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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Best Albums of 2013 (So Far) 30-21

Albums 30-21

30) my bloody valentine: mbv - It was a Saturday night, February 2, when social media exploded with the unexpected announcement that (FINALLY) the follow up to 1991's Lovelace would be available for download/purchase that evening. To be honest, I wasn't too familiar with the band other than hearing their name from time to time and reading people clamor for them to reunite and play festivals I was attending. Needless to say, I got caught up in the excitement and ordered the vinyl, which came with an instant download. I spent the rest of that evening sipping on Crown Black and listening to this ridiculously good album through my headphones. Why had I never listened to them before? The luster wore off a bit but it's still a very strong record and if so much time hadn't passed, would be much higher on my list. There's a good chance it'll climb back up once it gets back into my rotation with some more run again.

Check out "new you" below

29) Night Beds: Country Sleep - Any other year, this would be much higher on my list. Ok, I'm going to stop saying that because it seems true to just about everything I have been posting. Once again, I was lucky enough to see Night Beds a few weeks back and was blown away by the live show. Not only does Winston Yellen have an amazing voice, but the dude is really funny. Interesting stories/quips fill the gaps between songs, sometimes due to tuning his guitar(s) on the fly. Especially for fans of Ryan Adams, check these guys out, you won't be disappointed.

Check out a perfect live rendition of "Ramona" below

28) Atoms For Peace: Amok - Another release likely hurt by its early 2013 release. Thom Yorke, Flea, and company produce and epicly funky sound and Yorke's voice/genius is on full effect throughout this album. I can't wait to see them at Austin City Limits in October, not only for their songs (which are rumored to include some Radiohead) but also to see the 2 of them dancing around on stage. Gonna be awesome.

Listen to "Reverse Running" below

27) Phoenix: Bankrupt - This French band has been releasing albums since 2000 but it took 2009's stellar Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix for MOST of us to really take notice. 4 years later, they are back and still bringing similar fun tuneage. I have been a tad slow to warm to this one, hard to follow up, but it's really starting to grow on me.

The band just released a video for "Trying To Be Cool" that you can watch below

26) Leagues: You Belong Here - Another that falls into the equation of being out for a while but just recently in my rotation. I had flagged them earlier in the year as one to watch and check out their debut album, but apparently fell through the cracks. Luckily, I stumbled upon them again a few weeks back and now I can't stop listening to their infectious sound. Strong debut from top to bottom and worth a few listens, at least.

Watch the video for "Spotlight" below

25) James Blake: Overgrown - James Blake came onto the scene a few years ago randomly releasing some songs on the internet and garnered quite the buzz and buildup for his self-titled debut in 2011. A spattering of songs and EPs since led to his follow up. Blake has few peers in his creativity with the electronic-crooner genre.

Check out "Retrograde" below

24) The Strokes: Comedown Machine - After a bit of a hiatus and a bunch of solo endeavors, The Strokes reunited after 5 years for 2011's Angles. That was a solid return but didn't have quite as cohesive of a sound as fans were used to. Everyone seemed to still be stuck in solo mode and it was obvious. Comedown Machine finds everyone seems back on the same page and it shines through. This is truly the next Strokes album. It's a little different, less funky at times, but it's a solid progression for some rockers that are growing up.

Listen to "Slow Animals" below

23) Little Green Cars: Absolute Zero - When my buddy first described them to me as "Of Monsters and Men with a little Arcade Fire" it obviously caught my attention. On lead single "The John Wayne" I heard exactly what he meant. The harmonies and folkiness met with pounding percussion and energy. Made perfect sense. The rest of the debut album by this Irish quintet may not have the same vibe but it is stellar nonetheless and one of the better debuts of the 2013.

Here's a fantastic live version of  "My Love Took Me Down to the River (to Silence Me)"

22) Wild Belle: Isles - My new music crush for 2013 (at least one of them), Natalie Bergman, makes up 1/2 of Wild Belle. Luckily the other half is her brother, Elliott. So I may still have a chance. Not only is she beautiful, but her voice is ridiculous. Think (the late great) Amy Winehouse. Now lay that out over some reggae beats and brass. Exactly.

Here's "Keep You," hopefully she's talking to me...

21) Mikal Cronin: Mc II - JUST recently added to my collection after too many people/articles saying how good it is. Figured I should give a listen. 30 seconds in, I was glad I did. Somehow, it didn't get watered down by all the praise, and almost cracked my top 20. Had I scooped this up sooner it would have for sure. Cronin has a few other bands besides his solo work but is likely best known for playing bass with Ty Segall's live band. No description needed, just follow the advice of myself, and pretty much anyone else that's heard this album, and check it out for yourself.

Hear "See It My Way" below

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