Top Albums of 2013
The Joy Formidable – Wolf’s Law
This is an exercise in bombast that still leaves room for tender touches – the visceral reaction induced by the wall of guitars on “This Ladder Is Ours” gives way to the plucked acoustics of “Silent Treatment” and piano and string arrangements on “Wolf’s Law”.
Diana – Perpetual Surrender
Along with the sonically pleasing mix of guitars & synth instruments on tracks like “Born Again” there’s also a lyrical depth that draws you in from the opening line of “Foreign Installation” – “Over saturated and underwhelmed, does the way I feel belong to someone else?”
Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse
The devil’s in the detail, and none was spared for this well crafted piece of art. From the dance-around-the-living-room beats per minute of “Holy” to the melancholy “Nitrous Gas”, this is a record you can play from start to finish, over and over again, and pick out something new with every listen.
Top Songs 2013
Atoms For Peace – “Ingenue”
The clicks and pops might be the farthest thing from Radiohead but one thing remains the same – Thom Yorke’s gorgeous vocal melodies, this time singing about faded youth: “If I knew now what I knew then… the seeds of a dandelion blow away”
Murray A. Lightburn – “Motherf***ers”
The Dears frontman trades in his band for a synth backing track but maintains his with-us-or-against-us ideals while his voice strains to the heavens.
Arcade Fire – “It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus)”
The zipper-guitar on this track is the highlight of Reflektor for me – over the six and a half minutes the mood graduates from a dance vibe to an introspective sigh “it’s over too soon.”