2013 Year in Music

I’m a bit of a music nut and I try (in vain) to keep up with the yearly avalanche of great new music. It’s an almost impossible task; it would be very challenging even if someone was paying me to do it, which, obviously, isn’t happening.

So even though what finally gets filtered through is but a tiny fraction of what’s available, I think it’s more important to find new music that connects with you and that you will want to return to as the years go by. That being said, here are some of my favorites from 2013. All links are to Spotify.

Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” was nearly inescapable in 2013, and with good reason: it is perhaps the fullest realization of Daft Punk’s artistic vision of 70s soft rock, disco and experimental mashed up with house beats, and electronica. You really need the intimacy and clarity of a good set of headphones to experience the sonic perfection of this LP. “Game of Love” might be my favorite Daft Punk jam since “Something About Us” back in 2001, and also had the sweetest bass line of the year.

Cate LeBon sings in a lovely Welsh accent, sounds like Nico meets Television’s “Marquee Moon,” and wrote my favorite song of the year, “Are You With Me Now?”

The rest of Mug Museum is just as affecting. “I Think I Knew” (with Perfume Genius) just crushes me. 

If there were such a thing as minimalist prog rock, Alt J‘s “An Awesome Wave” would be the thing. This was six straight months on the playlist. One of the most unique records of the last several years; if you’re a fan of King Crimson, do not miss it. The musicianship here is stellar.

Blood Orange’s “You’re Not Good Enough” sounds like a great lost 80’s Prince jam.

Phosphorescent’s “Ride On” is a stupid fresh arena-rock send up, complete with little Tourette’s Syndrome hoots in the chorus. Love it. The rest of the record is more of a downbeat, Alt-Adult Contemporary vibe, so this provides some levity in the mix.

“Take your greedy hands, honey, lay em on me”

Telekinesis crafts some seriously succulent power pop. “Power Lines” is a great example:

“When we were kids I could swear we were Power Lines…”

Still a bit ambivalent about the whole album, but “Afterlife” is vintage Arcade Fire

Hope that helps you find some new music for your life!