Musicbeards Top 10 Albums of 2013!

This year was a great one in terms of new music. It was very hard to compose this list. In lieu of that, just check out albums that were made in 2013! If you want to focus it down a little, check out our list!

1. Spreading Rumors by Grouplove

This album is pure magic. From start to finish, you will be dancing and singing the whole time. There is so much emotion and love put into this album, and it definitely shows. Lyrics are wonderful and can be very applicable to one’s life. This album is full of energy and life, how can we not fall in love with it? It is a little different from their first release “Never Trust A Happy Song”, but I believe it is a good change. Change might be the wrong word. I believe this album shows a lot of growth from the group. There is a little more experimentation in this album, as well as the use of more electronic sounds. Some might see this as a bad thing, but I think it fits in with their sound so well. Additionally, I saw Grouplove live not long after the album was released. Their live show was amazing. Definitely one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen, and one of the best nights of my life so far. Even this far after the release, I’m STILL singing lines from songs off of this album. It’s absolutely wonderful. I’m hooked on this album. This is why Grouplove’s “Spreading Rumors” gets number one on my list this year. Pure magic and maximum fun.

2. Paradise EP by Cub Sport

Here is another album that is filled with fun. I really fell in love with all of the keyboards and the vocals in this EP. (Side note, I know some might not like it, but I count EP’s as albums for lists like this. Sorry, not sorry). This is another album filled with lots of danceable moments. There is also a nice balance between upbeat and down tempo moments. The upbeat moments are really nice and fun. The down tempo moments are emotional, and I mean that in a good way. This band can pull off both feelings really nicely. I also saw these guys live this year, at the 2013 CMJ Music Marathon in NYC. They were awesome live. They have a nice, friendly, and fun presence on stage. I’m excited to see where these guys go in the coming months and years.

3. Phantogram EP by Phantogram

I was really excited when this EP. was released. I’ve loved Phantogram ever since my friend URRLLL turned me on to them. I saw them live last year, in 2012. They put on a wonderful live show. Anyways, back to this EP. It has the classic sound I’ve come to love and expect from Phantogram. That being said, I think there are some really powerful and dynamic moments. I think this EP truly shows that Phantogram is bringing it. There are some really nice and big chorus sections as well. As always, vocals are lovely in this EP. Smooth and haunting at times, especially during verses. Chorus vocals are big and emotional. Overall, fantastic EP. I’m really excited for their new album entitled “Voices”, which comes out February 18th.

4. Talon of the Hawk by The Front Bottoms

This was another album I was hooked on for a while. However, I was late to the party on this album. That being said, who cares? As long as you discover something, and you like it, what does it matter if you don’t discover it right away? Anyways, this is a fantastic indie rock album. One thing I loved about this album was how genuine these lyrics were. I felt like they painted an accurate picture of life. Truthful lyrics not sugar coated by false realities. I have lots of respect for them that they were able to be so truthful, and make some fantastic songs. Fantastic album. I really want to see these guys live. Favorite tracks included, but were not limited to : Au Revoir, Skelton, and Twin Sized Mattress.

5. Afraid of Heights by Wavves

I almost forgot that this album was made this year! A fantastic indie rock/punk album. I love how unapologetic the vocals are. Straightforward with nothing to lose. I mean that in the best way possible. I also really liked the backup vocals. The oh’s in this album were incredible. This album had some of my favorite guitar riffs I heard this year. I’ve always been a fan of indie rock and punk, so this album was a refreshing change of pace for me for a while. Great album. Favorite tracks include, but are not limited to: Afraid of Heights, Sail to the Sun, Lunge Forward.

6. Heart Of A Lion EP by The Griswolds

This was a really nice, and fun album. Non stop dancing for me during this album. At times, it reminded me a lot of Walk The Moon, but it also distinguished itself from Walk The Moon as well. Percussion parts were really cool, and could really get you into a song. Vocals were awesome in this album as well. Overall, a great album that I played over and over that you need to check out if you have not done so already.

7. Just Movement by Robert DeLong

I really enjoyed this album. This was another album I spent so much time enjoying, that I almost forgot that it was made in 2013! This is a beautiful album that got me through some gloomy days during my spring semester of college. I really admire the dance/ electronic vibe from this album. Mix that with some indie rock mentality and some awesome percussion, and bam. You have “Just Movement” by Robert DeLong. Lyrics were also really good in this album. Very thoughtful and emotional. Robert DeLong is another artist who I want to see in concert, but have yet to see. I look forward to when I might get to see him perform live. Definitely check out this whole album. It definitely make me fucking dance (If you listen to the album, you will get that last statement).

8. Hawaiii by Said The Whale

This album was really nice. It was one of those albums that I enjoyed listening to the whole album in one setting rather than listening to a few songs at a time. There are a few songs on here that i really liked and could listen to at any time, but a majority of the album I needed to listen to in order. I don’t know why, but that’s just how it was for me with this album. That being said, this album is still fantastic. This album has that indie rock, get up and go and cruise around on the highway with the top down vibe. At least, that’s the vibe I get from it. There are some really nice chorus sections on this album. Favorite tracks include, but are not limited to: Mother, I Love You, and Willow.

9. Black Ocean EP by Highly Suspect

This album was awesome. In this album, we have some full throttle alternative rock. This album will make you feel like you are going 110mph down a highway in the desert. I’ve said this before, but the lead singers vocals definitely help define this groups sound. They are so emotional that you really feel what he is talking about. Every time I listen to this EP, I can’t help but jam out with it…even if it’s just air drums and air guitar. I’ve known these guys since their self-titled album, and have had the pleasure of seeing them live twice now. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for this band. Favorite tracks included: Lydia, and Bath Salts.

10. Say What You Mean by Allison Weiss

I was hooked on this album for a little bit in 2013. Being the hopeless romantic that I am, this album really pulls on my heartstrings. All of the songs are wonderful. The album felt really applicable to me at times. I love the indie rock sound she has paired with the soft and wonderful synths. She also has a nice unique voice, which is pretty cool. I want to hear what her voice sounds like when she’s happy. The whole album conveys thoughtful, and sad emotions. (Which is not necessarily a bad thing).  I look forward to future releases from Allison Weiss…and maybe a happy song.

Bonus album: Sun Shy by Dresses

I hopped on this album bandwagon way too late. How late you may ask? I heard about it when it was released, but just had time to listen to it a few days ago. (I’m sorry, Dresses). I really like what I hear from this group. Most of the tracks were really refreshing and delightful. I especially enjoyed the dynamic between the female and male lead vocals. Really cool stuff that deserves to be listened to.

2013 was a pretty awesome year filled with extreme highs and lows. Have a Happy New Year! Here’s to 2014! (I graduate college in May! Woah!)
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