While I have an affinity for old music (most particularly the 80s and 90s), I must admit that there is still a ton of solid music coming out everyday! Now, you’re not going to find this on your radio dial for the most part and don’t even try to look to MTV (do they even play videos at all now?). Most of the stellar new artists and sounds are being birthed right here on the internet. With the growing popularity of streaming services, the harnessing of social media’s power, and enough music related blogs to overwhelm even the biggest music fan, we have a virtually endless supply of new jams and talent at our fingertips 24 hours a day. Yes, I do suffer to escape from the grip of nostalgia from time to time and I miss MTV for sure (sorry Youtube, you just don’t offer the same feel), but I must admit that the internet has done simply amazing things for music. I love that I’m here at the end of 2013 giving you my favorites of the year via the interwebs and this blog! Drop me a line and let me know what album rocked your world this year!
This year’s favorite list is a fairly solid representation of my musical listening habits. On the top 5 we find: 2 bands that have been kicking ass since the 90s and would be classified as true alternative rock, 1 band that defies all attempts to be thrown into a category (and who I discovered through the handy, dandy internet), 1 poppy girl group with a indie edge, and 1 hipster necessity. Let’s dive in shall we?
Number 5: Local Natives- Hummingbird
Though not as magical as their debut album Gorilla Manor (2010), this sophomore effort lives up to my expectations. I’m a sucker for vocal harmonies and bizarre instrumental sound.
Number 4: Haim- Days are Gone
I’m not such a music snob that I can’t appreciate a good dose of candy coated pop every now and then. But usually it all gets a bit too sickeningly sweet and ridiculous for me after a few minutes. Enter Haim. This sister act gives me the poppy lightness I sometimes craze without the cavities. They were brought up listening to everything from Joni to Motown, and you can hear the diverse influences bleed through on each track. One minute you hear something that could be at home in the Big 80s (full of synth awesomeness) and the next you’re jamming to something that could loosely be classified as rock.
Number 3: Full Service- Carousel
I’ve written about these guys several times now, and I’m confident this won’t be the last. There is no other group touring today that sounds like them. Not one. They kill on vocal harmonies, their guitar riffs shred, and their songs have the uncanny ability to get stuck in your head for months at a time. Since I already was a big fan, I knew I would fall in love with their new album. Well, even I was shocked and amazed at just how good Carousel is. Every note on every song is a winner. There are no throw away tracks here.
I have a challenge for you: go to Spotify and listen to a few tracks off of each of their albums and then report back to me. You won’t be sorry.
Number 2: Pearl Jam- Lightning Bolt
This is quickly becoming a contender for favorite PJ album (I bounce between Ten and Vs. with Vs. usually winning). So effing good. It gives me all the best of the band that I’ve loved for so many years: well-written songs, tight vocals, and killer guitar. It reeks of the 90s and in a very good, very grungy sort of way.
Number 1: Queens of the Stone Age- …Like Clockwork
I have listened to this album no less than 50 times since it’s release. It gets better with every listen. QOTSA are easily in my top 10 favorite bands of all time and so my opinion suffers from the standard fan bias, but I’m confident in saying that this is their best album yet. It’s everything I love about rock and roll bundled into 47 minutes of perfection. Listen and repeat ad infinitum.
Artic Monkeys- AM
Nine Inch Nails- Hesitation Marks
What were your favorites of 2013?
Stay positive & love your life!