This year was as good as it gets for music. It was incredibly hard to order this list. Except for #1, at times I had each album anywhere from 2-10. Many of these albums could have been #1 any previous year. It was that good of a year. I even left off some perennial favorites like Jack Johnson, Portugal The Man, Cults, Silver Swans, Summer Camp and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
Btw, for the geeks, here’s a JSON representation of this list - albums-2013.json
10. ‘Ski Mask’ by Islands
Leaving ‘Vapours’ off my top 2009 list was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made. I made up for it making ‘A Sleep and Forgetting’ my #4 last year. I was surprised they came out with a new album this year but just like last year, it’s very well done. Each song has a hook with some serious auto-tune that gets me every time. Released: 10/28/2013
9. ‘Hummingbird’ by Local Natives
The second song on this album ‘Heavy Feet’ hits me in such a way that I cannot explain. It is so emotional. ‘Colombia’ is damn good too. The entire album is great. I never really listened to their previous album but plan on going back and especially am looking forward to more of their stuff. Released: 1/29/2013
8. ‘Bigfoot’ by Cayucas
There was some confusion with this band because they were originally called ‘Oregon Bike Trails’ and had a song called ‘Cayucos’ (with an o). After I got that sorted out, I found this album and already loved 2 songs from it. The other 6 are just as good. It’s surfer pop which is usually a genre I get tired of quickly. But not this album. It’s short and sweet and enjoyable every time. Released: 4/26/2013
7. ‘The Speed of Things’ by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
I first heard of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. from Mike Spinella, the guy I trust the most with music. I voided them because I didn’t like their name. Then a few years ago, I liked their album but not enough to put it on my top list. I went in to this album with moderate expectations and they were easily beat. This album is so good from top to bottom. For some reason they remind me of Simon and Garfunkel, which is probably one of the highest honors you could bestow upon a band. Released: 10/8/2013
6. ‘Miracle Mile’ by Starfucker
Starfucker has been one of my favorite groups since 2008 when their debut ‘Starfucker’ was my #8 album. It probably should have been higher too. They came in again at #8 with ‘Reptillians’ in 2011 although it hasn’t held up for me well since then. I was hoping they would reverse the trend and release a better album, and they sure did this year. It’s on the longer side with 15 songs but each one is great. Released: 2/19/2013
5. ‘Chop Chop’ by Bell X1
Bell X1 continues to put out solid albums every couple of years. I got in to them in 2009 when ‘Blue Lights on the Runway’ was my #2 album that year. Then again in 2011 when ‘Bloodless Coup’ was my #4. They have a few albums prior to that and they are all great too. This one is a little more subdued then the previous ones but still hits home for me. Released: 6/28/2013
4. ‘Heza’ by Generationals
Generationals’ last album was my top album of 2011. This album picks up where that one left off. Every song is great. It’s just pure indie pop goodness that always puts me in a good mood whenever I listen to it. Released: 4/2/2013
3. ‘In The Land Of Giants’ by Caged Animals
Caged Animals’ last album came out in 2011 but I didn’t discover it until a year later thus leaving it off the Best of ‘11 list. I was really looking forward to their sophomore record and it didn’t disappoint. It took some listens to really kick in but now I can’t the songs out of my head. Released: 9/3/2013
2. ‘Tog Pebbles’ by Way Yes
I enjoyed Way Yes’ EP last year and when they released ther debut LP this year, I jumped on it. After listening to it a few dozen times, I started to realize the album had a theme - suicide. I asked them about it on Facebook and they confirmed. Whether it’s depressing or not, it’s damn enjoyable to listen to. Released: 5/7/2013
1. ‘Wormfood’ by Jamaican Queens
Some years you just know from the first listen that this will be the Album of the Year. It was like that for Jamaican Queens this year. Their debut album blew me away and every time I go back to it I love it even more. The last 3 mins of the album are absolutely sublime. Eagerly looking forward to seeing these guys live and their next album. Released: 3/5/2013
What a read. I could have picked out any paragraph to quote.
this is a good read.fred-wilson)