magically grow to love the more you listen to it. Matt Berninger’s voice is like a penetrating hum, and the album itself feels more like a soundtrack to a very weird dream. I’m thankful for the fact that they have succeeded in creating something a bit more original because otherwise I would have kept writing them off, which is a pity.
8. Harper Simon – Division Street
So there’s this douchebag Paul Simon, right? his music is shite.
luckily for us, he has a super talented offspring by the name of Harper Simon who released his second solo album Division Street this year, an addictive indie-rock gem with a shoegaze feel, a slight Lo-fi sound, and those sweet sweet harmonies that stuck in your head for days.
perfect for long drives along a sunny coastal road when the wind blows through your hair and/or lazy Sunday mornings.
9. James Blake – Overgrown
I kinda feel sorry for James Blake really, because there is no possible way in which he will ever be able to top his 2011’s debut s/s album’s brilliancy, but 2013’s Overgrown is a nice attempt nonetheless.
as usual, Blake provides soft dance beats wrapped in his even softer voice, there are deff no surprises here, he does what he does best – a soothing & calming kind of thing.
10. Modern Life Is War – Fever Hunting
After taking a 5 years hiatus, MLIW’s Fever Hunting was probably the most anticipated album in the Hardcore/Punk scene this year, and it didn’t disappoint.
you can’t deny how refined and strong their sound is, it’s the kind of raw, expressive and angry hardcore that makes you want to punch the air and scream at the world – isn’t that what it’s all about really? good come back for this guys, real good.
My last photo session for 2013 is pretty much inspired by our almighty No.1 artist, because he’s all about the FUN! (and cats and donuts and hihi ^_^)