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Zoë‘s Top Music of 2013

By Zoë Brown posted Jan 01, 2014 at 11:59 PM

Welcome to 2014. Before we make our resolutions, music related or not, I want to take this last moment to look back on the noise from 2013. 

Let’s start with the most important list here, best albums. Listening to music as a whole album is a worthwhile experience, especially if the album is created by a talented artist who can write consistent and coherent lyrics while also keeping the instrumentation exciting and engaging. I didn’t want to just copy everyone else’s list, so here’s one that’s slightly off the beaten path. Please note the deliberate lack of Kanye. My favorite albums:

  1. Interiors by Glasser
  2. Arc by Everything Everything
  3. Infinity Pool by When Saints Go Machine
  4. Overgrown by James Blake
  5. Wondrous Bughouse by Youth Lagoon
  6. Once  I Was an Eagle by Laura Marling
  7. Olympia  by Austra
  8. Bigfoot by Cayucas
  9. Body Music by AlunaGeorge
  10. Cave Rave by Crystal Fighters

Next up, songs. I don’t really listen to singles, but these are all notable tracks. These are songs I listened to on repeat until someone told me to stop. My top ten songs, not from albums listed above:

  1. “Latch” by Disclosure
  2. “Diane Young” by Vampire Weekend
  3. “Kindness be Conceived” by Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, featuring Joanna Newsom
  4. “Isjaki” by Sigur Ros
  5. “Sherbet” by Cub Sport
  6. “aTENTion” by M.I.A.
  7. “The Dogs” by Moby
  8. “Candlestick” by Mum
  9. “Trippin” by Poliça
  10. “3 Bromides” by The Baptist Generals, specifically the live version

Now some fun stuff. Superlatives, all based on my personal opinion:

  • Happiest happy album: Cave Rave by Crystal Fighters
  • Happiest sad album: Olympia by Austra
  • Best album about California: Bigfoot by Cayucas
  • Best album by an English ape: North Borders by Bonobo
  • Best use of saxophone: Isles by Wild Belle
  • Best album whose artists are fans of my favorite podcast: Nanobots by They Might Be Giants
    • [TMBG are fans of the podcast, Throwing Shade. NSFW.]
  • Album title most likely to evoke an image of Jennifer Lawrence: Female Lead EP by Team Me
  • Best unnecessary release, coupled with worst release format: Songs About Love and Lack Thereof by Mister Goodnite, released as a cassette or in two mp3 tracks, Side A and Side B
    • Explanation: this is not an LP. It is a collection of songs that appear on their LP with found audio between the tracks.
  • Best album out of Miami: Hi Beams by Javelin
  • Best worst album cover: Settle by Disclosure
  • Best music video to confuse your friends: “When a Fire Starts to Burn” by Disclosure
  • Try not enjoying this album, I dare you: In Focus? By Shugo Tokumaru
  • Album most likely to cause flashbacks to Ultra 2013: Just Movement by Robert DeLong

Lastly, I want to mention a soundtrack that I particularly loved. (I wanted to make my year in review of music all encompassing.) Even if classical music isn’t your thing, listen to the soundtrack for The Great Beauty (Italian: La Grande Bellezza). It has a phenomenal mix of contemporary classical and embarrassing Italian dance tracks. “I Lie” and “The Lamb” will completely enrapture you, so you won’t even notice that you heard “We No Speak Americano” again. 

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