This week’s “New Music Round-Up” is going to be replaced this week by the predictable, yet fun to read (or at least fun to compile) best lists. Feel free to share with me what your choices would be in the comments below, and let me know if you have any thoughts on my choices. These kinds of lists may be predictable, but I look for them everywhere, and have for years. I was just thinking earlier today about a December during my Senior year in High School when I spent a week in Hawaii with my Mom and some of her friends. I was too young to go out with them, so I spent a lot of evenings in the hotel room, on the balcony, reading books and devouring the 1986 Yearbook from Rolling Stone, one of my first experiences with “the love of the end of the year lists”.
I wish I still had my copy – but there it is, right there (Double issue!!!)
I digress, following is the Lyriquediscorde Best of 2013 list. Please note, I had to trim to keep the list short and there are so many greats I had to leave off – lists, such a love/hate relationship when the actual compiling begins. This list has had many incarnations already, but here it is, at least as of today…
Lyriquediscorde’s 10 Best Albums of 2013:
I feel like I have been listening to Laura Marling grow up musically, and grow into a style significantly her own, since I first stumbled on her 2008 album, Alas, I Cannot Swim. At times, her folk sensibilities are reminiscent of some of the music I grew up around, especially of the Laurel Canyon, California set, other times, especially in Master Hunter (see below), I hear a Cash/Carter sound and sensibility, then again, I hit play and the album is something darker, harder to catalog and confine in comparison. This has been a go-to album to write to lately, inspiration turning into a soundtrack, becoming part of my musical muses.
From my first 180 spin I knew the Palma Violets they were ones to watch. The album is full of the kind of rollicking great indie rock songs that has me itching to go to a gig and experience these songs live. The album is so “Rough Trade” it hurts, and I mean that in the very best way.
Last of the Summer Wine
So California in sound, but also quite a throwback to Bacharach and The Association, sometimes, too, I hear Paul Westerberg and Elliott Smith’s influence. At first, I was torn about this album due to my preference to all the Pete Yorn fronted songs, but J.D. King’s led songs have grown on me through multiple listens. Pete’s music means a great deal to me, his work with with King as “The Olms” is no different, hitting on a very personal level that I will keep with me, always.
Someone Else’s Girl
Oh my stars, Matt Berninger’s baritone voice just gets to me. This album is one of my favorites to drive to, to play again and again, letting them wash over me whilst I drive; with each listen a lyrical refrain hits me differently, sinking in, and becoming part of my musical make-up. Sometimes the songs light me up, sometimes they turn me on, and sometimes they leave me in tears; a sure sign of a favorite album.
Sea of Love
Janis Joplin meets Joan Jett meets Karen O meets Bikini Kill meets Alison Mosshart meets Hole meets oh yes yes yes. This album has been go-to when I have had that kind of “everyone can go to hell” day where you need to turn the music way past loud and scream-sing alive. Cathartic, catchy, rocking and rolling and so damn good.
Gonna Make My Own Money
From my first listen, and first review of Long Way Down, I was stunned by what I heard. Emotionally and lyrically complex, moody and melancholic, raw and lush, and all of it well beyond Tom’s youth. I keep returning to this album, again and again, making it a definite strong favorite of 2014.
Perhaps Royals has it the “radio overplay” level, and Team promises to hit the same heights, but there is reasons for these accolades and repeated plays, Lorde is talented, and Pure Heroine is an amazing album. When I first played Pure Heroine my first thought was “Lana Del Rey’s little sister has some pipes on her” (no relation, it was just a sound that seemed “relatable“), and then I kept listening, and hearing who she was without a comparison to refer to. Lyrically and vocally, I’m always blown over by Lorde.
Devendra always makes me feel good, his music an automatic mood lifter, soothing even my roughest edges. I reviewed this album, fell in love quickly, then lost track until I recently re-discovered it. Ever since the re-discovery I just cannot stop playing it, Mala quite possibly becoming my favorite of all his albums.
Fur Hildegard von Bingen
Number 1 and 2 are so interchangeable, as they both have meant so damn much to me this year. Tape Deck Heart‘s songs are so familiar in the stories they tell, and the emotions they crack open, that sometimes it hurts too much to breathe, and yet, I still listen, and sing-a-long. Plain Sailing Weather especially, some days I feel it like it is part of my insides, and my history.
Plain Sailing Weather
This past December three characters came to life inspired by a song, and painting, that my oldest daughter sent my way, these characters have not left me since, instead they seem to keep tugging on me to keep writing them. This album, well, a part of me feels like they live inside of the songs, or at least that the songs have a magnet pull that helps bring them further and further out of my psyche. I cannot stop listening, and I cannot stop writing.