2013 – The Year’s Best Music – Songs

Top Songs

In my mind, it seems like I was just sitting down to write this very same list from last year. Time flies when you’re wearing tank tops. This year marks the first time listening to music in my car eclipsed listening to it in any other setting. Also, I blew through a few zillion podcasts in the Honda. Podcasts are awesome.

I present, without further comment, the songs I most enjoyed listening to in Anno 2013:

  1. Grammy by Purity Ring
  2. Free At Dawn by Small Black
  3. The Possessed by Glass Candy
  4. Livin’ It Up by Ciara
  5. Beloved by Say Lou Lou
  6. In Real Life by The Ruby Suns
  7. Graceless by The National
  8. Golden Wake by Mutual Benefit
  9. Line of Fire by Junip
  10. Blue Crystal Fire (Originally released in 1978) by Robbie Basho
  11. Beta Love by Ra Ra Riot
  12. Sonsick (Magic Man Remix) by San Fermin
  13. Born at 5:00 by Bombadil
  14. One Half by Julianna Barwick
  15. Childhood’s End by Majical Cloudz
  16. Something About You by Dornik
  17. Fool of Me (feat. Chet Faker) by Say Lou Lou
  18. Recollection by Keep Shelly In Athens
  19. Without You My Life Would Be Boring by The Knife
  20. Sea of Love by The National
  21. Mute by Youth Lagoon
  22. God’s Children (The Kinks cover) by Woods
  23. Boring Country Song by Bombadil
  24. Demon To Lean On by Wavves
  25. Tonight We Fall by ADULT.
  26. No Stranger by Small Black
  27. Stone Cold Coup d’Etat by They Might Be Giants
  28. I Take Comfort In Your Ignorance (Tycho Remix) by Ulrich Schnauss
  29. I Am a [REDACTED] by Kanye West
  30. WIIW by Kirin J Callinan
  31. Drive by Beacon
  32. Let’s Kiss by Mirage
  33. Science/Visions by Chvrches
  34. A Violent Sky by Apparat
  35. One More Ring by Bombadil
  36. Branches by Chrome Canyons
  37. Hurricane (Chvrches Remix) by MS MR
  38. Madmen Love by Keep Shelly In Athens
  39. Into Eternity by Farah
  40. Just Desserts by Marina & The Diamonds & Charli XCX
  41. I Take Comfort In Your Ignorance by Ulrich Schnauss
  42. Youth by Daughter
  43. Compliment Your Soul by Dan Croll
  44. Varsity by Smith Westerns
  45. Street of Dreams by Frankie Rose
  46. Wanderlust by Polly Scattergood
  47. Atlantis by Postiljonen
  48. Menswear by The 1975
  49. Oostende by Keep Shelly in Athens
  50. Unbreakable (feat. Baaba Maal and The Very Best) (Baio Vocal Mix) by Yadi

Feel free to stream most of them here:

Best Tunes of 2013 – Half-Year Edition

Behold, I haven’t written a dratted thing on here for months.

I would like to remedy that with a Soundcloud (no, not Spotify or Grooveshark or Rdio) playlist of songs that I consider to be on the shortlist for the best of 2013. Put on your headphones and push play or turn up your speakers and go clean your house/office/bedroom or something.

At best, this list is a poor representation of the great material artists have been churning out this year. I hope to have a list that better represents the total scope of my interests by the end of the year. It’s hard work keeping up with this “music”- as they call it- moving across the Internet at the speed of fiber-optics.

2012 ~ The Year in Music

2012 - The Year in Review2012 was a “thinner” year for me, as I maintained a fairly strong connection to the channels through which I received my music-culture input, while at the same time withdrawing to a place where I spent less time seeking to find, and more time learning to redirect my own creative energies towards building stability for my family. Does this make sense?

There was a time when I bent the majority of my intellectual energy toward the uncovering of new artists and songs. It was hard work, long hours spent deeply absorbed in a world of sounds. I invested inordinate amounts of time just hearing things I never would have had the patience for if I hadn’t believed that there was some value to be discovered within the cacophony of the potentially-sublime creative output of some kids in a bedroom half a world away.

