Search This Blog

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Best Albums of 2013 (So Far) 20-11

Albums 20-11

20) Iron & Wine: Ghost on Ghost - The great Sam Beam returns as Iron & Wine for his 5th LP. He's yet to let us down, and continues his run and progression with Ghost. Beam picks up right where he left off from 2011's Kiss Each Other Clean, which is still one of my favorite album titles. The softness of his voice, the folky vibe, the brass, the occasional unexpected beats. That is good news!

Listen to "The Desert Babler" below

19) Kanye West: Yeezus - Oh Kanye, how you continue to alienate yourself. You came onto the scene back in 2004 with College Dropout and changed the game. You were the anti-rap hip hop artist with mad ability. You were more indie than thuggish (not intended as a stereotype, but comparison to many (not all) popular rappers at the time). You were more positive. Then you evolved and became an absolute artistic genius on 2010s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. You had already begun to drink your own Kool-Aid at this point but it hadn't quite taken over your existence. This devolution seems to be complete. Yeezus is mostly a step in a whole new darker direction. It's still fantastic but also quite blasphemous, hence you are deducted. How about we tone it down a tad and find a happy medium? I get you're growing as an artist but you have a kid now. Let's bring back a teddy bear or 2, bud.

Watch Ye debut the dark, but still pretty epic, "Black Skinhead" on SNL below

18) Daft Punk: Random Access Memories - Daft Punk return with another great album, this their follow up to 2012's Tron: Legacy soundtrack and first legit DP album by the French duo since 2005's Human After All. Dance beats and collaborators like Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers fit perfectly. A great album for the summer of 2013, and any other time actually.

Everybody knows "Get Lucky" so check the stellar "Lose Yourself to Dance," also ft Williams, below

17) Houndmouth: From the Hills Below the City - Another album I can't stop listening to. This mid-western folk/rockountry quartet add soulful harmonies with an array of genre influences. There's the playful back and forth reminiscent of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes and Grouplove. There's some Deer Tick-esque-tasticness at times. Then, there's a rockin' country flair like you'd expect from the Avett Brothers (that actually sounds like them). Basically, there's a lot going on and it keeps the album fresh.

"Penitentiary" below...make it happen #earholepleasures

16) Foals: Holy Fire - This English indie folk/rock band released their 3rd LP Holy Fire back in February. I had heard of them but never really paid much attention until I heard the infectious single "My Number" and I was hooked. The rest of the album didn't disappoint either. (Don't be fooled by this seemingly uninspired amount of info, I obviously dig this album since it's top 20 and all. Sometimes I get lazy. it happens.)

Watch the video for the aforementioned "My Number" below

15) Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Mosquito - Karen O is still the queen of awesome. Mosquito, the band's 4th Long Play and 1st since 2010's It's Blitz features production from TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek and James Murphy (formerly of LCD Soundsystem). The Murphy-produced " Buried Alive" ft. Dr. Octagon is straight up wicked. The album cover looks like it came straight off of a Garbage Pale Kids card. For those of you that even remember those...I shutter to think how many have no idea what I'm talking about.

Listen to the groovy "Under the Earth," and check out the cover I mentioned previously

14) The Cave Singers: Naomi - The Cave Singers instantly became one of my favorite bands when I saw them open for Fleet Foxes at Stubbs a couple of years ago. The bluesy folk and funk was beyond infectious. It's impossible not to get an overwhelming urge to move when you listen to these guys. They continue to be one of my favorite live acts and I do not miss an opportunity to see them. 2011's No Witch became one of my favorites of the year and still gets a copious amount of play for me. Naomi follows suit and adds a slightly cleaner sound. Even though some of the grit has been toned down, vocalist Pete Quirk maintains a voice as grizzled as his beard. One of my favorite aspects of this Seattle band. Highly recommend seeing them live if you get the chance. In case you hadn't already picked up on that....

Listen to Quirk and company channel CCR on "It's A Crime"

13) Telekinesis: Dormarion - Sticking to a solid every-other-year schedule, Telekinesis released their 3rd album back in April. Another I had heard of and debated checking out. Surprising I didn't try them sooner with their affiliation with Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla. Better late than never I suppose. And I blame the delay, this year, on the fact it came out the same day as the much-anticipated Caveman sophomore album (spoiler alert). Oh, you want a description? Fuzzy indie rock that gets the limbs moving. Boom!

Check out one of my favorites, "Wires"

12) Cayucas: Bigfoot - This is my current summery album of choice. Just feels like the soundtrack of an epic bike ride through the city on a sunny day. Frontman Zach Yudin previously went under the moniker of Oregon Bike Trails before expanding into a full band and changing the name to Cayucas. Bigfoot is their debut and was released by Secretly Canadian. Unfortunately, I am going to miss them play here this weekend as I'll be out of town. Fortunately, they'll be back as part of the stellar FunFunFun Fest lineup in November. Stoked. Now go scoop this album, roll the windows down, and enjoy. Go!

"High School Lover" below....chchcheck it

11) Caveman: Caveman - Once again, a band I was fortunate enough to catch during SXSW and got to meet a couple of them after the show. Really nice and down to earth dudes. The follow up to their 2011 debut Coco Beware, Caveman take a large step forward. I am not comparing the sound or anything but it kind of reminds me of the step Grizzle Bear made when they released Yellow House. There's just so much more to this band than they even are aware of. As great as this album is, I expect something completely epic from them in the next few years. Lofty expectations but the talent and potential are evident.

Here's one of my favorite tracks of the year, "In The City"

No comments:

Post a Comment