I am a music addict, and as a music addict I love this time of year because you get to read everyones top 10 albums, or songs or whatever of the year. A couple of years ago I thought it would be fun to do one myself. 2013 was a good year to continue the tradition because there was so much great music released this year. Check out my picks and let me know what you think.
25. Freelance Whales- Aeolus
I sort of find the bands name cheesy, but I really like there album, it is so airy and relaxing. “Aeolus” is a perfect example of what this album is able to achieve.
24. Elvis Costello and the Roots- Walk Us Uptown
The Roots are one of my favourite bands of all time. They are incredible! So what happens when you combine them with a rock legend? A pretty wicked album. ?uestlove of the Roots rocks a killer beat for this song, and Costello’s cracking voice makes it great.
23. Sarah Loucks- Graceful
I had the pleasure of being in the room while this song was recorded. We had recorded a few others and before we tore down Sarah said she was going to try out one more by herself, just for kicks. We stood there and listened in awe. All we could all do when she was done was applaud, it was so beautiful. If you ever get a chance to hear her do this live you should definitely do it. If Sarah doesn’t start getting a larger following the world is not a right place.
22. Lorde- Royals
A pop masterpiece! Simple beat, great harmonies, catchy lyrics. I really like it. Sarah, from the previous song, and I covered this with some amazing 15 year olds harmonizing at an event in the fall, it was incredible.
21. Capital Cities (ft. Andre 3000)- Farrah Fawcett Hair
“Safe and Sound” was their big hit this year, but I dare you to listen to this song without smiling.
20. Half Moon Run- Full Circle
This is the year of the floor tom! So many great songs this year rediscover the art of the floor tom, this is one of them. A sort of Fleet Foxes/seventies folk tinged beauty.
19. Califone- Moses
I don’t know if it is just me, but it seemed there was a lot of great folk songs this year, this is one of many on the list.
18. Jim Guthrie- Bring on the Night
This is a beautiful song, but what really did it for me was the sloppy beat that comes in mid way, I love what it does to the song.
17. Wake Owl- Wild Country
A straight up pop-folk song. I find it really catchy.
16. Donovan Woods- Put On, Cologne
I love the ending where he repeats over and over “follow it through to it’s logical end, your gonna get some stupid European Boyfriend”. So much spite! My son Oliver used to point out every time that he said “stupid” because he wasn’t allowed to say it.
15. Leif Vollebekk- Off the Main Drag
A great song off a great album. This Canadian/Icelandic singer has such a great voice that you don’t even notice that the song has no chorus.
14. Hayden- Blurry Nights
This song may be on here because of the nostalgia that Hayden brings me. Hearing his voice brings me back to the mid-90’s singing “Bad as the seem” at the top of my lungs. I am also a sucker for male/female duets, and this does it well. Lastly, I hear this song as a grown up version of “Blurred Lines” but that is probably just me.
13. Volcano Choir- Comrade
Ok, so I have a huge crush on Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver), probably because he is living my dream of singing all the time in my falsetto. Volcano Choir is a pretty experimental band, this album is the most normal they have ever been, but I love it, especially the big chorus and excessive use of auto-tune.
12. The National- Demons
The National has been one of my favourites for a few years. I love the lead singers sweet baritone voice. This song is a great example of all that makes the National great. One of the highlights of this song is the line “when I walk into a room, I do not light it up.”
11. Vampire Weekend- Ya Hey
I am super predictable. Vampire Weekend’s combination of world, electronic and pop music was bound to hook me, and then add religious questioning, there was no way this album was not going to be one of my favourites of the year. Just in case you missed it, “Ya Hey” is a play on the word “Yahweh”. Also, if you want to hear an amazing cover of this (that may even be better then the original) look up Phosphorescent’s version.
10. Nonono- Pumpin Blood
Honestly, who doesn’t love a song with whistling, and this one combines a wicked whistle with a great party song. If I could dance, I would do it to this song.
9. Rhye- Open
Listen to this song with care, for it is dangerously sexy. Like seriously, I don’t think it should be legal. And now let me blow your mind again, the singer is a guy!
8. Jose Gonzalez- Stay Alive
A late addition to the list. A beautiful song that plays during the closing credits to “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. When I heard it I was sure it was a cover to something. It turns out it wasn’t, but it sounds like some 80’s song, I am just not sure which one.
7. Panama- Destroyer
I just found this song a few weeks ago, but I am hooked. It is so airy. You will definitely hear it on the soundtrack of some hipster movie in the next couple years. A scene where the main character is walking down the street, realizing the beauty of life or something like that.
6. Shad- Stylin
I was unable to keep up on hip hop very well this year, so this is the lone hip hop song on the list this year, which is a little embarrassing, but this one is great. I am a huge fan of Shad, and this is him on the top of his game. Best part is when he makes fun of all his white fans who try and say they are above hip hop but they like him, really funny.
5. James Blake- Retrograde
My wife and I had the pleasure of seeing James Blake and his band live this year. They were incredible! This song in particular stood out. I wish I could hum as sexy as James Blake.
4. Typhoon- Young Fathers
This is just one of many highlights off of this bands killer album “White Lighter”. An 11 piece band which does complicated arragments that are still accessible. Plus, more guy/girl duet action! I love it!
3. Phosphorescent- Song for Zula
This is one of the first songs I have heard that takes on Johnny Cash. A great airy song that gets stuck in my head forever. One of the prettiest breakup songs to come out in a while.
2. Jim James- State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U)
Do you remember the Radiohead song “Talk Show Host” that is in the background throughout the Baz Lurhmann version of “Romeo and Juliet”? One of my favourite Radiohead songs of all time. Well, this reminds me off it. The piano riff is so great, and then the “A.E.I.O.U.” part is so subtly funky. Adding Jim James’ voice is the candle on the birthday cake.
1. Daughter- Youth
More expert floor tom action on this song. Just a great, haunting song. The simple airy electric guitar with the booming floor tom does something so great that I have been unable to overplay this song.