Upon moving to California, I adopted something of a passive attitude about such things. I was determined to remain in the dark about all of the shows I was now missing out on, mere miles away. I did go to a few, mind you, but nowhere near the number I would have gone to, had I not been so committed to pinching every penny we had. I locked up my input streams, and let the music flow to me, and flow it did. In pleasantly manageable quantities, too.

I won a spot on the guest list for Damien Jurado’s show in San Diego, and later I was able to tag along to a VIP hangout with Mutemath. Those were my concert-going activities for 2012. Will 2013 be more eventful? I fully expect it to be so.

Here is my list of top albums from 2012. Someday, an expansion on why Maraqopa was chosen will be due. I chose it very early in the year. Nothing has eclipsed my decision since.

Best album of 2012.
Best album of 2012.
  1. Damien Jurado – Maraqopa
  2. Grimes – Visions
  3. Chromatics – Kill for Love
  4. Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man
  5. elite gymnastics – ruin
  6. Japandroids – Celebration Rock
  7. Beach House – Bloom
  8. Sharon Van Etten – Tramp
  9. Kent – Jag är inte rädd for mörkret

And a couple of honorable mentions. Why are these two honorables mentioned? Well, for one, Silver & Gold is a compilation of Soof’s past 5 Christmas albums. Also, it is a masterwork of staggering genius. Small Black’s Moon Killer Mixtape was released on 11/11/11 and was missed by yours truly (as a whole). I wound up digging on the title track a heck of a lot in 2012, so, I place this mixtape here as an honorable mention.

I'm a Christmas Unicorn. You're a Christmas Unicorn, too.
I’m a Christmas Unicorn. You’re a Christmas Unicorn, too.
  1. Sufjan Stevens – Silver & Gold
  2. Small Black – Moon Killer Mixtape

I don’t know what to expect from Sufjan, anymore. I just don’t.

Best un-owned (not unheard) albums from 2012. These are albums which I listened to- in this age of Rdio, Spotify, Grooveshark, and Soundcloud- and was highly impressed with, but hitherto have not been so moved as to purchase them. I would like to, though.

Far overstated how this band was "overrated" Shrines announces reality, sans hype.
Far overstated how this band was “overrated” Shrines announces reality, sans hype.
  1. Purity Ring – Shrines
  2. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
  3. Jessie Ware – Devotion
  4. Liars – WIXIW
  5. Chairlift – Something
  6. Passion Pit – Gossamer
  7. Woods – Bend Beyond
  8. Memory Tapes – Grace / Confusion
  9. The Fresh & Onlys – Long Slow Dance
  10. Crystal Castles – (III)

And finally, here is my list of favorite songs from 2012.

Never make you try.
Never make you try.
  1. Moon Killer – Small Black
  2. Genesis – Grimes
  3. Cherokee – Cat Power
  4. Give It Up – The Big Pink
  5. Wildest Moments – Jessie Ware
  6. No. 1 Against the Rush – Liars
  7. Into the Black – Chromatics
  8. Truth – Alexander
  9. Darkness – Leonard Cohen
  10. Working Titles – Damien Jurado
  11. Size Meets The Sound – Woods
  12. I’m Not Talking – A.C. Newman
  13. Presence of Mind – The Fresh & Onlys
  14. Shallow Tears – Light Asylum
  15. They’re Talking About Us – Tronics
  16. The House That Heaven Built – Japandroids
  17. Met Before – Chairlift
  18. Obedear – Purity Ring
  19. Wishes – Beach House
  20. h e r e, i n  h e a v e n  4 & 5 (CFCF Remix) – elite gymnastics
  21. All Your Gold – Bat For Lashes
  22. Only in My Dreams – Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
  23. Fineshrine – Purity Ring
  24. Kill for Love – Chromatics
  25. The Theory of Relativity – Stars
  26. Museum of Flight – Damien Jurado
  27. Laura – Bat For Lashes
  28. Last Rights – Jeremy Enigk
  29. Heaven – The Walkmen
  30. Christmas Unicorn – Sufjan Stevens