Albums of 2013

Here’s our list for favorite/recommended albums of the year! We for sure haven’t listened to everything, so if we missed some good ones, you should let us know.

  1. Volcano Choir, Repave – This album had me at the first song. Jon played it for the first time when we were cleaning our tiny apartment. It was the most fun cleaning I’ve ever had. It’s calm and relaxing but definitely has a nice kick (meaning fun melodies and beats) to it. Listen to this on a rainy day with a cup of tea and a good book. -  Annie
  2. Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City – One of the reasons I love this album is because it’s tasteful and accessible. This is a perfect album for long car rides, grading papers, running, (I like listening to Worship You for running), drinking whiskey, and solo-dance parties. - Annie
  3. Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer Different Park – country, poignant, specific. Musgraves is one of those song writers who can speak to wider human experience without being generic. She’s in turn funny, cynical, and generous. Even if country music isn’t your thing, I recommend giving this album a shot. - Amy
  4. Neko Case, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You – soulful and dark. One of the most memorable songs on this album, for me, is “Nearly Midnight, Honolulu”. It’s about a kid she saw at the airport who was getting savagely yelled at by his mother. She says, “They won’t believe you/ When you say, “My mother, she did not love me.” She talks about how it happens everyday. You’re not often going to get that kind of candor in music. - Amy
  5. Atoms For Peace, AMOK – I was always going to love this album. A Thom Yorke side project, it’s fragmented and dance-y in a way that’s good for people who want to keep to themselves. Interesting and engaging, if a little bit cold. It’s good for Saturday mornings on the “L”. - Amy
  6. Inside Llewyn Davis, Soundtrack – The album has a great mix of 1970s pop songs (Please Mr. Kennedy) and tragic folk songs (Fare Thee Well). Favorite song from this album is Oscar Isaac singing Hang Me, Oh Hang Me... but that might be because of the movie. -Rachel
  7. James Blake, Overgrown – R&B, singer/songwriter, shoe-gazey, electronica – so many types of music seem to be incorporated into this album. It’s been two years since his first album, when people were saying he was changing music, and he’s just getting better. - Amy
  8. Great Gatsby, Soundtrack - I get most of my music for movies and I have to say this is my favorite album of the year. The movie was a letdown for me, but I love EVERY single song on this album. No Church in the Wild by Jay-Z is my personal favorite. -Rachel
  9. BeyoncéBeyoncé – You can always count on this diva to deliver. The self-titled album is a visual one, every song with a music video. As you could probably imagine, each track is different from the next. I know that bugs some people; there isn’t a cohesive feel to the album. Every track is its own entity. (Or as Miley puts it, each song is a banger.)  She’s got her usual crazy high-low range songs (Pretty Hurts), her kick ass/don’t mess-attitude (Yoncé, Flawless), and some retro, sexy tunes (Blow and Rocket).  Be prepared to hear some Frank Ocean, Drake, Jay-Z (duh), and her very own kin- Blue Ivy! -  Annie
  10. Miley Cyrus, Bangerz – For how painful her music video is, Wrecking Ball is a great pop tune. Unlike a lot of music made for her demographic, Bangerz is about doing things your own way, about not caring about what other people say. (“It’s our party. We can do what we want.”) There’s also some good jamming out in your apartment to be had. - Amy

The following albums are one that I particularly liked but got less love from Annie and Rachel. (The fools! JK)
  • Arcade Fire, Reflektor – There aren’t as many stand-out songs, on this album, as on The Suburbs, but it’s still a really solid record. I like cruising to the first song on the tread mill, and I’m looking forward to getting better acquainted with the rest. - Amy
  • Typhoon, White Lighter – There are, like, twenty Portlandesque members to this band. They have the right amount of sincerity for me. The right amount of swelling and Indie-band singing. Stomp your feet to this one, feel something. - Amy
  • Laura Marling, Once I was an Eagle - The songs in this album weave together in interesting ways. Her voice captured me immediately. If you listen to the first three songs and aren’t hooked, I don’t know who you are. - Amy
  • Dessa, Parts of Speech – This is a hip hop album that’s alternatingly catchy and edgy. Plus it has a Bruce Springsteen cover that I listened to one million times. - Amy
  • Moonface, Julia with Blue Jeans On – Spencer Krug’s crooning voice over mostly melancholy piano-driven melodies is a hard thing to resist.  This Jagjaguwar release can stand in the same room as For Emma, Forever Ago, and even holds together more lyrically than Justin Vernon’s masterpiece. - Mitch

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